Grace to You

For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, (1:12a)

That statement was particularly directed against the Judaizers, who received their religious instruction primarily from rabbinic tradition by means of rote memorization. Rather than studying the Scriptures directly, most Jews-religious leaders and laymen alike-looked to human interpretations of Scripture as their religious authority and guide. Their theology, moral standards, and ceremonies had roots in God’s revealed Word of the Old Testament, but the biblical truths and standards had been so diluted and distorted by human interpretations that the Judaism of New Testament times was largely received … from man and taught according to man’s interpretation. Although the Scriptures, especially the Torah, or law, were ritually given the highest honor, they were not honored by the people through direct study and sincere obedience. In the eyes of many Jews of that day-just as in the eyes of many professing Christians today-Scripture was a religious relic that deserved superficial reverence but not serious study or obedience. The religious ideas they took seriously and attempted to live by were the man-made traditions related to their unique community culture that had accumulated over the previous several hundred years. Many of the traditions not only were not taught in Scripture but contradicted Scripture. With few exceptions, Jews “invalidated the word of God for the sake of [their] tradition” (Matt. 15:6)....

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Grace to You

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John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, as well as an author, conference speaker, president of The Master’s College and Seminary, and featured teacher with the Grace to You media ministry...

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