Response to Dr. Michael Heiser regarding his video
Noahide Laws – Salvation for Gentiles? Part 1
(Uploaded to Youtube on Jul 9, 2019.)
First let us discuss the man and his body of work. However, before we are accused of being an anti-Heiser, conspiracy group, let’s preface this video by saying we appreciate Dr. Heiser’s writings both in book form and scholastic papers. This video is NOT we repeat NOT any of the following:
- Intended to throw Heiser under the bus,
- cause him any harm,
- or cause his ministry any harm.
It merely addresses and redresses some erroneous comments or in some places and in others, adds subjects that he should have discussed.
Having mentioned what this video is not, I also must state that I don’t practice hero worship and ignore when something obviously needs to be addressed.
Dr. Heiser’s Theology and Biblical knowledge are lightyears beyond most. Therefore, I’m totally gob smacked over some of the statements he makes and more importantly some of the statements he doesn’t make about the topic of Noahide laws.
I think his work in “Reversing Hermon” is not only classic theology and great history, but a seminal work because no one else has taught on this in recent history and it is something all Christians should know.
There is no doubt or question of his educational Curriculum Vitae…
Dr. Heiser, While I don’t have your lofty Scholastic letters behind my name, I have been studying the word and Christian literature for 47 years.
In case you want to watch his video and follow along, you can check the times that I’ve included along with the section(s) in question.
I’ve included a link to his video in the description below.
- @ 0:37 He states that in January 2017, shortly after President Trump’s inaugurate, the Rabbis of the Sanhedrin sent the President a letter of blessing, and reminder that both he and our nation should abide by the Noahide laws.
- @ 0:57 He states that the Rabbis state in the letter that Noahide laws are to be followed by all humanity.
- @ 1:00 Dr. Heiser concludes “This obviously means all humanity, which of course includes all Jews”
- @ 1:04 continues to state and all Non-Jews (known as Gentiles)
- @ 1:16 He starts going down the slippery slope by saying that many believe (incorrectly) that this is an attempt to either create
- An idea that Trump is some kind of a Messiah figure or
- That the Jews want to create a “Theocracy” within America which is silly
- @ 1:31 He states that this is ridiculous and is due in part to a large growing number of antisemitism and conspiracy theories
- @ 1:40 However sadly, demonizing the Jews is growing in American culture which is absurd and immoral.
- @ 1:45 Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theorists believe #V above, because of a Joint Bill signed by the House and Senate.
- @ 1:50-2:14ish He states that there was a joint House/Senate bill that was signed into law in 1993 in connection with the National Education Bill where they recognized Noahide Law he reads a portion of the joint bill.
- @ 2:32 He states – There is no suggestion in that reading anywhere that the Noahide laws will ever super impend or supersede the US Constitution and that we would be under Sanhedrin Rabbinical law or leadership any more than we would be under the Vatican if we had a Catholic President.
- @ 3:02 He asks – So what are those laws?
- @ 3:26 We should never confuse these laws with the biblical Torah or collectively the Tanakh.
- @ 4:26 a significant part of the Torah contains laws relating to the Government of Israel and the people of Israel. Relating to the Worship of their God YHWH. It also includes Moral laws on how to live for God.
- @ 4:54 If the Torah is written by Moses (Moses’ laws,) then what are Noahide laws?
- @ 5:06 Noahide laws according to the Sanhedrin are Natural laws for Mankind which governs man’s behavior.
- @ 5:51 he states that this stems from the question, how could God destroy the earth in the flood and destroy everyone and everything on it. What is the basis of their judgement if there wasn’t something placed to spread out knowledge of how to live for all humanity since the creation of man?
- @ 6:44 There is no Rabbinic consensus of what the Noahide laws actually were or how many of them there are so they came up with 7 to nail down the issue. They predate Moses’ law.
- @ 7:00 Because of the confusion over all the proposed laws, the Rabbis picked seven which had a general consensus as being good for humanity and would allow people to live holy lives before God. These laws were the following.
- No Idolatry
- No Blasphemy
- No bloodshed or murder
- No incest or adultery
- No Robbery
- Injunction to establish courts of law
- The prohibition against eating flesh cut from a living animal
- @ 7:55 These laws seem kind of normative, which those who put forth this idea thought they were ok for all humankind.
- @ 8:00 At this point we need to start asking some questions…
- It’s one thing for Rabbis to say there are 7 laws given by God to Moses and that they are for all mankind, but quite another thing to say they were truly given By God, meaning…
- Are these laws Biblical?
- Why bother putting laws from Moses and laws from Noah
- Does the Bible teach that God taught Noah these laws?
- @ 9:20 As an aside note to question c. Michael states (“that concept sorta seems to maybe be important”)
- @ 9:22 At this point, we have been talking about a construct or concept within Rabbinical tradition that says there were laws given to Noah that were binding on all humanity.
- @ 9:36 Since the flood took place within the Torah timeline, does it actually teach that God gave these laws specifically to Noah for all mankind.
- @ 9:50 He says that we can answer those questions together, by stating that these are writings from the Talmud. You’ll find these laws scattered through the Torah, but they are all well after the time of Noah. In fact, he goes on to say…
- @ 10:30 That the Talmud states that God gave the laws to Noah for all humanity which is different from the laws given strictly to the Jews by God through Moses. Which matters to this discussion because God gave the Mosaic laws just to the Jews and we find no laws given to all of humanity in the Torah.
- @ 10:45 This Noahide law which comes from the Talmud known as Halakhah.
- @ 11:24 He quotes a Talmudic Rabbi who says “Halakhah not only regulates the conduct of Jews but also insists on the existence of universal legal code, referred to as Noahide laws, understood to be binding on all descendants of Noah, that is, everyone. The Talmud enumerates these seven Noahide Prohibitions.” Jacob Neusner
- @ 12:13 Dr. Heiser asks the question well if these come from the Talmud what this has for everyone? Many people have incorrectly assumed that the Talmud is synonymous for the Torah.
- @ 12:36 the Talmud is Rabbinic theory, composed by men and not given by God, it is opinion only.
- @ Around 12:45 Heiser quotes Neusner again “The Talmud consists of a law code and a commentary on that code. The law code is called the Mishnah (circa 200 C.E.) it is a systematic exposition of sixty topics… The commentary is on these topics within the Halahkah and is called the Gemara… Thus, the Mishnah plus the Gemara equals the Talmud. Simply stated: The Mishnah presents laws and is about life, while the Gemara analyzes laws and is about the Mishnah.”
- @ 13:45 he reiterates that the Torah (aka the Bible’s Old Testament is not the Talmud.
- @ 13:50 he goes on to state that the people who get the most excited and worked up or alarmed about the Noahide laws are Messianic Christians and Mainline Evangelicals.
- @ 14:22 If you fall into one of those two groups you may want to consider… It’s not from God and won’t have anything to do with your salvation.
- @ 15:11 he discusses the comments of 12th century (that is medieval) Rabbi Moses ben’ Maimon or Maimonides also known as the RAMBAM state “Whosever accepts the ‘seven commandments’ and carefully observes them, is among the pious ones of the nations of the world and enjoys a share in the hereafter – provided that he accepts and performs them.”
- @ Around 15:40 he quotes Nahum M. Sarna “After making the previous statement Maimonides goes on to stipulate that if a non-Jew practices these commandments solely for philosophic reasons, he would not be considered among the pious gentiles who merit a share of the hereafter.”
- @ 16:00 he says that the above 2 quotes take a serious shot at the core beliefs of Christianity because the Talmud says that salvation is through keeping Noahide laws rather than the belief of salvation through belief and God’s grace. He then states that an Evangelical Christian or Messianic Believer should be careful about signing on to or financially supporting the groups pushing Noahide law.
(In points 1-10 from 0:00 through 2:32,) He mentions the following on a very surface level discussion. The feeling you get when watching and listening to him is that he is bored by the topic and doesn’t really respect those he’s talking to.
First as to point #IX. Public Bill 102-14 was passed by both houses of Congress and later signed by President Bush Sr. in 1991 and was both a passing of Noahide Law (not enforced by the Sanhedrin at that time) and was also a declaration of honor for Rabbi Menachem Schneerson.
On April 3, 1982 Ronald Reagan signed US Proclamation 4921 pledging his and our nations good faith by affirming the Noahide laws in our nation.
In July of 2003 President George W. Bush (aka Bush Jr.) brought a compendium of around 1000 Religious leaders to the Whitehouse to push the need to bring Noahide into the American way of life to build peace in America and the world.
On April 6th, 1994 President William Clinton signed Joint resolution 108-229 into law lauding Rabbi Schneerson and Noahide law and the need for it in American law and government.
On the 11th day of the month of Nissan, known as April 19th, 2016 to us American types President Obama signed an official proclamation declaring the importance of remembering and recognizing Noahide law as it exists in American legal system and its government.
Strangely enough Obama stated that we should carry forth the Rebbe’s (Schneerson) legacy beyond this his 114th birth. At this Obama did something most people in America don’t do and something no other American President has ever done, He talked about honoring Schneerson as if he was still living over 30 years after his death. This really comes at no great surprise considering many of his Lubavitcher rabbi followers have called him the Messiah and when they say his name “Lubavitcher Rebbe – Rabi Menachem M. Schneerson” they end it with “of righteous memory”. My Bible says there is no one righteous, no not one.
In 1978 President Jimmy Carter signed a declaration honoring Schneerson with the initial (as far as we know anyway) inauguration of Education and sharing day in loving memory of Schneerson and has continued through all Presidents to this day through either official Presidential Proclamation or official signature of Congressional acts into law. The only thing which has prevented the actual enforcement of the Noahide laws on American soil, is the belief of Jews worldwide that they can’t be enforced by the Sanhedrin until the temple is built and dedicated and the become a Temple Sanhedrin.
So, I ask you Dr. Heiser, are people really “just silly anti-Semites and conspiracy theorists” when they express concern over Noahide being signed into American law and potentially one day superseding the US Constitution? Also, I must ask you here, Dr. Heiser, why didn’t you mention that seven out of the last seven US Presidents have either authorized through official Presidential Proclamation, or signed Noahide law into the American government and system of jurisprudence since 1978?
At best – That is called Intellectual Dishonesty, at worst that would be called withholding material information! So, Dr. Heiser we see that in just the first three minutes of your video, and in your first topic point you have left out very important information. One could make a really good argument that the withholding of important information kind of “taints the fruit” of the rest of your video presentation.
From points 11 through 19 he goes on to discuss what makes up the Noahide laws. We have a few points of concern to discuss in this section.
Probably the most important concern is point 16. He points out the question, how could God destroy the earth if he didn’t give Noah a set of rules for all mankind so that it would never happen again.
Concern #1: He doesn’t specifically use scripture to refute Talmudic Jews who state that it is Biblically accurate to say the Torah or Tanakh tell us that God gave these laws to Noah. You can read the Torah from Genesis to Numbers and you’ll never read that God gave Noah a rule of laws for all mankind. What he did give Noah was a Noahic covenant where he told Noah that he would never flood the world ever again and the covenant was in sign of a rainbow.
Concern #2 This one is most perplexing as he speaks in several of his books and videos that the fall of man was as a result of the fallen angel account in Genesis 6. The bene Ha’Elohim army came to earth in defiance of Elohim and mated with earth women and their offspring were the Rephaim and Nephilim. The fact that they were attempting to sabotage the human genome to corrupt the lineage from Adam to the true Messiah Jesus Christ who was to come. In order to prevent these sins against his creation, God would have to destroy the world and start over with the 8 people from Noah’s family on the arc. Since the children of the fallen were having sex with animals and corrupting the lineage of animals which were created by God for specific purposes to serve mankind God had to destroy all animals as well as all humankind to save both from genetic destruction. God didn’t destroy the world because he was a mean evil God as implied by “there not being a global law for humanity before the flood.”
Concern #3 One of the important things which Dr Heiser leaves out in his discussion is there are far more than just seven Noahide Laws. If you go to Noahide.org you’ll see that there are dozens of sub-laws that help to enforce the 7 laws. What he fails to tell you also is that Law 6 about a court system is right now going through the starting stages between the Sanhedrin Rabbis and their invitation of 70 Nations. At some point the UN has agreed to allow a global court system run and regulated in Israel through the Rabbis of the Sanhedrin. It is whispered by many in Rabbinical circles that the only reason why Noahide has not been enforced yet is the 3rd temple needs to be built and the Sanhedrin Rabbis officially installed in the court system.
The other law that Dr. Heiser neglected to even mention was that the Rabbis specifically mention in the tenets of Noahide that if anyone worships the God other than Hashem and especially if they are a follower of Christ, they are especially in violation of the 1st law No idolatry. The punishment under the 7th Dinim is having one’s head chopped off by a sword.
In Dr. Heiser’s point # 24 He states there is no evidence that God gave laws to all humanity in the Torah. This is very incorrect. There are over 20 versus in the Torah in which Moses specifically tells the people that the Ten Commandments are for the Jews and the Nations. Who are the nations, for the simplicity of argument, we shall state that the Nations are anyone who is not a Jew by Physical birth. This is another very serious withholding of Material information.
At point #33 he introduces Maimonides who was very antagonistic in his writings about Christ and his followers. Dr. Heiser again leaves out very important information for people to consider by not mentioning that what Maimonides is preaching here is a Jewish Gospel of works and goes against every principle of the Gospel of salvation through grace, not works.
- Malaza, A. (2019). Home. [online] Noahide.org. Available at: http://noahide.org/ [Accessed 25 Oct. 2019].
- Heiser, M. (2019). YouTube. [online] Youtube.com. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-jWGc1vtDg [Accessed 26 Oct. 2019].