“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” (Gospel of John 1:16-18)

As the Protestant Christian movement emerged, one of the biggest disagreements between those who would one day become Protestants and those who would remain Roman Catholic was the issue of the law’s function in the life of the believer. One of the five most important theological “shortcut” phrases of the Reformation was, “sola fide” which means, “by faith alone”. This phrase indicated how one was “saved” from God’s eternal judgment. This 15th-16th-century conflict between Protestants and Catholics was later read back into the Pauline writings and projected back into Paul’s own words. Today, hardly anyone will object to that fact that Paul must be read through a first-century Israelite interpretive lens and not through the later lenses of a Catholic-vs-Protestant conflict historically unrelated to Paul.

While the juxtaposition of the law and the gospel was present in the Church Fathers, it is not until the time of the Reformation that the juxtaposing of law and grace became so pronounced.[1] This became a dominant emphasis of the Reformation. The opposite of grace became law; the opposite of law became grace. However, scripturally the opposite of law was never grace but lawlessness. Just as the opposite of grace was never law but disgrace.

Like Paul, John has also been greatly misunderstood and interpreted anachronistically. In John 1:17, for example, some important English Bible translations (such as KJV and NET Bible) insert the additional word – “but”. This word is not present in the original Greek. Moreover, even when modern translations do not add the word “but” (see the ESV quoted above) the verse is normally understood as if the “but” is implied. It is almost impossible for us to read this text and not juxtapose law and grace in our contemporary minds (Try it! You too will have a hard time.)

If one ignores the negative reading and instead interprets the phrase (in verse 17) positively – “The Law came through Moses; (and) grace and truth come through Jesus Christ” – then the text flows organically. In this case, it is obviously connected with the previous confession by the Gospel’s author that grace was given in addition to the grace already provided. (16For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”) Perhaps a translation that can help us get rid of this inbred dichotomy would read like this:

For the Torah was given through Moses and grace and truth came through Jesus Christ”.

God’s desire is that we come to know Him intimately. We come to know Him through the study of His Word. If you desire a deeper understanding of God’s Word, it is essential that you understand the Jewish background and culture.



  1. This is such amazing article Dr Eli, I have to read over and over again! I realized I don’t have to juxtaposed Law and Grace but it is truly true for a believer of 21st century you cannot see the subtleties of but! So it is like when you read the Bible, Old Testament is optional extra because in our mind(not Jewish perspective) we are save by Grace and Law is not something that we should dwell so much! But in reality an accurate word would be junction, Grace has supply the necessities for us to apply the Law! SHALOM

      • My son,hear the instruction of thy Father,and forsake not the Law of thy mother, for they shall be an ornament of grace upon thy head,and chains about thy neck.

      • Thank you Fresh Air which moves you to breathe deeply. God’s law of love, often referred to as The Royal Law, God in his mercy saw mankind could not keep so came Grace through the love which is in Jesus. For it is by Grace which is in Christ and not hindered by man’s failure to keep the Law. “Love the Lord your God”. because of the Spirit which God gives in Jesus we can receive and give Love and so keep The Royal Law. If you Love God you will not kill, steal etc because of the Spirit.

        • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Story of Our Hebrew Fathers: Abraham and Isaac and The Jewish Apostle Paul I: His World. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

        • I hope you are not saying that the Jewish People are without Grace – they lived and still live by God’s amazing Love and Grace and they endeavor to keep 613 Commandments given to them (as a part of them bringing the Light to the Nations – goyim) It is incumbent for non-Jews to live also in Love and Grace (which originate in Adonai) and keep the Noahide Laws. Moshiach ben Yosef and Moshiach ben David (Yeshua) and I worship God in Truth and live in His Righteous – I do not worship the Moshiach – together we worship Adonai.

          • Amen to your comment, Jerry; G-d bless Israel! You can also worship G-d in Spirit along in truth if you would ask G-d to receive His Spirit after you receive Yeshua the Messiah (The suffering Servant in Isaiah 52:13-53:12). G-d bless you.

          • Agreed, but not regarding Noahide Laws. If goyim are supposed to keep them, why don’t we know anything about them? Rabbis made that up – a relatively new invention of the Pharisees. We have the same Law Book, but most of those don’t apply if I’m not a Levite.

      • I think the word Mercy is the meaning of the word Grace and if that is so the opposite word is not disgrace but punishment wich resonance to Law. I think that Paul meant Law not the whole Torah. Law and Grace( as in Mercy) is one anothers opposite if one understands Grace as recieving mercy instead of punishment

        • Grace may mean mercy. But a new meaning of grace promised in OT and brought by Mashiakh is what I would call “empowerment to obey”. This is what is implied by the “circumcision of the heart”, the “law written in the heart”, and Ezekiel’s “I will remove their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh, and I shall put a new spirit within them, and cause them to walk in my statutes and judgments, and do them”. That new spirit is the Holy Spirit the Messiah said was with the disciples and would be IN them.

          • I agree that grace was expanded when the goyim were invited into the Kings house as active participants in His Spirit’s workings.
            Expressing the magnitude of this immeasurable act is limited by our Greek thinking dualistic mindset, and is clearly improved by adapting the Jewish mindset which can handle ‘both/and” thinking unlike the former!

        • Clearly the new spirit promised in Ezekiel 36:27 was to cause to walk in the Torah as a promise of the Father, Yahweh, and therefore as a GRACE. That grace was introduced by Mashiakh to the first fruits of the believers. But the full outpouring of that GRACE is reserved for the re-gathered of Israel. For the promise is for those who have been brought back to the land of Israel.

        • And finally, the disciples were not in any confusion about the role of the Law and Grace. Acts 21:20 declares that the multitudes of Jews that believed were all “zealous of the Law”. They did not see grace as disdaining the law. Rather, it enabled them to possess a righteousness that exceeded that of the scribes and Pharisees, as required by the Messiah in Matthew 5:19-20.

        • But in Romans 3:29-31, Paul stated “Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,
          since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.” Paul has alreaddy been saved when he says this, so wedon;t uphold the law to get saved, which is impossible, but because e ARE saved. “…t he law is holy, the commandment holy, just and good” (Romans 7:12). We uphold it because we know that it is just and good. No other reason do we need.

      • Hi Dr Eli : I would like to know which bible version would you suggest to read ,that would be close to accurate or your favorite Thanks Ken

        • There is none that is perfect by definition, but I use NASB and ESV more than others. But nothing exchanges going back into original languages. So ideal is NASB + going under translation every once in a while.


          • Dr Eli, this is for John Becker; I like to know where and how can I get A.E Knoch Concordance Translation?


      • Excellent Commentary, difficult for many Christians to understand, I usually just say it this way, God demonstrates His Love for us thru Grace, but how does the Bible Thru scripture say He knows we love Him Back? 1st John has the answer, but I know you know that already, The Ch- -ch is caught up in a One Way Love Affair, Wanting Grace but unwilling to follow His Instructions to receive it! Sad but True

      • the Catholic Church operated in its own law which had no grace unless given by priests and works. Old Testament law died with Jesus.

        • Hi Tommie. Do you agree that Jesus was the physical manifestation of the scriptures? If the “Old Testament” died with Jesus, then it must have resurrected with Him, too. Without that part of the Bible, the New Testament is without a stable and meaningful foundation. Rather it is the condemnation of the Torah which was against us that were “nailed to the cross” when we repent and serve God.

    • I have found the true meaning of grace in this verse:Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; I asked myself: How did grace appear? The word of God, in the flesh, appeared. Jesus Christ appeared. What does that have to do with grace? Living our lives in the word of God is living our lives in grace. Living our lives in the Spirit of the word of God is living our lives in the truth of the word of God. The word of God is the word of grace. The Spirit of God is the Spirit of grace. In Him we are living in grace, and spreading grace We can only enter into this grace by love for the word of God, even the word of God in the flesh. It is love that for the word of God that brings faith, and by faith we enter into this grace.

    • Hi I hope I am not off track on this subject of Gace and Law! This is what came to me from reading on this subject. When a person becomes baptized, he becomes part of Christ. If we believe that we are saved by Grace. then we should follow God’s laws out of love. John 14:21, 23; John 15:10; 1 John 2:3; 5:3; 2 John 1:6. Hi have a friend who is gay, and he told me he was saved, that the law was done away with. That he was now free. How do you answer?

      • Hi Tim, I don’t think that I would describe a society without law as “free”; it would be lawless, chaotic, and even scary. And also, I think that Yeshua did not come to nullify even a jot or tittle of the law. (Matt. 5:17-20) Many English translations have “liberty” as a synonym of “freedom”, and Yaakov (James) speaks about the “Law of Liberty” that liberates through obeying God’s commandments (James 1:25, 2:12). Humans were created with the purpose to serve God by living lives of love and righteousness, but being enslaved to sin is a tyrannical force that takes our freedom to be righteous. Is freedom the ability to do whatever our heart desires, or is freedom redemption out of enslavement to sin and into servitude to God?

        • Mr. Eli, You always answer questions with tact and very careful not to overstep boundaries. You seem to know some thing about every question. How did you get this smart, is it just your knowledge of Greek and Hebrew?

          • Hi Geosb, while knowledge of original languages is a huge part of the answer, having the right word view and biblical paradigm allows many answers to come naturally, and of course having an excellent team here at IBC to collaborate with is indispensable. You too can gain these tools by being a student with us.

    • I believe it is much simpler than that — It is not about Juxtaposition as much as it is about FINALITY. The Lar/Torah is not for the righteous person/believer (1 Timothy 1:8). I walked a Torah observant lifestyle as a Christian for over a decade. The Torah is holy, just & good but it cannot make us holy, just or good. required the reunification of our spirits with Yahuweh’s Spirit. This is accomplished by being born again, (1 Corinthians 6:17). Once you do this you have the Spirit of the living God, his Holy Spirit living inside you.Ronans 8:14

    • (translated) Shalom beloved. Unfortunately the Catholic reference has penetrated and rooted the system we call Protestantism, since they have in mind that the laity of the Father is something that is no longer intrusive to us, since it is “abolished.” While we see Christ fulfilling the law of the Father and leaving us his eternal judgments, for they do not change.

    • Actually, the impossibility of complying with the law, would be a “disgrace” for us if Jesus, our Christ, “gracefully”, didn’t rescue us from that.

      • I agree that doing what is right all of the time is difficult for our fallen human nature and that everyone sins, but what part of “the law” is “impossible” to comply with? Did God really charge His people to follow impossible commandments (Deu.30:11-16)? Jesus died for the world’s willful sins, not for inevitable sins because the law is impossible. To say otherwise cheapens His grace.

      • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including Exodus and The New Testament and Leviticus and The New Testament. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

        • Thanks Dr. Eli. You make an important distinction: intentional vs unintentional sins. The day of Atonement was for unintentional sins (Heb 9:7) and animal sacrifices were prescribed; death was the penalty for intentional sins. Jesus died for the intentional sins of the repentant sinner but Hebrews 10:26-31 is a warning.

  2. “1:18 No one has seen ELOHIM ever yet. That one and only begotten Elohim356, Who is in the bosom of the ABBA, He has shown the way to HIM.” Excerpt From Book of The Covenant

  3. Footnote to Jn 1:18 #356 – only begotten Elohim – that same ‘Elohim’ mentioned in vs 1. Addressing the Mashiach as “Elohim” (Mighty One) is valid only in the Hebraic scripture context and is not to be confounded with YHWH ELOHIM HIMSELF. In Hebraic context, the title “elohim” is also applied to mighty malachim or mighty servants of YHWH (see Ps 45:6; 82:6, 97:7, 89:6, 138:1; Ex 4:16, 21:6, 22:8; 1Sa 28:13). YAHshua is the only begotten Elohim sent by YHWH. He is not YHWH, WHO is “The ELOHIM of Elohim” – the one and only “EL ELYON” (Most High

  4. …“ELOHIM), the only EL SHADDAI (Almighty ELOHIM). See also Jn 1:1, 10:33-36; Phi 2:6; Heb 1:8; Jn 20:28.” Excerpt From Book of The Covenant

  5. John 1:17 “For the law was given through Moses; but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.(NKJV) if the word “but” is not in the Greek then where did John get “but ” in to his book. I want know more explanation

    • Could this mean, the Law id Instructions for Christ’s Followers to become one with the Father. If one, we perhaps are given grace and truth in oneness with Jesus and the Father?

    • In the KJV, you will observe that “but” is in italics. This is the system KJV applies when it believes it needs some extra word not in the original to help it make “more sense” of the original. The only problem, is that its “more sense” may actually stand against the truth. And, in this instance, it does.

  6. Unraveling! Yes the law was given to me, but how? A. through Moses, or B. Moses was read (2 Cor 3:15). The answer is B so what does THROUGH Moses mean? What did I see by having the Law read? A. His goodness, or B. His glory? The answer is A and God’s goodness lead me to repentance (Rom 2:4). What was made known after repentance? The Father and I are one. (John 1:18) Important because I prayed to God and Jesus revealed Himself. Question, “the Father’s side” seems different than slain lamb (Rev 5).

  7. The problem with not all, but certain people within the grace movement is that they see it as a way of excusing their iniquities. Grace (Jesus) came to free us from sin; Not to free us to sin. Heaven and earth will pass away, not a iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. (Matt 5:18 ESV).

    • So my question would be, when Yeshua said “it is finished!” (teleo,reached its goal), was not all accomplished? Are not all promises Yes! in Him? and did He not say that the Law and the prophets prophesied UNTIL John the Baptist and that the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John the Baptist? (Matt 11) It seems clear to me that some things HAVE passed from the Law, ie. no more ritual sacrifice with, instead, the living sacrifice of our lives and the aroma of prayer as incense, a new priesthood, a different thinking of temple,etc

    • I hope you are not saying that the Jewish People are without Grace – they lived and still live by God’s amazing Love and Grace and they endeavor to keep 613 Commandments given to them (as a part of them bringing the Light to the Nations – goyim) It is incumbent for non-Jews to live also in Love and Grace (which originate in Adonai) and keep the Noahide Laws. Moshiach ben Yosef and Moshiach ben David (Yeshua) and I worship God in Truth and live in His Righteous – I do not worship the Moshiach – together we worship Adonai.

      • I noticed this question was asked twice and no reply seems to have been given. I truly am curious where this school and ministry and Dr Eli stand on the issue of Noahide law. If they believe that you can be righteous by it while rejecting Yeshua that would tell me a lot more about this school and ministry and where Dr Eli stands. It’s strange to me that He is not answering.

        • My apologies for not responding to Kerry’s remark. I wasn’t avoiding it; it just wasn’t worded as a question. To be clear, we teach that salvation is through Yeshua, not works.
          The Talmud draws from the Bible that Jews should follow Torah and non-Jews should at least follow “Noahide Laws.” I think they are a good place for anyone to start (Acts 15) and to be honest, if everyone in the world would abide at least by them, I suppose it would be much better, wouldn’t it?

        • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including Leviticus and The New Testament and The Jewish Apostle Paul I: His World. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

          • Dr Eli, Abraham was credited righteous because he believed God & believed in God; he is now not only w God but the picture of heavenly embrace of God, I believe. I thought the righteous among Jews like David did not die but sleep & will be resurrected though salvation is not by work, is it right? Thanks,

          • Right. No one is saved by works, but by grace through faith, whether pre- or post-Yeshua. But also, faith is evidenced by works that are pleasing to God, like repentance and love.
            As to the state of the dead, sleeping is a metaphor for death, and Acts 2:29 says David is dead and buried. All will die, and be resurrected in one of the two resurrections.
            Thanks for the comment, CB.

  8. I have a simple to ask question, what is Grace. My second question, is what is the meaning of any Hebrew Word, synonymous to the English Word Grace. I understand, Grace ias gift from the authority held by the giver. In English, a King or Queen, has Grace to Give to or take away from someone. It can be actual gifts or position, or just a privileges.

    • God loves us so much that he provided the way for us to be restored to relationship with Him, through the blood of Jesus. What do we need to do? Believe. It is not through following law that we are made righteous. It is Jesus’ blood that makes us righteous and if we truly understand God’s Grace, that we are no longer bound by sin, then righteous living is the result.

      • Judy, What is your definition of “believe”? Is it head and heart knowledge and, if so, how is it manifested and seen in the life of one who follows Yeshua?

      • GB
        Judy. Thank you for your text. Grace is truly "Undeserved, unearned mercy of an offended God to believers in the merrits and sacrifice of His only begotten Son Our Lord Jesus Christ John 3v16. The law is our teacher to bring us to Gal 3v24

        Surely the law represents the attributes of our God and by the Holy Spirit is revealed how far from Gods Holy standards we are. The Holy Spirit then shows the Merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ and by faith in Him we have redemption through His blood. Our God and Saviour is far more amazing than we credit Him.

      • I agree. And it is that favor or another way to say it the Holy Spirit bringing order to our lives and convicting us of our need for Christ’s salvation. And then titus 2:12 is the HS teaching us away from sin. Two aspects.

    • George titus 2:11-12 shares with us that the Holy Spirit teaches us away from ungodliness. Meaning that grace is the power from the Holy Spirit to stop sinning. We know we are in grace when we see ourselves and our minds changing to a Godly way of living. We get the change feom studying scripture (all) to see what God’s agenda is vs our own.

  9. I guess you are just going to throw out the warnings of Galatians that Paul wrote about this issue of mixing grace and the law as well as throw out Acts 15 as well. I’m tired of those who are Torah observant trying to yoke the Law to Gentiles where is states in Galatians that in order to do so you throw the grace of Christ out the door. Also it was determined by the Jewish council of Acts what specific laws Gentiles are supposed to follow.

    • You are prejudging me :-). I say you should read of my take on things before painting me with this kind of brush :-). Look for the section on Jewish Apostle Paul and explore (right bar in the blog section). You may be surprised about what I would say.

    • James you have a valid concern about the supposed torah observant crowd but Dr Eli is not one of those. If you read the text again without inserting the projection it may be easier to see. As stated you do have valid concern. Dr Baruch Korman said it is impossible to be completely Torah observant when the temple does not exist. Your point is that teaching adherence to laws that do not save is concern. Only Belief in Christ saves us. Scripture will teach us what is praiseworthy to God. We can go after that. 🙂

    • James, I do not know everyone of course, but I do not know any Torah-observant people who believe that is what brings their salvation.

      I also see from greater context (Tanakh and apostolic writings in general, Jewish and other ancient writings) that the issue in Acts15 was ritual (extra-biblical) conversion to Judaism. These Jewish believers held that only Jews had a place in the world to come, and so believing Gentiles must obviously become Jews. For Paul to buck his sect on this was significant.

      Surely it is clear that the four abstentions were not Gentiles’ only instructions for life.

  10. Shalom Dr. Eli. Thank you for this. I agree that the law and grace are not mutually exclusive to one another and are not contrary to one another or opposed as polar opposites, meaning that they can organically exist and abide simultaneously. Yeshua did not come to cancel out, negate or eliminate the existence of the law but to fulfill the law (fill in the gaps that the law could not cover due to inherent human weaknesses). I believe Yeshua is a safety net of grace. What the law cannot do, grace can.

    • When Jesus says that He came to fulfill the law, he meant to fulfill it as prophetical. He said, “The law was until John (the Baptist), since then the Kingdom of God is preached.” Luke 16:16; Mat. 11:13 See also Jeremiah 31:31-34. The born-again from above person is not under any legal covenant. He is under grace by faith through the Blood of Christ which Jesus said, “This cup is the New Covenant in My blood. See Romans 6:14 and 7:1,4 & 6. Also II Corinthians 3:6-11 Here God refers to the legal covenant as “A ministration of death.”

  11. However, I understand that faith existed within the Torah of Moses (i.e. Abraham believed God and it was accounted unto him as righteousness) but if I am understanding you correctly, are you also saying that grace existed within the Torah as well?

    • Genesis 6:8 (KJV) But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. And think about it; grace is unmerited favor. If grace did not exist before Yeshua, Adam would have been killed and mankind perished at the first. The patriarchs would all have been killed and no Israel. David killed and no Messiah. Israel destroyed at sinai, Jonah never made it out of the fish, no renewed covenants with His people who would still be in Babylon. Grace is everywhere evident in the Old Testament.

  12. Sorry, Abraham precedes the Torah…Since the idea of the Torah was to lead to righteousness and right-standing with God, I am wondering what examples are there where righteousness through faith and grace was accomplished through the Torah of Moses?

    • Abraham did not precede the Torah 🙂 He is her integral part! I think you mean that Abraham was before giving of Mosaic Laws. Of course the whole point that Paul is raising is that Abraham was counted righteous before God even before he was circumcised. But he was circumcised never the less.

  13. My understanding is that the law given to Moses was an absolute act of grace. For 430 years the Hebrews lived under no law at all and morality was just getting whatever you could lay your hands on. It was the grace of law that was intended to bring the people from utterly dysfunctional living into a Godly order, which of necessity embraced certain restrictions in addition to precepts and statutes. It was never meant as a vehicle for salvation; but pointing to a salvation beyond the shed blood of lambs, goats and bulls. Galatians 3:24

  14. I am probably very simplistic, with none of the Biblical education that seems evident in some of the comments, however: when my children were small they knew no rules except their own and were given rules between right and wrong. When they grew up, those rules were extended through the laws of society and no one is able to keep the laws w/out error. Grace is the way to atone for sin, Grace, (forgiveness), is given to one who is truly sorry for sin, but keeping basic law is still required. Law=how to live w/men. Grace=how to live w/God.

  15. From the NASB: verse 17 says For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. Given what Dr Eli has said, this could almost be understood as “law, grace and truth all came together but it was only through Jesus Christ that we could see the grace & truth”. When Jesus came, he fulfilled the Law part, and thus exposed the Grace which was already there. Thoughts?

  16. Wow, I never noticed this before. Thank you for your amazing observation. So if the opposite of law is not grace, and the opposite of grace is not law, what does that mean for us believers? How do we apply this to our lives today?

      • we live Holy the same way we were made Holy. We were made Holy when we were a sinner and we repented, humbled our self under the mighty hand of God, and accepted Christ as our Saviour

        We stay saved 24/7 the same way. Faith in Christ and what He did on Calvary for us.

        Then the Holy Spirit has the legal right to work out our salvation 24/7.

    • By living the Sermon on the Mount-also known as the eight beatitudes. Jesus told us how to live. You probably won’t follow them unless you have faith. If you follow them without faith you are the good Samaritan.

    • Hi Rachel, what do you mean by believers? God will for us is to be reconciled to Him through faith in Christ for His relationship, kingdom & righteousness. If we have received the promised Holy Spirit then, we belong to Christ else we ought to be seeking God & pursuing Christ in prayers after hearing much of the Gospel. Then, we won’t be lawless & rebellious following the Spirit of God continuing in the kindness of the Almighty & let Him be our fear & dread working out our salvation in fear & tremble living the life of Christ.

    • How to look at the Law today? Jesus said “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. The Law was “Mission Impossible” but God’s grace through Jesus? Salvation!

  17. My understanding is that Law regulate your life while Grace live by believe. Law checkmark while Grace self respond to righteous gifts through trust. Therefore they are not same.

  18. For me to combine both the Law of Moses and grace is tantamount to confusion. Grace is not lawlessness, yet it is exclusive of the Law of Moses which is the Law of sin and death. Grace has it’s own Law, which is the law of the Spirit. If I yet practice the Law of Moses, I cannot fully attain unto grace. Majority of the problems we have today in christiandom especially in the nations outside Israel is the practice of the Law of Moses to the neglect of grace or the mixture of both the Law and grace.

        • “The Law of Moses” is the written Torah: Genesis to Deuteronomy. Rom.8:2 mentions the “law of sin and death”. It is the condemnation of sin within the Torah. The difference between life and death is not within the Law of Moses, it is whether a person is “in the flesh” or “in the Spirit”. The Law is only a mirror. If you’re in the flesh it shows a picture of death, but if in the Spirit it shows a picture of life. “Walking in the Spirit” is living a life of obedience to God through His empowering Spirit.

  19. I don’t think one of the reformers considered that Sola fide refer to abolishment of the law. It was in opposition to RCC practise of payment for salvation (indulgences). Salvation is by faith in God and his sacrifice alone. If there is no law, there is nothing to be saved from, and no faith is needed. The reformation didn’t create the schism between law and faith, that came later. There is no difference in the system of salvation before and after the cross – God doesn’t change, symbolism has. The temple foreshadowed sacrifice on the cross, communion is in remembrance

    • I think there is a big difference in how reformation impacted Christians in Lutheran traditions and Calvinistic Traditions viewed this. As Rabbi Sacks once put it: Calvinism (on the issue of law) is the closest Christianity ever came to Judaism.

      • Calvinism was definately closer than Lutheranism, but I see the reformation as an ongoing process of moving back to where the early church was. I once heard a talk on the seven major elements of belief that the RCC changed, and where in the reformation these were changed back. Calvenist changes were only about third on the list, so there might be other later changes that brought us closer. And some of the Calvenist churches are moving away from that position. Not an expert, I tend to look at the bigger processes, not specific smaller points.

    • I think maybe that “sola fide” (faith alone) stated by itself communicates just a partial truth. Human beings are saved BY grace alone, THROUGH faith alone, IN Christ alone. Just a theological statement that expresses a truth that we derive from the Scriptures.

  20. Deborah Grace means many things and forgiveness is one of them. If while reading the Torah with that in mind,you will see that Grace abounds many times and in many ways. God is the same,yesterday,today and forever.

  21. We started with one law in the garden. As a result laws were added until today we have so many none of us can remember the half of them. When Jesus came He gave us a new commandment which embodies all the proceeding commandments yet at the same time more difficult to keep than all the pre-existing commandments. (John 13 34). I am judged by the law and found wanting but hidden ‘in Christ’ the law see Him who is prefect and not the imperfect me thru His grace I am found righteous.

  22. I believe the law and grace as juxtaposed in John 1 can best be understood in the context of righteousness. Grace has abounded ever since man sinned in the garden of Eden. So, even Cain was offered grace to repent but he rejected it. All men of God before the law was given were covered by grace, and they believed God so were counted as righteous. B But their righteousness was sealed and perfected only after Jesus’ resurrection. God’s grace continue to abound for all humanity today, but one must consciously choose to accept this grace and enter in.

  23. The acceptance of grace and being righteous is to believe in the final sacrifice for sin – Jesus Christ. It is then that one can enter into and stand in grace as in Romans 5:2 (NASB). There in is where grace upon grace comes in. The law makes us fully aware of sins but it is only grace through faith in Christ’s sacrifice that establishes and seals our righteousness , i.e. right position and standing in the Godhead. Till then God’s grace is available beckoning for all humanity to accept His Son.

  24. I believed I could earn salvation by KEEPING all Ten Commandments (unchurched doctrine). I have also believed I was saved by faith alone and that the Bible was infallible (churched, spiritually illuminated, & RIGHT). My point is that doctrine is not the foundation (Truth). Equally important doctrine is ALWAYS weaker than the Truth (foundation). This allows Christ (the foundation) to remain strong and us to be WRONG. The Ten Commandments are my history. Jesus would not have condemned my history he would have used it, “the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified

    • We go to school and learn much. But if after graduating we ignore what we learnt, then maybe we should not have gone to school in the first place. Rather, if those without the in-dwelling Holy Spirit, also called Spirit of Grace, broke the law, and those with the Spirit of Grace also broke the law, the former would judge the latter. With the Holy Spirit, our righteousness is expected to exceed that of the Spirit-less scribes and Pharisees! We press forward to the mark of the high call in Yeshua.

      • The problem I had with the trinity (Father|Son, Holy Spirit) was never Spirit, it was the order in which we received the Holy Spirit (the end of salvation). The difficulty I had in identifying the Spirit as a secular person had to do with seeing both darkness and light together. Jesus used all the history I had including “God knows everything!” I accepted both judgement & hope. Judgement because I had not kept the Ten Commandments (Exodus 19:8). Hope (or faith) because God knows everything. The Way would be something He knows and He provides!

  25. You know I have to admit after 30years of following Jesus, the more I listen to the church and modern theology, grace verses faith. I’m now in searious doubt of my own salvation, I’ve held out as long as I can, but if honest, I’m not sure anymore. Still the question now seems to be, why point another to Jesus if He’s not enough. If it Jesus AND…? I’ve concluded that since Jesus, I’m still unworthy, so if I’m destine for Hell then I’m good with His verdict. As for the rest of you, I’m done with your opinions.

    • My brother, the opinions will not cease. Jude asks us to “contend earnestly for the faith once given to the saints”. And again, the word says, “exhorting and admonishing one another as the day draws near”. Therefore, don’t be tired. All you need is to have your heart in the right place. Yahweh says in Proverbs 23:26, “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes observe my ways”. And David: “Your word have I laid in my heart that I may not sin against you”. Let’s read more of the word and pray for more grace (Heb4:16).

    • Dale, I pray you would see if anyone answers you. To me, you simply love Jesus and want to make sure you’re alright. You aren’t the only person who wonders about your salvation. It is common even for Christians especially in reading theological debates. I pray Jesus reassures you that you belong to Him. I pray His Spirit bears witness to your spirit you are His son.

    • Hi Dale … This is what I think, Dale. Jesus did it all for us when he died on the cross. Tetalestai … it is finished … was the final words he spoke before his death. He ushered in the New Covenant. I love the book of Hebrews and how it describes the New Covenant. Religion, with all it’s rules and regulations takes away from the true Gospel message of salvation through Jesus and Jesus alone. Jesus + nothing = everything. If you have accepted Jesus … your name will never be blotted out of the book of life.

    • Salvation IS through Christ alone. I really connected w/ your comment b/c I too had a moment like that. Is It Jesus and…? No it’s not. We live righteously when we walk in the spirit and that’s what we need to focus on. Not the mosaic law. Many people are leaving Jesus for the law today. I’ve seen their testimonies on YT. Most of them came to it by a torah-based religion. I was in one myself but God showed me out even through the OT. Grace & love to u. Don’t give up. Deception is rampant today.

  26. The Tree of Life Version (TLV, Baker, 2015; YouVersion; Gateway) agrees with your rendering of Jn. 1:17 (substituting Torah for law, not adding the extra word, “but,” etc.)

  27. Luke writes in Acts a report on the first church. The new believers remained active in their Jewish practices and went to Temple. What was different was their acceptance of Jesus who allowed grace and a new covenant. If one is not Jewish the grace allows for salvation and the desire to follow Jesus’ teachings and command of making disciples. It does not obligate one to Old Testament laws.

  28. All believers in Christ are saved from their sin. I somehow get the idea that some would have us go back to celebrations, Sabbaths, etc. Well, do we get out our stones for the stoning rituals as well? Ladies, you have to learn some very burdensome rules. The Law is fulfilled in Christ completely.

  29. Abraham was faithful and it was accounted to him as righteousness. Righteousness is intrinsic with law. We are justified by belief. Justified comes from the Latin “ius” which means law. So belief brings us in under the law, which already existed; in fact, orthodox Jews believe the Torah preceded Creation. It was already in God’s mind. To be righteous, we must be lawful; we must obey the laws of God. Only then can we be righteous. Jesus came not to do away with the Law, but to fulfill it. Heaven and earth will pass away before the law disappears.

  30. Your highlighting of the added word ‘but’ which misconstrues the actual correct interpretation, is sadly not in isolation. There is often no “is” in greek and that is often applied which changes the context. Such as “All scripture (is) inspired by God”. Remove the “is” and you get “All scripture inspired by God” which then makes sense of Paul quoting “To the unknown God” Christian or Hebrew writing? No. Script inspired by God to quote? Absolutely. The same issue applies to when the word “in” is implied. “Christ (in/within/present/reflected/here) you, the hope of glory”. Paul is speaking to a group.

  31. Great teaching Dr Eli ! “Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law, for sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4. Has this scriptural definition of sin changed? What does that tell us has believers? Also, when Yahshua told the adulterous woman to go and sin no more, He was simply telling her to stop transgressing the law. Unfortunately, the number 1 obstacle to keeping Torah today is the leaders of the mainstream Christianity who will never allow their followers to accept this obvious scriptural truth. And their greatest weapon? The letters of Paul.

  32. I heard a lecture (Galatians) that describes justification by faith as mature, not an infant. “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” The difficulty I have with this is not about the Spirit bringing us to faith (Romans 8:27), it has to do with the foundation. I had two revelations of Christ, not one (death/complete faith & resurrection/mark of God). How can we be mature with half of who Christ is (death)? I am not saying it can not be true, I have no teaching on this!

  33. I see the point you are making vividly; however, what is the significance of this in the life of a believer? It sort of redefines what it means to be “legalistic” in a sense (both the original meaning and the later Reformation shift), but in a practical sense how does this change daily life?

  34. It’s very possible that parts of the New Testament were redacted to suit the growing anti-Semitism in the Church and as a reflection of the doctrines that were being developed after the close of the first century as well as the deaths of all who knew Jesus or his twelve disciples. There are places in the Gospels and Acts and Letters that seem to have breaks in the logical flow of the writings. Also, there may be lost writings that would have made Christ’s teachings much more clear– I’m not speaking of the “gospels” of later centuries.

  35. Heb. 3:12-13 See to it brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Rev.22:12-13 Behold, Iam coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will given to everyone according to what he has done. I the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and End.So Jesus or Grace is found in both Old and New Testaments. We must follow both as The Holy Spirit

  36. we are only confused of what to do with the law and grace, it is by GODS grace that the law is fulfilled.so…… what then? just believe HIS word.

  37. Excellent. Thank you. The most sensible and revelationary explanation yet! “The Torah was given through Moses and all grace and truth is given through Jesus Christ. Perfect sense theologically and historically.

  38. Yes but… [Galatians 3:10-11 KJV] 10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, [it is] evident: for, The just shall live by faith. I think there is a contrast intended, not just an artifact of the reformation. The contrast with law and grace is between earning it and being given it.

  39. Perhaps a discussion of the difference between law and legalism is warranted. The law is good (though no one can keep It). However. Legalism is death to the Spirit.

  40. JOHN 1 V 17 NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. BEREAN STUDY BIBLE For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. HOLMAN CHRISTIAN STANDARD BIBLE “for the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ”. No ‘but’ in the Greek text.

  41. “For the Torah was given through Moses and grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” It took me a long time to realize that in Hebrew “all things work together for good”, not alone. I could not understand the revelation of the Lion from the Tribe of Judah in my doctrine because faith was something I was supposed to do good enough and the victory was His.

  42. I humbly submit my view and also have the utmost respect for Dr Eli.I however unfortunately could not disagree with you more. As a suitably qualified theological student and minister for over 30 years of ministry( I don’t assert to know it all -and I’m still an avid student) I am horrified at your position on law and grace and of some of the comments here esp the blatant abuse of the “ but” grammatical insert to attempt to combine grace and law. What about the consistency of scripture throughout the New Testament-in particular Acts15, the entire book of Galatians. The whole point of the book of Romans. It is sad that such mis-education still passes accurate teaching today.This theological juxta-position was not just a reformation stand point-it’s the crux of the gospel throughout scripture. It is indeed worrying. Gal 5:4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.
    Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.(ESV)

    • Shalom, dear friend! I am very sorry you did not type in your name so I don’t know how to address you :-). Having gone to Reformed Theological Seminary for my MDiv degree, trust me I know a thing of two about doctrines of reformation and where brothers in protestant tradition are “getting it from”. To you at the moment it may sounds like what can be more clear that Gal. 5:4 but you have clearly ignored the contextual background there, assuming it applies to everyone equally and that it has not concrete historical setting of its own. But it does. I invite you to take course or two on Jewish Apostle Paul, this may be difficult for you, but it may be the very best you can do to help yourself here. Wishing you all very best.

  43. Myself I’m just a simple man, I believe the Bible or Torah is the word of God threw men. I also believe we are Saved by His Grace threw his beloved Son Jesus Christ. If your heart is right with Christ Jesus you know what is right and wrong. Right would be what Christ would do, wrong would be what the flesh would do. We should think with our hearts and ask is this the way Christ would do it. For the flesh will sin . Keep yourself focused on the Lord . Like I said I’m just a simple man. Your thoughts please . All have a Blessed day!

  44. So if the Law still uphold why are Christians in general not keeping the Sabbath Day holy which is as much part of the law as those that abolish stealing, murder, lies or idol worship?

    • I don’t think it is really in issue in Christian theology if Sabbath (since it is part of 10 commandments) is still applicable – of course it is! I think the question is as some Christians put it is the principle of 1 in 7 now transfered to the first day of the week from the seventh. So some call it Jewish Sabbath vs. Christian Sabbath.

      • I really love to read your publications and the comments. I want to take the liberty to say, that the question of the Sabbath is always a problem for me. Transferring the Sabbath to the 1st day of the week instead of the 7th is not something I can accept. It is either we have to keep the Sabbath and in this case it has to be the correct day, the 7th day, or we don’t have to keep it and we can consider all days the same as written by the apostle Paul.

        • I think the best suggestion for you is to have solid Biblical support for whichever position you decide on.
          That being said, Good luck finding abolition of Sabbath or transference to Sunday in the Bible anywhere.

          • Thank you, Dr. Eli, for your answer. That means, I won’t find abolition of Sabbath in the bible, but I also don’t find transfer to Sunday either. Big dilemma, because all Christians profess keeping the commandments and except for a handful who teach otherwise, they think Sabbath is Sunday. You are right, I have to have a solid ground in what I believe is right for me to follow, which I think I have, but it does not mean that it would not get shaken up once in a while.

  45. Could someone please address the man Dale who posted a ways back. He is obviously confused and is questioning his salvation. My heart goes out to him.

  46. Oh ! It is insightful since l enrolled in Israel Bible Centre . My quest for thorough knowledge of the Holy Bible in Hebrew culture is fully satisfied . I am grateful to God through Dr. Eli and Anna for having me enrolled.

  47. It is exactly for this reason that I was interested in this site! While studying the catholic bible God spoke to me very LOUDLY and emphatically when I came upon a mistranslation. Thank you for this fine work

  48. Absolutely beautiful. I’m saving all your mail to my important notes in my gmail. I don’t know how to thank you. God bless you richly.

  49. I have started to read the Jewish Gospel of John, and I have started to read these articles. I have some comments:
    1. Most articles seem to deal with ideas and impressions, not scripture itself.
    2. Most responses seem to likewise deal with ideas and interpretations, not scripture itself.

    For this article: We are saved by Grace alone, through Faith. However, Jesus said, if you love me, you will keep my commandments? What commandments? The Law. It does not work in reverse, however: we do not develop love for him through obedience. Obedience flows naturally from love.

    • Once an expert of the law asked Jesus: Matt 22:36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

      Jesus answered vv. 37-40 “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

  50. DO you read the books of the New Testamet? I thought the Jews read only the OT and that they don’t recognize Jesus Christ. Please explain to me.
    Thank you.

    • For millennia, the New Testament has been interpreted outside of its originally Jewish context, to the point of producing even antisemitic doctrines, an antisemitic Jesus, and subsequent atrocities. Because of this tragic history, most Jews refuse to open a New Testament, not knowing that it is actually a Jewish work. But I (along with a growing number of Messianic Jews and non-Jews) understand that the New Testament needs to be reread in its Jewish context in order to correctly reveal what the disciples were teaching.

  51. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

    I am currently reading Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) which, according to the writer, is the only English version of the Bible fully Jewish in style and presentation that includes both the Tanakh ( Old Testament) and the B’rit Hadashah ( New Testament). KIndly advise of your opinion on CJB?

    • The CJB is alright. It transliterates many key Hebrew words instead of translating them to English, which some people find helpful. But personally, I would just as soon read the original Hebrew over a transliteration of it.

  52. Well, “BUT” the LAW & GRACE or LAW vs GRACE will ever be comparative and/or by contrast. The TWO were/are/have been GIVEN by THE LORD GOD, EL-OHIM for the good and betterment of humankind HE CREATED in HIS IMAGE AND LIKENESS. “BUT” the former has always ever many weakness that forever FAILED/FAILS to SAVE the humankind, while the latter has always and forever full of strength and power to SAVE the humankind. That’s the difference. So of on which DO YOU STICK UP???? IT WILL JUDGE YOUR SALVATION FOR ETERNITY. That’s what the NT says about forever.

  53. Yes the “but” is not in the Greek. But the implication of verse 16, “we have received grace in place of grace already given.”(NIV) looks like it parallels 2 Cor. 3:10, 11 – “For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison to the surpassing glory. And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater the glory of that which last!” (NIV) Verses 14 and 15 imply the same contrast as John 1:17. Verse 15″…when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts.” Verse 14 is explicit “…only in Christ is it taken away.”

  54. Where did. You study Dr Eli and received your doctorate degree. When and where did you learn Biblical Hebrew and Koine Greek? Ho do you judge your interpretation of scripture to be truthful? The Torah was give by Moses, the Jews tried to use it for salvation and failed, Paul tried as a Jew and failed but hen truth and grace came through the Messiah all who believed ar saved. No failure in grace and truth for here ever there is sin there is more grace. Even our father Abraham believed God and He was justified by faith.Trust & obey

  55. I love the idea that we should read Paul’s words through the eyes of a first century Jew. Who would have thought it? Far too often people project later ideas back into scripture and then claim biblical support for anachronisms.

  56. “The opposite of grace became law; the opposite of law became grace. However, scripturally the opposite of law was never grace but lawlessness. Just as the opposite of grace was never law but disgrace.”
    Absolutely. I see One Bible — I see the soil and the seed producing one plant — the roots (of the Vine) are still intact. For example, Hosea 6:6 is perfectly connected with Matthew 9:13;12:7 — which fortunately upgraded Talmudic thought — the KJV. This connection happens throughout the Scripture/prophecies…perfectly fullied.
    Christ-followers have their work cut out for them, no problem.

  57. The author of this article should read Galatian 4&5 and on the cross Jesus says “it is finished” the law was finished and grace took its place. The new Genisis.

    • Thank you for commenting, Michael. I’m certain that the author of this article has read Galatians many times, but might have a different interpretation of it than yours. Please clarify how “it is finished” means everything that you said it did, and not something else. Let’s keep thinking about this and discussing it.

  58. In the version of the bible my faith uses, John 1:17 says, “For the law was given through Moses, but life and truth came through Jesus Christ.” I believe this to be a better translation.

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including Leviticus and The New Testament and Jewish Insights Into Scriptures I. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

  59. Jewish Sabbath vs. Christian Sabbath – the times are different. Saturday Sabbath finished at 6pm. Sunday starts 6 hours later. The Torah could never save a single soul. The OT saints were saved, as us, by the work of Jesus. If you love Jesus then as he says, keep my commandments and they are far more searching than the OT laws. See Matthew 5. The Reformation, for all those experts, was a change of emphasis but the same error continues to this day with Romanists and Protestants – sprinkle to save and confirm to be sure.

  60. Yeshua (Jesus) was a complete man and filled with the Holy Spirit, thus walked by faith and lived as a Jew according to the principles of the Law and fulfilled the Law where no other man could. We as Born Again followers are filled with the same Holy Spirit…

  61. Continued..
    through Grace and the fact that we walked filled with the Holy Spirit allows us to keep the law as moral and ethical children of God. The Sabbath is eternal and was never replaced anywhere in scripture. Yeshua, said it was finished! Meaning His work was complete.

  62. Which Laws and who decides which ones are still in force.
    I have an unruly child and need to know if I should stone her to death or have her rapist marry her.

    • Hi Duane, 1) Well, God implemented the Torah for Israel, and He gave judges authority to make difficult judgments (Deu.17:8-9), judges like in your hometown. 2) So, stoning was never for “unruly” children. The son had to be stubborn, rebellious, disobedient, incorrigible, unrestrainable, gluttonous, and a drunkard; I doubt your little girl fits that bill. 3) And, note that Deu.22:28 carries the condition “if they are found out”, plural (venimtsa’u). This is a matter of fornication, not rape. Please, do not marry your daughter to a rapist.

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Jewish Gospel of John I: The Arrival of the King and The Revelation in a Jewish Context II : Discovery. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

    • Sure, but I hope we’re not repressing the importance of obedience. (Rom.5:19-6:2, cf. 1Jo.3:4)

  63. Grace and truth already exist with Adam while following the first law in Eden. After the first law was broken, Adam fell into disgrace to God. All the other chosen people mentioned through the Old Testament, the same principle follow. This also was fulfilled by Jesus Christ.

  64. Genisis, man was created and spirit was left, spiritual man was created. Jesus lived in full to God. When we take his personality as ours and live according his personality, then we are reborn and filled with Grace, else we are still in the process of the rebirth.

  65. We have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified…for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. – Galatians

  66. Well, One thing God revealed to me through Abraham Issac and Jacob is What Grace is. That Anyone connected to Abraham was shown favor in one way or another. Hagar and her son, the servant that went after Issacs wife, Even Issac and Jacob on even to his People. Israel.


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