Q. I was reading in the book of Titus and chapter 1 verse 14 caught my attention, “not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth.” I’m curious what Jewish myths were causing trouble in the early church and if that means we shouldn’t rely on Hebrew teachings (maybe like those of Josephus?) and traditions to attempt to shed light on God’s truth? Or is it just an admonition to not get carried away with it? Thanks as always for your insight and hard work.
A. Paul was cautioning Titus against being influenced by the so-called Judaizers who held that before a gentile could become a Christian, he had to first be circumcised and keep the Law. Since much of the Law was man made, Paul referred to it as including myths and commandments. He wasn’t talking about the Torah (5 Books of Moses) which was given by God, but the Jewish commentaries that had added so much to it. It had nothing to do with studying history or referring to Jewish customs and traditions to help gain a deeper understanding of God’s word.