ATR Home
The Anglican Theological Review Winter Issue Spring Issue Summer Issue Fall Issue

"Moses Received the Torah at Sinai and Handed It On" (Mishnah Avot 1:1): The Relevance of the Written and Oral Torah for Christians

Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski

Rabbinic Judaism teaches that God gave the Torah to Moses at Sinai as both the oral law and written law. In contrast, Christianity historically has taught that Jesus Christ not only nullified the law but was himself the Lawgiver at Sinai. From passages in Mishnah Avot, one can develop a sympathetic reading of the giving of the Torah at Sinai as a transformative gift of God to Israel. Reflecting on Mishnah Avot and its commentaries provides an opportunity to begin formulating a Christian theology of the Torah. Such a theology must begin with premises about the degree of Torah observance by Jesus of Nazareth and the earliest followers of Jesus.

Anglican Theological Review • 1407 E. 60th Street • Chicago, IL 60637 • (773) 380-7046