Monday, April 02, 2007


according to an article at Beliefnet:

The Passover sacrifice is the latest of more than 40 legal decisions issued by the modern Sanhedrin. Seventy-one Orthodox men revived the court more than two years ago in the city of Tiberius, the same geographical spot they believe marked the final days of the Sanhedrin a few hundred years after the time of Jesus.

In antiquity, the Sanhedrin determined Jewish practice. It now rules on political and religious issues and ultimately sees itself as an alternative to the secular Supreme Court of Israel. It hopes to impose Jewish law on the Jewish people and the seven "Noahide" laws -- prohibitions on theft, murder, blasphemy and others, based on Jewish teaching -- on Gentile nations.

"We want all the world," Stein said, "to walk with God."

Descriptions of the Sanhedrin can be found in Jewish legal writings and the New Testament. The Gospels say Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin so its members could assess his messianic claims. This current Sanhedrin also sees as one of its goals to evaluate any potential messianic contender. "There is no redemption without the Sanhedrin," said Stein. "We are building the opportunity for a king (messiah)."

Not all Jews are in favor of this, however:

Some leaders in the Jewish community question not only the renewal of sacrifice without a Temple, but the validity of the Sanhedrin itself.

"They are a self-selected group," said Michael J. Broyde, an Orthodox rabbi who sits on the Rabbinical Court of America. "And they have no more and no less authority than any other self-selected group of rabbis."

While many Jews are either ambivalent or hostile toward the Sanhedrin and other Temple-related groups, some evangelicals support these projects. They get excited when they perceive the Jewish people fulfilling what they view as part of future prophecy, said Randall Price, an evangelical professor and author of four books about the Temple. "Then they think we're getting closer to that being a reality," he said.

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