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Comparative Theology, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

53- Reply to the phrase "...let no one judge you"

 

St-Takla.org Image: Coptic Confession, a priest and a man confessing his sins, artwork by Sis. Sawsan صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: سر التوبة والاعتراف، كاهن قبطي و رجل يعترف بخطاياه، رسم تاسوني سوسن

St-Takla.org Image: Coptic Confession, a priest and a man confessing his sins, artwork by Sis. Sawsan

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: سر التوبة والاعتراف، كاهن قبطي و رجل يعترف بخطاياه، رسم تاسوني سوسن

The Apostle did not say: "Let no one judge you in fasts", but he said: "...let no one judge you in food or in drink." By this he meant the unclean foods forbidden to the Jews and the types of food which they considered impure.

This reminds us of the vision which St. Peter the Apostle saw in connection with directing Cornelius. The Apostle saw a great sheet in which were all kinds of food and he heard a voice telling him to kill and eat. But Peter said: " ‘Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.’ And a voice spoke to him again the second time, 'What God has cleansed you must not call common' " (Acts 10: 14,15).

It was regarding these foods which were considered impure and unclean, that the Apostle Paul said: "...let no one judge you in food or in drink. " For at the beginning of Christianity, the first people who became Christians were Jews who tried to “Judaize” Christianity, that is, to bring into Christianity all the Jewish customs such as unclean food, purification, keeping the Sabbath, moon festivals, celebrations of the beginning of months and Jewish feasts (such as the Passover, the Unleavened Bread, the Trumpets, the Tents and the Atonement Day), and we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other pages. St. Paul wanted to resist the Judaization of Christianity. That is why he said: "Therefore let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come" (Col.2: 16,17).

Hence this was not an occasion of talking about fasting but it was an occasion of talking about the Jewish customs which the converted Jews wanted to bring into Christianity.

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