23 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,Matthew 23:1-3, King James Version
2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:
3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
Nehemia Gordon, a Karaite Jew, described this oral Torah in the first half of the lecture below. Given Yeshua’s (Jesus’s) objections to the Pharisees he suspected Yeshua was an early Karaite Jew (although Christian and Messianic believers know He is much, much more).
Being also a Hebrew scholar who studied the Shem Tov Hebrew manuscript of Matthew as well as one who found other manuscript copies of it Gordon attempted to answer a question about Matthew 23:3 that has puzzled some. In spite of Yeshua’s objection to the oral Torah of the Pharisees why did He tell His disciples to do whatever “they bid you observe”?
Gordon observed that in the Hebrew manuscript of Matthew Yeshua told his disciples to do whatever “he” bid you observe where the “he” referred to Moses, not the Pharisees. If this section of the manuscript is more authentic, the puzzlement can be explained by a scribal error.
His explanation is in the second half of his talk starting about 1:15:50 in the video. For more details see his book, The Hebrew Yeshua vs. the Greek Jesus.
I am grateful to Benjamin Andreessen’s very detailed posts on this and similar topics in his MeWe group Hebrew Shalom.
To hear a positive view of the oral Torah see Rabbi Berel Wein’s informative and short presentation of Jewish history especially episodes Rebellion Against Rome and Exile, What Is the Talmud, and Writing of the Talmud.
Weekly Parashah Readings
Parashah: Shemini 23 Adar II, 5782 – March 26, 2022
Torah: Leviticus 9:1 – 11:47
Haftarah: 2 Samuel 6:1-7:17
Brit Chadashah: Hebrews 7:1-19; Hebrews 8:1-6
Resources: Chabad, Hebrew4Christians, Weekly Torah Readings, Calendar