It is my theory that the reason why Christians see observant Jews as being so diametrically opposed to them because of their commitment to the Torah is, for the most part, dependent on the translation of one word linked to a theological concept.
Teshuvah is a continual process that each person works on every single day; all day long. The more teshuvah takes place, the easier it is until the commands of Torah become habitual and a part of everyday life. It can be extremely difficult at first, but grows easier with time and practice.
As an experiment, let’s see how reinserting this Hebrew concept back into some New Testament passages would force change in the lives of some Christians:
“Return to the Torah; the Kingdom of God is at hand.”
– Matthew 3:2
“So they (the disciples) went out and proclaimed that people should return to the Torah.”
– Mark 6:12
“No, I tell you; but unless you return to the Torah, you will all likewise perish.”
– Luke 13:2
– Acts 3:19
“Before his coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of returning to the Torah to all the people of Israel.”
– Acts 13:24
And this isn’t changing the meaning of the passage since the original meaning of “repent” in the spiritual sense was a returning to the Torah. Interesting perspective, ain’t it?