Old Testament Law

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  1. AshtonFirefly profile image71
    AshtonFireflyposted 9 years ago

    I was recently having a discussion with someone about OT law in the Bible, and how it relates to the NT approach to God. It got kinda confusing, so I thought I would present the question here.

    My disclaimer: I'm not a Christian. I'm directing this question at Christians. Not to ridicule, but to understand. Alot of my contempt for the Christian God is based on OT law. So i thought I'd try to understand it better. I know alot about the words used and how they're translated, but I have no idea on the prevalent religious theories on how they do or do not contradict each other and what it all means.

    Help please? Please no religion bashers. I really want to know what Christians have to say about this.

    1. kess profile image59
      kessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      It is easy to understand....

      God only has one law.

      Because man's tendency is to violate that law, that one law became 10 and the 10 many.

      Now if you look at the many or even the 10 and interpret them from the context of the first, you will not see any contradictions or we may say the contradictions that do appear are merely superficial.

      But if you take your eyes of that one law which unites everything,  you then would only focus on the thing which cause division. Division take the one and makes it many.

      This in itself is the cause of the multiplicity of laws and their apparent non ending contradictions.

      So what is seen is dependant entirely on the individual's point of focus....
      So they will either see unity or division.

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Out of the billions of Christians out there, you seem to be the only one claiming God only has one law.  Would you care to be more specific, and let the rest of humanity in on the secret?

        1. kess profile image59
          kessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          What do you care about most?
          Becoming Christian our enlightening humanity?

          I am convinced that the latter is true and for that they already have you.

          Maybe if you were not so hung up on Christianity, you would have known the law of God.

          1. wilderness profile image95
            wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            But I already know the law of God - it is the one almost universally quoted whether Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist or something else.

            I just wondered if YOU do.

            1. kess profile image59
              kessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              Seems like you forgot you called me christian... among a few other things

              1. wilderness profile image95
                wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                If you deny that Jesus Christ was a supernatural being, a god of one kind or another, I sincerely apologize and ask forgiveness. 

                But if not, it would seem that, as a Christian believing in Christ, you should at least think you know God's One True Law - you did bring it up, after all.

                1. kess profile image59
                  kessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                  Astounding arrogance ...

                  defining and redefining christianity..
                  Classifying who is and isn't christian based on your definitions....

                  ...and such cocky assurance concerning who should know what....

                  You must be that great dispenser of knowledge,  who requires of me to give account for that which you have bestowed.

                  1. EncephaloiDead profile image56
                    EncephaloiDeadposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                    Pot. Kettle.

                    You make a claim there is only one law from God, others ask you politely to explain and you respond with exactly the same thing you accuse others; arrogance, cocky assurance, great dispenser of knowledge, etc.

                    Can we conclude that is the law of God? If so, we want nothing to do with it if that is the kind of behavior it demonstrates.

                  2. wilderness profile image95
                    wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                    of, relating to, or professing Christianity or its teachings.
                    "the Christian Church"
                    having or showing qualities associated with Christians, especially those of decency, kindness, and fairness.
                    noun: Christian; plural noun: Christians
                    a person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings.

                    Not my definition, but dictionary.  Someone who is a believer in Jesus Christ.  Or do you wish, in great arrogance, to redefine it and make up your own definition?

                    If you don't know God's one law, don't say there is one.  Simple, right?

                    Perhaps I am the great dispenser of knowledge - certainly you are failing miserably at it...

      2. AshtonFirefly profile image71
        AshtonFireflyposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        What is the one law?

        1. kess profile image59
          kessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          it is for you to discern

          1. AshtonFirefly profile image71
            AshtonFireflyposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            That doesn't make sense. Could you elaborate?

    2. bBerean profile image59
      bBereanposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Ashton,  out of consideration of a well worded, sincere OP, I reluctantly chime in.  Reluctantly because I have neither the time nor inclination to embark on a detailed examination of OT law.  I will offer my perspective in the hopes it proves useful to you. 

      Primarily, the law now refers to that which God has written on everyone's hearts, (figuratively of course), meaning we all have a conscience.  People have varying degrees of success ignoring, searing or distorting this, which accounts for the inconsistencies we see, but does not negate our accountability for following that law.   It is summed up in the two commandments Jesus said were above all. 

      Israel was set apart by God, and it was to be obvious to the world they were different through the rules and culture outlined in the old testament.  There were also practical components, to benefit their society directly.  Some rules for example, related to hygiene, (when nothing was known of the need for it otherwise), spared the Israelites from sickness. 

      In either case, as well as a guide, the law was intended as a schoolmaster, teaching and showing how we fall short of God's standard.  Without seeing a need, nobody seeks a remedy.  Many try hard not to see it, but for the rest it is a first step.  Both "laws" show us our need for a savior, as nobody ever has been, or ever will be, justified by the law.  Only Christ was able to fulfill it.   OT law, (never required of the Gentiles), is not required at all post Christ, but there is much redundancy between it and the law we all know. 

      Although a simple overview, I hadn't seen these points voiced yet, so I hope this helps.  If you want verses supporting any of my assertions, let me know and I can provide them when I have more time this evening.

    3. oceansnsunsets profile image85
      oceansnsunsetsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      This is a great question and my general answer is to approach the laws of the Old Testament is to look at how Jesus addressed them (or not) as he was accused a lot or try to be entrapped by the old laws.  He had some very interesting thoughts, which came a bit of time later that sheds a lot of light on how even in the first century, a lot of the older laws were kind of left in their place, to be fulfilled by something much better, and simpler, something that could really get the "job" done, so to speak. 

      The Old Testament laws showed man's frailty, inability to keep them, I think they were meant to point to something else that was better, and that was Jesus. 

      Besides that general idea, some were very cultural for that people and time, and a few are still good for today like do not murder, etc. 

      Jesus took them all and boiled them down to two basic ones that if kept, fulfilled all the laws and the prophets.  That is, loving God with all your heart soul and mind, and loving your neighbor as yourself.  As a Christian myself, I have no need to look to the old laws but see them in the context they were in/for. 

      So bottom line for me, any debate on the topic can be settled in my eyes with the words of Jesus, another form of revelation from god, the best kind, in my opinion.

      1. AshtonFirefly profile image71
        AshtonFireflyposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        What do you think about the punishments for certain crimes in the OT? I know a lot of people, including myself, find the OT death penalties to be biased (men received lesser sentences than women) and sometimes harsh? (someone who dishonored their parents was killed) Do you think that these punishments were also cultural? Do you think they were issued from God or man?

        And most importantly, do you want to answer a bazillion questions because I definitely just overloaded you with them....? hmm

        1. oceansnsunsets profile image85
          oceansnsunsetsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          It was never anything like the Old Testament laws that drew me to believe in Jesus or agree with his ideas and philosoph.  It was Jesus, and what he said and did.  This is why I am a Christian.  I truly think Jesus got it right.

          As for the Old Testament laws, I think many of them are awful, if I am honest.  I don't feel any need to defend them if someone thought they were biased or wrong.  I think a lot of the OT that is judged so harshly, is recording a people and their rules for themselves in their time in history, sometimes from God, for them in particular.   Some seem like they still might apply today, and are much broader like do not murder.  So it depends.  To some of the laws, I won't have answers, as I think they are better answered by people that follow Judaism.  Recently, to help give some perspective to someone, I did a google search about a belief they hold about Christians today and the OT views on slavery.  I used the words of a Rabbi to answer, which showed that even people of Judaism didn't agree with the belief an atheist held about God and the Bible. It was a genuine confusion on the topic, a misunderstanding.

          But if I don't know, I will tell you, in regards to your questions, and I will sometimes be the same way, with a bazillion questions! I hear you there. smile

  2. Kathryn L Hill profile image76
    Kathryn L Hillposted 9 years ago

    The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would do unto you and love God with your whole body, soul, and mind. It is indeed universal. So, no more arguing, guys!

    1. profile image0
      Rad Manposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      You listed two rules. He said there is one, which one of your rules do you think he was talking about?

  3. profile image57
    Carolyn Newbernposted 9 years ago

    The simplest way to understand it is this. There are 3 types of laws--judicial-the laws of the land.  Moral--dealing with how people are to behave. and sacrificial--the offering of sacrifices for sins.  When Jesus died on the cross, we no longer had to offer sacrifices like they did in the OT because JEsus fulfilled that law.  Judicial laws are still in place but they change according to the times.  The frustration is usually over moral laws.  People ask do the Ten commandments still stand.  They do.  Jesus referred to them in the Two Great Commandments.  Love God with all of your heart, soul, and might (that covered the first 4 Commandments). I call them the God commandments, The second one is to love your neighbor as yourself.  That covered the last six. (the people commandments).  So the laws are now based on love.  IF we love God with every ounce of our being and love other people, we would never hurt anyone, hate anyone, covet, kill, steal, etc.
    The moral laws didn't actually change, it just takes the love of God in us to adhere to them.

  4. Cgenaea profile image60
    Cgenaeaposted 9 years ago

    The OT laws were purposeful. Jesus explained most of it.
    I don't remember him addressing the chauvinism injections; so that makes me feel like it was not that big an issue for him.
    The bible says that he freed the captive. Though I feel like it refers mostly to captivated mindsets; chauvinism can be just that, depending on the lens you look through.
    If you think about it, humans are divided on many topics. Scientists disagree within their circles. Who wins? Preachers disagree. Teachers; police officers, politicians. How will a single mind/oneness occur? Who should be the decision maker?
    It makes sense to me that there is only one true moral code. People cannot come together and totally agree on a thing. Jesus gave us that truth, according to my bible. The New testament is the part where Jesus is. There is pardon, cleansing, more pardon,  love (real love not the flimsy stuff we see on tv), peace,  rest and life. The New Testament.  NT.
    The Lord made a new covenant with his people and extended his gift to all who will come. 
    The OT seems to be a point of reference for the non-believer on a really consistent basis. I very rarely hear Jesus quotes.


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