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80sU2isBest 07-31-2003 11:25 PM

Old Testament Laws And Their Place In The Life Of The Christian
In a few threads lately, the issue of the Old Testament laws has come up. Here's a question:

How do Christians, who are under the new covenant of grace, know how the Old Testament laws apply to our lives today? Do we pick and choose? Or is there some method?

I have found some interesting stuff at a couple of websites. I will post snippets from each, but I would recommend visiting the website if you are at all interested in this subject; it's a pretty interesting read


The traditional approach of dividing the Mosaic Law into civil, ceremonial, and moral laws violates proper hermeneutical method, for it is inconsistent and arbitrary, and the Old Testament gives no hint of such distinctions. This approach errs in two ways. On the one hand it dismisses the civil and ceremonial laws as inapplicable. On the other hand it applies the so-called moral laws as direct law. In addition the traditional approach tends to ignore the narrative context and the covenant context of the Old Testament legal material.

Principlism, an alternative approach, seeks to find universal principles in the Old Testament legal material and to apply these principles to believers today. This approach is more consistent than the traditional one, and it is more reflective of sound hermeneutical method. It also allows believers to see that all Scripture is "useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness

(2)And here's a little bit from a Messianic Jew web site:


The laws of Leviticus and Deuteronomy are part of God's covenant with the nation of Israel and have never applied to the world at large. Even rabbinic Judaism does not expect or even desire for non-Jews to keep all of these commandments. In rabbinic Judaism, a non-Jew is a "Righteous Gentile" if he keeps what are called the Seven Noachide Commandments, based on Genesis 9:1-17

(3)This one is very interesting:


The common contention is that the laws of the Old Testament and New Testament are so different that they require two different sources. However, in refutation, it should be noted that:
Jesus and the New Testament authors repeatedly condone and affirm the Old Testament law (see Matt. 5:17; 22:36-40; Rom. 13:8-10; I Pet 1:16).
The recipients are in very different situations. The Old Testament law is given to a nation of mostly unregenerate people; therefore, it must be civil in emphasis (focused on outward acts). It must also be more harsh because they are unregenerate. However, in the New Testament, the ethical standards are given to a Body of regenerate people indwelt by the Holy Spirit; therefore, its emphasis is not civil, but personal and internal.

DaveC 08-03-2003 11:58 PM

There's so much contradiction. OT law says one thing. Jesus says something totally different. I konw the age-old argument "Jesus came and changed those laws", but God did say that his commandments were to be kept and followed forever. Therefore there are two conclusions from this: Jesus contradicted God; or, Jesus wasn't really who he said he was.

And just so there's no confusion, I used to be Christian. I have become disillusioned with Christianity and am now an agnostic/atheist. See here: https://www.christianguitar.org/forum...ad.php?t=55021 for more.

melon 08-04-2003 05:41 AM

I find having studied the history of Christianity and the Bible to be most fascinating, merely because it explains the cultural and historical differences between the various periods in which all these books were written. It would be the equivalent of putting in texts from A.D. 1000 and A.D. 2003--and then realizing how much had changed in the meantime. The same was true for them.

I have fairly unorthodox theories about much of this that I would love to explore further, but I think that many of those will be left to academics who have far more access to this stuff than I.


Klaus 08-04-2003 09:06 AM


I'd love so see your thoughts about that subject, as mentioned in the 80's thread, it will take me some more reading before i can say anything here..

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