The Law of Moses just like the gospel of John claims to record the speech of God himself.  Jesus was careful to emphasise how the Law is infallible and that without that his own mission would be invalid.  Against anybody who wanted the laws watered down, he said not a word would pass away and anybody trying to diminish any law would be punished and counselled that obedience to the law must surpass that of the Scribes and the Pharisees, its custodians and preachers.  Jesus seemed to make foods clean against the law.  But the story is he removed whatever it was about them that made a ban necessary.  Maybe he was thought to have taken some kind of toxin out by a miracle. He made them clean we are told.  He didn't say, "You can eat them now for I have cancelled the law."  That is a different thing.

The Law of Moses: Is It Valid Today?

The Law of Moses and the Law of Christ by Arnold Fruchtenbaum   

Is Old Testament Law for New Testament Christians

Many Christians accept that the New Testament did not run the Law of Moses out of town but accepted it. They have a theology around it which argues that Matthew 5 has Jesus stating that he has no intention of doing away with the Law of Moses and what he does with it is he gives out a stricter interpretation of it. But strangely it argues then that Jesus did discontinue some parts of the Law. 1 Samuel 15:22,23/Isaiah 1:11-17/Jeremiah 7:21-23/Proverbs 21:3/Matthew 9:13/23:23 are said to make no sense unless the law can be given three distinctions which are Moral, Ceremonial and Civil. Not once however in these verses does God even hint that the Moral laws and the Civil laws and the Ceremonial laws are to be treated as three units. What they are is three different kinds of law in one law based on love. The first two cannot be changed because of the link with morality but the latter can if it is only temporary and states that clearly. You can’t change what love is. The law plainly commands and practices hatred so God is assuming that we need to hate in order to love properly so that is how a law of love can encourage and foster hatred.

Christians, assuming that they are to have any distinctions at all, are to have just Moral and Ceremonial law. The Christians make the distinctions for they hold that the moral law of God is unchangeable while the civil and ceremonial law of God is changeable. But when there is no evidence that moral and civil are not the same they can only hope for the abolition of the Ceremonial law. They simply have to hold that it is right to slay homosexuals and other sinners Moses wanted dead in the name of God.

A case for holding that Paul believed that the law that could not save was a legalistic interpretation of the Law and not the law itself as it actually was is dismissed. Paul never hinted that he meant only the interpretation of the law was dangerous for salvation not the Law itself. Paul’s word for the Law backs this dismissal up.  While Paul said that grace and faith alone save he was clear that they save you in order that you may obey the moral laws of Moses in gratitude and not for salvation.

Then the site suggests the correctness of the shocking statement of the theologian Geisler that all God’s laws must be in accord with God’s nature but need not be necessitated by that nature and so they can be changed. In other words, God can forbid you to pay taxes to the temple so that the poor may be given the money and then he could change that law. But that does not explain how he could command the stoning of certain sinners. Any law he makes, changeable or unchangeable is designed to bring about the best. So if the Israelites were better rid of these sinners so were we. If the temple can do without money it can at other times so the law would have to be reinstated. There is a sense then in which all his laws are permanent. They are permanent but if other permanent laws become more important than them they are just put to the background and not done away until they can be put back to the foreground again. Not one of the laws in the Torah are claimed to be changeable or even look like that kind of law. They are all different from the one about paying money to charity instead of the temple. God in the Law said you could murder a burglar who breaks into your house at night with impunity. Now is that a law that isn’t necessitated by God’s nature? It does no good at all. It clearly indicates that God does not accept the view that he has any laws that his nature does not require him to make but which he makes anyway. It is unnecessary and it is against the nature of a good God. Geisler is wrong.

The Law claims to be right. In other words, we are meant to see that it is right even if we don’t believe in God. God told the Hebrews that other nations would consider them to be the wisest nation on earth because of their Law (Deuteronomy 4:6,8).

At least Geisler would admit that stoning people to death is not necessarily incompatible with God. He would say that if God doesn’t allow it now, he still wants us to have the mindset that we would do it if he asked. We want to do it but it is because he asks us not to that we don’t. The fanaticism is still there.

Ephesians 2:20 says the Church is built on the teaching of the apostles and the prophets. The prophets certainly include the prophets of the Old Testament. The letters of Paul use the Old Testament a lot so that is hardly surprising.  What is for sure that the morals of the Old Testament teach the Church.  That is one reason for the New Testament doctrine that God is the same yesterday and today.

The New Testament does not treat itself as the Bible in the sense that it repeatedly cites and invokes the Old Testament as scripture and as the picture of what God is like.  It is like how it is not interested if it is scripture even if it is.  Its Bible is the Old Testament.


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