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 Old Testament Law

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von



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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:04 am

Quote :
Here I believe you are unintentionally using an equivocation on the word law. There are really two laws: 1.) Which brings us to Christ, is our schoolmaster, reveals sin, etc. 2.) The civil/ceremonial law of ancient Israel. Remember that the law is good and valid till the day Christ returns. Paul continually makes this point. However, whenever he uses the law, he includes only the Ten Commandments, or laws that could easily fall under one commandment. (Example: fornication and homosexuality both could fall under adultery.) He never, at least to my knowledge, brings up such laws as eating habits, sabbaths, festivals, cleanliness practices in regards to such times as menstrual periods, etc. except to say that we are no longer under them. We can still do them, but we are not required to do them. (See his rebuke to Peter in regards to eating or Colossians 2.)


A great post, Caleb. You still have the same errors, but it is done much better. But for right now I will deal with the above:
The word law certainly means different things, and not only two. However the distinction you raise here is not one of them (at least in Scripture) and you miss several others.
First of all, by combining ‘civil and ceremonial’ you fail to address the theonomic point: which is that there is a huge difference between civil and ceremonial.
Secondly, as Jesus pointed out, all law falls under two: Love God and love our neighbor. Then all law falls under the ten commandments, which fall under the two. So to say that ‘all the laws that Paul or Jesus referenced fall under the ten commandments,’ is to say precisely nothing: all law falls under the ten commandments.
And you might want to consider ‘not muzzle the ox’.
Thirdly, you completely miss the point of this:
Quote :
This fits perfectly with 1 Timothy 1:8-10- “But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;” See, the law isn’t made for those who are justified (declared right, thus righteous.) The law was made for the unrighteous. Once someone is declared right, they are no longer under the law. Remember, the law did not come first, the covenant of grace did.
The laws that apply, as we both agree, to not the righteous but the unrighteous, are precisely the *civil* laws! You state the perfect truth that this law was made for the unrighteous, and then fail to apply it! The law is (still) good if a man use it lawfully… applying it to the unrighteous man… ie the civil law.
Oh, and BTW, even at the time of Noah there were ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ animals, and at the time of Cain there were acceptable (containing blood) and unacceptable (fruit and vegetable) sin offerings. So you might want to rethink some of your ‘which came first’ thing. Law and Grace are part and parcel of the exact same thing. The law is *still* a schoolmaster, it still tells us what sin is.
You will find, if you look (or I will post, when I have time) verses that tell us, in the NT, that we know what sin is because sin is a violation of the law.
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von



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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:06 am

Quote :
The other posts in this thread and the forms of government thread show why we are not under the civil laws of Moses.

No, they don't. At all. That's what we are discussing now.

And the civil law began way before Moses.
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von



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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:07 am

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Keep in mind what I stated earlier about the two definitions of the law.

What you said. Not what God said.
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von



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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:26 am

Quote :
Thus, we couldn't have made a straw man argument, because we didn't bring up an opposing viewpoint, but rather submitted and defended our own.


You misunderstand what I said here. You made, of your own argument, a straw man. IE you made your own argument weak; because you did not examine the other side.

It is like the Muslim who says, "I am a Muslim because Scripture says there is only one God."

Let me give a different example. I once read a book by a Presbyterian entitled something like, "Why we baptize infants." In it he listed all sorts of verses in 'support' of infant baptism; including such zingers as 'repent and be baptized', and ended by saying that we should baptize infants because of all of these verses in favor of baptism.

At no point in his discussion did he ever deal with any of the Baptistic arguments at all. He never said anything like, “Baptists, not unreasonably, point to ‘repent and be baptized’ and insist that repentance is an integral part of baptism. However when we examine the parallel to circumcision…” As a result his book was utterly useless at convincing me, a Baptist, to baptize my infants. It might possibly have helped someone who didn’t believe in Baptism at all.

IOW, this argument is not held in a vacuum. Gone are the Judiazers who insist that circumcision is necessary to salvation. On this board you are not discussing with Catholics or others who might believe that some forms of obedience are necessary to salvation. Instead you are discussing with someone who, with some powerful historical and exegetical backing, believes that Gods law against murder does not merely impart an negative moral sense to unjustified killing, but also believes that the only just response is for the civil society to put someone like that to death. Someone who, being told that the law is ‘perfect’ happens to believe that that means that nothing better than the civil law of Moses can ever be found or invented as a civil law for any country; that all substitutions and alterations are of necessity a fall from perfection.

And indeed one which, under the impetus of II Tim 3, believes that the civil laws of God are still profitable for doctrine, reproof, and correction in righteousness.

So all of the verses you have posted (and worse yet your own reasoning) have not even touched these issues. They all apply to those who, in a heresy that has existed for all time, believe that we can earn our own salvation; or those who, waiting faithfully for Christ, had at least the law to guide them.

I am not saying, and will not say, that the law is usefull for salvation, or ever has been. Nor do I argue that it is what the believer is ‘under’. We are under Grace.
But I do say that it is what defines, and illustrated, sin. And we ignore it, alter it, or change it, at our extreme peril.
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caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:45 am

caleb wrote:
Civil laws for a nation should be made the same way. I found only one section of laws that may or may not be made not only for Israel, but all nations. Thus, every other law must be put through the same grid. 1. Is there anywhere else in Scripture which says this law is no longer to be practiced? 2. Does this law match other principles and commands in the Bible that are made for us today? 3. Does enforcing this law still fulfill its originally intended purpose? 4. Can we enforce this law without saying that we are commanded by Scripture to obey it, and thus not think ourselves a more holy nation for practicing this law? If we can answer no to the the first question and yes to the rest, I think that it is OK to enforce the law if we want to. Thus, I would like to again, go through the same chunk of Scripture and show which laws I believe are OK to enforce, and which are not. I will only give the Scripture references instead of quoting the passage so as to try to shorten this lengthy study. Bear with me as I do my best to apply proper hermeneutics. Also keep in mind the previous conclusion about all these passages. Theses laws are not prescriptive to us. You will probably want to have your Bible at hand to give clarity to the rest of this study since I don’t write out the verses but rather give only the references. Also note that the following is not a complete list of Constitutional laws that will be needed, but rather those from the Pentateuch.

Exodus
Chapter 20 is basically the Ten Commandments and instructions on making an alter. The NT does affirm all of the Ten Commandments except keeping the Sabbath day. The primary use of the other nine, however, are always used to condemn man before God. They are not used civilly. (Obviously some are, however, they are more specific than just “Thou shalt not murder” for example. We will look into this later in the study.) Therefore, I’m going to submit that, for right now, we will not use the Ten Commandments to be applied in our civil law. Again, I believe that they are vastly important and applicable. Some of these commandments will end up being added to my list of applicable laws in the end.

Chapter 21:1-11 speak about servanthood. Based on our definition of property, among other reasons, I don’t think this specific set of laws should be enforced. This passage can be interpreted as a contract for servanthood which may be applicable. This is a difficult subject and one that is beyond the scope of this study.

Here I would like to submit a proposition which will also allow the rest of the study to be shortened by quite a bit. Please realize that I am using these verses somewhat out of context (at least their primary context) but am intending to apply the principle behind them in regards to the rest of the laws.

Exodus 21:19- “If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed.”

Leviticus 24:17-21- “And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death. And he that killeth a beast shall make it good; beast for beast. And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him; Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again. And he that killeth a beast, he shall restore it: and he that killeth a man, he shall be put to death.”

Numbers 35:11- “Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares.”

Deuteronomy 22:23-25- “If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die.”

There is the basic principle which, I believe, we can take from these verses and apply to modern government. Keep this principle in mind as it is the basis for the rest of this study and one I continually refer to. The government can only punish those sins which are crimes against another person’s life, liberty, or property. If found guilty, the criminal must pay for full restitution (this would include extra restitution mentioned in Scripture). If the crime is found to be purposeful, he must receive the same thing that he did. If no restitution can be made in any way, capital punishment must be used. Here are some examples to clarify.

1. A person steals someone’s dog. He is found guilty, thus must give the dog back plus extra restitution.

2. A person kills someone else’s dog; whether by accident or on purpose. He is found guilty, thus must buy a new dog for the person who’s dog he killed plus extra restitution.

3. A person breaks someone’s leg by accident. He is found guilty, thus must pay for all the medical expenses and any loss of income as a result. If he did this on purpose, he must not only pay for all of these costs and extra restitution, but also have his leg broken.

4. A person puts someone’s eye out by accident. He is found guilty, thus must pay all medical expenses, any loss of income, extra restitution, and for any expenses in assisting that person in sight. (Example: a seeing-eye dog, etc.) If he did this on purpose, his eye must also be put out.

5. A man is found guilty for committing adultery with a virgin. No restitution can be made to replace the woman’s virginity. Thus, the man must be put to death. If the woman is found to have done this against her will and made effort to protect herself, she will not be punished. If she did not do this, she must be put to death.

I hope these examples help illustrate my point and use proper hermeneutics with these passages. So, using this proposition, let’s look at Exodus 21-Deuteronomy.

I want to question what I submitted earlier and have quoted above. (It is rather long. Sorry about that.) Is this the best/most biblical way of punishing crime? I'm a little hesitant about certain parts of it and may disagree with others. Any thoughts?

To God be the glory,
-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:26 pm

caleb wrote:

The whole purpose of the Mosaic covenant given by God on Mount Sinai, was to make Israel a specially called out nation from all other nation, “a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.” God was extremely careful to specifically say who He was commanding and for what purpose. He made it clear that He was not talking to any other people at any other time in history when He laid down these rules of government. Therefore, we cannot say that ‘Since God ordained this government, this is the way we should run government.’ or ‘Since God gave these laws, we need to still apply them or enforce then in our government.’ No, this is not the context or intent of Exodus 20-23. It may not be wrong to enforce some of these laws, but we cannot do so because Exodus 20-23 commands us to. These chapters are not prescriptive to us, but to ancient Israel. Thus, we are not bound by these commands, at least from these chapters. There are numerous other passages of Scripture which do affirm that most of the Ten Commandments are prescriptive to us today, however, it is not that way from this passage.

Again, if we use the rest of Scripture, I think we can enforce some of these laws in modern government. For instance, Hebrews and other passages specifically say the the Jews no longer need to have sacrifices or priests. The reason for this is quite plain as Christ is now our great High Priest and is our complete satisfying sacrifice to God. So these laws should not be enforced. But other laws given in these four chapters are affirmed elsewhere in Scripture, so it would be OK to enforce them. But if we do put some of the Exodus 20-23 laws into effect, we can’t say that we’re doing it because these passages command us to. This would be directly contradicting Scripture.

Chapter 24 is a chronicle of the people agreeing to the law and God giving the law to Moses. Chapter 25 begins another section of laws. However, God again stipulates that they are only to Israel when He says in verses 1-2a- “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel,...” Chapters 25-31 are laws that God gave only to Israel in regards to the priesthood, tabernacle, sacrifices, sabbaths, etc. Again, these chapters are specifically not meant for us to apply today. They were only prescriptive to ancient Israel.

Chapter 32-34a chronicles Israel’s idolatry and the punishment inflicted on them by God as a result. God then renews the covenant in the middle of chapter 34 where He is again careful to say to whom He is making the covenant and giving the laws. Verses 10-14 include many phrases which identify the recipients of this covenant as ancient Israel. Chapter 35-40 chronicles Israel obeying God and making the tabernacle, priestly garments, and everything else that God had commanded. These are the laws given by God in regards to government in Exodus. We can see that God specifically told us who He intended to follow these laws. This group does not include us today. We can gain other benefits from these passages, but they are not for us to apply directly. After I go through Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, I will examine how we can apply these laws today.

I think you are right that many of the OT passages are prescriptive only for Ancient Israel. However, I'm a little less sure of the paragraph that I italicized. Many OT laws are re-affirmed in the NT, but that doesn't necessarily mean they should be enforced. I believe that there are sins which were to be enforced in the OT, and which are still wrong, but which government should no longer enforce. Take idolatry. In the Old Testament, idolatry was to be punished by the government. However, God no longer calls us to punish idolaters, but to save them. In the Old Testament, religion was enforced. In the New Testament, it cannot be.

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For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6: 12)
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