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Subject: Request for Knowledge: Christian Views on Mosaic Law rss

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I’m trying to canvass some opinions about Christian views of Jewish Law, for my own edification.

The traditional orthodox understanding, which goes back to Aquinas as far as I can tell, is that Mosaic law has three types: moral, ceremonial, and judicial:

    Moral laws are eternally binding precepts (don’t murder, etc.) that are obligatory for all people everywhere.
    Ceremonial laws (dietary, etc.) were temporary and designed to highlight ritual cleanliness and foreshadow the redemptive sacrifice of Christ, but ceased to be obligatory after the crucifixion.
    Judicial laws gave civic structure to ancient Jewish society and, while not binding, are often good ideas or contain worthy precepts.

My specific question is how the various Christian traditions decide which is which. How, for example, do the Catholics know that not marring the corners of the beard was a ceremonial law, but not engaging in homosexual relationships was a moral law?

So if you are Christian, I’d like to know the views on this as practiced in your faith tradition.

- Does your tradition adhere to the Aquinian understanding of the three-part division of Mosaic law? If not, what is your tradition’s view on the status of Mosaic law in modern times?

- How does your tradition decide which Mosaic laws are still morally binding, and which are optional or even forbidden?

- Does your tradition believe that Mosaic laws are still morally binding on Jews? (i.e., “Dual-Covenant Theology.”)

- What is your tradition's views on other self-professed Christian groups who have a different understanding of Mosaic law?

Edit: Normative Judaism holds that G-d revealed both a Written Law and an Oral Law to Moses on Sinai. My understanding is that most Christian denominations reject a divine origin of the Oral Law, believing that it was a later rabbinic invention. What is your faith tradition's beliefs about the Oral Law?

Answers to the above questions, or any other thoughts on the subject are welcomed and appreciated. Thanks in advance.

(Non-Christians: Please start a separate commentary thread if you want to argue, or at least STFU until page two.)
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Questions like these are always answered by a bunch of theologians just as flawed as anyone else. Also the Bible was written by flawed humans. Also the people that decided which books of the Bible should be included in the Bible were flawed humans. I believe that the overall spirit and message of God's Word got through, but to pretend it comes to us without bias is insane.

This is why I am not a literalist, and I don't get hung up on the minutia of the laws that were clearly written with a cultural bias. Clearly slavery is bad, clearly people are born gay, clearly evolution is a thing that happens, clearly God didn't want the Israelites to slaughter women and children wholesale, but if you're a Biblical literalist you are forced to deny all of these things.
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As for the tradition of my church, it is non-denominational and only preaches messages of love. It's actually very Bible-based and doesn't deny any part of the scripture, but they don't harp on the fire and brimstone verses much.
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if you assemble multiple tiny views on mosaic law you should be able to get the big picture
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Shampoo4you wrote:

Questions like these are always answered by a bunch of theologians just as flawed as anyone else. Also the Bible was written by flawed humans. Also the people that decided which books of the Bible should be included in the Bible were flawed humans. I believe that the overall spirit and message of God's Word got through, but to pretend it comes to us without bias is insane.

This is why I am not a literalist, and I don't get hung up on the minutia of the laws that were clearly written with a cultural bias. Clearly slavery is bad, clearly people are born gay, clearly evolution is a thing that happens, clearly God didn't want the Israelites to slaughter women and children wholesale, but if you're a Biblical literalist you are forced to deny all of these things.

That sounds like cherry picking. It's either the word or it's not. I can watch Star Wars episodes I-III and wish there was no mention of trade negations. I can watch and edited version on youtube with all that crap removed but it doesn't change the fact that Lucas felt it was necessary to torture us with it in the first place. The messengers of god on earth went out of their way to make it clear to you that homosexuality is an abomination and you reject it just because god created them that way? On what grounds? Or is your faith such that it's all smiley faces and unicorns?
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rcbevco wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:

Questions like these are always answered by a bunch of theologians just as flawed as anyone else. Also the Bible was written by flawed humans. Also the people that decided which books of the Bible should be included in the Bible were flawed humans. I believe that the overall spirit and message of God's Word got through, but to pretend it comes to us without bias is insane.

This is why I am not a literalist, and I don't get hung up on the minutia of the laws that were clearly written with a cultural bias. Clearly slavery is bad, clearly people are born gay, clearly evolution is a thing that happens, clearly God didn't want the Israelites to slaughter women and children wholesale, but if you're a Biblical literalist you are forced to deny all of these things.

That sounds like cherry picking. It's either the word or it's not. I can watch Star Wars episodes I-III and wish there was no mention of trade negations. I can watch and edited version on youtube with all that crap removed but it doesn't change the fact that Lucas felt it was necessary to torture us with it in the first place. The messengers of god on earth went out of their way to make it clear to you that homosexuality is an abomination and you reject it just because god created them that way? On what grounds? Or is your faith such that it's all smiley faces and unicorns?
In my opinion, cherry picking is what the authors and editors of the Bible have done.

They've decided that the few verses against homosexuality are SUPER IMPORTANT. The versus about not eating shellfish? Not so much. Who can blame them, shrimp are delicious.
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So god abdicated in his role as executive editor... way to go all-powerful being!
 
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Porque todo el mundo no entiende la ingles de PO:
Quote:
(Non-Christians: Please start a separate commentary thread if you want to argue, or at least STFU until page two.)
Esta noticia significa que nosotros que no somos cristianos callean la boca a la pagina primera.
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whac3 wrote:
Porque todo el mundo no entiende la ingles de PO:
Quote:
(Non-Christians: Please start a separate commentary thread if you want to argue, or at least STFU until page two.)
Esta noticia significa que nosotros que no somos cristianos callean la boca a la pagina primera.
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It's the same conversation we have every time about how certain things from the OT are not necessarily valid or in force anymore. The ignorant person says "You must have just made it up and decided for yourself which law. Look I totally know the Bible, just look, it says this here and this here and you're only following one of those because you hate gays."

Then we say, "Well, if you look at the entire book as a whole..." and give a wonderful explanation of exactly why certain things are enforced and others aren't based on the scriptures.

Then we'll have the same conversation next time because it's a talking point that certain people won't let go of despite the thorough debunking it's been given time and time again. If you only look at one verse at a time, you will be confused. If you look at the whole picture, everything fits together. Not that it'll help someone without the holy spirit.

I pretty much agree with BJ. So that I'm not branded a heretic, or filthy.
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whac3 wrote:
Porque todo el mundo no entiende la ingles de PO:
Quote:
(Non-Christians: Please start a separate commentary thread if you want to argue, or at least STFU until page two.)
Esta noticia significa que nosotros que no somos cristianos callean la boca a la pagina primera.
Dankon por via afableco, sinjoro.
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Jythier wrote:

Then we'll have the same conversation next time because it's a talking point that certain people won't let go of despite the thorough debunking it's been given time and time again.
I'd love to hear how you "debunk" other people's interpretation of the Bible, considering there are over 10,000 Christian sects that interpret it over 10,000 different ways. To say nothing of the disagreements WITHIN each denomination, of which there are many.

I've seen such a blanket statement many times "Well, if you don't know how to interpret it, you're just not reading carefully." but this ignores the reality of the issue. The truth is, the Bible is so complex and abstract at times, there is no "perfect" interpretation of it.

Not to mention:
Who wrote it? Men
Who decided which books to ignore and which to make canon? Men
Who translated many different ways, some changing the meaning of certain verses? Men

So please don't act like your understanding and interpretation is 100% correct and everyone else is a heretic. That's wrong and it's hubris.
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rcbevco wrote:
So god abdicated in his role as executive editor... way to go all-powerful being!
It would be an odd religion indeed that thought that all words attributed to God were God's. That some of these non-God words might have been collected together with some real words of God at some point hardly seems out of the question.
 
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dysjunct wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Porque todo el mundo no entiende la ingles de PO:
Quote:
(Non-Christians: Please start a separate commentary thread if you want to argue, or at least STFU until page two.)
Esta noticia significa que nosotros que no somos cristianos callean la boca a la pagina primera.
Dankon por via afableco, sinjoro.
Ne dankinde
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Dolphinandrew wrote:
rcbevco wrote:
So god abdicated in his role as executive editor... way to go all-powerful being!
It would be an odd religion indeed that thought that all words attributed to God were God's. That some of these non-God words might have been collected together with some real words of God at some point hardly seems out of the question.
The God you're talking about seems really piddly and unpowerful. I don't know that God.

God's up there, kickin' himself, "Man, if only I could have done something about those pesky humans messing up my word."

Basically, you don't believe in God.
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Jythier wrote:
Dolphinandrew wrote:
rcbevco wrote:
So god abdicated in his role as executive editor... way to go all-powerful being!
It would be an odd religion indeed that thought that all words attributed to God were God's. That some of these non-God words might have been collected together with some real words of God at some point hardly seems out of the question.
The God you're talking about seems really piddly and unpowerful. I don't know that God.

God's up there, kickin' himself, "Man, if only I could have done something about those pesky humans messing up my word."

Basically, you don't believe in God.
Well, I certainly don't believe in God, but that wasn't really my point.

My point was:

a) I don't think anyone believes that all words attributed to God are genuinely from God.

b) Given (a), some words being from God becoming mixed in with words from God doesn't seem a particularly unusual thing to believe.

For example, there are various non-canonical Bibles which I would guess at least some of which you don't accept that mix things you don't consider as scripture with scripture. Either non-canonical books or even things like the Book of Mormon.
 
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I'm Mormon. I've long since passed caring if that means I'm "Christian" or not, but for the sake of argument let's assume that I am.

Quote:
- Does your tradition adhere to the Aquinian understanding of the three-part division of Mosaic law? If not, what is your tradition’s view on the status of Mosaic law in modern times?
In the LDS Church there is doctrine and policy. There is a distinction between how God's people practiced religion prior to Moses, just as there is a distinction after the advent of Christ, and a distinction for modern day. The LDS view is that the Law was given to the Israelites because that's what they needed at that time and is a mixture of both doctrine and policy.

Quote:
- How does your tradition decide which Mosaic laws are still morally binding, and which are optional or even forbidden?
There is a "Gospel of Jesus Christ" which is fundamental. Practices and policies change to help meet the needs of the people to live the Gospel at any given time. Knowledge of the doctrines of the Gospel is gained or lost based on the spiritual maturity of the people. It's the duty of the prophets to clarify the distinction between policy and doctrine.

In the LDS view, the ancient Israelites often recognized that much of the Law of Moses was policy meant to meet their specific needs and was going to change in the future.

Quote:
- Does your tradition believe that Mosaic laws are still morally binding on Jews? (i.e., “Dual-Covenant Theology.”)
No and Yes.

No in the sense that it is the current prophet's obligation to delineate generally to all people what is currently required of them by God. And adherence to the policies of the Law of Moses is no longer required.

Yes in the sense that this obligation on the part of the prophet does not give him the right to demand obedience. Therefore individuals and groups have to decide for themselves what God wants them to do. And if someone feels that God wants them to live the Law of Moses, they are obligated to do so.

Quote:
- What is your tradition's views on other self-professed Christian groups who have a different understanding of Mosaic law?
That other Christian groups, the Jews, and all other religions, while often enjoying important aspects lack the "fulness" of the Gospel. Regardless they are still required to live in accordance to the light that God has given them.

Quote:
Edit: Normative Judaism holds that G-d revealed both a Written Law and an Oral Law to Moses on Sinai. My understanding is that most Christian denominations reject a divine origin of the Oral Law, believing that it was a later rabbinic invention. What is your faith tradition's beliefs about the Oral Law?
I've never heard a official statement on this subject. Having never studied it, I suspect the Oral Law was inspired by God. Officially it is not viewed as canonical, meaning it's not accepted as being generally applicable.
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Jythier wrote:
Dolphinandrew wrote:
rcbevco wrote:
So god abdicated in his role as executive editor... way to go all-powerful being!
It would be an odd religion indeed that thought that all words attributed to God were God's. That some of these non-God words might have been collected together with some real words of God at some point hardly seems out of the question.
The God you're talking about seems really piddly and unpowerful. I don't know that God.

God's up there, kickin' himself, "Man, if only I could have done something about those pesky humans messing up my word."

Basically, you don't believe in God.
Yet that is exactly the god we have, one who's only direct means of communication is a gerrymandered book.. it's almost indistinguishable from the god(s) that REALY don't exist?
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gelrod wrote:
Jythier wrote:
It's the same conversation we have every time about how certain things from the OT are not necessarily valid or in force anymore. The ignorant person says "You must have just made it up and decided for yourself which law. Look I totally know the Bible, just look, it says this here and this here and you're only following one of those because you hate gays."

Then we say, "Well, if you look at the entire book as a whole..." and give a wonderful explanation of exactly why certain things are enforced and others aren't based on the scriptures.

Then we'll have the same conversation next time because it's a talking point that certain people won't let go of despite the thorough debunking it's been given time and time again. If you only look at one verse at a time, you will be confused. If you look at the whole picture, everything fits together. Not that it'll help someone without the holy spirit.

I pretty much agree with BJ. So that I'm not branded a heretic, or filthy.
Sounds to me like you just hate gay people, Jyth.
He doesn't hate THEM, he just hates who they are.

"Hate the sin, love the sinner." /eyeroll
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Shampoo4you wrote:
gelrod wrote:
Jythier wrote:
It's the same conversation we have every time about how certain things from the OT are not necessarily valid or in force anymore. The ignorant person says "You must have just made it up and decided for yourself which law. Look I totally know the Bible, just look, it says this here and this here and you're only following one of those because you hate gays."

Then we say, "Well, if you look at the entire book as a whole..." and give a wonderful explanation of exactly why certain things are enforced and others aren't based on the scriptures.

Then we'll have the same conversation next time because it's a talking point that certain people won't let go of despite the thorough debunking it's been given time and time again. If you only look at one verse at a time, you will be confused. If you look at the whole picture, everything fits together. Not that it'll help someone without the holy spirit.

I pretty much agree with BJ. So that I'm not branded a heretic, or filthy.
Sounds to me like you just hate gay people, Jyth.
He doesn't hate THEM, he just hates who they are.

"Hate the sin, love the sinner." /eyeroll
Their chosen behaviors, not who they are.
 
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Jythier wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
gelrod wrote:
Jythier wrote:
It's the same conversation we have every time about how certain things from the OT are not necessarily valid or in force anymore. The ignorant person says "You must have just made it up and decided for yourself which law. Look I totally know the Bible, just look, it says this here and this here and you're only following one of those because you hate gays."

Then we say, "Well, if you look at the entire book as a whole..." and give a wonderful explanation of exactly why certain things are enforced and others aren't based on the scriptures.

Then we'll have the same conversation next time because it's a talking point that certain people won't let go of despite the thorough debunking it's been given time and time again. If you only look at one verse at a time, you will be confused. If you look at the whole picture, everything fits together. Not that it'll help someone without the holy spirit.

I pretty much agree with BJ. So that I'm not branded a heretic, or filthy.
Sounds to me like you just hate gay people, Jyth.
He doesn't hate THEM, he just hates who they are.

"Hate the sin, love the sinner." /eyeroll
Their chosen behaviors, not who they are.
(1) It's not chosen.

(2) How can you say your sexuality is not a part of who you are?
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gelrod wrote:
Jythier wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
gelrod wrote:
Jythier wrote:
It's the same conversation we have every time about how certain things from the OT are not necessarily valid or in force anymore. The ignorant person says "You must have just made it up and decided for yourself which law. Look I totally know the Bible, just look, it says this here and this here and you're only following one of those because you hate gays."

Then we say, "Well, if you look at the entire book as a whole..." and give a wonderful explanation of exactly why certain things are enforced and others aren't based on the scriptures.

Then we'll have the same conversation next time because it's a talking point that certain people won't let go of despite the thorough debunking it's been given time and time again. If you only look at one verse at a time, you will be confused. If you look at the whole picture, everything fits together. Not that it'll help someone without the holy spirit.

I pretty much agree with BJ. So that I'm not branded a heretic, or filthy.
Sounds to me like you just hate gay people, Jyth.
He doesn't hate THEM, he just hates who they are.

"Hate the sin, love the sinner." /eyeroll
Their chosen behaviors, not who they are.
At what point in your life did you decide that you didn't want to find comfort in the arms of another man? Was it a difficult decision or pretty easy to make? When I decided to be straight, I ran a cost benefit analysis...there were charts.
You have or will decide who you date, who you marry, who you look at, who you have sex with, who you kiss, who you touch.
 
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Jythier wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
gelrod wrote:
Jythier wrote:
It's the same conversation we have every time about how certain things from the OT are not necessarily valid or in force anymore. The ignorant person says "You must have just made it up and decided for yourself which law. Look I totally know the Bible, just look, it says this here and this here and you're only following one of those because you hate gays."

Then we say, "Well, if you look at the entire book as a whole..." and give a wonderful explanation of exactly why certain things are enforced and others aren't based on the scriptures.

Then we'll have the same conversation next time because it's a talking point that certain people won't let go of despite the thorough debunking it's been given time and time again. If you only look at one verse at a time, you will be confused. If you look at the whole picture, everything fits together. Not that it'll help someone without the holy spirit.

I pretty much agree with BJ. So that I'm not branded a heretic, or filthy.
Sounds to me like you just hate gay people, Jyth.
He doesn't hate THEM, he just hates who they are.

"Hate the sin, love the sinner." /eyeroll
Their chosen behaviors, not who they are.
That's always why I say, "Hate the faith, love the faithful." I mean, religion is a choice, right? And it's so much nicer when you put it that way! You must really enjoy hearing people say we should hate your religious beliefs, even if we love you as an individual. It's not like it's dismissive or condescending or insulting in any way...

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Jythier wrote:
gelrod wrote:
Jythier wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
gelrod wrote:
Jythier wrote:
It's the same conversation we have every time about how certain things from the OT are not necessarily valid or in force anymore. The ignorant person says "You must have just made it up and decided for yourself which law. Look I totally know the Bible, just look, it says this here and this here and you're only following one of those because you hate gays."

Then we say, "Well, if you look at the entire book as a whole..." and give a wonderful explanation of exactly why certain things are enforced and others aren't based on the scriptures.

Then we'll have the same conversation next time because it's a talking point that certain people won't let go of despite the thorough debunking it's been given time and time again. If you only look at one verse at a time, you will be confused. If you look at the whole picture, everything fits together. Not that it'll help someone without the holy spirit.

I pretty much agree with BJ. So that I'm not branded a heretic, or filthy.
Sounds to me like you just hate gay people, Jyth.
He doesn't hate THEM, he just hates who they are.

"Hate the sin, love the sinner." /eyeroll
Their chosen behaviors, not who they are.
At what point in your life did you decide that you didn't want to find comfort in the arms of another man? Was it a difficult decision or pretty easy to make? When I decided to be straight, I ran a cost benefit analysis...there were charts.
You have or will decide who you date, who you marry, who you look at, who you have sex with, who you kiss, who you touch.
So, what's a dude like? I wasn't born that way, so I wouldn't know, but I assume you've tried both to see which way you'd like to go.
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Ron Preisach
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cbazler wrote:
Jythier wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
gelrod wrote:
Jythier wrote:
It's the same conversation we have every time about how certain things from the OT are not necessarily valid or in force anymore. The ignorant person says "You must have just made it up and decided for yourself which law. Look I totally know the Bible, just look, it says this here and this here and you're only following one of those because you hate gays."

Then we say, "Well, if you look at the entire book as a whole..." and give a wonderful explanation of exactly why certain things are enforced and others aren't based on the scriptures.

Then we'll have the same conversation next time because it's a talking point that certain people won't let go of despite the thorough debunking it's been given time and time again. If you only look at one verse at a time, you will be confused. If you look at the whole picture, everything fits together. Not that it'll help someone without the holy spirit.

I pretty much agree with BJ. So that I'm not branded a heretic, or filthy.
Sounds to me like you just hate gay people, Jyth.
He doesn't hate THEM, he just hates who they are.

"Hate the sin, love the sinner." /eyeroll
Their chosen behaviors, not who they are.
That's always why I say, "Hate the faith, love the faithful." I mean, religion is a choice, right? And it's so much nicer when you put it that way! You must really enjoy hearing people say we should hate your religious beliefs, even if we love you as an individual. It's not like it's dismissive or condescending or insulting in any way...

"Hate the faith, love the faithful." That's awesome. I'm going to use that.
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