Am I subject to Mosaic law?


This is a sincere question. I am a Catholic. My wife and I were both brought into the Church Easter before last, so I’m not baiting, or anything like that. I’ve been reflecting a lot on Peter and Paul, and their ministries in the beginning. Paul said that Gentiles need only follow certain parts of Mosaic law. My parents were Gentiles. They were not Jews, yet, when I was born, for some reason they had me circumcised, though they were Lutheran, and I was raised Lutheran. Circumcision is a sign of the covenant of the family of Abraham with God. This question is probably silly, and I’m sorry if it is, but I really don’t know after all my bible study so far. Am I a Jewish Christian since I was circumcised, or a Gentile Christian since that is how I was raised? Am I subject to the full spectrum of Mosaic law? Should I eat Kosher, etc.? NOT IN LIEU of my Christianity, but as a PART OF it? Nothing could budge my hard fought Catholicism. That’s not what I’m asking. It is my understanding that the standards of conduct are stricter for Jewish Christians, than for Gentile Christians. How much importance and identity with circumcision is recognized by the Church? Why do Christian parents have their children circumcised? I did this with my son when he was a baby as well. I don’t remember even being asked about it by the doctor? I didn’t even think of it at the time.

I identify and strongly respect our Jewish brothers and sisters. The first Christians were Jews. If a Jewish person converts to Christianity, I’m not so sure it’s a conversion, but rather just finally coming to understand the rest of the story. More of an awakening. The Jews still hold a firm place with God, in spite of the failure of many sects, (most of the existing ones, in fact), to recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah. To be a good Christian, we must at least acknowledge our deeply Jewish heritage.

Again, I apologize if this is too fundamental and naive of a question. I will keep searching the scriptures. I know we’re responsible for what we come to know as the truth. I want to do the right thing.

Yours in Christ,



No you are not Jewish. You are allowed to get circumcised for hygienic reasons.

The prohibition of circumcision in the New Testament is regarding those who thought salvation was a points game (Judaizers), they do all these good works and God must pay them, their heart was not with God (see Matthew 6:1-6 and Luke 11:39).


This sounds totally foreign to me. If you are a Latin Rite Catholic, you are governed by Divine Law, and the Code of Canon Law (1983 CIC). [If from an Eastern Catholic Rite, you follow the Code of canons of Oriental Churches (CCEO)]. There is no “standard” for “Jewish” Christians as distinct from “Gentile” Christians. As I understand it, canon law makes no such distinction.

See more here:

** Are Hebrew Catholics in line with the Church?**


See also:
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Moral Aspect of Divine Law

The Divine Law of the Old Testament, or the Mosaic Law, is commonly divided into civil, ceremonial, and moral precepts. The civil legislation regulated the relations of the people of God among themselves and with their neighbours; the ceremonial regulated matters of religion and the worship of God; the moral was a Divine code of ethics… In the Old Testament [the moral precepts are] contained for the most part and summed up in the Decalogue (Exodus 20:2-17; Leviticus 19:3, 11-18; Deuteronomy 5:1-33)… all the precepts of the Decalogue are also precepts of the natural law, which can be gathered by reason from nature herself.

It is my understanding that with regard to the Mosaic Law, only the moral precepts remain binding upon Christians.


St. Ignatius of Antioch

Also called Theophorus (ho Theophoros); born in Syria, around the year 50; died at Rome between 98 and 117.

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians

Be not deceived with strange doctrines, nor with old fables, which are unprofitable. For if we still live according to the Jewish law, we acknowledge that we have not received grace. For the divinest prophets lived according to Christ Jesus. On this account also they were persecuted, being inspired by His grace to fully convince the unbelieving that there is one God, who has manifested Himself by Jesus Christ His Son, who is His eternal Word, not proceeding forth from silence, and who in all things pleased Him that sent Him. If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s Day, on which also our life has sprung up again by Him and by His death—whom some deny, by which mystery we have obtained faith, and therefore endure, that we may be found the disciples of Jesus Christ, our only Master—how shall we be able to live apart from Him, whose disciples the prophets themselves in the Spirit did wait for Him as their Teacher? And therefore He whom they rightly waited for, having come, raised them from the dead. Let us not, therefore, be insensible to His kindness. For were He to reward us according to our works, we should cease to be. Therefore, having become His disciples, let us learn to live according to the principles of Christianity. For whosoever is called by any other name besides this, is not of God. Lay aside, therefore, the evil, the old, the sour leaven, and be changed into the new leaven, which is Jesus Christ. Be salted in Him, lest any one among you should be corrupted, since by your savour you shall be convicted. It is absurd to profess Christ Jesus, and to Judaize. For Christianity did not embrace Judaism, but Judaism Christianity, that so every tongue which believes might be gathered together to God.

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