Are the ten commandments part of Moses' Law?


According to some sources like the Law of Moses was abolished with the death of Christ (Levitical Code, para 3).

When I have researched the ten commandments and the law of Moses some sites say they are the same, others say they are different.

What is the truth?

Which laws from the Old Testament were abolished by the death of Christ and which were not, if any?


The 10 Commandments are apart of the moral law, they apply to everyone in all ages. Jesus summed them up as “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” (Matthew 22:37), and “Love your neighbor the same as you love yourself” (Matthew 22:39).


The ten commandments are given in Exodus 20 1-17. God is speaking in the hearing of all Israel. Then this exchange takes place.

18 Now when all the people perceived the thunderings and the lightnings and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled; and they stood afar off, 19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will hear; but let not God speak to us, lest we die.” 20 And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to prove you, and that the fear of him may be before your eyes, that you may not sin.”

The rest of the law is given to Moses alone. This shows that the ten commandments are unique.


So everything post-ten commandments is abolished?


In verse 40 he then says:
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

What is ‘all the law and the prophets’?


Judicial and ceremonial laws have been abolished as they were fulfilled by Christ, any moral laws have not because they apply to everyone in every age since they are integral for a proper relationship between God and humanity.


You keep saying this around here, and it’s just not true!

Matthew 5:17-19 says:

So, these laws aren’t “abolished” – although not all are applicable to Christians. Yet, the Mosaic law is still God’s law for Jews. It is not abolished.

It’s a turn of phrase that means “the Jewish religion,” which is based on the Mosaic law and the revelation of God through His prophets.

Your assertion doesn’t seem to hold up to scrutiny. In Exodus 19, we read:

This happens before the passages you cite. In other words, God is telling Moses that He’s about to give the Israelites His covenant with them. And then… boom! Decalogue (along with the rest of the 613 prescriptions of the Mosaic law).

Do the Ten Commandments ‘survive’ Jesus’ ministry? Yes, but – in a sense – only trivially, because the Beatitudes re-formulates and perfects them. Yes, “thou shalt not kill” still holds, but only by virtue of the fact that even expressions of anger toward another are sinful.

The Decalogue stands – but we have a much higher standard of conduct under Jesus’ New Covenant.


One is a subset of the other.

The Law of Moses is the name of the Mosaic Covenant. The Law of Moses includes the Ten Commandments and the 613 ordinances.

Which laws from the Old Testament were abolished by the death of Christ and which were not, if any?

The Ten Commandments were not. But they were fulfilled and remain in force.

  1. Jesus Christ fulfilled all the Commandments by not committing any sin against them.
  2. Jesus Christ did not abolish them. They remain in force.
  3. Jesus Christ provided more stringent rules which are called the Law of the Spirit.
  4. If we compare the Law of the Spirit to the Law of the Commandments, we could summarize the difference as thou shalt do vs thou shalt not.

The ordinances were fulfilled and transformed.

Many of the ordinances have to do with animal sacrifices at the Temple of Jerusalem. Since the Temple no longer stands, the Jews of today can’t observe those ordinances. Ironically, they have only one sacrifice that they can offer. The Toda or Thanksgiving sacrifice. Eucharist means thanksgiving.

All the other sacrifices were transformed into the Eucharistic Sacrifice in the Mass.

All the other ordinances were also transformed. Such as the confession to a priest. It existed back then but is now the Sacrament of confession.

A complete answer to your question is beyond my realm of knowledge to respond. And far too involved to reduce to an answer box in a chat forum. It really is an entire course of study. But, I hope this little bit helps.


What causes confusion is that the term “the law” can apply to several different things depending on the exact context. There is no single right-or-wrong way to use the term, instead it has different applications and many layers.

In one sense, the phrase “the law” can refer to the first 5 books of the Bible; aka “the Pentateuch” or “the law of Moses” or “the Torah.”

Even broader than that, in a Jewish context it can also include accepted rabbinic applications of the Law of Moses known as the Talmud. The Talmud is then divided into the Mishnah (actual text of the rabbinnic law) and the Gemara (commentary on the law, often written well after the fact).

The 10 commandments (of course) are part of the Torah (the actual biblical text) but they are not seen as the entirety of the Law, instead the most important part of it, or the summary of it.

The way the term is used in the New Testament, “the law” us usually referring to the Talmud; that is, the Law in its broadest sense, including the way it was interpreted and applied, and especially according to the Pharisaic school of thinking.

Back to your question:

Briefly speaking, Christians accept the 10 Commandments as being still binding.

Purity laws (eg Kosher foods) have been abolished.

Ritual laws (eg temple worship) has been replaced by Christian ritual laws.

Social or civic laws (eg those dealing with property boundaries) have been replaced by civil laws but can still be binding in principle, especially if they express natural law (again, property boundaries is a good example)

That’s a start. Understand please that it’s a very brief one.


So, does the following from Leviticus 15 still apply?

Any bed on which she lies during such a flow becomes unclean, as it would during her menstrual period, and any article on which she sits becomes unclean just as during her menstrual period.

Anyone who touches them becomes unclean; that person shall wash his garments, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening.

When she becomes clean from her flow, she shall count seven days; after this she becomes clean.


You’re still asking the wrong question. The question, properly framed, would have to identify to whom the prescription of the Mosaic law applies. :wink:


It does not actually apply to anyone–not under the current Dispensation. There are those who choose to follow it, who consider themselves bound by it.

This can become a very sensitive topic. I am well aware of that.

At the same time though, we cannot say that such laws still “apply.” They have been replaced by the New Covenant.


To Jews. You said Mosaic law still applies to Jews.

Also, how is the quote from Scripture (Mt 5) you cited reconciled with Jews that do not following these Mosaic laws? Who is Jesus referring to when He says, “whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.”


In context, he’s talking to his “followers and disciples.” I would suggest that we do follow the Mosaic law – not as given, verbatim, to Moses, but as perfected and fulfilled by Jesus. So, Jesus modifies some of the prescriptions, and gives authority to the Church to modify them as well. But, we still follow dietary laws as pious observances (even if they differ from Mosaic dietary law), and we still follow laws that guide our behavior.)

Note one other thing, as well: Jesus isn’t telling his followers that they’ll be condemned to hell if they break Mosaic law – they’ll still be in the kingdom of heaven (even if they’re the ‘least’ there).


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