How should we read the "Law" books of the Bible?


#1

Namely Deuteronomy and Leviticus.

Do they reflect flawless moral teaching or should they be read in a historical/cultural context of an imperfect, human society?

When Jesus speaks about divorce in the New Testament, he refers to Moses as having permitted divorce “out of the people’s hardness of heart”. This seems to say that the Law books should not be read as reflecting unchangeable moral theology. In fact I can’t see any other conceivable explanation. As a rabbi Jesus is quite plainly countermanding Moses (in itself incredibly gusty for the audience of 1st century Palestine) and saying that his judgement wasn’t good enough, and instead appealed to a further back source, hence Jesus’ remark concerning divorce, “In the beginning it was not such…”
The Law were tenants established through Moses & co., who were devout but fallible men (similar to how the Catholic Church doesn’t follow all of St Augustine’s ideas, even while nonetheless revering him for his contributions as a 4th century thinker).

??

Can anybody refer me to a good nihil obstat book that treats this subject?


#2

The Church teaches that believers are obliged to obey the Ten Commandments.


#3

For Orthodox Jews, the Torah Law is the inspired Word of G-d. It was penned by Moses but only through the divine inspiration of G-d, and hence it is infallible teaching. Nonetheless, certain portions of it–the more complex ones–are open to diverse interpretation, while other parts have a more literal interpretation. This may not be how Catholics should read the Law, but it is how Jews should read the Law.


#4

:thumbsup: Good for Jews and Catholics alike. The inerrant Word of God, albeit subject to intrepretation that is consistent with the rest of scripture (God won’t/can’t contravene himself).

Blessings,

Brian


#5

… then people can be divorced and remarried, or have more than one wife.

Not so. The Old Testament errors on the side of liberalism.

Jesus says that the permission from Moses was done out of people’s hardness of heart.


#6

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