Jesus and the old law


Jesus said, “I did not come to change the law but to fulfill it.” Why then did He change the law about eating pork and ‘an eye for an eye’.


He fulfilled the entire law of the Torah, what the Jewish religion follows; we can now eat animals that were once declared impure. The morals, not the ceremonies, were reiterated. The Ten Commandments were certainly brought over and are still used by all orthodox (little “O”) Christians, Jews, and Samaritans (though the latter have a different set entirely).


…it does seems like that’s exactly what He did… but when we look deeper into it we are granted the Fullness of Faith: “thou shall/thou shall not” are all Commandments about Love: Love the Yahweh God with all of your heart, mind, might and your neighbor as yourself… when Jesus Calls them not to commit adultery and not to get divorced He quashes their disgruntlement by stating that in the “Beginning it was not so…”

Tenets that served to keep the Hebrew people healthy and from committing themselves to unrighteousness did not dissolve God’s Original Plan–Love.

Eating pork (I love pork chops) in a time when little was known (medically and scientifically) could raze a whole community out of existence if infectious elements were introduced in their food (today’s scientific discoveries have found out that miss piggy is not only very close genetically to us but, when standing on her hind-legs, her internal composition is similar to man’s–swine infectious deceases could easily transfer to human.

…as time progressed, cooking habits and basic knowledge would render the prohibitions of the past as unnecessary.

Maran atha!



I find that answer insufficient. Couldn’t God have just made pigs safer to eat? I think there was some bigger reason.

As far as the OP goes, that’s something I’ve never understood. I’m sure it’s in the Catechism :shrug:


The Law is found in Christ. He did not do away with religion, He just perfected it. The Church IS Israel.


Spot on re food and other hygiene rules in every part of society. Remember that this was a physically mobile population which means stricter rules re food etc. I can still remem ber when pork was potentially dangerous and had to be very well cooked. And shellfish are notorious for food poisoning


While some Fundamentalist Christians teach that Jesus and the apostle Paul made such changes, the Catholic Church and most of Christianity does not. It finds no support in Scripture or the history of the Church.

First, the Mosaic Law is addressed only to the children of Abraham, the nation of Israel. The Roman Catholic Church acknowledges that the Law covenant has never been abrogated. The Vatican document, “The Gifts and Calling of God Are Irrevocable,” released in 2015, explains:

“The first Christians were Jews; as a matter of course they gathered as part of the community in the Synagogue, they observed the dietary laws, the Sabbath and the requirement of circumcision, while at the same time confessing Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah sent by God for the salvation of Israel and the entire human race…In the early years of the Church, therefore, there were the so-called Jewish Christians and the Gentile Christians, the ecclesia ex circumcisione and the ecclesia ex gentibus, one Church originating from Judaism, the other from the Gentiles, who however together constituted the one and only Church of Jesus Christ.”

With this the Scriptures agree. At Acts 21:17-26 Paul, in association with the other Apostles, demonstrated publicly that his instruction in his ministry to the Gentiles (teaching Gentile Christians that they were not obligated to follow the Law) did not apply to Jewish Christians. For Jewish Christians, the New Covenant in Christ connected to the Mosaic Law covenant as its fulfillment, not replacement. This included dietary laws which Jewish Christians kept.

Mark 7:19 states that Jesus “declared all foods clean,” and while for Gentiles this text has been used to teach that Christians are not obligated to keep kosher, its direct meaning in Scripture is often misapplied by non-Hebrew Christians. The context of Mark 7:1-23 is actually a discussion surrounding the Pharisee claim that eating kosher was not enough for Jews. These particular Pharisees claimed that if your hands were somehow “defiled” by touching something declared as “unclean,” then eating kosher food with unwashed hands made a Jew ceremonially unclean for service to God. Such “uncleanness” would prevent a Jew from reading Scripture from the lectern at synagogue or walking into the Temple to offer an animal sacrifice.

Jesus, on the other hand, viewed this as illogical. If Jews were already satisfying kosher laws in their food preparations, eating with unwashed hands did not defile a Jew from serving God. Christ taught that things like greed, envy, malice, adultery and similar “evil thoughts” we’re what defiled people, not unwashed hands. What a Jew ate did not change their morality for the good or bad. While the Pharisees claimed that kosher food eaten with unwashed hands caused moral defilement, Jesus “declared all foods clean,” including kosher food eaten with so-called “defiled” hands.

In further evidence that this originally referred to the kosher foods that Jews ate, when God gave a vision to Peter after the Passion, Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord, a vision that included demands that Peter slaughter and eat non-kosher animals, St. Peter replied: “Certainly not, sir. For never have I eaten anything profane or unclean.” (Acts 10:9-16) While it turned out God was not really asking Peter to eat non-kosher food but was speaking about allowing Gentiles into the fold, Peter’s response is telling. Even after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Jewish Christians like St. Peter never interpreted Jesus’ teachings as claiming that the Law with its dietary requirements was to be abandoned by Jewish Christians.

As for the text at Matthew 5:38-39 where some interpret Jesus to be declaring that the Law’s demands of justice are to be replaced, this is not so. Just prior to this statement, Jesus makes a preface as recorded in verses 17-19, that his words should not be taken as teaching against the Mosaic Law. In verse 20 he states that his following statements on the Law were to differentiate Jewish Christians from interpreting the Law as the “scribes and Pharisees” did, a manner which was inefficient to effect true righteousness.

When in verses 38 and 39, Jesus makes reference to “an eye for an eye,” he is stating that this law does not teach retaliation, as if when someone does something bad to you that the Law was clearing a path for you to respond in kind. On the contrary, Jesus taught that this law was speaking about balancing the scales of justice. When it came to being wronged, however, this law could not be validly applied. Those who taught that this Law taught retaliation were wrong, and Jesus was merely offering the correct interpretation in its place.


…I was merely offering an example of what was missing in the days when the tenets of the Law were manifested.

Certainly I know very little of God’s Intentions and Revelations; yet, I seek to understand Him through what is Revealed and made known to us both through the Word of God (Oral and Written) and through nature.

…interestingly enough, Jesus, when speaking about food, did not single out miss piggy; He simply stated the fact that nourishment intake does not make a man impure since the natural process selects the nutritional elements and discards the waste materials; but, that which comes out of man’s mouth does have the potential to make him impure since what comes out of man comes from his reserves (mind/heart) if goodness then goodness or if evil (unrighteousness) evil–a tree is known by its fruit.

…while “an eye for an eye” was meant as a deterrent–knowing that the pain we cause can be inflicted upon us, most people would think twice before committing themselves to harm others. This of course is hidden in the Law of Love: Love Yahweh God above all and your neighbor as yourself (we cannot Love God while hating ourselves or others); consider St. Paul’s declaration:

6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:6, 13)

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:4-13)

…while I respect your opinion, I think that asking for God to do such and so would be tantamount to ‘why didn’t Jesus employ some of those hundreds (if not thousands) of scribes to create a “How and When to Manual for the Church of Christ;” wouldn’t that have avoided all the confusion, misunderstandings, and contradiction that goes on Christendom (needless to say, and the world at large)?’

Maran atha!



It would take at least a book size answer to explain how Jesus fulfilled the law.
Jesus came to fulfill the Scriptures, how did He do that. Paul says in
1Co 15:3-4 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures,

If we just look at one of the passage you quote from:
Mat 5:15-18 Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. 17 "Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. 18 For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.

Satan had a bushel put on Jesus head, the crown of thorns, a basket that held the bread of Life, but was not able to hide the Light of the World. Unleavened bread and wine was required to accompany all Temple sacrifices, Jesus the High Priest brought Himself. The cross was the Tree of Life and Jesus the fruit on that tree. Jesus’ cross was the lampstand that held Jesus the lamp fulfilling the scriptures. The lamp stand in the tabernacle had 6 branches, 3 on the right and 3 on the left and one straight up. Jesus’ cross had one branch to each side and a thief on the right had a cross shaped like a capital ‘T’ So there were 3 branches on Jesus’ right and 3 on His left and one straight up. Jesus said the eye is the lamp of the body (Mat 6:22; Luk 11:34) so between Jesus and the two thieves there were 6 eyes or lamps for the lamp stand. From 9AM until noon Fri Apr 3 A.D. 33 the day star (Jesus’ star 2Pe 1:19 & Rev 22:16) was over head so like the one in the tabernacle. I can explain pure gold, almonds, etc. if you need me to.

Exo 25:31-35 "And you shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The base and the shaft of the lampstand shall be made of hammered work; its cups, its capitals, and its flowers shall be of one piece with it; 32 and there shall be six branches going out of its sides, three branches of the lampstand out of one side of it and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side of it; 33 three cups made like almonds, each with capital and flower, on one branch, and three cups made like almonds, each with capital and flower, on the other branch–so for the six branches going out of the lampstand; 34 and on the lampstand itself four cups made like almonds, with their capitals and flowers, 35 and a capital of one piece with it under each pair of the six branches going out from the lampstand. And you shall set the table outside the veil, and the lampstand on the south side of the tabernacle opposite the table; and you shall put the table on the north side.

In the law, an eye for an eye has not been abrogated, it was the most sever penalty that could be imposed as a judicial punishment. One could not impose that penalty oneself.
Grace and peace,


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