Matthew 5:18 - How are we not still bound by the Mosaic Law?


#21

Is there any evidence that the Jews are no longer bound by the old Law within the context of the new Christian dispensation?


#22

Are you talking about Jews who accept Christ, or Jews who – having not accepted Christianity – continue to practice their faith under the Mosaic Law?

That is, when you say “within the context”, what are you referring to as being within that context – the Mosaic Law, or Jewish Christians?


#23

Jewish Christians being still bound by mosaic law… that’s what I’m wondering about


#24

OK. Then, your answer is ‘no’ – there’s no evidence that they’re no longer bound, since there cannot be any evidence: Christ Himself said that the Law will not pass away. Therefore, they’re still bound by it.


#25

Don’t Christians believe that Jesus, through his death, fulfilled the Law for all people?


#26

Yes, He showed that it can be done, and promises to empower us to do the same as we turn and follow Him. To put it another way, we love because He first loved us-and love fulfills the Law. The New Covenant is about change, wrought by grace, as we enter communion with God and remain in Him.


#27

This is a very wise post and I appreciate your making it more than you know.

-Tim-


#28

There is no such thing as a Jewish Christian. You either accept Jesus as the risen Son of God and are Christian or you believe the Messiah is yet to come and are Jewish.

Jews are bound by the Law of Moses. Christians are bound by the Law of Love which contains the whole Law of Moses.

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

-Tim-


#29

In the phrase ‘Jewish Christian’, the adjective ‘Jewish’ describes one’s ethnic and/or religious background. If there’s “no such thing as a Jewish Christian,” then why do they show up so prominently in the Acts of the Apostles and in Paul’s epistles (in which the distinction between a ‘Jewish’ and ‘Gentile’ believer often prominently occurs)?


#30

You are talking about the Church in the first few decades after the ascension. That isn’t what this thread is about. This thread is about the Mosaic Law in relation to Christians today and the post I was responding to said exactly “Jewish Christians today”.

**(I hope meltzerboy steps in and adds or corrects as needed.) **

You are correct about Jewish vs Gentile Christians in the early Church however. It is a matter of historical fact that there was a clear nexus of temple Judaism and Christianity in the early Church. This is something extremely interesting to me and something many Christians today don’t realize - they think that the first century “Jewish Christians” simply gave up Judaism and started having Mass. Nothing could be further from the truth as is clearly shown in Acts of the Apostles.

The Temple stood for 37 years after the Ascension - Paul offered sacrifice at the temple and took the vow of a Nazarite after his conversion, Peter the Pope preached and healed at the temple and the disciples went there daily. These were in fact Jews who believed that Jesus was the Messiah. They continued to practice temple Judaism. They were practicing Jews.

The problem arises when Gentiles believe in Jesus. This brought up all kinds of questions and much contention about how much of the Mosaic Law applied to Gentiles. The Council of Jerusalem was brilliant in this regard.

Temple Judaism went away with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD and Judaism started to become the rabbinic Judaism that we know today.

The Fiscus Judaicus or Temple Tax imposed on the Jews after the Jewish revolt and destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD further separated Judaism and Christianity. An argument arose over whether Christians were a sect of Judaism and therefor subject to the tax or whether they were a separate religion in their own right and exempt. Even “Jewish Christians” started to claim that they were not Jews to avoid the tax. The tax money was used to support the pagan temple of Jupiter and was abhorrent.

The rest, as they say, is history. Judaism and Christianity became two separate religions and the development of these is fascinating to me. What this thread is about however, is the application of the Mosaic Law to Christians today. Clearly the first century “Jewish Christians” thought that the law applied to them but Temple Judaism is long gone and the there is a wide separation between Christianity and the Rabbinical Judaism we know today.

-Tim-


#31

The Council of Florence said that “it does not deny that from Christ’s passion until the promulgation of the Gospel they could have been retained, provided they were in no way believed to be necessary for salvation. But it asserts that after the promulgation of the gospel they cannot be observed without loss of eternal salvation… Therefore it strictly orders all who glory in the name of Christian, not to practise circumcision either before or after baptism, since whether or not they place their hope in it, it cannot possibly be observed without loss of eternal salvation.”

This is not only saying that the Jews are not bound by the law, but that they cannot follow all of that law even as a tradition. I found this really surprising today.


#32

What I find surprising relative to all of this is that the Church apparently believed that the Jews thought practicing the Law was somehow linked to eternal salvation. It was not then and it is not now. Judaism and Jews have always focused on the Law as a means to leading a better, more sanctified life here on earth, just as G-d commanded them to do. The Law has little to do with the afterlife.


#33

Many take this quote wildly out of context. It is not condemning medical circumcision but religious circumcision.

The council of Florence dealt with the reunification of several Eastern groups with the Western Church. The Papal Bull from which the quote as taken dealt specifically with the Jacobites from Egypt who had questions about observing the Old Law as a matter of salvation. The Old Law as a matter of salvation is the entire context of the Papal Bull. It has zero to do with medical circumcision.

Circumcision wasn’t even done for medical or sanitary reasons until the 1800’s.

-Tim-


#34

I’m trying to read this very carefully. The Council asserted “that after the promulgation of the gospel they cannot be observed without loss of eternal salvation. Therefore it denounces ALL who after that time observe circumcision, the sabbath AND other legal prescriptions as strangers to the faith of Christ and unable to share in eternal salvation, unless they recoil at some time from these errors. Therefore it strictly orders ALL who glory in the name of Christian, not to practise circumcision either before or after baptism, since whether or not they place their hope in it, it cannot possibly be observed without loss of eternal salvation.”

The last sentence could be disciplinary, but it does show that the Church does not believe the Jews must follow the law, and in fact She believes that no Jews are allowed to follow the Old Law in its entirety. Interesting


#35

As you carefully consider this papal bull, keep this in mind: councils do not exist in a vacuum. They are called to address a specific issue which is present in a particular place and time. Not only do they have context, they have a particular audience; they’re not generally addressed to all peoples, but are instead addressed to a particular person or group of people.

In this case, they’re addressed to certain Christians. Not to Jews, but only to Christians who are coming into union with the Latin Rite Church as a result of this council. This is made particularly obvious in the following sentence (emphasis mine): “Whoever, after the passion, places his hope in the legal prescriptions and submits himself to them as necessary for salvation and as if faith in Christ without them could not save, sins mortally.”

Do you see it now? This is addressed to believers in Christ. (However, it’s addressed to Christians who think that salvation is not possible without adherence to the prescriptions of the Mosaic Law.) These Christians, then, are in error, and it is the error of these Christians that is being addressed. Not a general statement to non-Christians – but rather, only a correction for Christians.

The last sentence could be disciplinary, but it does show that the Church does not believe the Jews must follow the law and in fact She believes that no Jews are allowed to follow the Old Law in its entirety.

No; it’s not addressed to Jews.


#36

Well, of course the early church was quite Jewish after all. And what’s the purpose of “leading a better, more sanctified life here on earth”? What’s the real purpose of Deut chap 30?

In any case, one of the very things Jesus came to reveal or clarify is just what that innate hope in the human heart is really all about, what the desire for the promised land or utopianism, etc, is really oriented towards in the end. Any realization of such earthly pursuits would only be temporary anyway, of course, since death is a specter that looms at arms length for us all until we inevitably meet it face to face. What good, really, is the promised land for myself and my posterity? Is an earthly improvement all God would want for us-or for His chosen people for that matter? Is that really all humanity is striving for? What’s Messiah’s true purpose? Just what are the obstacles to peace and happiness that need to be overcome? Are they strictly outside of the human being-or can they be internal? Does an afterlife even exist?


#37

“[We do] not deny that from Christ’s passion until the promulgation of the Gospel they could have been retained, provided they were in no way believed to be necessary for salvation. But it asserts that after the promulgation of the gospel they cannot be observed without loss of eternal salvation. **Therefore **it denounces **all **who after that time observe circumcision, the Sabbath and other legal prescriptions as strangers to the faith of Christ and unable to share in eternal salvation, unless they recoil at some time from these errors. Therefore it strictly orders all who glory in the name of Christian, not to practise circumcision either before or after baptism, since whether or not they place their hope in it, it cannot possibly be observed without loss of eternal salvation.”

It *seems *to be a big stretch to say this doesn’t apply to Jews, but I’ve come to believe there can be exceptions to many rules. I don’t see why the mosaic Law could not be followed by ANYONE as they choose, as part of their religious practice, as long as it is not believe that they are Sacraments per se. PERHAPS Florence was speaking of discipline it believed had been in force since the time of the promulgation of the gospel and which it was renewing. Read whole paragraph again with that thought in mind, and the thought the this discipline even does not apply to Jews:

“[The Holy Roman Church] firmly believes, professes and teaches that the legal prescriptions of the Old Testament or the Mosaic law, which are divided into ceremonies, holy sacrifices and sacraments, because they were instituted to signify something in the future, although they were adequate for the divine cult of that age, once our Lord Jesus Christ who was signified by them had come, came to an end and the sacraments of the new Testament had their beginning. Whoever, after the Passion, places his hope in the legal prescriptions and submits himself to them as necessary for salvation and as if faith in Christ without them could not save, sins mortally. It does not deny that from Christ’s passion until the promulgation of the Gospel they could have been retained, provided they were in no way believed to be necessary for salvation. But it asserts that after the promulgation of the gospel they cannot be observed without loss of eternal salvation. Therefore it **denounces **all who after that time observe circumcision, the [Jewish] sabbath and other legal prescriptions as strangers to the faith of Christ and unable to share in eternal salvation, unless they recoil at some time from these errors. Therefore it strictly orders all who glory in the name of Christian, not to practice circumcision either before or after baptism, since whether or not they place their hope in it, it cannot possibly be observed without loss of eternal salvation.”

The last sentence merely singled out the circumcision discipline.

I think this new interpretation is valid.


#38

Actually, it seems quite the stretch to assert that it does apply to Jews! As the introduction to the bull which you’ve been quoting states, “it has come about that nearly the whole of the east that adores the glorious name of Christ and no small part of the north, after prolonged discord with the holy Roman church, have come together in the same bond of faith and love” – in other words, the audience for this bull are Christians of various lands (not all people, and not Jews).

PERHAPS Florence was speaking of discipline it believed had been in force since the time of the promulgation of the gospel and which it was renewing.

Yes – but with respect to Christians, not non-believers.

Read whole paragraph again with that thought in mind, and the thought the this discipline even does not apply to Jews:

“Whoever, after the Passion, places his hope in the legal prescriptions and submits himself to them as necessary for salvation and as if faith in Christ without them could not save, sins mortally.”

Again, this is addressed to Christians – that is, to those who should believe that “faith in Christ” saves, and for whom a belief that “as if faith in Christ without [prescriptions of the Mosaic law] could not save” would be a mortal sin! It would not be a mortal sin for a non-believer!

But it asserts that after the promulgation of the gospel they cannot be observed without loss of eternal salvation.

Notice that the bull is talking about a loss of salvation. Jews, who are unbaptized, could not lose the salvation that baptism promises.

Therefore it **denounces **… Therefore it strictly orders all who glory in the name of Christian

Jews do not “glory in the name of Christian.” They are not the target audience of this bull.

I think this new interpretation is valid.

I disagree; the language of this bull, over and again, makes it clear that the intended audience is the Christian faithful. :shrug:


#39

Oh I thought your position was that Jewish Christians still needed to follow the Mosaic law


#40

Jews need to follow the Mosaic law. Jews who become Christians are still held to the Law’s dietary prescriptions, given the statements of the Acts of the Apostles. Their children, on the other hand… are only ethnic Jews, right? No need to follow the Mosaic law, other than in its fulfillment in the New Covenant. :wink:


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