Old Testament laws


#1

The Jewish people do not eat pork. Our Lord never mentioned that we Catholics can eat pork. Where do I look this up or would you please tell me what the position is? I love pork and always eat it, but my husband is Jewish.


#2

The dietary laws of the OT are no longer binding on us because they were fulfilled by Christ's redemptive act on the cross, which fulfilled all the requirements of the Law.

We still observe and uphold the Ten Commandments, however because they comprise the basic moral law that God instilled in the human heart, which he reinforced by giving them to Moses. This is known as the "natural law" that we all must keep no matter what belief system we were brought up in or hold because they are universal to all human beings.


#3

Acts chtp. 15 is about the Council of Jerusalem, where the Church determined that Gentile converts need not follow the Law of Moses.

Acts 15

*5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”

6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”*

I would also read Paul's Epistles. Most of them have at least a little explanation about how we are made right by our Faith in Christ, not by obedience to the Law of Moses, which brings only death. Paul's Letter to the Romans is the most complete theological summary. His letter to the Galatians hits on the same topic, and is more readable, IMO.


#4

There is also Mark 7:14-23:

14 And he called the people to him again, and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 there is nothing outside a man which by going into him can defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him.”[g] 17 And when he had entered the house, and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters, not his heart but his stomach, and so passes on?”h 20 And he said, “What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man.”


#5

Some OT laws were part of the moral law, such as the call not to kill, others were types of NT things, like the sacrifice of the Lamb pointing to Christ. See also: Why We Are Not Bound by Everything in the Old Law from apologist Jim Blackburn.


#6

In the New Testament, Acts of the Apostles 10:16, Peter had a dream where he saw a sheet with all the animals in it that were being given to us. He was told to kill and eat. He said he would not eat pork, since it was against his faith. Again, it was repeated to him to kill and eat. It was said that what God has declared clean, we have no right to declare unclean.

See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter's_vision_of_a_sheet_with_animals


#7

[quote="Felicite, post:1, topic:337746"]
The Jewish people do not eat pork. Our Lord never mentioned that we Catholics can eat pork. Where do I look this up or would you please tell me what the position is? I love pork and always eat it, but my husband is Jewish.

[/quote]

From the Jewish perspective, Torah Law in its entirety, including the kosher laws, is not binding on non-Jews. Only the Seven Laws of Noah are binding.


#8

From Wiki:

The seven laws listed by the Tosefta and the Talmud are:%between%

[LIST=1]
*]The prohibition of Idolatry.
*]The prohibition of Murder.
*]The prohibition of Theft.
*]The prohibition of Sexual immorality.
*]The prohibition of Blasphemy.
*]The prohibition of eating flesh taken from an animal while it is still alive.
*]The requirement of maintaining courts to provide legal recourse.
[/LIST]


#9

[quote="meltzerboy, post:7, topic:337746"]
From the Jewish perspective, Torah Law in its entirety, including the kosher laws, is not binding on non-Jews. Only the Seven Laws of Noah are binding.

[/quote]

The Noahide laws are binding on non-Jews? By what authority?


#10

[quote="Jozefo, post:9, topic:337746"]
The Noahide laws are binding on non-Jews? By what authority?

[/quote]

By the authority of Jewish Oral Law or Mishnah.


#11

Didn’t God ask the Children of Israel for consent to govern them in Exodus 19? Sseing this example, how then can someone who is not Jewish be bound to the Noahide laws, since their consent may not have been granted?

[Edit] – For reference: Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:


#12

[quote="Jozefo, post:11, topic:337746"]
Didn't God ask the Children of Israel for consent to govern them in Exodus 19? Sseing this example, how then can someone who is not Jewish be bound to the Noahide laws, since their consent may not have been granted?

[Edit] -- For reference: Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

[/quote]

G-d governs over and loves all people, not just the Jewish people. The consent of the Jewish people was necessary for, while obedience to the Torah Law is "sweet as honey," it is nonetheless a tremendous responsibility not to be taken lightly. But G-d's moral law, which the Noahide laws encompass, is non-negotiable for anyone.


#13

Thank you for the answer, but now I ask again, by what authority? I need something more concrete. Is there a Scripture or something where a law or set of laws were made non-negotiable?


#14

On doing some research into the Noahide laws, I find that in Judaism, gentiles who adhere to these laws are considered righteous, and assured a place in the World to Come.

That seems different than all gentiles being bound to those laws. But I'm interested in anyone's input about this, because I think the concept of consenting to be governed is a radical one these days, and almost completely foreign to the average person.


#15

The Mishneh Torah, or Jewish Oral Law compiled in the Talmud, has as its basis the understanding that we are all descendants of the family of Noah after the flood. Noah was instructed in the Hebrew Bible not to eat the flesh of living animals and to establish a court of law. Further, the other Noachide Laws derive from the Talmudic interpretation of passages from Genesis, in which G-d makes clear what He expects of mankind in terms of morality: that is, prohibitions against murder, theft, idolatry, blasphemy, and sexual immorality.


#16

[quote="meltzerboy, post:15, topic:337746"]
The Mishneh Torah, or Jewish Oral Law compiled in the Talmud, has as its basis the understanding that we are all descendants of the family of Noah after the flood. Noah was instructed in the Hebrew Bible not to eat the flesh of living animals and to establish a court of law. Further, the other Noachide Laws derive from the Talmudic interpretation of passages from Genesis, in which G-d makes clear what He expects of mankind in terms of morality: that is, prohibitions against murder, theft, idolatry, blasphemy, and sexual immorality.

[/quote]

Yes, I was doing some research and found the same thing. But I would assert they apply only to the people Of God during their time in the world. The reason this interests me is that in every case I'm aware, God asks for consent from his people to govern them. Even in the aftermath of the flood, God offers a covenant to Noah and his descendants.

Now it's true that he is the Soverign Creator, and by virtue of that authority he has the power to control his creation. Yet in his mercy and grace, he sees fit to honor our free will consent.

Yet another point for your side is, if Noah and the others were the only survivors in the entire world after the flood, it would follow that the covenant ran with his progeny (Gen 9:9), which necessarily would mean all people everywhere at all times after Noah.


#17

But at the same time, I believe that if a Catholic chose to abide by the Old Testament laws, as a way to be closer to God and/or his family, that there is nothing wrong with that. I recall that in Acts, it was decided by Peter through the Holy Spirit, that the gentiles did not have to abide by the old laws. But at the same time there was nothing saying that the Jewish Christians had to give them up.


#18

[quote="Frankenfurter, post:17, topic:337746"]
But at the same time, I believe that if a Catholic chose to abide by the Old Testament laws, as a way to be closer to God and/or his family, that there is nothing wrong with that. I recall that in Acts, it was decided by Peter through the Holy Spirit, that the gentiles did not have to abide by the old laws. But at the same time there was nothing saying that the Jewish Christians had to give them up.

[/quote]

Agreed. You know, there are at least 5 iterations of covenants in the OT, so it's interesting how the old covenants mesh with the new covenant.

[Edit] -- I love how God respects and loves his people. He always asks consent. If only men would do the same thing. Then there would be no war, or poverty, or other crimes against humanity.


#19

From Romans and Galatians in particular, it is clear that the Old Law is not binding on anyone because it only pointed forward to Christ.

But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:23-26)

[quote="Frankenfurter, post:17, topic:337746"]
But at the same time, I believe that if a Catholic chose to abide by the Old Testament laws, as a way to be closer to God and/or his family, that there is nothing wrong with that. I recall that in Acts, it was decided by Peter through the Holy Spirit, that the gentiles did not have to abide by the old laws. But at the same time there was nothing saying that the Jewish Christians had to give them up.

[/quote]

It is the opinion of St. Thomas (which should not be dismissed lightly), that observing the ceremonial laws is a mortal sin. At the very least, I think it is a slap in the face to God to live as if Christ never came. By observing the old laws, you are outwardly professing faith in a Christ yet to come while Jesus Christ already came and gave up his life for you.

On the contrary, The Apostle says (Galatians 5:2): "If you be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing." But nothing save mortal sin hinders us from receiving Christ's fruit. Therefore since Christ's Passion it is a mortal sin to be circumcised, or to observe the other legal ceremonies.

I answer that, All ceremonies are professions of faith, in which the interior worship of God consists. Now man can make profession of his inward faith, by deeds as well as by words: and in either profession, if he make a false declaration, he sins mortally. Now, though our faith in Christ is the same as that of the fathers of old; yet, since they came before Christ, whereas we come after Him, the same faith is expressed in different words, by us and by them. For by them was it said: "Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son," where the verbs are in the future tense: whereas we express the same by means of verbs in the past tense, and say that she "conceived and bore." In like manner the ceremonies of the Old Law betokened Christ as having yet to be born and to suffer: whereas our sacraments signify Him as already born and having suffered. Consequently, just as it would be a mortal sin now for anyone, in making a profession of faith, to say that Christ is yet to be born, which the fathers of old said devoutly and truthfully; so too it would be a mortal sin now to observe those ceremonies which the fathers of old fulfilled with devotion and fidelity. Such is the teaching Augustine (Contra Faust. xix, 16), who says: "It is no longer promised that He shall be born, shall suffer and rise again, truths of which their sacraments were a kind of image: but it is declared that He is already born, has suffered and risen again; of which our sacraments, in which Christians share, are the actual representation."
newadvent.org/summa/2103.htm#article4


#20

It seems that Christianity interprets the Law in the Hebrew Bible as pointing toward the future Messiah, or Son of G-d, as the source of salvation for humanity. Judaism, on the other hand, does not regard the Messiah as the equivalent of G-d and, just as significant, does not focus on the Law as a means to an end, that is, the coming of the Messiah. Rather, it focuses on following the Law per se as an end in that the Law teaches us how to love G-d and our neighbor. This, I think, is the crux of the distinction between Christianity and Judaism, apart from their specific doctrinal differences.


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