Oral Law


#21

It may be because you have a skewed standard. You are not looking for the right ways they implemented, so all you can find is fault. Paul was a Pharisee all his life, so obviously it is possible to be a faithful teacher.

This is not a good example, because they were putting forth Law that they had been given by Moses, which was their duty. They were at fault in wanting to accuse Jesus, because they already knew of his tendency toward mercy. Jesus showed a new and better way, but it is not fair to find them at fault for following what was given before that. Their fault was not accepting His new teaching.

This example just doesn’t make any sense to me. This passage is not about casting out devils, but an accusation that Jesus is of the Devil, because he casts them out. In this matter, their fault is not in any teaching or lack thereof, but that did not believe that He was from the Father.

This has nothing to do with teaching the law either. The Jews were strictly told not to associate with sinners. Christians are told the same thing! They did not understand and accept Jesus’ missionary purpose, but that has nothing to do with teaching wrong things about the Law.

This is not a good example of wrong teaching either. They are asking a perfectly good question. Fasting is a spiritual discipline, and although there are some fasts prescribed by the law of Moses, those are not the ones they are asking about, but about the customary practices of the day. Also, Jesus did not tell them not to fast, He just indicated they would fast later.

This is not wrong teaching about the Law of Moses either. They did not recognize that Jesus was God, or that He was the Messiah. According the the Law of Moses, it was wrong for people to venerate someone as they were at the time. You can fault them for not recognizing the Christ, but this is absolutely right teaching from the Law of Moses.

It seems that you are grasping at straws to find fault withthe Pharisees, possibly so that you can support your erroneous premise that Catholics take after the Pharisees. You have very little foundation at all, even to criticize the Pharisees!


#22

Um, not all Pharisees were bad!

Pharasaic Judaism was the “good” brand of Judaism in its day.


#23

No, they are not. As I pointed out in another post, Paul continued to practice as a Pharisee all his life. I also pointed out where most of your examples of “wrong teaching” are really not. You are having some sort of prejudice against the Pharisees, possibly because you plan to transfer this to Catholics?

This is a false statement. In fact, He did the opposite. About tithing He said “this you should have done, without neglecting the other” reinforcing that it was a right practice, but that they did not practice it properly.

I cannot answer this without a clearer understanding of what you mean by “oral law”. I don’t think you are separating out the Sacred Tradition from the customs. In that sense, YOU are making the same mistake the Pharisees made!


#24

There are a lot of commonalities in the things that Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for. They failed to act charitably. The elevated themselves in pride. They were tyrants instead of leaders. For example, there is nothing wrong with fasting. Yet if one fast only to be glorified among one’s peers, you are commiting a sin of pride instead prayer. It is honorable to give to God, but not if you fake it to avoid familial responsibilities.

One could definitely be a good Pharisee and instead of using the Law for loopholes to charity, use it to practice charity.


#25

True, there are some rare examples given of good Pharisees, such as Nicodemus and Gamaliel. However, they were exceptions to the rule.

This is not a good example, because they were putting forth Law that they had been given by Moses, which was their duty. They were at fault in wanting to accuse Jesus, because they already knew of his tendency toward mercy. Jesus showed a new and better way, but it is not fair to find them at fault for following what was given before that. Their fault was not accepting His new teaching.

Yet even in the Old Testament it was commanded that others show mercy and emphasized that none were good but God. The conclusions were there to be drawn that we don’t have the right to punish others by the Old Testament Law unless we ourselves are sinless. David was commended highly by God for doing just that, being merciful to his enemies like Saul, even when they were seeking to kill him.

This example just doesn’t make any sense to me. This passage is not about casting out devils, but an accusation that Jesus is of the Devil, because he casts them out. In this matter, their fault is not in any teaching or lack thereof, but that did not believe that He was from the Father.

But the fault in the teaching is claiming that the Devil would use his power to cast out his own servants. That is why Jesus points out that a kingdom divided against itself can’t stand, and if Satan casts out his own servants how then can he be served?

This has nothing to do with teaching the law either. The Jews were strictly told not to associate with sinners. Christians are told the same thing! They did not understand and accept Jesus’ missionary purpose, but that has nothing to do with teaching wrong things about the Law.

The Pharisees taught that those walking in sin should be shunned. Jesus showed that all are guilty before God and it is those who acknowledge their sins and cry out for mercy that are the closest to salvation. Those who exalt themselves will be brought low, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Furthermore, Jesus showed the teaching of the Pharisees was wrong, for they taught that those of greatest value were the ones walking uprightly; religiously. But Jesus said those who are forgiven most, love most.

Luke 7:40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.

Paul said this was why, though he had persecuted the church of God, that he ended up laboring more than all the other apostles… He had been forgiven the most, and thus ended up becoming the greatest of the apostles (2 Cor. 12:11,.Mt. 23:11-12), though yet the least as well.

1 Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Paul served the most because he loved the most, and as Jesus said, it is service that would determine which of the apostles would be greatest.

This is not a good example of wrong teaching either. They are asking a perfectly good question. Fasting is a spiritual discipline, and although there are some fasts prescribed by the law of Moses, those are not the ones they are asking about, but about the customary practices of the day. Also, Jesus did not tell them not to fast, He just indicated they would fast later.

To the Pharisees, fasting was a ritualistic action done simply to be a good person. Jesus revealed here, as elsewhere, that it is the heart action that matters. It was alright for the disciples not to fast because it would not have been right for their hearts to do so. As Jesus said, the “Bridegroom” was with them at the moment. While their Master was present, how could they be sorrowful?

Fasting is done out of grief. Different actions are appropriate depending on the state of ones heart, which is why it is written:

James 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

What matters is not the external actions. What matters is what comes from the heart. For God sees not as men see, for man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).


#26

But that was not the premise of your arguement. You were comparing CAtholic practice to pharisaic practice, then you charged the Pharisees of failing to teach Moses accurately. You then gave a number of irrelevant examples to bolster your point.

True, however, that was not the charge either. Your charge was that they did not teach the Law of Moses accurately. In fact, many of the writings about mercy are not in the first 5 books of the Torah.

I agree, but this passage is not a good example that the Pharisees were not teaching the Law of Moses. They may be misunderstanding the economy of exorcism, but that isn’t part of the Law of Moses either.

True, but again, this was not your charge. They are guilty for failing to accept what Jesus showed them, but that is a different charge than failing to properly teach the Law of Moses. In fact, Moses exactly directed them to shun those walking in sin, put them out of the camp, or stone them.

No, the Pharisees were not teaching this. If you think they were, then please show where. They practiced this, and that is why Jesus told the people:

Matt 23:1-7
23:1 Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples, 2** "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; 3 so practice and observe whatever they tell you**, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. 4 They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger. 5 They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, 6 and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, 7 and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men.

You have charged that Jesus said otherwise, and held all of what they taught in contempt, which He did not.

Good for Paul! But it doesn’t mean that the Pharisees were not teaching the Law of Moses. It shows they failed to embrace Jesus’ superior Law of Love.

Again you are giving evidence to support charges other than what you made. The Pharisees taught and practiced the fasts decreed in the Law of Moses.

Perhaps you erroneously think that I am trying to justify the Pharisees. I am not. I am just saying you have charged them undjustly, and brought inaccurate evidence to support your erroneous charge. That does not excuse their wrongdoing, it just means their wrong is not what you accused.


#27

This post was taken from a thread where it was off topic,but seemed more appropriate to this thread.

I don’t think the failure of people to live according to what they are taught invalidates the teaching. I am sure that Paul gave them plenty of OT references as well, about how to live moral lives. If your premise is true, then Judas’ betrayal of Jesus invalidates His whole earthly ministry!


#28

Odd that you condemn the Pharisees and yet proclaim a canon of the OT that they affirmed, while rejecting the one that the Lord Himself used and the one that the early church spent about 350 years collecting and prayerfully examining and discussing to give us what we have today.

:hmmm:


#29

Then what about all the glaring errors in doctrine that start with Sola Scriptura and then cascade down from it? What about the different and deficient gospel that has evolved from their teaching of it?

BTW… there is no oral law…there is only oral traditions which in almost every case have been written down and preserved.

As usual, I will point out that those who ask for documentation need only get and carefully read and study the Catechism of the Catholic Church while checking carefully the footnotes throughout to see all the documentation of both scripture and tradition that they could ever want.

Most won’t bother…


#30

I don’t think I compared, so much as asked why adopt a tradition that was first adopted by those most criticized by Jesus? And the Pharisees did not teach accurately, I still think there should be little dispute there.

True, however, that was not the charge either. Your charge was that they did not teach the Law of Moses accurately. In fact, many of the writings about mercy are not in the first 5 books of the Torah.

They did not teach the Law accurately, or they would not have been called “blind guides”:

Matthew 23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

As for mercy though, the Law was not meant to justify anyone, but to condemn all. Righteousness did not come through the Law (Galatians 2:21), and the Pharisees thus in not teaching mercy were wrong in teaching that righteousness came through the Law.

I agree, but this passage is not a good example that the Pharisees were not teaching the Law of Moses. They may be misunderstanding the economy of exorcism, but that isn’t part of the Law of Moses either.

I hadn’t been focusing solely on how they taught the Law of Moses, but on their teaching in general. I presented that passage because it showed their wrong teaching in general.

True, but again, this was not your charge. They are guilty for failing to accept what Jesus showed them, but that is a different charge than failing to properly teach the Law of Moses. In fact, Moses exactly directed them to shun those walking in sin, put them out of the camp, or stone them.

Again however, in doing so they mis-taught the whole reason for the Law existing in the first place:

Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

The Law was given to stop the mouths of everyone, so everyone could see their guilt. It thus was meant to be our schoolmaster in bringing us to Christ by first making us aware of our need for repentance and salvation.

In teaching we could punish others according to the Law, that righteousness came by the Law, and that mercy is unnecessary, the Pharisees thus mis-taught not just the Law but the entire reason for its existence!

No, the Pharisees were not teaching this. If you think they were, then please show where. They practiced this, and that is why Jesus told the people:

Matt 23:1-7
23:1 Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; 3 so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. 4 They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger. 5 They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, 6 and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, 7 and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men.

You have charged that Jesus said otherwise, and held all of what they taught in contempt, which He did not.

Matthew 9:10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Matthew 11:19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

Luke 7:39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.

Luke 15:1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.
2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.


#31

Good for Paul! But it doesn’t mean that the Pharisees were not teaching the Law of Moses. It shows they failed to embrace Jesus’ superior Law of Love.

But since all the Law is fulfilled through love, the Pharisees thus were mis-teaching how to obey all of it:

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Matthew 22:35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Perhaps you erroneously think that I am trying to justify the Pharisees. I am not. I am just saying you have charged them undjustly, and brought inaccurate evidence to support your erroneous charge. That does not excuse their wrongdoing, it just means their wrong is not what you accused.

I think you are trying to claim their teaching, or else teaching about the Law, was right. It was not. Not only did they mis-teach specific parts of the Law but the broad scope of the Law: why it was given, what the whole purpose of it was, and how to fulfill it (love, which they neither taught nor practiced).


#32

I don’t dispute that the Pharisees did not teach accruately. I dispute that Catholics got the tradition from them, instead of from Jesus. He also taught HIs apostles to teach using the Sacred Tradition.

Yes, but to blame them for something that was not revealed until later is not fair. Their wrong was to close their ears to Jesus, so that they could not get their understanding enlightened.

So, your premise is that Catholics are wrong in general, because we use Sacred Tradition, and so did the Pharisess, and they were wrong teachers in general?

They taught what they received, and were faithful to it.

I agree that they missed the boat, and they should have come to Christ. But to say they were not teaching the Law of Moses as it had been handed down is wrong.

And when Jesus tried to enlighten them, they refused. They are culpable for that. But He also instructed everyone to “do as they say, because they sit in the seat of Moses”.

They were told to shun such people, just as Christians are.


#33

Alright then, let me put it this way: “Don’t you think it odd that Jesus would choose to have truth passed down in the same way that accounted for the Pharisee’s abuse of authority?”

The Pharisees used the Oral Law they claimed had been passed down from Moses to effectively sit in Moses’ seat, making up their own versions of the Law which then got refuted by Jesus as un-Scriptural.

So, your premise is that Catholics are wrong in general, because we use Sacred Tradition, and so did the Pharisess, and they were wrong teachers in general?

Not what I said. I simply asked why it would occur that way, and questioned why it would happen. I never presented any such conclusion, but simply questioned the logic of both groups having Oral Laws.

They taught what they received, and were faithful to it.

Moses gave them the Law, but none of them kept it.

John 7:19 Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?

Acts 7:53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.

Jesus said Moses himself accused the Pharisees since the Pharisees did not believe Moses, or they would have believed Jesus. They did not even believe the writings of Moses, so how could they believe the words of Jesus?

John 5:45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.
46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

The Pharisees “omitted the weightier matters of the Law”:

Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

And when Jesus tried to enlighten them, they refused. They are culpable for that. But He also instructed everyone to “do as they say, because they sit in the seat of Moses”.

The people were commanded to obey not because the Pharisees were right in their teachings, but because they were the leaders of the people, as I addressed in posts 6, 7, 9 and 12.


#34

Never heard of this. Where did you get this from?


#35

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