Radical Differences Between The Torah And Jesus' New Covenant?


Could someone explain to me why there’s such a radical difference in the way Moses was commanded to do things from our Lord, And Jesus’ new Covenant?

Matthew 5:18 “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”

I need help in defending my belief (After reading Matthew 5:17-20) when someone questions me on all of the following laws that require me to kill someone and use it to compare Christianity to radical Muslims.

Below is a list of sins that the Mosaic Laws demands the death penalty.

Sexual Acts:

  • Having homosexual intercourse between men (Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13)
  • Committing adultery between a man and a woman (Leviticus 20:10-12)
  • Lying about virginity(Deuteronomy 22:20-21)
  • Being one of the majority of women that don’t bleed when losing your virginity (Deuteronomy 22:20-21)
  • Being the daughter of a priest and practicing prostitution (Leviticus 21:9)
  • Raping an engaged female virgin (Deuteronomy 22:25)
  • If an engaged female virgin, being raped in a city (Deuteronomy 22:23-27)
  • Being male and practicing bestiality (Leviticus 20:15)
  • Being female and practicing bestiality (Leviticus 20:16)
  • Having sex with your father’s wife (Leviticus 20:20)
  • Having sex with your daughter-in-law (Leviticus 20:30)
  • Having incestual sex (Leviticus 20:17)
  • Marrying a woman and her daughter(Leviticus 20:14)
  • Having sex with a woman who is menstruating (Leviticus 20:18)

Food and Drink:

  • Consuming blood (Genesis 9:4), Leviticus 17:10
  • Eating a cheeseburger or anything that mixes meat and dairy (Exodus 23:19)
  • Sacrificing anything with yeast or honey (Leviticus 2:11)
  • Eating leavened bread (bread with yeast) during the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Exodus 12:15)
  • Eating fat (Leviticus 3:17)
  • Eating pork (Leviticus 11:7-8)
  • Waiting too long before consuming sacrifices (Leviticus 19:5-8)
  • Eating aquatic creatures lacking fins or scales (Deuteronomy 14:9-10)
  • Eating any meat not killed according to the kosher practice (Deuteronomy 12:21)
  • Eating peace offerings while ritually unclean (Leviticus 7:20)


  • Being a male who is not circumcised. (Genesis 17:14)
  • Trying to convert people to another religion (Deuteronomy 13:1-11, Deuteronomy 18:20)
  • Worshiping idols (Exodus 22:20, Leviticus 20:1-5, Deuteronomy 17:2-7)
  • Practicing magic (Exodus 22:18)
  • Blaspheming (Leviticus 24:14-16, 23)
  • Breaking the Sabbath (Exodus 31:14, Numbers 15:32-36)
  • Consulting a psychic or spiritualist (Leviticus 19:31)
  • Being a psychic, medium or spiritualist (Leviticus 20:27)
  • Being a town that believes in another, non-YHWH god (Deuteronomy 13:12-15)
  • Giving one of your descendants to Molech (Leviticus 20:2)
  • Not being a priest and going near the tabernacle when it is being moved (Numbers 1:51)
  • Being a false prophet (Deuteronomy 13:5, Deuteronomy 18:20, Zechariah 13:2-3)
  • Performing any work on the Sabbath (Exodus 20:10)
  • Going to the temple in an unclean state (Numbers 19:13)
  • Engaging in ritual animal sacrifices other than at the temple (Leviticus 17:1-9)
  • Manufacturing anointing oil (Exodus 30:33)

Violent and Legal Crimes:

  • Murdering a slave (Exodus 21:26-27)
  • Kidnapping and selling a man (Exodus 21:16)
  • Perjuring yourself (in certain cases) (Deuteronomy 19:15-21)[19]
  • Ignoring the judgement of a judge or a priest (Deuteronomy 17:8-13)
  • Not constraining a known dangerous bull, if the bull subsequently kills a man or a woman (Exodus 21:29)


  • Striking your parents (Exodus 21:15)
  • Cursing your parents (Exodus 21:17, Leviticus 20:9)
  • Being a stubborn, rebellious, profligate, and drunkard son (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)

Daily Life:

  • Planting more than one kind of seed in a field (Leviticus 19:19)
  • Wearing clothing woven of more than one kind of cloth (Leviticus 19:19)
  • Cutting the hair on the sides of your head or clipping of the edges of your beard (Leviticus 19:27)
  • Touching the dead carcass of a pig (Deuteronomy 14:8)
  • Dressing across gender lines (Deuteronomy 22:5)

Things That Don’t Go Anywhere Else:

  • Living in a city that failed to surrender to the Israelites. (Deuteronomy 20:12-14)

Thanks in advance for your help.

People and societies evolve and grow more merciful over time…more capable of mercy at least.

The Old Testament law was actually pretty merciful in comparison to other societies at the time. So compare it with other ancient cultures. The seeds of due process are found in the Old Testament law. Something very foreign to the world at the time.

As society grew Jesus (God) came and revealed a way for us to grow and change more. He is God and he can change things. Society was ready and able to hear and understand the message in a way they couldn’t a few thousand years earlier.

In Christianity, it is believed that Jesus, through His sacrificial death and resurrection, ultimately fulfilled the requirements of the Mosaic Law (Torah), particularly those that involve legalistic rituals such as dietary regulations and the details regarding rest on the Sabbath, among others. However, the broader moral precepts of the Law, including prohibitions against murder, theft, adultery, and so on, remain very much “on the books,” so to speak. These are the very and only commandments (statements) that Jews regard Christians as being responsible for upholding according to the Seven Laws of Noah. However, the Christian, that is, Catholic teaching is that the Mosaic Law, as a whole, is one in a progressive series of revelations to the Jewish people, and thus serves as a provisional means of regulating people’s moral behavior until the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) takes place by the Messiah (Jesus), and the Law can then be superseded by the New Covenant in the form of the Gospels and the creation of the Sacraments by the Church.

It should be noted that the ancient Jewish death penalty by means of stoning had a very high threshold. For example, in order to receive the death penalty for committing adultery, there had to be at least two reliable eyewitnesses (I believe in Islam that number is increased) to the act. Further, Judaism does not so neatly differentiate between legalistic commandments and moral ones since it is thought that the Law forms an integral body of moral behavior, including those features that are not completely understood in terms of their rationale. Finally, it is believed, according to mainstream Judaism (as well as Nazarene Jews who accept Jesus as the Messiah but not His divinity), that when the Messiah arrives, the Law will NOT be fulfilled in him but, on the contrary, it will be observed to an even greater extent and with renewed intensity. The latter is how Judaism interprets the New Covenant.

It may help you too to study why the Jews (even the orthodox Jews) do not put people to death for these things anymore either (hint it’s a similar reason to my post above)

Jon S and Meltzerboy,

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions. Your insight is extremely helpful to me.

I have a strong Orthodox view on Christianity and Judaism.

After more research I see morally why the Jewish people abolished capital and corporal punishments. Because the Jewish society, the Sanhedrin, became less and less pitiful, merciful, and more brutal and barbaric not upholding all the requirements in the Torah
that make it almost impossible to find someone guilty and requiring death penalty. After all, this is the same law the Jews skewed to find Jesus guilty of blasphemy. And convenience the Romans of a sociopolitical charge to get their capital punishment.

We have to remember that Jesus said that until heaven and earth pass away the law will exist.

So to me it seems more like a reformation from the original law. And I feel that this reformation has taken away the seriousness of sin, and the attitude that it doesn’t matter
what Christians do that they will be forgiven. So ultimately it leads to Sunday Christians who don’t live by God’s will and uphold his law.

I feel unsatisfied with the answer that society changes so the rules change, it’s a similar view that brought on the Protestant reformations. I strongly disagree that we can just change the rules because we don’t agree with them or they don’t fit in todays world.

Thank you. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.

We cannot change any rules!

But can’t the creator of the rules change them? He made them…and you…and everything…why can’t he change them.

That said, the moral rules haven’t changed, the temporal/civil punishments for them have and that is a HUGE difference.

The eternal consequence of sin is still damnation. The civil law concerning morality has changed some for the better some for the worst, and the overall degree of punishment has changed to a more grace filled society.

If someone accused you of adultery and brought a witness 3000 years ago you would have been stoned to death. What if you were innocent? What if they just didn’t like you.

Jesus brought a fulfillment of the law, he made it better, more gracious and called us to show mercy and forgiveness far more.

Thank you again!

I guess the hardest part for me, is separating the moral commandments given on Mount Sinai, and the civil law. Both were given by God to moses. So to me they are both God’s law.

But after google’n around and some scripture reading I’ve gotten my answer. And you helped me as well.

Galatians 5 clears it up for me.

“2Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. 4You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. 6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”

Thank you. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.


Don’t forget-- Jesus provided something to the Church He established that the Jews did not have- the authority to forgive sins.

The Jews never had authority to forgive sin. Only God has that, not sure if that’s really what you meant. :shrug:

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