Why some verses are 'valid' and some 'invalid'?


#1

Example:

This is considered invalid for nowadays....
** Leviticus 11, 4:** There are some that only chew the cud or only have a divided hoof, but you must not eat them. The camel, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is ceremonially unclean for you.

This is considered valid for nowadays....
Leviticus 19,31]: Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.

To some people this 'selection' of valid or invalid moral statements sounds that the Church plays a 'game'... just like other Christians selects their verses to form their beliefs like the Jehovas with the blood issue (also in Leviticus) and the protestants with the forbidding of statues/icons/'idols'.

How to defend our faith in this situation?


#2

Many texts. like the ones you cite for Leviticus, were part of the Law given to the Jews in the Old Testament and consisted of different types of ordinances: moral, sacrificial and ritual purity regulations. Only moral laws are permanent; the other two ceased to be valid when the Old Testament sacrificial system was terminated at Calvary when Jesus offered the once and for all sacrifice, and when the Jewish temple in Jerusalem was destryed in AD 70 by the Romans under Titus.

Generally speaking, we can only know which of those categories a certain law falls under by determining the following things about it, in this order:

  1. What Scripture itself says about it. For moral laws, especially, if the law is reinforced by natural law or the new Testament.

  2. What later, extra-biblical, tradition says about it.

  3. Whether there was some other practical or reason for it at the time.

  4. Whether it might have been prescribed as a guard against what the surrounding pagan tribes are doing.

  5. Whether it was installed because there was some other general existing religious, sexual, or community taboo against it.

To determine these, especially the last three, historians, anthropologists, etc., look at evidence from that time, including possible evidence from pagan cultures from around the same time. For example: the prohibition against tattooing may have come about about because it is well know that pagan cultures around the same time as the Israelites tattooed their bodies for religious reasons connected to some cult or another. God wanted to make sure the Israelites did not imitate them in this practice.


#3

This is considered invalid for nowadays....
Leviticus 11, 4: There are some that only chew the cud or only have a divided hoof, but you must not eat them. The camel, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is ceremonially unclean for you.

Read in the Acts of the apostles of St.Peter's vision for the answer to this one.


#4

The old Testament laws were fulfilled by Jesus Christ's death on the cross. The dietary laws you gave as an example were specifically overturned in the New Testament Acts of the Apostles, where Saint Peter had a vision of the risen Christ telling him that all meats were good to eat.


#5

[quote="Fidelis, post:2, topic:313592"]
Many texts. like the ones you cite for Leviticus, were part of the Law given to the Jews in the Old Testament and consisted of different types of ordinances: moral, sacrificial and ritual purity regulations. Only moral laws are permanent; the other two ceased to be valid when the Old Testament sacrificial system was terminated at Calvary when Jesus offered the once and for all sacrifice, and when the Jewish temple in Jerusalem was destryed in AD 70 by the Romans under Titus.

Generally speaking, we can only know which of those categories a certain law falls under by determining the following things about it, in this order:

  1. What Scripture itself says about it. For moral laws, especially, if the law is reinforced by natural law or the new Testament.

  2. What later, extra-biblical, tradition says about it.

  3. Whether there was some other practical or reason for it at the time.

  4. Whether it might have been prescribed as a guard against what the surrounding pagan tribes are doing.

  5. Whether it was installed because there was some other general existing religious, sexual, or community taboo against it.

To determine these, especially the last three, historians, anthropologists, etc., look at evidence from that time, including possible evidence from pagan cultures from around the same time. For example: the prohibition against tattooing may have come about about because it is well know that pagan cultures around the same time as the Israelites tattooed their bodies for religious reasons connected to some cult or another. God wanted to make sure the Israelites did not imitate them in this practice.

[/quote]

Thanks. I was reading this thread and really liked your advice. I need to keep it in mind myself.


#6

[quote="JillianRose, post:5, topic:313592"]
Thanks. I was reading this thread and really liked your advice. I need to keep it in mind myself.

[/quote]

You're welcome, JillianRose. :)


#7

All scripture is valid. Each has its time and place. Do you consider the prophecy in Is 7:14 about a virgin with son to be invalid? No it has been fulfilled but not made invalid.

St. Paul says that if we were baptized into Christ we also died with him and we are now dead to the law. Most scholars take the law to mean the Mosaic law. St. Paul says that the law was unable to save us because we transgressed it. Therefore, all the law did was point out our sins but it couldn't save us from those sins. It is only Jesus that can save us from our sins since he died as a ransom to take away those sins. The blood of bulls and goats under the old covenant was never enough to redeem someone from their sins against God. It is only an eternal person who could pay for an eternal offense. And, as Fr. Mitch Pacwa says to offend God is an eternal offense because God is eternal.

Having been baptized into Christ we died to the law so that we are no longer under law but now under the Spirit of Christ. This means that the Mosaic laws under the old covenant including even the 10 commandments are no longer binding on Christians, because these were under the old covenant which no longer applies to someone who has been 'buried with Christ'.

Now, someone might ask then why do we keep the 10 commandments if we are no longer under law? The catechism states that we do not keep the 10 commandments because they were given by Moses but because they are consistent with God's Eternal law. In other words, God's moral laws can never be abolished. Thus, we don't keep the 10 commandments because they are part of the old covenant, but rather because they are part of the new covenant because they are eternal laws. Jesus himself on the sermon on the mount validates the moral commandments and sums them up in the phrase to love the Lord your God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. In other words, for instance, the ban on killing your neighbor can never be changed regardless of what covenant you happen to be living under because it is a moral law that a God of love and mercy consistently requires in his people. Just because your sins are forgiven in Christ Jesus doesn't mean you can go kill someone.

But, there are other laws, commonly called 'ceremonial' laws like circumcision and eating pork that are not moral in nature and are therefore not eternal and therefore not binding on Christians who have 'died with Christ'. This is why for instance Christians don't practice circumcision or can eat pork. Or why we don't practice the Sabbath on Saturday for instance because which day and how it was practiced was all part of the ceremonial law system of the old covenant. The spirit of having a day of rest and honoring God is practiced by the Church on Sunday. It is not a moral issue on which day you take your day of rest. Sunday became the day of rest for Christians because that is the day Jesus rose from the dead.


#8

Has the Catholic Church ever commented on or had an opinion or teaching on the verses in the bible that prohibit tatoos?

Did the Old Testament law prohibit them only for hygenic reasons or were there spiritual reasons for their prohibition?


#9

[quote="Jerry-Jet, post:8, topic:313592"]
Has the Catholic Church ever commented on or had an opinion or teaching on the verses in the bible that prohibit tatoos?

[/quote]

No.

[quote="Jerry-Jet, post:8, topic:313592"]

Did the Old Testament law prohibit them only for hygenic reasons or were there spiritual reasons for their prohibition?

[/quote]

The OT is silent on the reason for the prohibition. There are a number of valid reasons why they could have been prohibited, but they are all speculative.


#10

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