Theological problem: Old laws and Jesus

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by Sim, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. Sim

    Sim Registered Member

    Maybe someone here who is Christian can answer me a question I've been wondering about for a while now.

    There are quite a few laws written in the OT which we don't respect anymore, even fundamentalist Christians do not follow them anymore. For example, stoning people to death. Here a few specific examples:

    Mose 5th Book/Deuteronomium 21, 10-14: When you go to war and defeat your enemy, your soldiers may choose daughters of the defeated enemy and marry them.

    Or Mose 5th Book/Deuteronomium 22, 22-29: When a woman is raped within a city, she has to be stoned to death, because when nobody heard her crying for help, that obviously means she wanted it and thus it was adultery.

    I think we all, even Christians here, will agree that such laws are cruel and we don't respect them anymore today. But why is that?

    My first explanation would be to say "well, it's OT, but then came Jesus and the old law was changed".

    But now I find a problem: In Matthew 5, 17-20, Jesus explicitly says that he has not come to change the old law, but that the old law has to be respected and "not a single letter" will be changed of the old law.

    Can someone versed on theology help me out?

  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Registered Member

    Matt 5:17-18

    "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

    For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled."

    Verse 17, Jesus says that he comes to fulfill. Then in verse 18 he says that "one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled."

    So according to that verse, Jesus is saying that he is the fulfillment of that law.

    Gal 3:13

    "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.')."
    Sim likes this.
  3. Sim

    Sim Registered Member

    Thanks, Steerpike.

    But I am afraid I still do not fully understand. So Jesus has fulfilled the law. Does that mean that no laws at all from the OT are valid?

    What about the Ten Commandments?

    And what exactly does it mean that Jesus "fulfilled" the law?
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Registered Member

    Matt 22:37-40

    "Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind'

    This is the first and great commandment.

    And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

    On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

    According to the Bible, Jesus has, by his crucifixion, fulfilled the requirement that blood be shed for sin.

    Heb 9:22

    "And according to the law almost all things are purged with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no remission."
  5. Sim

    Sim Registered Member

    Ok. So does that mean the OT laws are all no longer necessary? Why are so many OT books then still part of the Christian Bible?

    Does that mean that when you are Christian, all you need is the NT -- and the OT is just a nice documentation of Jewish history, with no spiritual importance for Christians?

    I'm sorry if my questions appear naive to you. I know very few about theology and would like to know more and understand it better.
  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Registered Member

    Rom 6:14

    "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace."

    There are some possible reasons:

    1. The idea of fulfillment would mean continuity.
    2. They are believed to be "inspired" and therefore canon.

    The first Christians were Jews.

    It is not relevant. That is like saying you don't know about "Doctor Who," theology like "Doctor Who" is fiction. :lol:

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