Question of the Day: Does the law of God change?

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During a discussion group yesterday, we were discussion liberalism and legalism, and finding the sweet-spot between the two to empower believers. But…

The discussion turned to the notion of God’s laws and man’s laws, regarding legalism. One position put forth was that God’s laws does not change.

The counter position was that God’s laws do change, otherwise, we should endeavor to kill adulterers, homosexuals, and unruly children (Of course, this is coming from a conservative Christian reading of Leviticus 20). But, we don’t. Further, there is the notion of the ‘New Covenant’.

So, anyway, what do you think? Has God changed laws on us from time to time? But, more importantly, how many of God’s laws have we remade as the laws of man by our interpretation?

I will not tell you my position yet…

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34 Replies to “Question of the Day: Does the law of God change?”

  1. Question of the centuries; because the two extremes have divided all religions and people for as many centuries and have resulted in many deaths and pain. We are currently in a global spiritual upheaval over this same basic question.

    I think about Jesus’ words, that he did not come to bring peace as some claimed….but instead to set person against person, father against son and vice versa…not necessarily that is what he or G-d the father wanted…but that was what was going to happen. Because we have free will and confused minds; we are still influenced by the carnal mind and habit of which the Apostle Paul speaks. Paul advises us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, he recognized our difficulties. He (I believe it was Paul) also said that even faith itself was a gift from G-d, and that we were right to pray for it.

    Faith is not the same as belief, I suppose most people will grasp this. It is written that even the devil believes and trembles…but those with faith are confident that G-d cares for them as a father, this is why Jesus came; that our hope and faith might be in G-d, the spirit which breathed life into everything….that we matter. This is the hope of the world; whose species mankind has been given (or taken) the gift-curse of the awareness of our own death, which is both mystery and dread for us. For all our lives we lived in fear of death. Jesus is spoken of in the NT as the word made flesh…this refers to the Jewish understanding of the Torah….he was the Torah made flesh…the manifestation of the true meaning of the Torah; why he said if you have seen me then you have seen G-d…the closest we will EVER come to seeing G-d in the flesh.

    I do not believe that G-d changes, I believe that WE do, both as individuals and as a society/societies.

    I believe that scripture may be inspired and yet not necessarily intended to be understood literally. This is also Jewish tradition; that not only teaches that every scripture has 3 perspectives of interpretation; but understands that G-d is the author of our intellect also. That the Talmud is the written word (notwithstanding the Christian Bible includes the NT) but that the SPOKEN word includes the Torah, which is a compilation of wisdom based upon the written Law; and learning Torah is a life long process. Wisdom HAS no end; it is as limitless as G-d himself. So the Bible tells us to think about it, talk about it, write these things upon our doors and our hearts This is why Jewish people have Mezuzah’s on their doors, and why young men are encouraged to wear tefillin.

    But Jesus struck at the heart. He said the kingdom of heaven is within us; which hints that the reverse is also true…so is hell. We are encouraged to embody this real wisdom in our hearts…go check out the Beattitudes and the fruit of the spirit, 13 Corinthians.

    The Son of Man came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. Because we are called to be more righteous than those who are circumcised and have outer signs of adherence to the commandments but have not circumcised hearts. Yet we are told that even the prophets could not keep all the written laws…how can we improve on the letter of the law?

    Knowing that there IS no simple black and white, if we had the spirit of G-d in us at all times and steering our moods and our intellect; if we had the mind of G-d and saw as he sees and acted as he would act; we would see in all circumstances the most right action. There is no justice without mercy, never was, never will be. Jesus pointed it out over and over again in his parables told in the 4 gospels. When we go back to the law and judge on outer morality while we enable ourselves to cheat in spirit; we are not living in the truth of the gospel.

    We as individuals and as the whole human society are in a process of growth. Thus the New Testament says, we were once a little lower than the angels, but eventually we will be higher than the angels.

        1. Deb,

          The question remains then – must we kill unruly children, adulterers, and homosexuals? Further, are the blood of goats and lambs required for us to be cleansed of sins?

          1. One wonders (if one is so inclined); that IF the all-knowing, infinite original Conscious spirit were to communicate somehow with it’s creation; HOW it would choose to do so and HOW it could actually convey the very basis of ethics and morality.

            Surely IF this spirit were to be too far off the mark from the expectations and convictions of the engaging society; the teaching, ie, revelation; would be so widely rejected that it would never spread within the culture and would thus for all intents and purposes be meaningless as it would have no power to change the actions of the society.

            I don’t pretend to be a scholar on any level; but the Mesopotamian religions at the time of Abraham apparently included HUMAN sacrifice which was not uncommon in the world (think Mayans, etc)…remember the request to Abraham to sacrifice his own son Isaac. And yet before he did, an angel intervened and provided a lamb.

            Abraham understood that he’d been let off the hook, didn’t he?

            So was it G-d that really needed or wanted a human sacrifice? Or was it the EXPECTATION of the human society at that time that the Most High and powerful demanded something really really important in order to favor otherwise powerless human beings?

            Was it intended to be an endorsement of human sacrifice? Or a renavigating of human expectations of what G-d wants?

            Was it simply intended to provide the theoretical basis for a later sacrifice of a human being understood to be the Messiah?

          2. WD, I’m not sure as to the line of your questioning, really. I do think that sometimes, God gives us what we want (say, like a King) even when it is against what we actually need.

          3. (I’m afraid this comment will appear out of order but I am trying to respond to Joel’s #6)

            The questioning is rhetorical…rhetorical, because I for one certainly don’t believe that G-d intended to justify human sacrifice; my understanding via my exposure to modern Jewish thought is that this was G-d’s way to make it clear that it was NOT desirable.

            (notwithstanding that there was apparently a few hundred if not a few thousand years between the time Moses wrote on the tablets to the time when this history was actually committed to a form of paper so there was already potentially a form of ‘editing’ present in the retelling; but that’s a whole ‘nother discussion)

            But in terms of how G-d teaches–or CAN teach us human beings ANYTHING….I think of something I read years ago about learning disabled children, it was specifically about Down’s syndrome children. But the point was made about all people…we LEARN, literally, by association with something we are already familiar. This teacher made the point that ANYONE can learn ANYTHING…as long as you teach AT THEIR LEVEL and at their speed of comprehension. Not everyone grasps as quickly, not everyone is equally familiar with all associations. But IF you want to teach anyone anything…you have to start at where THEY are…not where YOU are…or where you want them to be.

            So to me, I understand G-d’s communication with us from this perspective; both as we learn, individually, in our own lives…and generationally….as one can see best only in the tapestry of history and hindsight, as one reflects upon what we have learned as families, and as groups…and as each of these have in their own turn evolved in their understandings and practices.

            So…yes, I would agree that sometimes G-d gives us what we think we want rather than what we most ‘need’…but at the same time; I consider that it is entirely possible that sometimes we are at a place of relative ignorance and could not learn the necessary wisdom without the association of experience…and without that wisdom, would be unable to utilize that thing which we ‘needed’ to most effect…because ultimately, what we need MOST is wisdom, isn’t it? Which can be applied over and over again in multiple circumstances, and is not just a one time blessing. ( Thus, there is a time for all things, and, G-d has made ALL his mountains a highway.)

      1. Ah, this was the introduction to the summary in the next quote. IMO, the ‘legalism vs. liberalism’ argument is basically the argument of Christ Jesus the word made flesh; spirit having transcended law. Ie, the law of the spirit…’all things are lawful to me, but not all are expedient’…but by the literal minded, we are continually drug back to the same argument for what is essentially ‘legalism’.As Gerard intimates; the Good News of Jesus has relieved us from the strict observance of the legal ‘traditions’.

        Would you care to further expound on why you don’t believe that the apostle’s view of Jesus as the Word made flesh are at least an allegorical comparison to the Torah being the Word of G-d = Jesus in the flesh?

        1. In John’s Prologue, it isn’t his concern to draw allegorical comparisons with Torah, but to refer back to Wisdom ideas. ‘Logos’ and ‘sophia’ were two terms used for God’s Wisdom, almost becoming a personal manifestation of God (various places in intertestamental wisdom books). John begins using familiar ‘logos’ language, giving his hearers a ‘hook’ on which to hold, so that they feel they know what he’s talking about. By the time they realise he isn’t talking about wisdom as they understand it, but developing the idea in a radical new direction, they’re already into the narrative and are following. Notice that once the Prologue is done, the Logos idea never comes back.

          1. Thanks. Makes me even more curious about John himself.

            The Book of John always appealed to me the most of all the 4 gospels…I have read (not really studied) that amongst the various translations used there are several variants of the first chapter verse in particular.” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with G-d, and the Word was G-d.”

            I was raised congregationalist, as I believe was Joel. Though I have since had much more contact with other denominations, so I am really an amalgam of theology and tradition and no doubt too ecumenical for some. This particular verse stands out in my mind, in particular, I remember my mother inviting some Jehovah’s Witnesses in and finding issue with their particular translation because their scripture did not include the last phrase. So perhaps our particular tradition put more emphasis on the Word as G-d as a literal understanding than do some.

        2. Because, we understand that Logos is a spoken word, I think we miss the point, as if we understand it to be a written law, etc… Instead, I think that we find the Logos Tradition within the Wisdom Tradition, which is God’s creative attribute. There is no doubt that the story of Christ, say as told in the Gospel of Luke, is meant to be seen as a reenactment of Exodus, but to saw that Logos=Torah exclusively, is wrong. Or, it is at least in my opinion.

          1. I can certainly agree that to make Logos the exclusive equivalent to Torah, particularly if one considers the Torah as strictly the written word, is not necessarily correct.

            I confess I’m still fond of the allegorical implications, though; as well as a theological ‘link’, so to speak, between Christianity and Judaism..because…

            We all do realize that Judaism as a whole considers Christianity a cult? don’t we? based on the blasphemous belief that G-d the Most High is or could ever be a human being…this is also why Christianity is rejected by Islam;many Moslems whose understanding of our own scripture is that we teach that G-d basically carnally fornicated with a human female. Seriously.

            The blood, the water, the spirit…the thought, the word, the deed…these 3 represent the whole of a thing…in all dimensions of being…as to the Logos, spoken word of wisdom?…

            I may be misrepresenting some things about Judaism from my own ignorance…but I can tell you I learned very little about Jewish thought from church, reading from a document already a couple of thousand years old…we tend to ‘think’ we understand things and other people’s perspectives that we don’t, sometimes…I say this because I’ve been corrected…

            There is both a written AND an oral Torah tradition in Judaism and both existed at the time of Christ and both CONTINUE to exist.

            . It makes me think of how Christianity consists of both the Bible (old and new testament) AND church tradition. Some tradition is more documented than others; but it still exists; much of formal church tradition is in fact an exegis of scripture and developed in much the same manner as the Jewish oral Torah tradition.

            I would definitely argue the point, that even though my own Congregationalist church didn’t teach ‘church’ tradition as such…it definitely had and has it’s own set of traditions and it’s beginning can be traced to Campbellites, whose theological leanings can also be further traced until we get back to Martin Luther.

            The written Torah is referred to as the Tanukh, which is what we Christians think of as the Old Testament. But that is not the only Jewish Torah; the Oral Torah was originally passed down from generation to generation…at some point the Tanukh of the OT was written …the Mishnah was written after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD which was an outline of the oral Torah at that time. And there have been further writings; there is now the written Talmud…but again, there is STILL the oral tradition…and I do realize I appear to be a bit off topic here…still, I think there is something of worth to consider while we are attempting to wrap our heads around this ‘legalism versus liberalism’ discussion in which we are attempting to engage.

            BECAUSE…the oral Torah tradition of Judaism and the development of modern Christianity have been parallel in many ways in EFFECT…so much so, that we refer to Judeo-Christian heritage…despite the fact that Islam claims the same books, most fundamentalist Moslems come from a largely uneducated culture which espouses OT legalism as the answer to our modern problems…whereas both modern Judaism and Christianity; most of OUR modern ethical teachings and interpretations of Old Testament relevance to modern life are in fact, identical…even the MOST fundamentalist and literal minded of Jews and Christians don’t condone stoning people anymore…this in fact, is quite amazing to me…particularly in view of the fact that otherwise the ‘legalist’ and literal interpretions tend to be very simliar regardless of the faith in question…

      1. I would say that is at least theoretically a ‘correct’ interpretation. As Rev. Burglass says;

        Begs the question – are the laws which we have put into our scriptures really God’s laws? Or are they what folk at the time heard through their cultural filters and contexts as God’s laws? Do we really believe God legislated about mildew (Lev.13:47f)? Or about where we dig our latrines? Or eating fruit before the fifth year of a tree’s life (Lev.19:23)?

        Jesus himself included some warnings about teaching the ‘traditions’; the ‘tradition’ of his day resulted in his being put to death for blasphemy.

        Thus it is reasonable to question tradition EVEN when it is derived from what appears to be a literal scripture. Our literal and carnal mind is part of the (fallen) condition of mankind which tends to interpret within it’s own self-absorbed biases which are both self and culturally influenced.

        1. wd,

          I believe that we could agree that our fallen mind can lead to a corruption of interpretation of Scripture, and when it does, we often proclaim that interpretation as equally inspired.

  2. The Law didn’t change. Jesus fulfilled the Law. It no longer applies. You are saved by faith in Jesus, not by the Law. – Going by what Paul says in Galatians.

  3. Begs the question – are the laws which we have put into our scriptures really God’s laws? Or are they what folk at the time heard through their cultural filters and contexts as God’s laws? Do we really believe God legislated about mildew (Lev.13:47f)? Or about where we dig our latrines? Or eating fruit before the fifth year of a tree’s life (Lev.19:23)?

    God doesn’t change, neither does his will (and consequently his laws). But our understanding of him has changed a great deal, not least because of his self-revelation in Jesus, who summed up the whole of the Torah in Dt.6:4 and Lev.19:18.

  4. I have been studying for a while, about “Gods” name, and why we have been taught to only call him titles,like god and lord,all throughout the bible, and call “jesus” lord also, there are so many scriptures that tell us to call on him by name, to know his name , but we have never been taught what his name is, only god and lord, I looked up the name Baal, and you know what the meaning is? LORD,
    The son was not born Greek, he was Hebrew, so why would he be given a Greek name? and also , lots of things add up, he was not born at “Christmas” did not die on Good Friday and rise on Sunday, the sabbath is Saturday, not Sunday, I had a Methodist “minister” tell me the sabbath is on Saturday, but Sunday is the lords day, go figure…I read Isaiah 43,well most of the book of it, what Yahweh says, “jesus”says the same in the new testament…Yahweh is Yahshua,one and the same, He said when you see me ,you see the Father.. very interesting, I don’t call him Lord,and God ,I call him Abba or Yahweh,He is the creator.

  5. The Name of God is Yahweh (well, YHWH, which was most probably pronounced as Yahweh, but nobody knows for sure). Ba’al (there is a glottal consonant in the middle) literally means ‘husband’, which by implication in that culture means Lord.

    “LORD” in block capitals arises from the Hebrew belief that the Name was too sacred to be pronounced, on the grounds that if you know someone’s name it gives you a modicum of power over them, and you can’t have power over God. So whenever YHWH is written in a pointed Hebrew script, it is pointed with the vowels from ‘adonai’, giving a word which looks like ‘YeHoWaH’ (which is where the Jehovah’s Witnesses get it from – ironically for a group telling us we’ve got the name wrong, they use a name which doesn’t exist in Hebrew). The word was translated as “Kyrios” (= Lord) in the Septuagint Greek Old testament, and the tradition has continued; in most English versions, wherever you see LORD in block capitals, it renders the Divine Name in the Hebrew text. The exception is the Jerusalem Bible, which renders it as ‘Yahweh’.

    The name of Jesus was the Aramaic Yeshu’a, in Hebrew Yehoshu’a or Joshua, which was translated as Iesous in the Greek NT. Your discussion of dates is too big a subject to unpack here, but suffice to say that he was probably born in late September or October (Dec 25th serves as an ‘official birthday’, the fact he wasn’t born then really doesn’t matter); he was executed on a Friday (the day before the sabbath) and was discovered to be alive on the first day (any time from Saturday evening to Sunday sunset) Yes, Saturday is the sabbath, and Sunday is the Lord’s Day, namely the day when Christians worship because that was the day the resurrection was discovered.

    “Go figure”? None of this is new, or secret, or controversial – what’s your beef?

    And why the quotes around the Methodist ‘minister’? Was he a minister or not? What’s the issue?

  6. I noticed that you have a “Rev” before your name, why? the only one Reverend is the Father..and why are you all mad? why would anyone celebrate “christmas” for Jesus’s birthday anyway? why do you? I know ,,, it is because the world is in most churches, look for the world and you will find it in church, look for the church and you will find it in the world… I am not saying I am right, but I know that most of the stuff I hear from the pulpit is not right either.. do you celebrate Halloween?, most of the churches around here were celebrating it today… but they call it “harvest fest”… where is the harvest??? what are they teaching our children? sad, very sad… and I do think it matters about what we call the Father.. very much, just like it matters to him for us not to keep the worlds holidays…jmo.I am gonna pray for you,,, cause if you believe what you say, you are misleading your followers…

    1. Deb, I don’t think that Reverend Bugless is mad. I do think that he has a different Tradition. Further, I think that God is not so worried about how we pronounce His name, as we have no record of it being pronounced in either the Old Testament written in Hebrew or the New Testament written in Greek.

  7. Deb, why do you say the only Reverend is the Father? Do you have scriptural authority for such a statement? The only saying which comes to mind akin to what you have said is when Jesus asked the Pharisees why they called him good, because only the Father was good. Not the same thing. Reverend is an adjective which has become an honorific for clergy of most traditions. That’s all. Like sergeant or captain, it simply says something about the job I do for the Father – and it is the Father who called and sent me to do what I do.

    As to what I believe, well, what I have offered to you is historical and linguistic fact. I am a Methodist minister, and have spent nearly 40 years studying and preaching the scriptures. If you wish to contradict what I have said, please do so, but do not assume that personal insults will persuade anyone that you are right and I am wrong.

    You suggest I am mad. I don’t think so, but then I would say that, wouldn’t I? I will suggest in return that you are confused, at least in the subjects you discuss. Halloween and Harvest are not the same. My churches all held their harvest festivals weeks ago, in a tradition of thanksgiving which goes back at least as far as the time in the wilderness (see for example Deut.26:1f). Halloween is properly “All Hallows Eve” the eve of All Saints, and part of a festival of remembrance when Christians give thanks to God for those who have gone before. The current mess of trick/treating and so on has nothing whatsoever to do with the church, and none of my churches has anything to do with it.

    As to misleading my followers – I have no followers. I have congregations whom I serve, and whom I help to follow Jesus. I am happy to discuss with you the points where you think I am misinforming them, but I hope that you in return will be willing to listen to the facts which you hear, and perhaps learn a bit more about that which you assume you know better than me.

  8. “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls

    I couldn’t call him “Father,” because that is forbidden as a religious title (Matthew 23:9). I couldn’t call him “Reverend,” because I have no reason to revere him; Holy and Reverend is God’s name (Psalm 111:9). I wouldn’t call him ‘pastor,’ because Biblically, he isn’t; Biblically, a pastor (or elder) must be a married man (Titus 1:6). “Padre” is Latin for “Father,” forbidden for the same reason.
    I am sorry if I insulted you, forgive me, Harvest fest that these churches had yesterday, “Sunday, are nothing like you say.. I probably don’t know as much as you, but I believe I am finding out , and Abba did say not to believe every man, try the spirits and read his word.

  9. Deb, can I suggest you read a little more carefully? Some of your texts do not mean what you read them to mean. Ps.111:9 does not say that God is called “Holy and Reverend” – it means that the sacred name of YHWH is “holy and awesome” (that’s how the NIV translates it). As to addressing him as Father, Jesus instructed us to call God “Father” (Mt.6:9; Lk.11:2). The conversation in Mt.23 is an attack on the love of the Pharisees for titles by which they seek honour; it doesn’t mean none of those titles may not be appropriate in other contexts: so “call no-one on earth ‘Father'” surely cannot mean ‘no-one’ or you would not be able to speak to your own father! Similarly, you misinterpret Tit.1:6 – it doesn’t say that a man cannot be a pastor if he is not married, but that a pastor should be a man of only one wife.

    The Bible is a deep sea on which to sail, and the vast number of sects and heresies which have arisen because of people who think they know what it means and refuse to listen to those who’ve spent years studying it should be a warning to us to tread carefully. I am still astonished at the dogmatic assertions coming from those who have no idea of the original languages or context, but claim the insight of the Spirit as if it were a trump card. Well, if what someone thinks is the word given by the Spirit is falsifiable by the facts of text or context, I suggest what they heard wasn’t from the Spirit. As you say, we are enjoined to test the spirits, and for me that means checking it out against the evidence.

  10. wd :

    So…yes, I would agree that sometimes G-d gives us what we think we want rather than what we most ‘need’…but at the same time; I consider that it is entirely possible that sometimes we are at a place of relative ignorance and could not learn the necessary wisdom without the association of experience…and without that wisdom, would be unable to utilize that thing which we ‘needed’ to most effect…because ultimately, what we need MOST is wisdom, isn’t it? Which can be applied over and over again in multiple circumstances, and is not just a one time blessing. ( Thus, there is a time for all things, and, G-d has made ALL his mountains a highway.)

    This, WD, I would agree. God as Parent, as ultimate Wisdom (which is different than knowledge), teaches us in different ways. I would be interested to know if you have read Peter Enns’ book on the Incarnation of Scripture?

  11. wd :
    I was raised congregationalist, as I believe was Joel. Though I have since had much more contact with other denominations, so I am really an amalgam of theology and tradition and no doubt too ecumenical for some. This particular verse stands out in my mind, in particular, I remember my mother inviting some Jehovah’s Witnesses in and finding issue with their particular translation because their scripture did not include the last phrase. So perhaps our particular tradition put more emphasis on the Word as G-d as a literal understanding than do some.

    WD, I was raised Fundamentalist, with the pastor making all the decisions, etc… even who would be the next pastor. I am coming out of that, but…

    I would concur about the ‘too ecumenical’ for some, as others say the same thing about me! So, welcome!

    I’m not sure your point about the JW, but in that verse according to JW, the word is ‘a’ God which is not in the original text.

    For me, I love the Gospel of John, and especially the prologue. I might suggest reading Prov. 8, Sirach 24, and Wisdom 18 as some background to the prologue, as well as Baruch 3. While reading the Deuterocanon might be upsetting to some, I think that these ‘hidden’ books might serve us well in exploring the prologue of John.

    I am glad that you have found the blog and hope that you continue to dialogue with me, as I find your a most interesting person.

  12. wd :

    I can certainly agree that to make Logos the exclusive equivalent to Torah, particularly if one considers the Torah as strictly the written word, is not necessarily correct.

    I confess I’m still fond of the allegorical implications, though; as well as a theological ‘link’, so to speak, between Christianity and Judaism..because…

    I’m not sure that John is being what we think of as allegorical, but John is more Jewish than we might give to him, although Second Temple and a little Hellenized. Some scholarship considers John a Gentile response to a post-70 Jewish-Christianity. Not sure about that, myself, as I still see a lot of ‘Jewishness’ in John.

    We all do realize that Judaism as a whole considers Christianity a cult? don’t we? based on the blasphemous belief that G-d the Most High is or could ever be a human being…this is also why Christianity is rejected by Islam;many Moslems whose understanding of our own scripture is that we teach that G-d basically carnally fornicated with a human female. Seriously.

    True, but Christianity is one of two Judaisms which survived the destruction of the Temple. I don’t think we should just ignore them at all.

    The other comments, seem great, but I’ll have to get back to you! Today is Election Day, and I’m off! Off to the mall and to other things. Stay around WD!! Stay around!

  13. WD: “The written Torah is referred to as the Tanukh, which is what we Christians think of as the Old Testament.”

    To be more clear: ‘Torah’ is usually translated ‘Law’ and refers to the first 5 books, traditionally attributed to Moses. Interestingly, the word doesn’t actually mean ‘law’ but comes from the verb ‘yarah’ = to see, so really means something like ‘revelation’ or ‘showing’; God is revealed by understanding what he wants.

    Tanak is a made-up word, derived from TNK, the initials of Torah, Nebi’im, Kethobim = Law, Prophets, and Writings, the three sections of the Hebrew Bible. The MIshnah and Talmud are the teachings of the rabbis, codified in the decades after the fall of Jerusalem. The understanding is that teh heart of the Law is fenced about by lesser commandments, and again by rabbinic rulings. If the rabbinic rulings are obeyed, people never come into danger of breaching the major commands of the Torah.

    Of course, followers of Jesus have taken a different line. Paul argues that we are saved by faith, not by obedience to the Law. Jesus himself said that the whole Law was summed up in the 2 most important commandments – Dt.6:4 and Lev.19:18. The problem is that we are more comfortable following rules than reaching out and giving ourselves in love. That’s when faith becomes religion, and religion becomes legalism. Not what Jesus wants.

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