Can someone explain Mosaic Law please??

by Super_Becka 20 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • jwfacts

    Moses is credited with giving over 600 laws to the Jews. Paul explains that it was impossible to keep them all, so they showed to way to Jesus, that we can not be saved by works, but only by Faith in Jesus sacrifice.
    This is where JWs fall down, they draw constantly on the Mosaic Law to set modern day rule, despite the New Testament being clear that salvation does not come from adherence to law. That is why Christians often refer to JWs as an Old Testament Religion.

  • Wasanelder Once
    Wasanelder Once

    Moses go up mountain. Jehovah give him tablets. Moses come down mountain, Israel eventually says, Ok, we'll do what you say Moses you speak for God. Your law is his, we will do, we will do. Then they didn't because nobody can. Jesus came and said, OK, no more law, new one. All is forgiven if you give your sould to the Watchtower Society. Oops, thats the law of futility. Ok, nevermind.
  • Oroborus21

    Hi Super B:

    A lot of responses so far but I think I will try to boil it down.

    The Mosaic Law is the name given to the body of law within the Jewish tradition. It is named for Moses who is attributed to be the author of the first five books of the Jewish (Traditional) Bible Canon.

    Within the Jewish tradition, there is a common expression which orders the hierarchy of importance for Jews: "The Law, the Prophets and The Writings." These basic divisions break down what is called the Old Testament (OT) into their order of importance with the highest respect and authority given to the Mosaic Law. In addition to what is written, there arose over history an Oral body of laws and these together with the Mosaic Law essentially comprised the legal (religious) authority for the Jewish people.

    JWs take what is written in the New Testament (Christian Greek Scriptures, Matthew to Revelation in the common canon) to mean that Jesus Christ fulfilled the Mosaic Law and replaced it with essentially new teachings, including a "law of love." Thus the Mosaic Law is looked to as illustrative of divine principles but not something which Christians are bound to obey or comply with.

    Some of the major laws of the Mosaic law included keeping the Sabbath, circumcision and dietary laws and laws dealing with the treatment of blood. The controversy noted in the Book of Acts 15 and elsewhere concerned ironing out some of the difficulties within the early church between Jewish Christians who were keeping the Mosaic Law and other traditions and Gentile Christians.

    Hope this helped.


  • greendawn

    You got a mighty response Becka, to put it in short the Mosaic law was the body of rules and regulations that the Jews were to abide by and which the Christians under the lead of Paul decided had become obsolete and unnecesary something that earned them the fierce hatred of the Jews for whom the Mosaic Law was the essence of their nationhood. To this day Paul, himself a Jew, is considered by the religious Jews as one of the greatest traitors of their nation. He said (correctly) that those under the Mosaic Law are under curse.

    The JWs do indeed have a Judaic mindset as if some strange Jewish influence is at work in them, witness the fact that they call themselves Jehovah's organisation rather than Christ's Church something that strongly smacks of the Old Testament and Judaism. Besides they are too works rather than grace oriented and of course almost all of them refuse to participate in the New Covenent, so what are they?

  • moggy lover
    moggy lover

    As can be seen from the various responses above "The Mosaic Law" was a collective name given to a vast and complicated series of edicts given to the ancient Jewish people by divine fiat and mediated by the person of Moses. In traditional Jewish theology it signified the relationship entered into by the Israelites and the God they worshipped, Yahweh.

    There are some eight seperate words that can be construed as meaning "Law" in Hebrew. The most comprehensive of these is the word "Torah" There is a certain overlapping ambiguity in the application of this word as a result of which it can have several seperate meanings. There is a sense in which it refers to the entire corpus of Mosaic literature, embodied in the first five books of the OT, however it can have a more restrictive meaning alluding to the some 600 ordinances embedded in those those five books.

    Jewish theolology has long been concerned with the broad efficacy of this legal system, especially in the light of increasing impracticalities in observance. [For instance how does one celebrate the Sabbath in the North Pole, where the sun may not set for 6 months] As a consequence of this a parallel system of belief developed around a series of commentaries designed to expand and explain the "Torah" This came to be known as the "Talmud" It has been accepted by conservative scholarship that the Babylonian Talmud developed over several centuries between at least the 2nd Cent BC and the the 5th cent AD. Talmudic scholarship presently undergirds almost the entire scope of Jewish Theological investgation

    For Christians, the importance of the "Mosaic Law" derives from its relationship to the epistolary revelation of the NT. There is no unanimity of opinion that can be considered authoratative enough to cover the entire range of Christian belief.

    Whereas it is accepted that Christ kept the Law to perfection, the implication of this is debated. The most common Evangelical belief is that the Law, or at least its physical aspects, has thus been done away with, and the relationship between God and the believer is now through "grace" and not "works of the Law"

    There is, however, a collective body of Christian believers, who form a sub-group within the Evangelical tradition who differ. This group is collectively known as the "Holiness" movement, and the denominations within this grouping are usually styled "Churches Of God" They feel that because Christ kept the Law, it does not mean that it has been removed, but that it is still operative. To varying degrees, these groups keep different aspects of the Mosaic Law, the different festivals for instance.

    The SDAs suggest that the Sabbatical aspects of the Mosaic Law are still valid, along with certain dietary restictions

    Another sub-family, called the Sacred Name Movement, [because they, like the WTS, emphasize the need to employ God's "name" in worship] adopt many of the more overt customs of the Mosaic Law, in fact identifying them more with Judaism than Christianity. Several of the leaders within these groups wear Jewish vestments in worship.

    The WTS likes to give the impression that they, like Evangelical Christians, no longer pattern themselves after the Mosaic Law, but their emphasis on leagalism, and their almost paranoid concern with doctrinal purity belies this impression

  • Trojan

    You can get a quick course here:

    This is one example of the law:

    Leviticus 15:16'When a man ejaculates semen...'

    Leviticus 15:16'...he must wash his whole body with water, and will be unclean until evening.'

    Leviticus 15:19'Whenever a woman has her menstrual period, she will remain in a state of menstrual pollution for seven days.'

    Leviticus 15:19'Anyone who touches her will be unclean until evening.'

    This is easy learning...


  • jgnat

    I was going to say "Read the book of Leviticus" but Trojan's lesson is easier.

    Many Christians believe that the Mosaic covenant was ended when Jesus died on the cross. Instead of being bound by hundreds of rules, we now are bound by one - accept Jesus in to our lives and do ALL things with love and kindness. It's easier and harder to do at the same time.

    Some doctrinally bound religions believe that some of the law are carried to modern day, such as "abstain from blood", "obey the Sabbath", or "tithe". JW's condemn the practice of setting aside a sabbath day and tithing, but retained the dietary blood laws. Sortof.

    The JW's maintain that the blood laws remain because they were instituted before Moses' law, by both Abraham and Noah. Funny though. Both Abraham and Noah also sacrificed bulls and rams. But we don't do that any more.

  • A Paduan
    A Paduan

    We know that the law is spiritual.......He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal.

    The Mosaic law was understood by the Jews, pharisees, and now the jws, in a literal sense. One needs only to gleen the bible to realise this, but fear elicits a consistent reversion to a literal understanding, and the level of fear of the jws simply precludes them from the revelation of truth in that which is written.

    Like Paul said, 'Do you think this is about the oxen?'

  • greendawn

    Paul got it right but the Christian Jews could not give up observing the Mosaic law because they were emotionally bound up with it. Their lives revolved around the temple and to be in the temple they had to be ritually pure that is follow the Mosaic law. In addition rejecting this law would truly infuriate their fellow Jews and could have driven them to the ground.

    So Paul and James agred on a modus vivendi the Christian Jews would carry on abiding by all the law, not eat pork, circumcision, keep all the yearly festivals etc but the gentile Christians would be free of the law.

  • Narkissos
    Paul got it right

    Says who?

    So Paul and James agred on a modus vivendi the Christian Jews would carry on abiding by all the law, not eat pork, circumcision, keep all the yearly festivals etc but the gentile Christians would be free of the law.

    Actually such a "synthesis" is not found in the NT. Instead we have two distinct pictures: the James of Acts agreeing that Gentile converts should not be circumcised and follow a "reduced" version of the Law (the Apostolic Decree). The James of Galatians insisting on circumcision of the Gentiles. Nothing is said either in Acts or in the Pauline epistles about whether Jewish-Christians should observe the Law.

    What I would rather infer from those incompatible presentations is that the "historical James" never really accepted the "Pauline mission"; perhaps he only tolerated it as "none of his business," provided there would be no religious communion between Jews and Gentiles. If we accept Galatians as authentical (?), the situation in Antioch, with the central issue of inter-ethnical "table communion," obviously went beyond whatever James could agree with.

    (I sometimes wonder what exact gesture "James" did with his right hand, which "Paul" interpreted as a sign of "communion," Galatians 2:9... )

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