• Hermeneutics,  Law,  Old Testament

    To Boil or Not to Boil: Exod 12:8-9 and Deut 16:7 in Contradiction?

    Many people constantly accuse the Bible of having contradictions within it. One such alleged contradiction is in regard to the command not to boil the Passover lamb. In Exodus 12:8-9, Israel is forbidden to eat any of the lamb raw or to boil it in water. Similarly, in Deuteronomy 16:5-7, Moses’ instructions on eating the Passover include the command to cook it and eat it. Although the apparent contradiction is not present in many English translations, the issue is that the Hebrew of Exodus 12:8-9 says not to “boil [מְבֻשָּׁל] in water,” while Deuteronomy 16:7 uses the same verb while saying, “boil [וּבִשַּׁלְתָּ] and eat.” Read the Whole Article

  • Law,  New Testament

    Paul was (sometimes) against Circumcision

    In Acts 15, Paul and Barnabas were involved in one of the biggest controversies of the early church. The issue was whether or not someone could be a Christian without circumcision. After much discussion, the Jerusalem Council affirmed the message of Peter and Paul, that God’s grace extends to Gentiles as Gentiles. In other words, circumcision was deemed as unnecessary to be a part of the church. This decision was confirmed by Paul in Galatians 5:2-3, 6: Read the Whole Article

  • Law,  Old Testament

    Following the Principle of the Law

    We have looked previously at the clear testimony of Scripture that the believer’s relationship to the Mosaic Law has drastically changed. In fact, because the Mosaic Law was tied to the Mosaic Covenant, when the Mosaic Covenant passed away, the believer was no longer under the Law (cf. Gal 5:18). But, yet we see Paul and the other Apostles constantly being influenced by and appealing to the Law. How can this be?   Read the Whole Article

  • Christian Living,  Law,  Old Testament

    Does the Old Testament Law Apply Today?

    How does a Christian apply the Old Testament Law today? This is a bit of a complicated question. Given the fact that the Law reflects creation principles, we should not be surprised that it remains relevant. Indeed, Scripture unequivocally teaches the positive role of the Mosaic Law in the life of the Christian. “Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law” (Rom 3:31)“the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good” (Rom 7:12) On the other hand, there are also clear Scripture passages which indicate the believer’s relationship to the Mosaic Law has drastically changed.…

  • Law,  New Testament

    How Did Jesus Fulfill the Law? (Matt 5:17-18)

    What does it mean that Christ came to fulfill the Law? In Matthew 5:18 Jesus promises, “Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” The KJV translates this verse as, “one jot or one tittle shall no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” The “jot” is likely referring to the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet, the yodh, which looks like ” י “. The “tittle” is probably referring to the part of the Hebrew letter which differentiated nearly identical letters. For example, the difference between ר and ד is only the smallest stroke…

  • Law,  Old Testament

    The Law as a Reflection of Creation Principles

    In a previous post I discussed the purpose of the Law. One of the purposes of the Law was to reflect God’s creation to a watching world. In other words, Israel was given laws that, when obeyed, showed the world what the creation ideal looked like. The connection of creation to the Law is worth examining in greater detail. The easiest way to see this connection is to examine some of the Ten Commandments (the heart of Israel’s Law code) and note their connections to creation principles. Read the Whole Article

  • Law,  Old Testament

    The Purpose of the Old Testament Law

    In a prior post, I mentioned that the Law needs to be read in its narrative context. In addition to being sensitive to the narrative context, we also need to evaluate the purpose of the Old Testament Law as it is portrayed in the Old Testament itself. This is an important first step in helping understand the differences that we see between the Old and New Testaments. The Law was never a means of salvation First, we need to adimently reaffirm that the Law is not portrayed as a standard for salvation. It is common for people to accuse dispensationalists of believing the Law was the means of salvation for…

  • Law,  Old Testament

    The OT Law in Its Narrative Context

    All too often we read sections of Exodus, Leviticus, or Deuteronomy without being sensitive to the surrounding narrative context. We need to remember that God’s giving of the Law on Mount Sinai was within a specific narrative, and we should understand the Law in light of that narrative. When we do so, we come away with the following observations. The narrative context shows the Law was not a legalistic standard to earn God’s favor. There is no reason to think Old Testament believers were saved by keeping the Law. In fact, when we look at the placement of the Law in the narrative, we see that God had already delivered…

  • Law,  Old Testament

    The King in Israel: a Contrast with ANE Nations

    Sometimes students of Scripture are surprised to find out that it was always God’s plan for Israel to have a king. God had promised Abraham that “kings shall come from you” (Gen 17:6). God gave a similar promise to Jacob (Gen 35:11). In fact, by the time the Pentateuch wraps up, we are expecting a powerful king who will come from Judah (Gen 49:10; Num 24:17). It should not really be that surprising that Israel would have a king. A king ruling over a kingdom was the default governmental system for the ancient Near East (ANE) nations. But, what is very surprising is the kind of king that Israel was…

  • Law,  Old Testament

    The Bible and Rape: Must a Girl Marry Her Rapist?

    Critics of the Bible often say the Bible is anti-women when it comes to the issue of rape. It is common to point to the rape law in Deuteronomy 22:28–29 as evidence that the Bible is hopelessly out of touch with ethical norms and the common decency which marks contemporary society. This passage reads as follows: “If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered, then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he…