What is God's Law?

RJM

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Jesus says in Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

What is God's law? Is it the eternal Divine principle, or is it a set of laws written in men's books, requiring all sorts of clothing and diet and hand-washing and prayer times and other ritual demands, depending on the particular religion and scripture

What law did Jesus come to fulfil: the former or the latter?
 
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muhammad_isa

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"the law" in Judaism is known as Halakha.
I won't define it in detail as I am not a modern Jew
:)
Rabbinic Judaism divides laws into categories:


  • The Law of Moses which are believed to have been revealed by God to the Israelites at biblical Mount Sinai. These laws are composed of the following:
    • The Written Torah, laws written in the Hebrew Bible.
    • The Oral Torah, laws believed to have been transmitted orally prior to their later compilation in texts such as the Mishnah, Talmud, and rabbinic codes.
    • Laws of human origin, including rabbinic decrees, interpretations, customs, etc.


This division between revealed and rabbinic commandments may influence the importance of a rule, its enforcement and the nature of its ongoing interpretation.
Commandments are divided into positive and negative commands, which correspond to deeds which are encumbant on us, and those which are forbidden.

Clearly, there are effectively major laws and minor laws.
I have no interest in going into these in detail, and will only say
that the ten commandments are part of major law.

You shan't covet your neighbor's house. You shan't covet your neighbor's wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

- Exodus -

The above law is very important.
It is possible to construct loopholes in a financial system, for example, by saying that usurious transactions are only
forbidden between Jews, but that more or less implies that the ten commandments only apply to Jews and
not non-Jews [ goy ]

I feel sure that Jesus would not agree with that. Muhammad certainly didn't.
However, there are always exceptions to rules.

In the NT, we have Jesus confirming the shema.
It is the greatest "law" of all.
 

RJM

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But although he taught in the synagogues, Jesus dined with sinners and did not strictly observe the sabbath etc, on several occasions. This drew criticism from some of the 'religious professionals' of the time, whom he in turn criticized heavily for their purely outward observance.

He would probably have some words for (some of) the 'religious professionals' of today, were he around?

So the question stands. What really are God's eternal and unwritten laws? Are those not the real 'laws' Christ really came to explain -- by his life and his words?

Over to others ...
 
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muhammad_isa

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But although he taught in the synagogues, Jesus dined with sinners and did not strictly observe the sabbath etc, on several occasions. This drew criticism from some of the 'religious professionals' of the time, whom he in turn criticized heavily for their purely outward observance.

No .. Jesus did not break Jewish law. The problem lies with its interpretation.
Jesus was criticising the interpretation.
The interpretation of law was being manipulated to suit the sanhedrin [both a Jewish judicial and administrative body]
He accused them of hypocricy.

I sometimes do that.
In my masjid, for example, there are wealthy people who say that Islamic loans are identical to ordinary mortgages.
hmmm :rolleyes:

He would probably have some words for the 'religious professionals' of today, were he around?

The hypocrites, sure .. but not the pious.

So the question stands. What really are God's eternal and unwritten laws? Are those not the real 'laws' Christ really came to explain -- by his life and his words?

Yes, but we are easily fooled. We even fool ourselves, just like the sanhedrin did.
We make "fatwas" from verses making things "halal / kosher" .. when in fact they are not.
 

RJM

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Have moved this thread from Abrahamic to Belief and Spirituality because God's law does not concern only Abrahamics, imo

Have also changed 'Christ' to Jesus in the opening post, because many do not think Jesus was the Christ.
 
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RabbiO

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So, in the middle of your umpteenth argument about, basically, the same subject, you’ve decided to veer off into an assault on Judaism. One of you trying to disguise it by not specifically, at the start, naming it while the other, although basically admitting his knowledge is lacking, wants to tell you all about it.

Really, gentlemen? I’m disappointed in both of you.
 

RJM

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So, in the middle of your umpteenth argument about, basically, the same subject, you’ve decided to veer off into an assault on Judaism. One of you trying to disguise it by not specifically, at the start, naming it while the other, although basically admitting his knowledge is lacking, wants to tell you all about it.

Really, gentlemen? I’m disappointed in both of you.
That is quite incorrect. Most religions have dress and dietary codes and ritual ablutions and prayers. It's not confined to Judaism, or to Abrahamic religions? However I had no intention to offend.

The question is not that religions have a right to practice God's law as they interpret it -- or to view themselves as unique keepers of the flame -- but whether Jesus came to re-affirm the establishment laws, or to try to open people to a wider view of the true universal and eternal principles of the Divine -- that is: The universal Law of God?
 
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RJM

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This in response to Matthew 5:17

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil"

In a sacred manner I live. To the heavens I gazed. In a sacred manner I live. My horses are many
(old Sioux song)

What really is God's law?
 

muhammad_isa

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Really, gentlemen? I’m disappointed in both of you.

Peace be with you brother.
Jesus apparently made "an assault on Judaism".

I say "apparently", because I suppose it depends what one actually believes.
I think he made an assault on hypocrisy.

It exists in all religions.
People claim that they are an authority, but lack sincere intentions.
Gaining wealth immorally is a temptation that affects all of us.
 

RabbiO

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That is quite incorrect. Most religions have dress and dietary codes and ritual ablutions and prayers. It's not confined to Judaism, or to Abrahamic religions? However I had no intention to offend.

The question is not that religions have a right to practice God's law as they interpret it -- or to view themselves as unique keepers of the flame -- but whether Jesus came to re-affirm the establishment laws, or to try to open people to a wider view of the true universal and eternal principles of the Divine -- that is: The universal Law of God?
You are asking separate questions. The first has no relevance to a Jew or for most others outside of Christians, Muslims, Baha’is, and perhaps a few groups more, who see Jesus as messiah and/or prophet and/or manifestation of G-d and/or divine etc. Your question presupposes not simply that Jesus was on a mission, but rather was sent on mission. There is a difference between those which for those of us who see Jesus as being none of the things I mentioned make the question a non-starter.

Your second question is really two fold - Is there a universal law of G-d? Are there true and eternal principles of the Divine?

Since you have posed the questions and indicated that in your opinion the answer is yes, it might be a good idea to provide us withnyour take.
 

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That is quite incorrect. Most religions have dress and dietary codes and ritual ablutions and prayers. It's not confined to Judaism, or to Abrahamic religions? However I had no intention to offend.

The question is not that religions have a right to practice God's law as they interpret it -- or to view themselves as unique keepers of the flame -- but whether Jesus came to re-affirm the establishment laws, or to try to open people to a wider view of the true universal and eternal principles of the Divine -- that is: The universal Law of God?

This is true. Even in Christianity, many Christians practice conservative dress, require head-coverings for women, and practice Pescetarianism (or at least abstain from meat on Wednesdays and Fridays.) There are also specific fasts that are observed by Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
 
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RJM

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Your second question is really two fold - Is there a universal law of G-d? Are there true and eternal principles of the Divine?

Since you have posed the questions and indicated that in your opinion the answer is yes, it might be a good idea to provide us withnyour take.
Yes. Thank you. It will need some thought before just banging out a response.

However, to make clear: this thread is a carry-over from the 'Did Jesus Die on the Cross' thread:
https://www.interfaith.org/community/threads/19884/page-13#post-352296

... which was becoming sidetracked into 'Christians are polytheists because their belief in the Trinity ignores that Jesus said he came to uphold the law, not to destroy it'

To those who don't believe Jesus said those things, or ever existed, it won't be terribly relevant what Jesus meant by that statement in the gospels -- or any other statement, although the thread question still applies to everyone.

Thanks again for your response. I am thinking about what you said
 
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wil

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a figment of your imagination
Are there true and eternal principles of the Divine?
G!d is good. G!d is absolute good and everywhere present.

But of course I believe G!d as principle, as the TOE, not as a being with intent but a universal principle that always was and always will be.

G!d is all there is...and we are simply physical manifestations of as a wave is to the ocean. And like the waves that continue to roll in...we are the continually begotten.

(Of course that is just my preeminent understanding in this moment)
 
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RJM

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Perhaps 'heaven' will never reveal to even the greatest human intelligence more than the tiniest fraction of God's law? There will always be a new height to climb, just when I think I nearly have the answer?

The ultimate light will always recede further, no matter how great the light of men or angels?

Perhaps Christ tries to show this -- to open it up -- rather than to condone perception of the law of Sprit as a dictate upon nature?*

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
(Proverbs 3:5-6)


Perhaps it's what Jesus really meant?

There's my shot for today?

* Or the laws of God as a dictate upon man, on penalty of ... horrible things
 
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muhammad_isa

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Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
(Proverbs 3:5-6)
Well, what is "your own understanding" ?
I would have thought that it means turning away from God's guidance, and following gentile law. :)

As a further example, we might consider capital punishment to be barbaric, and therefore discard it.
[ our own understanding ]
 

muhammad_isa

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Will you cast the first stone?

Don't be so hasty.
Can you prove without a shadow of doubt, that the accused is guilty?
..bearing in mind that if somebody commits false-witness to a sin punishable by death, they are doomed.

The story is possibly true [ that Jesus said "will you cast the first stone" ]
However, it is also possible that the story is misconstrued or exaggerated.
We only find the story in John? :)
 

muhammad_isa

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What is the punishment for murder?
Is life-imprisonment a prescribed punishment by God, the Most High?
No .. only God can prescribe such things. It is oppressive, and worse than death.

our own understandings = opinion of the day
 

Cino

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What is the punishment for murder?
Is life-imprisonment a prescribed punishment by God, the Most High?
No .. only God can prescribe such things. It is oppressive, and worse than death.

Murderers very often have mental disorders which are at the root of the violent behavior, but for various reasons don't accept or have access to treatment which would prevent the violence. In any case, mental disorder or not, society moves to protect its members and prevent murderers from killing more people. It's less about a penalty and more about managing a threat, from that perspective. No other justification is necessary, least of all recourse to ancient texts which are notoriously hard to interpret in a unified, consensus way.

There are other perspectives, such as the sense of justice for the bereaved.

Death penalty has the massive drawback of being irreversible in the case of misjudgement. It also tends to get applied more to the disenfranchised than the elites, as history and current events show.

All in all, whatever God's reported stance on the isssue, I believe it is a problem that belongs exclusively to the human sphere, not the divine one, and is best left to those of us who can actually be affected by murder, to find solutions and manage the threat. Civil justice systems, separation of power, all those goodies of modern secular liberal democracies are something I would not want to miss.
 
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