The Bible Project

Law Q&R - Law E6

Episode Summary

Welcome to our Question and Response episode discussing How to Read Biblical Law!

Episode Notes

Tim and Jon respond to several questions, listed below.

Isaiah from Georgia (1:40):
Hey Jon and Tim! My name is Isaiah and I am from Lawrenceville, Georgia. I have a question concerning biblical law and God's nature. I've talked to some friends on this issue for some time, and their view is that God's nature was not fully revealed in the Old Testament. So God's will was not fully revealed. They believe this is why the Israelites thought they had to live under the law. They use Paul's writings to back that up. They also believe that the New Testament is the full revelation of God and his nature. And so we can see his full intent was to have a personal relationship instead of a list of rules to follow. What would you say to this worldview and why it should be changed?

Rich from New York (13:10):
I'm a pastor in upstate New York. Your series on the law is just outstanding. And yet I have a question. As you folks talked about the common law understanding of law that existed until the last few centuries, I found myself wondering about the understanding of law among the Pharisees of the first century, for example. It seems that their understanding wasn't just that the mosaic law was a snapshot in time but that it described how the law needed to be lived out in any age, whatever possible, more like statutory law. Or am I wrong about that?

Victoria from Tennessee (21:45):
Hey Tim and Jon, this is Victoria in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I've been really inspired by this conversation about the law, particularly the relationships of the New Testament to the Old Testament. I'm sure you're getting here, but I wanted to ask how we’re asked to understand our broad call to obedience when Jesus says something like in Matthew 5, “therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.” What commands is he referring to, and is the spirit of the law or commands a filter for interpretation, or is there a place where we need to draw a line in the sand? Thanks.

Joe from Cleveland (22:15):
What I’m still at tension with are Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:18-19 where he states not a dot or iota will pass away from the law, and those who relax the least of these will be least in heaven. It seems we had agreed the Hebrew Torah showed itself to be flexible and not necessarily the final word in judicial cases. I interpret Jesus “dot and iota” statement as a more literal or explicit command to the letter of the law so to speak. Does Jesus’ statement raise that tension for you or is there another way of understanding it?

Petra from the Netherlands (39:30):

Hi Tim and Jon my name is Petra, I'm from the Netherlands. A lot of people consider the law as a guidance to obey God and to eternal life. As I have listened to your podcast, I get the assumption that you do not agree with that way of seeing the law, which I understand. What are your thoughts about a practical way to obey God through the Holy Spirit, by the Law, what are your thoughts about that? Thank you, bye!

Laura from Iowa: (47:20)

Is it important to differentiate between passages that are referring to the 611 laws, the Torah, the whole Old Testament, or the entirety of Scripture? And if that's important, how can an average Bible reader go about this?

Show Music: Defender Instrumental by Tents

Show Produced by: Dan Gummel

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Our video on how to read biblical law: https://youtu.be/Sew1kBIe-W0