Importance of the Ten Commandments

Status
Not open for further replies.

satz

Puritan Board Senior
Let me start with a disclaimer, this thread is not meant to question, at all, the need for christians to obey the Ten Commandments today.

I would be interested in understanding more of why the reformed view the Ten Commandments as being the complete summation of the moral Law of God.

Or rather, why is there a need to have every single sin or duty fall under one of the Ten Commandments? Some of the efforts I have seen to 'force' particular sins under one of the Ten Commandments do seem to me to be rather strained.

As an example, the WLC lists sodomy as one of the sins against the seventh commandment. But why is there a need to 'force' this sin into that category? How is sodomy an example of adultery? True, they are both sexual sins, but why not see them as two distinct sins or commandments rather than one being a subset of another?

I can see how the bible exalts the Ten Commandments, but I don't see how it does so in quite the manner that many theologians do. Can anyone help?
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
The Westminster Larger Catechism provides helpful guidance here:

Q91: What is the duty which God requireth of man?
A91: The duty which God requireth of man, is obedience to his revealed will.[1]

1. Rom. 12:1-2; Micah 6:8; I Sam. 15:22

Q92: What did God at first reveal unto man as the rule of his obedience?
A92: The rule of obedience revealed to Adam in the estate of innocence, and to all mankind in him, besides a special command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, was the moral law.[1]

1. Gen. 1:26-27; 2:17; Rom. 2:14-15; 10:5

Q93: What is the moral law?
A93: The moral law is the declaration of the will of God to mankind, directing and binding everyone to personal, perfect, and perpetual conformity and obedience thereunto, in the frame and disposition of the whole man, soul and body,[1] and in performance of all those duties of holiness and righteousness which he oweth to God and man:[2] promising life upon the fulfilling, and threatening death upon the breach of it.[3]

1. Deut. 5:1-3, 31, 33; Luke 10:26-27; Gal. 3:10; I Thess. 5:23
2. Luke 1:75; Acts 14:16
3. Rom. 10:5; Gal. 3:10, 12

Q98: Where is the moral law summarily comprehended?
A98: The moral law is summarily comprehended in the ten commandments, which were delivered by the voice of God upon mount Sinai, and written by him in two tables of stone;[1] and are recorded in the twentieth chapter of Exodus. The four first commandments containing our duty to God, and the other six our duty to man.[2]

1. Deut. 10:4; Exod. 34:1-4
2. Matt. 22:37-38, 40

Q99: What rules are to be observed for the right understanding of the ten commandments?
A99: For the right understanding of the ten commandments, these rules are to be observed:
1. That the law is perfect, and bindeth everyone to full conformity in the whole man unto the righteousness thereof, and unto entire obedience forever; so as to require the utmost perfection of every duty, and to forbid the least degree of every sin.[1]
2. That it is spiritual, and so reaches the understanding, will, affections, and all other powers of the soul; as well as words, works, and gestures.[2]
3. That one and the same thing, in divers respects, is required or forbidden in several commandments.[3]
4. That as, where a duty is commanded, the contrary sin is forbidden;[4] and, where a sin is forbidden, the contrary duty is commanded:[5] so, where a promise is annexed, the contrary threatening is included;[6] and, where a threatening is annexed, the contrary promise is included.[7]
5. That what God forbids, is at no time to be done;[8] What he commands, is always our duty;[9] and yet every particular duty is not to be done at all times.[10]
6. That under one sin or duty, all of the same kind are forbidden or commanded; together with all the causes, means, occasions, and appearances thereof, and provocations thereunto.[11]
7. That what is forbidden or commanded to ourselves, we are bound, according to our places, to endeavor that it may be avoided or performed by others, according to the duty of their places.[12]
8. That in what is commanded to others, we are bound, according to our places and callings, to be helpful to them;[13] and to take heed of partaking with others in: What is forbidden them.[14]

1. Psa. 19:7; James 2:10; Matt. 5:21-22
2. Rom. 7:14; Deut. 6:5; Matt. 5:21-22, 27-28, 33-34, 37-39, 43-44; 22:37-39
3. Col. 3:5; Amos 8:5; Prov. 1:19; I Tim. 6:10
4. Isa. 58:13; Deut. 6:13; Matt. 4:9-10; 15:4-6
5. Matt. 5:21-25; Eph. 4:28
6. Exod. 20:12; Prov. 30:17
7. Jer. 18:7-8; Exod. 20:7; Psa. 15:1, 4-5; 24:4-5
8. Job. 13:7; 36:21; Rom. 3:8; Heb. 11:25
9. Deut. 4:8-9
10. Matt. 12:7
11. Matt. 5:21-22, 27-28; 15:4-6; Heb. 10:24-25; I Thess. 5:22-23; Gal. 5:26; Col. 3:21
12. Exod. 20:10; Lev. 19:17; Gen. 18:19; Josh. 24:15; Deut. 6:6-7
13. II Cor. 1:24
14. I Tim. 5:22
 

InChains620

Puritan Board Freshman
My Humble Opinion.

I can see how the bible exalts the Ten Commandments, but I don't see how it does so in quite the manner that many theologians do. Can anyone help?

This queston may be way over my head as far as my spiritual knowledge goes, but here are a few of my thoughts on the subject.


Psalm 19:7 "The law of the Lord is perfect..." If this is so I think it is safe to say it does not need to be added to. It needs nothing else to be complete, it is perfect as it is.

Romans 4:14-15 "For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression" Correct me if I am wrong but this is saying that if there are no ten commandments then there is no sin. That is, if the law Paul is speaking of here is the ten commandments; and I think when the word law is used in the Bible it almost exclusivley means the ten commandments.

This is why I think all sin somehow or another falls under one of the ten commandments. Even if it is in a broad sense.
(All verses in NKJV, my bold)
 
Last edited:

SRoper

Puritan Board Graduate
This isn't meant to entirely answer your question, but consider 1 Tim. 8-11:

"Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted."

It may seem at first glance to be a totally random list of sins, but if you first focus on the ones that are obviously violations of the Ten Commandments a structure emerges. Murder is clearly against the sixth commandment and lying is clearly against the ninth commandment. With those as markers of sorts, other somewhat less obvious ones fall into place. Those who strike their fathers and mothers is the fifth commandment and the sexually immoral is the seventh. Enslaving is a sort of violation of the eighth. Perjury is an violation of the ninth. That leaves homosexuality as the only sin within the second table that is left to classify. Based on its position between a seventh commandment and eighth commandment violation, it properly falls into the category of seventh commandment violation.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Andrew has provided a very important source for understanding the methodology in the Larger Catechism by quoting the Rules for interpreting the commandments. If you follow through the Scripture proofs it will be clear that the Catechism is following the Bible's own methodology.

Practically speaking, the ten commandments give us "dimensions" with which to grasp moral duty. The field of morality is vast, but if it is measured out and fenced off it becomes possible to comprehend it. If you don't define duties under categories, morality can be a nebulous idea which changes with the wind.
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
The commandments, if kept perfectly, at all times and in all point, woiuld demonstrate our equality with God.

For example, Christ kept the law perfectly.
Christ is God.
A demonstration that the law is kept perfectly, at all points, demonstrates, in reality, the attributes of God Himself.

If we reflect, even so little, a glimmer of the traits found as a result of keeping the law in the power of Christ, then we reflect the attributes of God - holy, holy, holy.

The law is a demonstrate of His being. They are intrinsically connected to "being" and His invisible attributes.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
The commandments, if kept perfectly, at all times and in all point, woiuld demonstrate our equality with God.
You wouldn't say this about pre-fallen Adam, would you? Adam didn't fail to obey God on account that he was not equal with God. When we are able to obey God perfectly--perfect moral creatures--we will not then be "equal" to God, and not merely because we once "weren't" obedient, but because we are creatures. I think we want the "image" of God brought into the discussion.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Another help in studying this issue is William Plumer:

5. "Under one sin or duty, all of the same kind are forbidden or commanded; together with all the causes, means, occasions and appearances thereof, and provocations thereunto." Thus the prohibition to use God's name in vain forbids an irreverent use of his word, or works, or sacraments, or worship; because his name is that whereby he is known. Thus the commandment to honor father and mother obliges us to honor magistrates, who are politically our fathers; and masters and mistresses, who are domestically our parents; and teachers, who for the purposes of education are as parents to us. And as we may not kill, so we may not prepare to kill, nor indulge envy, hatred, wrath, nor any malice; nor may we use quarrelsome, abusive, or contemptuous language, nor violent and threatening gestures as these things do often lead to murder. When God forbade the use of leavened bread during the passover, he mercifully forbade the keeping of leaven in the house.


Also Thomas Watson:

Having answered these questions, I shall in the next place, lay down some general rules for the right understanding of the Decalogue, or Ten Commandments. These may serve to give us some light into the sense and meaning of the commandments.

Rule I. The commands and prohibitions of the moral law reach the heart. (1) The commands of the moral law reach the heart. The commandments require not only outward actions, but inward affections; they require not only the outward act of obedience, but the inward affection of love. ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart.’ Deut 6: 5.

(2) The threats and prohibitions of the moral law reach the heart. The law of God forbids not only the act of sin, but the desire and inclination; not only does it forbid adultery, but lusting (Matt 5: 28): not only stealing, but coveting (Rom 7: 7). Lex humana ligat manum, lex divina comprimit animam ‘Man’s law binds the hands only, God’s law binds the heart.’

Rule 2. In the commandments there is a synecdoche, more is intended than is spoken. (1) Where any duty is commanded, the contrary sin is forbidden. When we are commanded to keep the Sabbath-day holy, we are forbidden to break the Sabbath. When we are commanded to live in a calling, ‘Six days shalt thou labour,’ we are forbidden to live idly, and out of a calling.

(2) Where any sin is forbidden, the contrary duty is commanded. When we are forbidden to take God’s name in vain, the contrary duty, that we should reverence his name, is commanded. ‘That thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, the Lord Thy God.’ Deut 28: 58. Where we are forbidden to wrong our neighbour, there the contrary duty, that we should do him all the good we can, by vindicating his name and supplying his wants, is included.

Rule 3. Where any sin is forbidden in the commandment, the occasion of it is also forbidden. Where murder is forbidden, envy and rash anger are forbidden, which may occasion it. Where adultery is forbidden, all that may lead to it is forbidden, as wanton glances of the eye, or coming into the company of a harlot. ‘Come not nigh the door of her house.’ Prov 5: 8. He who would be free from the plague, must not come near the infected house. Under the law the Nazarite was forbidden to drink wine; nor might he eat grapes of which the wine was made.

Rule 4. In relato subintelligitur correlatum. Where one relation is named in the commandment, there another relation is included. Where the child is named, the father is included. Where the duty of children to parents is mentioned, the duty of parents to children is also included. Where the child is commanded to honour the parent, it is implied that the parent is also commanded to instruct, to love, and to provide for the child.

Rule 5. Where greater sins are forbidden, lesser sins are also forbidden. Though no sin in its own nature is little, yet one may be comparatively less than another. Where idolatry is forbidden, superstition is forbidden, or bringing any innovation into God’s worship, which he has not appointed. As the sons of Aaron were forbidden to worship an idol, so to sacrifice to God with strange fire. Lev 10: 1. Mixture in sacred things, is like a dash in wine, which though it gives a colour, yet does but debase and adulterate it. It is highly provoking to God to bring any superstitious ceremony into his worship which he has not prescribed; it is to tax God’s wisdom, as if he were not wise enough to appoint the manner how he will be served.

Rule 6. The law of God is entire. Lex est copulativa [The law is all connected]. The first and second tables are knit together; piety to God, and equity to our neighbour. These two tables which God has joined together, must not be put asunder. Try a moral man by the duties of the first table, piety to God, and there you will find him negligent; try a hypocrite by the duties of the second table, equity to his neighbour, and there you will find him tardy. If he who is strict in the second table neglects the first, or he who is zealous in the first, neglects the second, his heart is not right with God. The Pharisees were the highest pretenders to keeping the first table with zeal and holiness; but Christ detects their hypocrisy: ‘Ye have omitted judgment, mercy and faith.’ Matt 23: 23. They were bad in the second table; they omitted judgment, or being just in their dealings; mercy in relieving the poor; and faith, or faithfulness in their promises and contracts with men. God wrote both the tables, and our obedience must set a seal to both.

Rule 7. God’s law forbids not only the acting of sin in our own persons, but being accessory to, or having any hand in, the sins of others.

How and in what sense may we be said to partake of, and have a hand in the sins of others?

(1) By decreeing unrighteous decrees, and imposing on others that which is unlawful. Jeroboam made the people of Israel to sin; he was accessory to their idolatry by setting up golden calves. Though David did not in his own person kill Uriah, yet because he wrote a letter to Joab, to set Uriah in the forefront of the battle, and it was done by his command, he was accessory to Uriah’s death, and the murder of him was laid by the prophet to his charge. ‘Thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword.’ 2 Sam 12: 9.

(2) We become accessory to the sins of others by not hindering them when it is in our power. Qui non prohibit cum potest, jubet [The failure to prevent something, when it lies within your power, amounts to ordering it]. If a master of a family see his servant break the Sabbath, or hear him swear, and does not use the power he has to suppress him, he becomes accessory to his sin. Eli, for not punishing his sons when they made the offering of the Lord to be abhorred, made himself guilty. 1 Sam 3: 13, 14. He that suffers an offender to pass unpunished, makes himself an offender.

(3) By counselling, abetting, or provoking others to sin. Ahithophel made himself guilty of the fact by giving counsel to Absalom to go in and defile his father’s concubines. 2 Sam 16: 21. He who shall tempt or solicit another to be drunk, though he himself be sober, yet being the occasion of another’s sin, he is accessory to it. ‘Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him.’ Hab 2: 15.

(4) By consenting to another’s sin. Saul did not cast one stone at Stephen, yet the Scripture says, ‘Saul was consenting unto his death.’ Acts 8: 1. Thus he had a hand in it. If several combined to murder a man, and should tell another of their intent, and he should give his consent to it, he would be guilty; for though his hand was not in the murder, his heart was in it; though he did not act it, yet he approved it, and so it became his sin.

(5) By example. Vivitur exemplis [We live by example]. Examples are powerful and cogent. Setting a bad example occasions another to sin, and so a person becomes accessory. If the father swears, and the child by his example, learns to swear, the father is accessory to the child’s sin; he taught him by his example. As there are hereditary diseases, so there are hereditary sins.

Rule 8. The last rule about the commandments is, that though we cannot, by our own strength, fulfil all these commandments, yet doing quod posse, what we are able, the Lord has provided encouragement for us. There is a threefold encouragement.

(1) That though we have not ability to obey any one command, yet God has in the new covenant, promised to work that in us which he requires. ‘I will cause you to walk in my statutes.’ Ezek 36: 27. God commands us to love him. Ah, how weak is our love! It is like the herb that is yet only in the first degree; but God has promised to circumcise our hearts, that we may love him. Deut 30: 6. He that commands us, will enable us. God commands us to turn from sin, but alas! we have not power to turn; therefore he has promised to turn us, to put his Spirit within us, and to turn the heart of stone into flesh. Ezek 36: 26. There is nothing in the command, but the same is in the promise. Therefore, Christian, be not discouraged, though thou hast no strength of thy own, God will give thee strength. The iron has no power to move, but when drawn by the loadstone it can move. ‘Thou hast wrought all our works in us.’ Isa 26: 12.

(2) Though we cannot exactly fulfil the moral law, yet God for Christ’s sake will mitigate the rigour of the law, and accept of something less than he requires. God in the law requires exact obedience, yet will accept of sincere obedience; he will abate something of the degree, if there be truth in the inward parts. He will see the faith, and pass by the failing. The gospel remits the severity of the moral law.

(3) Wherein our personal obedience comes short, God will be pleased to accept us in our Surety. ‘He has made us accepted in the Beloved.’ Eph 1: 6. Though our obedience be imperfect, yet, through Christ our Surety, God looks upon it as perfect. That very service which God’s law might condemn, his mercy is pleased to crown, by virtue of the blood of our Mediator. Having given you these rules about the commandments, I shall come next to the commandments themselves.
 

A5pointer

Puritan Board Sophomore
Confusion can be avoided if the decalouge is viewed in it's context. I see it as a mistake to see it as seperate from all that follows it in Moses. If one sees the law as a treaty or contract between God and his people.(suzerain treaty between a great king and peoples to be subordinate to him) The decalouge can be seen as the major stipulations which are then unpacked or clarified by the rest of the treaty. This form follows ancient treaties and can even be seen in modern day contracts where the main points come early and then are explained in detail. Again i think there is a mistaken tendancy to see the Ten as standing alone.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Confusion can be avoided if the decalouge is viewed in it's context. I see it as a mistake to see it as seperate from all that follows it in Moses. If one sees the law as a treaty or contract between God and his people.(suzerain treaty between a great king and peoples to be subordinate to him) The decalouge can be seen as the major stipulations which are then unpacked or clarified by the rest of the treaty. This form follows ancient treaties and can even be seen in modern day contracts where the main points come early and then are explained in detail. Again i think there is a mistaken tendancy to see the Ten as standing alone.

The Treaty concept is an extra-biblical imposition on the text, and undermines the correct understanding of it. It was once in fashion amongst scholars, but fashions change more in the academic world than in a ladies' boutique. As far as I am aware further research has shown there were various kinds of treatises which existed in the ANE, including "mixed" contracts, so that it is impossible to tie the biblical text down to any one model.

While it is true there is a connectedness between the ten commandments and what follows, interpreters generally point out the distinctiveness of the section which relates the giving of the ten words. This includes elements such as the fact that God speaks immediately to Israel and takes it upon Himself to avenge transgressions of the law, as well as the significant interaction between Israel, Moses, and the Lord after the giveing of the commandments which effectively installs Moses as mediator. The ten words are subsequently subsumed under the Mosaic administration, but this does not prejudice the fact that they were originally given independent of that mediatorial appointment.
 

A5pointer

Puritan Board Sophomore
The Treaty concept is an extra-biblical imposition on the text, and undermines the correct understanding of it. It was once in fashion amongst scholars, but fashions change more in the academic world than in a ladies' boutique. As far as I am aware further research has shown there were various kinds of treatises which existed in the ANE, including "mixed" contracts, so that it is impossible to tie the biblical text down to any one model..

I disagree my friend, classic treaty structure. Parties are identified/great King(YHWH) and vassell people(Israelites), general stipulations,stipulations clarified, consequences/blessings and curses and finally agreement/ratification. As I said no different than modern contracts. The extra biblical imposition would be to seperate it. We owe a great debt to modern sholarship.

.[/QUOTE]While it is true there is a connectedness between the ten commandments and what follows, interpreters generally point out the distinctiveness of the section which relates the giving of the ten words. This includes elements such as the fact that God speaks immediately to Israel and takes it upon Himself to avenge transgressions of the law, as well as the significant interaction between Israel, Moses, and the Lord after the giveing of the commandments which effectively installs Moses as mediator. The ten words are subsequently subsumed under the Mosaic administration, but this does not prejudice the fact that they were originally given independent of that mediatorial appointment.[/QUOTE]

I don't understand where the above is going.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I disagree my friend, classic treaty structure. Parties are identified/great King(YHWH) and vassell people(Israelites), general stipulations,stipulations clarified, consequences/blessings and curses and finally agreement/ratification. As I said no different than modern contracts. The extra biblical imposition would be to seperate it. We owe a great debt to modern sholarship.

The repetition of your claim does not make it sound any more plausible. There are major discontinuities between the model you are proposing and the biblical text. Besides, the scholars to whom you owe a great debt now claim to be able to identify many different treatises. Perhaps some more reading on the subject is in order.
 

A5pointer

Puritan Board Sophomore
The repetition of your claim does not make it sound any more plausible. There are major discontinuities between the model you are proposing and the biblical text. Besides, the scholars to whom you owe a great debt now claim to be able to identify many different treatises. Perhaps some more reading on the subject is in order.

respectfully, your vaugue claim does nothing to make your claim anymore plausible. I see the model in the text. Which element that I identified do you see as incongruent to the text? Which one of us are you prescribing more reading for?
 
Last edited:

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
I would be interested in understanding more of why the reformed view the Ten Commandments as being the complete summation of the moral Law of God.

I think Jesus summed up the moral law quite nicely without using all 10 commandments...

Matthew 22:37-40
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

As an example, the WLC lists sodomy as one of the sins against the seventh commandment. But why is there a need to 'force' this sin into that category? How is sodomy an example of adultery?
If we can think of adultery as generally having sex with someone other than a spouse then it would fit the commandment perfectly.

Consider Mat 5:27-28 -
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

It does say "whosoever" not "any married man"

I may be off base here, but it seems logical to put sodomy under the adultery commandment. But even more i would suggest that it goes against the 2 overarching laws that Jesus sums up the Law into.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
respectfully, your vaugue claim does nothing to make your claim anymore plausible. I see the model in the text. Which element that I identified do you see as incongruent to the text? Which one of us are you prescribing more reading for?

All of it is incongruent. Those who argue for parallels cannot agree amongst themselves what part of the decalogue correlates to the Hittite treatises. McCarthy calls it apodictic law covenant form that parallels the stipulations section of the Hittite treaties. Then it is necessary to divide the stipulations between basic (decalogue) and detailed (judgments, chap. 21ff), which there is no historic precedent for. Everyone is at a loss to know what to do with the interactive narrative between Israel, Moses, and YHWH at the end of the ten words. There is no consensus as to what part of Ex. 20:1-2 forms introduction and prologue. There is good reason to believe the verbless clause is a common Hebrew method of announcing the self-identification of a speaker at the beginning of a pronouncement. And where are the sanctions? They are scattered here, there, and everywhere -- some of them in the decalogue to be enacted by God Himself, those in the judgments section by the people themselves. Taken all in all, imposing the treaty form on the text destroys the natural flow of the narrative and obscures rhetorical analysis.

As far as reading is concerned, I would suggest the classic works on the subject by McCarthy, Mendenhall, etc, with various modern commentaries on Exodus, Deuteronomy and Joshua (e.g., Word and NICOT), with a view to trying to reconcile what the various schemes hypothesise. At best we can say there are treaty elements in the biblical narratives which would have resonated with the Israelites; but there is no imposition of a single treaty pattern in any of the classic texts.
 

A5pointer

Puritan Board Sophomore
All of it is incongruent. Those who argue for parallels cannot agree amongst themselves what part of the decalogue correlates to the Hittite treatises. McCarthy calls it apodictic law covenant form that parallels the stipulations section of the Hittite treaties. Then it is necessary to divide the stipulations between basic (decalogue) and detailed (judgments, chap. 21ff), which there is no historic precedent for. Everyone is at a loss to know what to do with the interactive narrative between Israel, Moses, and YHWH at the end of the ten words. There is no consensus as to what part of Ex. 20:1-2 forms introduction and prologue. There is good reason to believe the verbless clause is a common Hebrew method of announcing the self-identification of a speaker at the beginning of a pronouncement. And where are the sanctions? They are scattered here, there, and everywhere -- some of them in the decalogue to be enacted by God Himself, those in the judgments section by the people themselves. Taken all in all, imposing the treaty form on the text destroys the natural flow of the narrative and obscures rhetorical analysis.

As far as reading is concerned, I would suggest the classic works on the subject by McCarthy, Mendenhall, etc, with various modern commentaries on Exodus, Deuteronomy and Joshua (e.g., Word and NICOT), with a view to trying to reconcile what the various schemes hypothesise. At best we can say there are treaty elements in the biblical narratives which would have resonated with the Israelites; but there is no imposition of a single treaty pattern in any of the classic texts.

Thank you for indulging me. Very gracious of you. The issue as we discuss it is not whether the Mosaic Code fits perfectly into an identifiable form,(suzerain, Hittite)? but, is it reasonable to break the decalouge off as an independant unit of Law? I say no, you say yes. The answer obviously has ramifications as to how we now reasonably understand God's law for us today. Thus the tension in interpretation. I am guessing you are sabbatarian, which would fall if one accepts the Mosaic law to be one unit. If this is not true, excuse me, but i have found strict confessionalists to be the most animated on this subject. This obviously is not the issue, I just wanted to acknowledge possible pre-concieved bias by us both. I and others I am sure just do not see where the text allows for a dis-jointing of the Ten regardless of implications on theological views. The young man who started this post asked a question which my view offered a viable answer to. Perhaps as you counter my view of the Law you could offer him an answer to his question as we have hi-jacked his post. God Bless
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Thank you for indulging me. Very gracious of you. The issue as we discuss it is not whether the Mosaic Code fits perfectly into an identifiable form,(suzerain, Hittite)? but, is it reasonable to break the decalouge off as an independant unit of Law? I say no, you say yes. The answer obviously has ramifications as to how we now reasonably understand God's law for us today. Thus the tension in interpretation. I am guessing you are sabbatarian, which would fall if one accepts the Mosaic law to be one unit. If this is not true, excuse me, but i have found strict confessionalists to be the most animated on this subject. This obviously is not the issue, I just wanted to acknowledge possible pre-concieved bias by us both. I and others I am sure just do not see where the text allows for a dis-jointing of the Ten regardless of implications on theological views. The young man who started this post asked a question which my view offered a viable answer to. Perhaps as you counter my view of the Law you could offer him an answer to his question as we have hi-jacked his post. God Bless

The original question requires more of an abstraction than a biblico-theological answer. I don't understand him as asking how the individual biblical laws fit under one or other of the commandments (say, as Calvin treats them); but rather, he seems to me to be asking why individual duties and prohibitions (as already deduced from Scripture) need to be classified under one or other of the commandments. Hence I took him to be asking why we limit the commandments this way in dealing with ethical issues. [If I am wrong Mark please correct me.]

I'm not sure what the Sabbath has to do with this. Yes, I suppose the force of the commandment is weakened a little if the decalogue is subsumed under the Mosaic administration. But I would still consider its institution as a creation ordinance fundamental to its abiding validity. Mosaic marriage laws qualify the marriage ordinance, but do not create it; it still continues to be in force outside of Israel. Hence when the Mosaic code is done away with, the marriage ordinance is not nullified. The same applies exactly to the Sabbath.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top