What kind of laws are these?

Status
Not open for further replies.

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
This is not to be a theonomy thread. Let that be the only time the T-word is mentioned. I have no dog in the hunt, and this question should be equally challenging to non-T'ers.

While I affirm the Westminster tri-furcation of the Law, I confess that in my own personal study, I can't make some categories "stick." For example,

Markus Brockmuehl writes,
"The very distinction between moral, civil, and ceremonial laws, aside from being unknown to the Old Testament and New Testament and to Judaism, is legally unworkable and practically awkward. Who would confidently classify the laws about gleaning or taking of a bird's nest, not to mention the Sabbath and the command about images?

Jewish Law in Gentile Churches: Halakah and the Beginning of Christian Public Ethics, 149n14

While I think he goes too far, he is on to something. What about nocturnal emissions: civil or ceremonial? How do you tell? Or intercourse with a woman during her period: civil, moral, or ceremonial--how do you tell?

Tripping the blind?, etc.

If we determine that a law is “typological,” then are we free to dismiss it when thinking through ethical questions? Do the sacrificial laws, for instance, have nothing to teach us about ethics or politics? Jacob Milgrom, the Jewish scholar who is the universally recognized dean of Levitical studies, would certainly differ.

To his credit Joe Morecraft tries to answer this question.
http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=1505203736
 

turmeric

Megerator
I'll take a crack at some of them;
Gleaning & bird's nest - civil
nocturnal emission & woman's period - ceremonial
Tripping the blind - moral

:2cents:
 

turmeric

Megerator
How would not having intercourse during menstrual cycles be a ceremonial law?

Because the woman was considered ritually "unclean" during this time and was supposed to be in separate living quarters until it was over and for a little while after if I recall correctly. Intercourse with her would make the man "unclean" for a while and neither party would be able to go to worship until they became "clean" again.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Anyone familiar with ecology will know that the survivability of eggs and chicks of game birds are very low, while the life expectancy of the adult female is high. If she lays a dozen eggs, only 1 may reach adulthood. So if a person is allowed to take chicks or eggs the female can lay another batch, whereas if a person takes the adult, during a period when she's unusually defenceless it can drastically reduce the population of game birds.

This law is one of game management. It insures that there will be game animals for future generations, which is part of our job as stewards, so there must be a moral component.
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
This is not to be a theonomy thread. Let that be the only time the T-word is mentioned. I have no dog in the hunt, and this question should be equally challenging to non-T'ers.

While I affirm the Westminster tri-furcation of the Law, I confess that in my own personal study, I can't make some categories "stick." For example,

Markus Brockmuehl writes,
"The very distinction between moral, civil, and ceremonial laws, aside from being unknown to the Old Testament and New Testament and to Judaism, is legally unworkable and practically awkward. Who would confidently classify the laws about gleaning or taking of a bird's nest, not to mention the Sabbath and the command about images?

Jewish Law in Gentile Churches: Halakah and the Beginning of Christian Public Ethics, 149n14

While I think he goes too far, he is on to something. What about nocturnal emissions: civil or ceremonial? How do you tell? Or intercourse with a woman during her period: civil, moral, or ceremonial--how do you tell?]

Resolving one complication would help. It is a pity that the WCF did not explicitly limit the subcategory "civil laws" to laws that have specific punishments enforceable by the Israelite community attached. Doing so would move many laws into a new category (call it personal ethics for now), which are sins but not crimes. These would remain sins and not crimes today. Taking from a birds nest has been shown elsewere on this thread to be a general equity application of good stewardship of the earth. It thus remains valid today.
 

Amazing Grace

Puritan Board Junior
This is not to be a theonomy thread. Let that be the only time the T-word is mentioned. I have no dog in the hunt, and this question should be equally challenging to non-T'ers.

While I affirm the Westminster tri-furcation of the Law, I confess that in my own personal study, I can't make some categories "stick." For example,

Markus Brockmuehl writes,
"The very distinction between moral, civil, and ceremonial laws, aside from being unknown to the Old Testament and New Testament and to Judaism, is legally unworkable and practically awkward. Who would confidently classify the laws about gleaning or taking of a bird's nest, not to mention the Sabbath and the command about images?

Jewish Law in Gentile Churches: Halakah and the Beginning of Christian Public Ethics, 149n14

While I think he goes too far, he is on to something. What about nocturnal emissions: civil or ceremonial? How do you tell? Or intercourse with a woman during her period: civil, moral, or ceremonial--how do you tell?

Tripping the blind?, etc.

If we determine that a law is “typological,” then are we free to dismiss it when thinking through ethical questions? Do the sacrificial laws, for instance, have nothing to teach us about ethics or politics? Jacob Milgrom, the Jewish scholar who is the universally recognized dean of Levitical studies, would certainly differ.

To his credit Joe Morecraft tries to answer this question.
SermonAudio.com - Importance of Christian View 2



Excellent question Jacob. Do you or anyone know when the 'tri-furcation' of Law was first mentioned?
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Do you or anyone know when the 'tri-furcation' of Law was first mentioned?

I don't know if Aquinas was the first, but his treatment of the threefold division of law between moral, judicial and ceremonial (Summa Theologica, Prima Secundae Partis, Treatise on Law) contributed substantially to the historically Reformed paradigm that is reflected in the WCF and elsewhere.
 

Jon Peters

Puritan Board Sophomore
I should probably know this answer, but I don't. Does a three old division of the law necessitate that each law fit into only one catagory?
 

ModernPuritan?

Puritan Board Freshman
I should probably know this answer, but I don't. Does a three old division of the law necessitate that each law fit into only one catagory?

i was told they did. but then i also found some intresting ones

we all like to swear up and down that the kosher laws were "ceremonial"

but yet for some reason, some thousands of years after they were giving- a Kosher diet is still according to some medical folk the healthiest diet around.

sometimes i wonder = didnt God know what he was doing when He gave the diet laws? man has a history of seeking to throw God off at every corner. How do we know, that kosher isnt another attempt?

the laws against eating blood should of more than easily taken care of any concerns about pork and trechonosis or whatever. just like the poop laws should mean that their ground water/wells/ rivers should be safe to drink without that ohh so evil alcohol :lol::lol::lol:
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Do you or anyone know when the 'tri-furcation' of Law was first mentioned?

I don't know if Aquinas was the first, but his treatment of the threefold division of law between moral, judicial and ceremonial (Summa Theologica, Prima Secundae Partis, Treatise on Law) contributed substantially to the historically Reformed paradigm that is reflected in the WCF and elsewhere.

I heard that Tertullian held to it.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Another one:

We commonly say that the prohibition of eating blood in Leviticus is a ceremonial law, but that was applied to the New Testament gentile church directly, even though Gentiles were allowed to eat blood in the older covenant.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Do you or anyone know when the 'tri-furcation' of Law was first mentioned?

I don't know if Aquinas was the first, but his treatment of the threefold division of law between moral, judicial and ceremonial (Summa Theologica, Prima Secundae Partis, Treatise on Law) contributed substantially to the historically Reformed paradigm that is reflected in the WCF and elsewhere.

Interesting.
 

ModernPuritan?

Puritan Board Freshman
Another one:

We commonly say that the prohibition of eating blood in Leviticus is a ceremonial law, but that was applied to the New Testament gentile church directly, even though Gentiles were allowed to eat blood in the older covenant.

Gentiles as in God fearers could eat blood? or Gentiles as in lets play molech?


If I remeber correctly at several points, God says these rules are for you and the strangers living among you- strangers=gentiles? Unless those verses apply directly and explicitly to the Laws they precede or follow than It seems to me that blood laws applied to Gentile (the God fearing sort).
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Another one:

We commonly say that the prohibition of eating blood in Leviticus is a ceremonial law, but that was applied to the New Testament gentile church directly, even though Gentiles were allowed to eat blood in the older covenant.

The Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible's note says that this was prohibited simply to avoid offending Jewish Christians.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
We commonly say that the prohibition of eating blood in Leviticus is a ceremonial law, but that was applied to the New Testament gentile church directly, even though Gentiles were allowed to eat blood in the older covenant.

Actually the prohibition against eating blood predates the racial divide between Jews and Gentiles, as you can see from Gen 9:4:


But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I want to chime in on the gleaning laws. I believe they are a part of the Moral law. Jesus said the law is summed up in the two great commandments. Loving your neighbor as yourself is definitely moral. And helping the poor is a part of that. It is positive law in that reguard.

And for some reason, I can't make a strong argument for this, I would make the blood thing part of the moral law also. Especially since the life of the animal or anything is in the blood. It is a respect for life issue maybe. Just thinking off of the top of my head. But I can't make a good connection between the ten words or the Two commandments.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
I want to chime in on the gleaning laws. I believe they are a part of the Moral law. Jesus said the law is summed up in the two great commandments. Loving your neighbor as yourself is definitely moral. And helping the poor is a part of that. It is positive law in that reguard.

Yes, when Christ harvested and ate grain (Matt. 12)

1At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. 2When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath."

He and the Disciples were taking advantage of gleaning laws. The Sabbath issue was separate; even the Pharisees didn't question their right under normal circumstances. So I agree with you a hundred percent.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Excellent question Jacob. Do you or anyone know when the 'tri-furcation' of Law was first mentioned?

It was first mentioned by Moses in Exodus 20-40. The giving of the law demonstrates the threefold distinction. The ten words were spoken by God Himself, chap. 20, with absolute terms of reference and open application. Then follows certain "judgments," 21:1-23:33, which take the form of conditional statements and are often restricted to "Hebrew" contexts. After a section which details the people's acceptance of these words in chap. 24, the rest of the book relates to the plans and building of the tabernacle as the place of meeting between God and the sanctified nation.

It is undoubtedly true that this distinction between laws was not functionally acknowledged in Judaism, but that is simply because the whole law was given and received as a unified covenant obligation. It is clear that the distinction is inherent in the giving of the law itself as it pointed forward to a day of fulfilment and transformation. Once that fulfilment had taken place it was only natural that the New Testament church would make clear distinctions in the law relative to issues of continuity. This is precisely what is seen in the writings of the New Testament, where specific terminology is used to mark off different categories of law. It is therefore a legitimate systematising of the biblical material when theologians outline clearcut functional differences between various Old Testament laws.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top