Origin of the Law of Moses

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

When Paul spoke of the "promise of the Spirit" or the promise which had been made by the Spirit, he leapfrogged over the Law of Moses as it was imposed upon the Israelites especially under the Monarchy under human kings. He landed on Abraham who represented and represents the beginning and ending image of the faithful Israelites. These honored people usually were pastoral and devoted to personal righteousness and social justice. However, many were never faithful.

The Israelites were rescued from Egypt and given The Book of The Covenant which was an Abrahamic-like covenant of grace.

Some of the leaders fell back into their old Osiris (represented by Apis the bull calf) religion with music and other forms of "body worship."

As a result, God gave them The Book of the Law to govern the lawless among them. This is called "the second law" or that which is "in addition" to the first covenant.

Furthermore, the nature of the Tabernacle changed: God added the priesthood and Levites to replace the elders or first-born under the Patriarchal period.

The Levites stood between God's symbolic presence in the Tabernacle and the people. All Israelites not of the clergy class were "strangers" and would be put to death if they attempted to "boldly come before the throne of grace."

Later, when Israel "fired" God and demanded a king like the nations it was so that they could worship like the nations.

The ceremonies at the central sanctuary became the rituals of a secular-civic temple-state. The "people" were still strangers to this order and consequently never worshiped inside of the temple proper. When the sacrifices began, the gates were closed and the people worshiped God "outside the camp."

All Christians, whatever their ethnic origin, must go to Lord Jesus Christ "outside the camp."

Paul agrees that the law is not really a substitute for the promises under the Abrahamic covenant because laws govern the lawless and do not make people righteous and practice social justice.

Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. Galatians 3:21

But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. Galatians 3:22

But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Galatians 3:23

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24

A schoolmaster (which will not teach his brothers in the church) is the Greek paidago—goŚs.

The Greek word pais means "a boy as often beaten with impunity." It comes from "to hit as if by a single blow but not so violent." A schoolmaster was usually a slave and had the right to treat the child like a slave. The schoolmaster was not a "clergy person" but had the responsibility to guide and keep the student from doing harm to himself and others.

"And Heeerrrees Johnnnny"

Remember that God gave the Law "because of transgression"--

"For they are not only subject to those five curses with which Homer begins his Iliads, as says the Greek epigram, but six hundred; as being ever hungerstarved and slovens in their schools--schools, did I say? Nay, rather cloisters, bridewells, or slaughterhouses--grown old among a company of boys, deaf with their noise, and pined away with stench and nastiness. And yet by my courtesy it is that they think themselves the most excellent of all men, so greatly do they please themselves in frighting a company of fearful boys with a thundering voice and big looks, tormenting them with ferules, rods, and whips; and, laying about them without fear or wit, imitate the ass in the lion's skin. Erasmus, In Praise of Folly.

The Jews failed because they adopted Canaanite Baalism or paganism: the Gentiles had already failed because they were by nature pagans. Both failed because they sought to "worship God according to the doctrines of men." They are inherently the same people although the Jews were more protected because of the law.

But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. Galatians 3:25

What? For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26

How? For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Galatians 3:27

The Word was in the form of God or was God. He laid aside the "garment" which was the glory and majesty of an invisible, incomprehensible Spirit. He came to earth to "forge a trail through grizzly bear country" and returned to sit down beside the glory He laid aside to shine like a light from the invisible to the visible dimension.

A believer has "put on Christ" and their citizenship is transferred to heaven. Therefore, you can no longer tell whether it is Jew or Gentile inside the "garment" of Christ:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

And if ye be Christs, then are ye Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:29

No, a Jew does not cease being a national or ethic Jew anymore than the best experiences can make me not a "Tennessee Holler Person." However, to "lade the burden" of the law upon Christians who happen to have Jewish blood is to become guilty of those whom Jesus fired because "they took away the key to knowledge."

The Recapitulation Often Shows The Law of Moses given because of Transgression:

This motif is repeated by Amos, Ezekiel, Paul, the Apostolic Constitutions, by the Kabbalah written by Jews looking backward and many other places. In this article we will look at the views of early Catholics in the:

Didascalia Apostolorum - Origin and Purpose of Law of Moses

We will not agree with all of this document but we use it to show the common knowledge known by most early theologians and presently comprehended by no preacher this writer has ever encountered.

The first six books of the Apostolic Constitutions are an adaptation of the Didascalia Apostolorum, written in Syria about AD 250.

In modern times it is generally accepted that the constitutions were actually written in Syria about AD 380 and that they were the work of one compiler, probably an Arian (one who believes that Christ, the Son of God, is not divine but rather a created being).


By whom also we exhort you in the Lord to abstain from your old conversation, vain bonds, separations, observances, distinction of meats, and daily washings: for "old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."


XIX. For since ye have known God through Jesus Christ, and all His dispensation, as it has been from the beginning, that He gave a plain law to assist the law of nature, such a one as is pure, saving, and holy, in which His own name was inscribed, perfect, which is never to fail, being complete in ten commands, unspotted, converting souls; which, when the Hebrews forgot, He put them in mind of it by the prophet Malachi, saying, "Remember ye the law of Moses, the man of God, who gave you in charge commandments and ordinances."

Which law is so very holy and righteous, that even our Saviour, when on a certain time He healed one leper, and afterwards nine, said to the first, "Go, show thyself to the high priest, and offer the gift which Moses commanded for a testimony unto them;" and afterwards to the nine, "Go, show yourselves to the priests."

For He nowhere has dissolved the law, as Simon pretends, bat fulfilled it; for He says: "One iota, or one tittle, shall not pass from the law until all be fulfilled." For says He, "I come not to dissolve the law, but to fulfill it."

For Moses himself, who was at once the lawgiver, and the high priest, and the prophet, and the king, and Elijah, the zealous follower of the prophets, were present at our Lord's transfiguration in the mountain, and witnesses of His incarnation and of His sufferings, as the intimate friends of Christ, but not as enemies and strangers. Whence it is demonstrated that the law is good and holy, as also the prophets.


XX. Now the law is the decalogue, which the Lord promulgated to them with an audible voice, before the people made that calf which represented the Egyptian Apis.

And the law is righteous, and therefore is it called the law, because judgments are thence made according to the law of nature, which the followers of Simon abuse, supposing they shall not be judged thereby, and so shall escape punishment. This law is good, holy, and such as lays no compulsion in things positive.

For He says: "If thou wilt make me an altar, thou shalt make it of earth."

(1) It does not say, "Make one," but, "If thou wilt make." It does not impose a necessity, but gives leave to their own free liberty.

For God does not stand in need of sacrifices, being by nature above all want. But knowing that, as of old,

Abel, beloved of God, and Noah and Abraham, and those that succeeded, without being required, but only moved of themselves by the law of nature, did offer sacrifice to God out of a grateful mind;

so He did now permit the Hebrews, not commanding, but, if they had a mind, permitting them; and if they offered from a right intention, showing Himself pleased with their sacrifices.

Therefore He says: "If thou desirest to offer, do not offer to me as to one that stands in need of it, for I stand in need of nothing; for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof."

(2) But when this people became forgetful of that, and called upon a calf as God, instead of the true God, and to him did ascribe the cause of their coming out of Egypt, saying, "These are thy gods, O lsrael, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt;"

(3) and when these men had committed: wickedness with the "similitude of a calf that eateth hay;" and denied God who had visited them by Moses

(4) in their afflictions, and had done signs with his hand and rod, and had smitten the Egyptians with ten plagues; who bad divided the waters of the Red Sea into two parts; who had led them in the midst of the water, as a horse upon the ground; who had drowned their enemies, and those that laid wait for them; who at Marah had made sweet the bitter fountain; who had brought water out of the sharp rock till they were satisfied; who had overshadowed them with a pillar of a cloud on account of the immoderate heat, and with a pillar of fire which enlightened and guided them when they knew not which way they were to go; who gave them manna from heaven, and gave them quails for flesh from the sea;

(5) who gave them the law in the mountain; whose voice He had vouchsafed to let them hear; Him did they deny, and said to Aaron, "Make us gods who shall go before us;"

(6) and they made a molten calf, and sacrificed to an idol;--then was God angry, as being ungratefully treated by them,

and bound them with bonds which could not be loosed, with a mortifying burden and a hard collar,

and no longer said, "If thou makest," but, "Make an altar," and sacrifice perpetually; for thou art forgetful and ungrateful.

Offer burnt-offerings therefore continually, that thou mayest be mindful of me.

For since thou hast wickedly abused thy power, I lay a necessity upon thee for the time to come, and I command thee to abstain from certain meats; and I ordain thee the distinction of clean and unclean creatures, although every creature is good, as being made by me; and I appoint thee several separations, purgations, frequent washings and sprinklings, several purifications, and several times of rest;

and if thou neglectest any of them,

I determine that punishment which is proper to the disobedient, that being pressed and galled by thy collar, thou mayest depart from the error of polytheism, and laying aside that, "These are thy gods, O Israel," mayest be mindful of that, "Hear, O lsrael, the Lord thy God is one Lord;"

(7) and mayest run back again to that law which is inserted by me in the nature of all men,

"that there is only one God in heaven and on earth, and to love Him with all thy heart, and all thy might, and all thy mind," and to fear none but Him,

nor to admit the names of other gods into thy mind, nor to let thy tongue utter them out of thy mouth. He bound them for the hardness of their hearts, that by sacrificing, and resting, and purifying themselves, and by similar observances, they might come to the knowledge of God, who ordained these things for them.


XXI. "But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear."

(8) Yours, I say, who have believed in the one God, not by necessity, but by a sound understanding, in obedience to Him that called you.

For you are released from the bonds, and freed from the servitude. For says He:

(9) "I call you no longer servants, but friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father have I made known unto you."

(10) For to them that would not see nor hear, not for the want of those senses, but for the excess of their wickedness,

"I gave statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they would not live;"

(11) they are looked upon as not good, as burnings and a sword, and medicines are esteemed enemies by the sick, and impossible to be observed on account of their obstinacy: whence also they brought death upon them being not obeyed.


XXII. You therefore are blessed who are delivered from the curse, For Christ, the Son of God,

by His coming has confirmed and completed the law,

but has taken away the additional precepts, although not all of them, yet at least the more grievous ones;

having confirmed the former, and abolished the latter, and

has again set the free-will of man at liberty, not subjecting him to the penalty of a temporal death, but giving laws to him

according to another constitution. Wherefore He says: "If any man will come after me, let him come."

(1) And again: "Will ye also go away?"

(2) And besides, before His coming He refused the sacrifices of the people, while they frequently offered them, when they sinned against Him, and thought He was to be appeased by sacrifices, but not by repentance.

For thus He speaks: "Why dost thou bring to me frankincense from Saba, and cinnamon from a remote land? Your burnt-offerings are not acceptable, and your sacrifices are not sweet to me."

(3) And afterwards: "Gather your burnt-offerings, together with your sacrifices, and eat flesh. For I did not command you, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt-offerings and sacrifices."

(4) And He says by Isaiah: "To what purpose do ye bring me a multitude of sacrifices? saith the Lord. I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and I will not accept the fat of lambs, and the blood of bulls and of goats.

Nor do you come and appear before me;

for who hath required these things at your hands?

Do not go on to tread my courts any more. If you bring me fine flour, it is vain: incense is an abomination unto me: your new moons, and your Sabbaths, and your great day, I cannot bear them: your fasts, and your rests, and your feasts,

my soul hateth them; I am over-full of them."

(5) And He says by another: "Depart from me; the sound of thine hymns, and the psalms of thy musical instruments, I will not hear."

6) And Samuel says to Saul, when he thought to sacrifice: "Obedience is better than sacrifice, and hearkening than the fat of rams. For, behold, the Lord does not so much delight in sacrifice, as in obeying Him."

(7) And He says by David: "I will take no calves out of thine house, nor he-goats out of thy flock.

If I should be hungry, I would not tell thee;

for the whole world is mine, and the fulness thereof. Shall I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Sacrifice to God the sacrifice of praise, and pay thy vows to the Most High."

(8) And in all the Scriptures in like manner He refuses their sacrifices on account of their sinning against Him. For "the sacrifices of the impious are an abomination with the Lord, since they offer them in an unlawful manner."

(9) And again: "Their sacrifices are to them as bread of lamentation; all that eat of them shall be defiled."

(10) If, therefore, before His coining He sought for "a clean heart and a contrite spirit"

(11) more than sacrifices, much rather would He abrogate those sacrifices, I mean those by blood, when He came.

Yet He so abrogated them as that He first fulfilled them.

For He was both circumcised, and sprinkled, and offered sacrifices and whole burnt-offerings, and made use of the rest of their customs.

And He that was the Lawgiver became Himself the fulfilling of the law; not taking away the law of nature,

but abrogating those additional laws that were afterwards introduced, although not all of them neither.


XXIII. For He did not take away the law of nature, but confirmed it. For He that said in the law, "The Lord thy God is one Lord;"

(12) the same says in the Gospel, "That they might know Thee, the only true God."

(13) And He that said, "Thou shalt love thy neighhour as thyself,"

(14) says in the Gospel, renewing the same precept, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another."

(15) He who then forbade murder, does now forbid causeless anger.

(16) He that forbade adultery, does now forbid all unlawful lust. He that forbade stealing, now pronounces him most happy who supplies those that are in want out of his own labours.

(17) He that forbade hatred, now pronounces him blessed that loves his enemies.

(18) He that forbade revenge, now commands long-suffering;

(19) not as if just revenge were an unrighteous thing, but because long-suffering is more excellent. Nor did He make laws to root out our natural passions, but only to forbid the excess of them.

(20) He who had commanded to honour our parents, was Himself subject to them.

(1) He who had commanded to keep the Sabbath, by resting thereon for the sake of meditating on the laws, has now commanded us to consider of the law of creation, and of providence every day, and to return thanks to God,

He abrogated circumcision when He had Himself fulfilled it. For He it was "to whom the inheritance was reserved, who was the expectation of the nations."

(2) He who made a law for swearing rightly, and forbade perjury, has now charged us not to swear at all.

(3) He has in several ways changed baptism, sacrifice, the priesthood, and the divine service, which was confined to one place: for instead of daily baptisms,

He has given only one, which is that into His death.

Instead of one tribe, He has appointed that out of every nation the best should be ordained for the priesthood; and that not their bodies should be examined for blemishes, but their religion and their lives.

Instead of a bloody sacrifice, He has appointed that reasonable and unbloody mystical one of His body and blood, which is performed to represent the death of the Lord by symbols.

Instead of the divine service confined to one place, He has commanded and appointed that He should be glorified from sun-rising to sunsetting in every place of His dominion.

(4) He did not therefore take away the law from us, but the bonds. For concerning the law Moses says: "Thou shalt meditate on the word which I command thee, sitting in thine house, and rising up, and walking in the way."

(5) And David says: "His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law will he meditate day and night."

(6) For everywhere would he have us subject to His laws, but not transgressors of them. For says He: "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that search out His testimonies; with their whole heart shall they seek Him."

(7) And again: "Blessed are we, O Israel, because those things that are pleasing to God are known to us."

(8) And the Lord says: "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."

Most of what we know of as "the religion of the Jews" is indiscriminately plucked out of the period of the Monarchy. This period rejected the theocratic rule of God and He gave them the sign of the "prophesying" sons of the prophets from the Philistine high place, and the untimely destruction of the wheat crop as signs.

Furthermore, He warned that the kings would wear them out and bring them into destruction. This destruction had been "earned" at Mount Sinai when God prophesied their destruction unless they repented.

It is indeed unfortunate that without this background there is a tendency to demote the Jews to an inferior status. And it is just as unfortunate for Christians to reach into this period of "being under the tutor" to impose worship rituals such as the Levitical Musical Worship Team and a priest-like clergy.

To the extent that there is thinking of Jew versus Gentile in a religious sense we have not yet appropriated one of the primary "mysteries" of the kingdom of God. Jews are undoubtedly free to continue their ethnic traditions but not to put their trust in them.

Kenneth Sublett

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