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BIBL 102 (Sp '15) T25-26 - OT Law

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Hartmut Scherer

on 8 April 2015

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Transcript of BIBL 102 (Sp '15) T25-26 - OT Law

The Interpretive Journey
OT Law
Why do we adhere to some laws and ignore others?
Exodus 34:26: “Do not cook a young goat in its
mother's milk.”
Leviticus 19:19: “Do not wear clothing woven
of two kinds of material.”
Traditional Approach to Interpreting OT Law
deals with timeless truths regarding God’s intention for human behavior (“Love your neighbor as yourself”)
Moral -
Civil -
Ceremonial -
Distinction between moral, civil, and ceremonial law allowed the believer to know whether the law applied to them:
Civil and Ceremonial – applied
only to ancient Israel
not to believers today
Too ambiguous and inconsistent
deals with courts, economics, land, crimes, and punishment (“At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts.”)
deals with sacrifices, festivals, and priestly activities (“celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress.”)
Problems with traditional approach:
We need a more consistent approach OT law
Narrative Context
OT law does not appear by itself, but is firmly embedded in the story of Israel’s exodus, wilderness wandering, and conquest.
The law is part of Israel’s story and the story provides an important context for interpreting law.
Don’t separate OT law from its narrative context!
Exodus 1-19 (narrative)
Exodus 20-24 (law)
Israel's bondage in Egypt, God's mighty deliverance, and their journey to the Promised land
Part of the story of God's encounter with Moses and Israel at Mount Sinai.
Stay away from sinful actions and impure thoughts because the holy God lives within you. If you do commit unclean acts or think unclean thoughts, then the death of Christ allows you to confess your sins and receive forgiveness.
Grasp the text in their town
Measure the width of the river
Cross the principlizing bridge
Consult the biblical map
Confession of sin, however, is still important (1 John 1:9)
If God’s people become unclean, they must be purified by a blood sacrifice.
Grasp the text in our town
There will be numerous applications of this text.
“Or if a person touches anything ceremonially unclean—whether the carcasses of unclean wild animals or of unclean livestock or of unclean creatures that move along the ground—even though he is unaware of it, he has become unclean and is guilty.”
Example: Leviticus 5:2
5:5-6 tells the people what to do to become clean again
Summary of step 4:
Making the Journey in OT law
If you do fall into this sin, confess your sin and because of the death of Christ, you can be forgiven and your fellowship with God restored.
One application relates to the issue of Internet pornography.
Traditional approach to law (moral, civil, ceremonial) is inadequate.
Journey approach to interpreting law:
Narrative and covenant context
Interpret all OT legal texts with the same method
Large portion of the Pentateuch is comprised of law (over 600 commandments)
Some of them are very strange:
Arbitrary distinction not in the Bible (Lev. 19:18-19)
Difficult to classify many laws (Lev. 19:19?)
Moral – universal and timeless (still apply as law to

believers today
Nature and Purpose of the Law
Nature of the law
Faithful people loved the law
The law of Moses was given to redeemed people
Image Credit and Sources
Adapted from Zondervan Academic Resources for
Grasping God's Word
Ross, Allen P.,
Holiness to the Lord
(Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002), 58-65.
Purpose of the law
The law was the constitution of the nation of Israel
At Sinai, Israel was established as a theocracy.
The law revealed what was required to be in communion with God
Holiness of God
The law regulated the worship and purity of the people of God
To profane the ritual or to fail to enact it was saying there were other ways to God.
The law was a pedagogue leading to Christ
It laid the foundation for the full revelation of God's plan of salvation.
Human sinfulness
Leviticus deals with how the Israelites are to live with an awesome, holy God in their midst.
Larger unit of 4:1-5:13 deals with purification offerings for those who become ritually unclean
5:2 details what makes a person unclean
We are not under the old covenant and our sin is now covered by the death of Christ.
We also have direct access to the Father through Christ and no longer need human priests as mediators.
God is holy!
God’s holiness demands that his people keep separate from sin and unclean things.
God no longer resides in a tabernacle, but within each of us through the indwelling Holy Spirit.
His presence, however, still demands our holiness.
NT redefines “clean” and “unclean” (Mark 7)
Under the new covenant, sin is washed away by the death of Christ, the Lamb of God.
God’s holiness demands that we lead clean lives.
Viewing pornography clearly violates God’s holiness and hinders our worship and fellowship with God.
Stay away from Internet pornography!
Covenant Context
Mosaic covenant is closely associated with Israel’s conquest and occupation of the land
Jesus is the mediator of a new covenant (Heb. 8:13)
OT law is tightly intertwined with the Mosaic covenant.
What is the nature of that covenant?
Blessings from the Mosaic covenant are conditional
Mosaic covenant is no longer a functional covenant for NT believers
However, the OT legal material still contains rich principles and lessons for living that are relevant when interpreted through NT teaching.
The OT law no longer applies as direct law for us.
We must interpret OT law through the grid of NT teaching. Jesus is the final interpreter of OT law.
NT believers are no longer under OT law as part of the Mosaic covenant
“Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.” Galatians 3:25
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to
them.” Matthew 5:17
We are under the
law of Christ
(Gal 6:2)
The new covenant standard
by Christ
on the demand of love
in the teaching of Christ and the apostles
Think about the author of the law
Full transcript