The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Eye for an Eye

I’m hoping to switch gears a bit and raise up the issue regarding a literal approach to observances of God’s law and what that means. I realize semantics are at the heart of these issues regarding observances of food laws and sabbath so I’m hoping those semantics will emerge.

However, after much discussion regarding sabbath laws, I’m afriad I’ve not yet reached Kelly that it is a caricature (based on a semantic) to state that Christians endorse murder by saying we are not under the law. Christians, even if inconsistent, don’t believe in murder nor are they saying they do.

I’d like to ask everyone these questions:

  1. Imagine yourself a first century jew in the time of Christ during his ministry. This guy who claims to be from God declares “You’ve heard it said an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth but I tell you turn the other cheek BUT I TELL YOU” - who is he objecting to regarding this statement? Would you have thought he’s objecting to God or perhaps the pharisees and scribes? It was God who declared an eye for an eye and thus it appears that Jesus is objecting to God.

  2. Is Jesus changing the instruction that God gave? It at least has the appearance that he is. If someone argues God did not mean it literally an eye for an eye, then what other commands are not literal? If someone argues Jesus is supporting an eye for an eye then why is he instructing us to turn the other cheek when God says to take out their eye?

I’d like to hear thoughts on this.

Hey Auggy,
As I have stated in the past, I’m not a theologian, nor a great philosopher. I obey Yehovah’s commandments (as Yeshua did) because I love Him and He is holy, righteous and good. He died for me and I follow Him. What is a day of work here, bacon there, or clothing to me? The kingdom is more than food or clothing. I do what He says, that is all. I understand the sacrifice and priesthood has changed by His fulfillment. I understand my heart has changed and so I have no desire to oppose His righteousness. I see the law for us in both a spiritual and physical sense. His death on the cross was literal and spiritual, His walking out of the Torah was literal and spiritual. Why should we not walk both literally and spiritually? We are, in this life, literal (physical) and spiritual.

I’m sure that you would not murder someone intentionally, Auggy. But, do you see that by claiming and teaching the law is not to be upheld because Jesus erased it somehow leads to confusion and obviously immorality. Many christians think it is fine to kill their unborn babies. One christian woman told me Jesus was pro choice. Huh? It is a practice of Molech, not of Yehovah who calls children a blessing. You can see christians are already led astray by the “we don’t have to keep the law” mantra. Adultery, in the name of “love” in the church! This should not be! People claim Jesus’ blood then trample on it. We should uphold love as He defines it - keeping the commandments. Love isn’t just a feeling to be conjured up as often as we want to, it is doing right to God and our neighbor - keeping the commandments with a right heart spiritually and physically.

Yeshua is not teaching that the law is unjust or unneeded. He is teaching us the value of sacrifice. The spiritual change that giving up ones own rights can affect. He is in no way saying that violating another person’s rights are ok or that there shouldn’t be a righteous judgment when someone maliciously murders a person, etc. But, He is saying that if you give up your personal rights, there is a shift in the spirit that will change the hearts of lawbreakers and those whom you could just as easily have justice served on. This does not mean there is no accountability or any way to appeal for help if a person is violated. It does not mean that the commandments are wrong or different. It means, if you can bear it and overlook your own rights - your sacrifice will yield a heart change which is much better. This is what He did on the cross. He did not rob others of justice but, gave it up where it concerned Himself.

He did not change truth or literal justice. How just could it have really been if it could be changed - as if Yehovah suddenly came up with a more just thing to do. The commandments are literal and spiritual - they always were. As I stated above, Yeshua is speaking to individual people saying if, as an individual, you can sacrifice your right to have justice that sacrifice will change hearts. Just like He did on the cross.

I appreciate your desire to continue to try to understand each other and walk in a right way, Auggy. Thank you. You’re awesome that way!


I have already stated my understanding on this in another post, and I am looking to take a break from these discussions for the time being but I would like to briefly point out the obvious:

This Eye for Eye statement of Jesus is in reference to the statement first uttered in Exodus 21. God Was establishing the Theocracy of Israel. The legal court system and how to enforce right judgement and penalties within a Nation.

If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. 23 But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, [x]bruise for bruise.

The court system for the Nation involved two witnesses and the judges deciding on Righteousness. And in the eye to eye law it was established (within a court law) in order to make sure the penalty fit the crime, not any more or less than what was fair and to teach and enforce Righteousness within a Nation. But this was never, ever something a person was to take into their own hands, outside of witnesses and Judges. In fact it was always forbidden on an individual level, Jesus is just Reiterating that.

By the time Jesus came, the Nation of Israel was no longer. The Romans were now in control. So those National laws (including stoning) no longer had bearing, but the Oral law seemed to include hating enemies and getting back at them equally “eye for and eye”. Clearly this was never the law for an individual, and that was Jesus point.

Anyways, ill let you guys argue it!!! I’m just going to post and run :laughing:

KellyS, I appreciate your view. It reminds me of a common Anabaptist position – though they discard (but not in a flippant way) tension on any permitted violence within the Hebrew scriptures. Would you be able to clarify whether you believe violence is ever permitted?

My view on the Sermon on the Mount is admittedly undeveloped, though I believe it must be taken literally by anyone claiming to be of the Kingdom (excepting what is clearly hyperbole – I understand this is the particularly debatable point). I agree that this is to be obeyed only by Christian individuals, but I don’t understand how it could ever be permitted for Christians to dismiss this, whenever they find themselves in an “ordained” mob (especially when they are forbidden to participate in them; Matthew 20:25). I think one of the biggest deceptions Christianity upholds is one that values nationalist division and rulers. A holy nation of Gentile and Jewish servants was supposed to transcend this.

The only thing I really want to say though, is that Yeshua is not being a rogue prophet here, so I don’t know why we feel obliged to distort His words to harmonize them with the more permitting words of Moses. Yeshua still grounds his Sermon from countless prophets throughout the Tanakh to direct people into emphasizing self-sacrificial and unconditional love (the writers of Deuteronomy, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations and so forth). I don’t see the Sermon on the Mount as a code of ideal moral behaviour. It’s aionion life.

Greetings Brother,
You challenge me in this area of my heart. I am still working through some new ideas, because of your writings in particular. I believe if we truly walk in fullness and power of the Holy Spirit, as Yeshua did, there would be no need for me to be violent. I don’t know if I would trust myself to hold back from violence if Yehovah chose to allow something bad to happen to someone in front of me when I could have kept an innocent person from harm. I also don’t think of accountability for sin (say murder) via civil law, as violence.
I am completely ignorant of Anabaptist theology, I’m sorry. Tell me please what you mean by violence permitted within Hebrew scripture? Do you mean consequences for sin according to Torah or wars in the promised land or something else?

I agree with you in this. I still have a lot of growing to do here - O.k., well everywhere really. :unamused:
I agree too with the nationalist division. I think it is the man made govts of the nations that keep the people divided. I really believe that the majority of people in the world would be less likely to divide if it were the majority’s decision. The wars over policies and religion are, and always have been, ridiculous and sickening to me. Mostly, I think good people get caught up in bad things and don’t realize it until it’s too late to turn back. I believe the truth is, there are only two kingdoms right now and that the true kingdom should indeed transcend the divisions made by men who, in ignorance or deliberately, cause division among people that would rather care for one another.

I may not be getting what you mean in this section Brother so, please tell me if I am not clear. I don’t believe we should be under the law or keep the law to receive aionion life but, that because of that life, we will love our God and our neighbor which is the summation of the law. Also, I think of Moses as self sacrificing and even for him do continue on with the people who accused him and wanted to murder him, to me, shows unconditional love. Moses seems to me to be a type of Yeshua Messiah.

Kelly I see that. What I think you fail to see is no one here is claming Jesus erased the law or that it need not be upheld in every sense of the word - it is PRECISELY why I used the word “literal” - but when I use that word to make disctinctions, people get upset.

Thanks again for the response and I’ll have to work through it. I’m sympathetic with the law being divided into “civial” and “moral” and “symbolic” laws. That makes sense to me. However, who is able to define these? Like TV has pointed out regarding which that line being drawn, who has the authority or insight? Kelly actually makes sense to me here in that she doesn’t draw a line. I can appreciate that.

Brother, perhaps you might explain your thoughts a bit more, especially the last paragraph. I want to understand you and I’m having a hard time making sense of what it is your’e saying. I’m not saying it’s your fault. I’m saying I want to understand you’re idea and approach to this subject.

Perhaps you shouldn’t add to the law because if God’s law is perfect and pulling a guys teeth out is how we establish justice then why the need to turn the other cheek. It’s as if you think you have something better to add to that which is already perfect. :slight_smile: Kidding guys :slight_smile:

On a serious note: I’m not sure a civil code escapes the dillemma I see (not that there is a dillemma, only that I think there is one). If pulling teeth and poking eyes is literally the means to bring about justice (socially or individually), then why did God not tell us to turn the other cheek in the first place? If God’s law to poke eyes and break fingers and toes is the literal means to justice then do you support breaking fingers for fingers or do you think you should turn the other cheeck? How do these two extremes both establish justice and when Jesus says “BUT I TELL YOU THIS” what do you think he means by that phrase?

Just to briefly answer your original questions Auggy, I believe Yeshua is objecting to rabbinical aberrations of Torah (“hate your enemy”) and heightening existing commandments (“eye for an eye” – a standard already much higher than Caananite justice), to fulfill the promise of universal reconciliation (I don’t necessarily mean this in a universalist, post-resurrection way). I think that Yahweh progressively shapes the meaning of Torah and directs the Israelites so that, in fulfillment of promise, the Kingdom community/aionion life can be offered universally without the divisive and destructive distinctions between enemy and friend, criminal and victim. It’s these definitions that Yeshua has changed first, the meaning of the Torah has followed. Only by “turning the other cheek” [extending unconditional, self-sacrificiaI love] can one genuinely reconcile others, as Yeshua showed so clearly at Calvary. And if all are potential partakers of the covenant, then there are no outsiders whose humanity should be diminished with violence – to paraphrase John Howard Yoder, there is no longer an enemy to be destroyed but an adversary to be reconciled. I hope some of that makes sense. I haven’t fully thought this through yet, so it will probably contain a lot of bugs with my already emerging understanding.

Wow, thanks friend – I’m actually quite flattered that the Holy Spirit used me that way! Sure, I don’t trust myself either. I don’t know if I would resist violence in all circumstances, and I say this without a wife and children I would want to defend. But I hope in whatever the circumstance, with the foundation of Yeshua’s teachings that I have tried to build upon and with the mind-change I have tried to cultivate, the Holy Spirit would permit me the strength and sobriety to walk peaceably amongst all wolves. I do personally believe that the application of civil law against another is violence. Though I could not force rulers to act nonviolently (this would be their own negation), and I would also commend wrongdoers to willingly endure the wrath of rulers (Romans 13:). Yes, I would consider as violence every exercise of destructive force that is permitted in the Hebrew scriptures including the consequences of disobeying written Torah and war.

Yeah sorry about that. My first paragraph may have addressed some of these points. But simply, Yeshua brought out from within “the Law (Torah) [and] the Prophets” (the whole Hebrew scriptures – this is why “turning the other cheek” can come from outside of Torah; see Lamentations 3:30), the greatest meaning in order to expand the covenant universally. It was always Yahweh’s ultimate intention to have a universal covenant. The word “fulfill” (***pléroó***4317) in Matthew 5:17 can mean: “to bring to its intended meaning.”

I’m not saying that we keep the Sermon on the Mount as though it’s a wooden law and as the means of earning aionion life. When we extend faith in Yahweh, we are freed from the enslavement of sin and enabled to live a righteous life according to Yeshuan Torah (the spirit of the Torah; as expounded on the Sermon on the Mount and Romans 13:8-12). We can keep Yeshuan Torah because we have partaken of the divine Christ nature through faith in Yeshua’s life (teachings), death and resurrection and are given aionion life. Living out Yeshuan Torah is experiencing the aionion and divine life, it doesn’t earn it. But when someone claims they have exercised faith, but quench their divine nature, rejecting His teachings in their life, they annul any faith they had in Yahweh’s promises and are stripped of all justification and cast out from possessing aionion life (and therefore cannot experience or follow it). Yahweh will graciously grant aionion life to all through faith that perseveres in working Yeshuan Torah. If you do not have faith or works you are not presently saved.

Does that make more sense? Sorry, I’m trying to be concise and I already have difficulty explaining myself…

Brothers, please explain this, especially the bold. I think I’m following you but this statement leaves me curious.

The Torah is seated in various historical and covenantal contexts. When we begin to apply biblical prescriptions outside of these contexts they become completely irrelevant – at their best, absurd and at their worst, abhorrent. An ancient Hebrew wouldn’t have thought it disgusting to sacrifice their firstborn son. For all deities demanded the first-fruits of the womb. An ancient Hebrew wouldn’t have thought it disgusting to demand equal recompense for being maimed. For that was cultural justice (and was relatively lenient already). An ancient Hebrew might have thought it unfair to have been forbidden the joy of fornication with animals. It just would have been a cultural practice, as was boiling goat-kids in their mother’s milk. The bar is clearly set pretty low. An ancient Hebrew also wouldn’t have thought it disgusting to drown whole cities in blood. For it was merely human sacrifice on a particularly large scale. (This is what is meant by ***charam***2763: “to consecrate to religious service”. This was not exercising violence to individual fathers, mothers and children; as objects of hate. It was a vast sacrifice to Yahweh. Incidentally, I don’t believe that Yahweh is inherently violent or necessarily instructed violence willfully, but there’s no real need to hold these beliefs as pacifists.)

Torah is a culturally relevant document used by Yahweh to instruct His covenant people so that they would trust in Him for their security and identity as covenant people. When this identity is extended beyond the ethnic and religious body of Israel as a family, to a federation of tribes it necessitated further developed instruction. And Torah did respond to those changes in circumstance. The focus on progressive revelation within the Tanakh is not the changing of ethics, this is really a secondary issue. When we focus on this we run into all sorts of problems. Our focus should remain on the changing definition of the identity of Israel and their reliance on Yahweh to be their deliverer in particular stages of Yahweh’s vision, as I said earlier. From a family, to tribes, to a federated nation to a universal brotherhood – Israel as a geographical and ethnic body was the germ of the new humanity in Christ. With the progressive realizing of Yahweh’s vision for all people within a spiritual Israel, came a development of the meaning of Torah that, for Yeshua would even extend into the prophets of the Nevi’im and Ketuvim (Matthew 5:17). Torah began and endured as a disciplinarian until the Christ came and reformed this written law into a life for all. A life that necessarily excludes no one – not even our “enemies”. For anyone from any nation is a potential son of Abraham. You can hear John the Baptist’s universal gospel: “Do not claim that you are the exclusive sons of Abraham! God can raise up sons of Abraham out of stones!”. He can also raise them out of prostitutes, tax collectors, thieves, even kings! Even Saul! By exercising violence against our enemies we bar them from Kingdom living (a crime sharply criticized by Yeshua): death forbids them entry in this life, and any other exercise of destructive force simply hardens their hearts from repentance and disfigures true aionion life. All destructive force is impotent in securing a Kingdom of universal brotherhood. Universalists have the added benefit of claiming an opportunity in a future life, but too often this becomes flippant and detracts from Yeshua’s primary concerns with this one.

In my view, founding ethics on a Torah for ancient Hebrews is then greatly misplaced. I reject this quite thoroughly – including placing any particular weight upon the Ten commandments. I subscribe to it’s final and intended meaning in the teachings and example of Yeshua.

Does that make sense? I’m sure you have many more questions, I know it was rather disjointed but I grew weary of revising it. Also, when I talk in universal terms I generally mean unlimited atonement. Apologies for any confusion.

Brothers, no apologies required, thank you and yea it’s a bit esoteric but I think with enough dialogue we’ll get it. It sounds to me like progressive revelation plays a rather large role in your view.

If I understand you correctly ealier you stated “Yahweh progressively shapes the meaning of the torah”. I think I’m in agreement with this. But what does that mean regarding the 10 commandments. When you say you: “In my view, founding ethics on a Torah for ancient Hebrews is then greatly misplaced. I reject this quite thoroughly – including placing any particular weight upon the Ten commandments.” Where does that leave you for today’s meaning? I see you as saying, for the acients, God precribed particular laws based on where they were at. But ethics today should not be founded on such law due to the nature of progressive shaping. I’m sympathetic with it. After all when people argue the diet laws, the arguments sink quickly. The only defense becomes - HOW DARE YOU QUESTION _____________ (plug in any god’s name here).

If the earlier laws were percribed for ancients, then do you think Jesus followed those same laws? Why would he if the torah is based on what a society accepts?

I’m still working my way through this, hence my poor and premature presentation (-- I will do a much clearer presentation when I get round to discussing our free-will!). The position I have tried to outline is considered the more sophisticated view of understanding violence, according to Anabaptists and pacifists in general. I have yet to finish much needed reading on it. I’m familiar with the other attempts to understand this tension, but while they are sufficient they are not as robust. But yes, I believe that Yahweh progressively reveals Himself and His purpose – Yeshua being the all-consummate Alpha and Omega of that revelation and purpose.

Right, that’s pretty much what I am saying. Though I don’t want to suggest that it is was a conscious disobedience or an inherent moral deficiency of Israel that instructed violence or had to forbade bestiality. Yahweh altered what was permitted to reflect the progressive realization of His vision for Israel. The emphasis is not on the “prescription of particular laws” but on this emerging vision. This vision has been fully revealed in Yeshua so we don’t need written Torah anymore, including the Ten commandments. I only include the Ten commandments here, only because Christians tend to afford them a peculiar and unnecessary status above the rest of the Hebrew scriptures.

No. As far as I understand, Yeshua blatantly broke written Torah on numerous occasions to exercise unconditional, self-sacrificial love.

In all things Christ has the preeminence. I think this is the most important thing to take home at the end of the day. All the complicated attempts to explain this tension could not change the simple truth that Yeshua (unconditional, self-sacrificial love – God – incarnate) trumps Moses, Joshua, Gideon and every other prophet preceding Him.

Brothers, I can’t wait to hear more on your journey through this. I question whether he broke it or not but I’m open to the fact that he did. I stand on different ground then you but knowing I’m probably wrong about so many things, I’m open to either way - he did or he didn’t.

I agree, this progressive revelation is a powerful argument and how it equates in is interesting. However, I tend to think like Kelly that when scripture says the law is perfect, then I take it IN SOME SENSE it is.

I think there is good evidence that Yeshua broke Torah. But I guess I’m still open to repentance on this – I don’t think this point is integral to this understanding of Torah (the Historical Anthropological view). Even still I like to remind myself that, even if Christianity is so profoundly at variance with Judaism, Yeshua was still a radical Jew living in a predominantly Jewish culture. He was never an Italian-Aryan with dreamy eyes. I think we all can forget that too easily.

Getting through all of this, between universalism, trinitarianism, (discussing free will!), my own studies (work) and everything else will take some time. But I will try and post a bit of a review when/if I finally get to a bit of a conclusion.

I do maintain that the Law is both perfect and a curse in particular senses. But that might be too big of a can of worms to open just yet.

Aug and Brothers,

I too find this Progressive revelation view of Brothers to be intriguing. Conceptually, it rings true. I would like to see how brothers fleshes this view out. I can see very good arguements for it but also a few hurdles for this view, including much of the letters of the NT, which seem to be upholding the 10 commandments rather than progressing past them. Or maybe I am misunderstanding him here.

I see a theme in scripture, Fear the beginning of wisdom, and then when perfect love comes it casts out that fear. We are also told to discipline and train up our child in the way he should go (fear of penalty), but when a child Grows up into an adult the motivation of fear is replaced by the motivation of love.

I can’t but help but to see the parallels in: 1)rearing a child 2) Wisdom travelling the path of fear to love and 3) Brothers concept of Yahwehs Emerging vision. Also, when studying Atonement views yesterday I found it interesting to read that Yahweh said he gave the Israelites statues that were not good (ezekial 20:25), this was in reference to the sacrifical system commands he gave. In the Psalms we read sacrifices and burnt offerings God does not desire or require. We also see Jesus mentioning that Moses gave laws regarding divorce that were not in line with the original design of God, but they were given because of Israel’s Heard hearts. Point being, there are more than a few examples of full truth/revelation being concealed because of the infancy stage that Israel was in (i.e. the hardness of their hearts), thus arguements in favor of this Emerging vision, If I am understanding it correctly.

I wonder if this would be helpful to the discussion:

"]Torah (Law)
By Jeff A. Benner

The Hebrew word “Torah” is usually translated into the English word “Law”. Because of this translation there is a great misunderstanding of what “Torah” truly is. “TORAH IS NOT LAW”. When we use the word “law” we assume a certain meaning and concept of the word that is not present in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Let us start by looking at the Etymology of the Hebrew word Torah so that we may better understand its true definition. The word Torah comes from the Hebrew root word “Yarah”, a verb which means “to flow or throw something”. This can be a flowing of an arrow from an archers bow, or the flowing of a finger to point out a direction. Nouns are derived from the verb by making one or two changes to the verb root. In this case the Y (yud) is replaced by an O (vav) and an M (mem) is added at the front of the word to form the noun “Moreh”. A Moreh is “one who does the flowing”. This can be an archer who flows an arrow, or a teacher who flows his finger to point out way the student is to go in the walk of life. Another noun is formed the same way except that a T (tav) is placed at the front of the word instead of an M and we have the word “Torah”. Torah is “what is flowed by the Moreh”. This can be the arrow from the archer or the teachings and instructions from the teacher.

A hebraic definition of Torah is “a set of Instructions, from a father to his children, violation of these instructions are disciplined in order to foster obedience and train his children”. Notice how the word “Torah” is translated in the New International Version translation in the following passages.

“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching [Torah].” (Proverbs 1:8)

“My son, do not forget my teaching [Torah], but keep my commands in your heart”. (Proverbs 3:1)

The purpose of a parents Torah is to teach and bring the children to maturity. If the Torah is violated out of disrespect or defiant disobedience, the child is punished. If the child desires to follow the instructions out of a loving obedience but falls short of the expectations, the child is commended for the effort and counseled on how to perform the instructions better the next time. Unlike Torah, law is a set of rules from a government and binding on a community. Violation of the rules require punishment. With this type of law, there is no room for teaching, either the law was broken with the penalty of punishment or it was not broken. God, as our heavenly Father, gives his children his Torah in the same manner as parents give their Torah to their children, not in the manner as a government does to its citizens;

“Blessed is the man you discipline, O LORD, the man you teach from your Torah” (Psalms 94:12)


Thank you, Sonia! It is well spoken. I love the child analogy. I think this shows why we think God is cruel and hateful when we are disciplined. From the “child perspective” discipline seems mean but, it is for our good, even as we discipline our children for their good. Reminds me of my dad whittling a stick in front of me behind the wood shed. I was terrified! The whole while he whittled telling me he wanted good for me, for me to be a good person when I grew up, asking me if I understood his meaning- giving me the eye. When I finally chocked out a yes sir- my eyes glued to the stick in horror, he said, “Well good. I don’t want to have to do this again! Now, come here!”. I got up and went over to him-totally scared. He put down the stick and hugged me and told me he was proud of my decision to do right from now on. I never forgot his mercy . . . Or the stick.

Sonia, I can only speak for myself. I’m sympathetic with this quote but not fully sure it measures up. Kelly shares a precious moment with us and truly it means something to her. However, when one defiantely does work on the sabbath and God says show them no mercy, then one has to ask, are you sure God is trying to teach the man a lesson? My point is, there is difference here between the individual and the community - and one that depicts a very different message. If we appeal and say God intructed them to kill him to teach Israel as a community - then by the authors own quote - THAT IS LAW. And I would ask the author, if that is true then are we under God’s teaching? On one hand scripture says we’re no longer under the law, but if that’s true and law means teaching, then we are no longer under his teaching.

Seriously I don’t think this has any relevance on the original post - It only begs the question really:

If God’s teaching is for us to cut off Kelly’s hand because she cut off Sonia’s hand, then why not follow that teaching? If God’s teaching was to stone defiant sabbath breakers, then why do we find it better to not stone them?

Justice and mercy have always been important to God as pertaining to Torah.

“Old Testament”
Wherewith shall I come before Yehovah, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will Yehovah be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth Yehovah require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
(Mic 6:6-8)

“New Testament”
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
(Mat 23:23-26)

I find it strange that I subscribe to keeping Torah (not as a means of salvation but, because of salvation) and yet, I’m not concerned about “punishment” for “lawbreakers”. You claim “love” can and should be achieved without keeping Torah- just in doing what each of us feels is right for us, and you continue to want to argue points of the letter of law and think we should meet out “punishments” for not keeping the letter. At the judgment, each of us will be judged by God. We are to accept His sacrifice and love (keep Torah - love God / love neighbor) as He first loved us and comfort others with the comfort we have been given.
We are all along the path somewhere. You accept most of the 10 commandments which are a summation of Torah. Some say they follow the 2 greatest commandments, which are a summation of the 10 and, in turn, the Torah. Some just outright follow Torah - whether we know everything or not. To say we need not “love” “literally” because we don’t have to keep the law is a futile argument. It’s like saying we can be children of the devil and call ourselves followers of Messiah. We may be able to fool ourselves and other christians that do the same but, the neighbor we steal from knows we’re a fake. They know when we “sin” according to Torah against them or someone else, that we do not bear the true image of God. Torah is a funny thing. We can say it’s “void” all we want but, as soon as someone wrongs us - we know it. It’s written on our hearts and minds. It’s easy to say we’re ok, we didn’t do anything wrong, we’re not under the law but, as soon as someone else steps over the line and wrongs us . . .
We can claim all the theological arguments we want but, our unbelieving neighbor knows when we wrong them to.
We are not “under the law” for salvation. We uphold the law because it is good, just and holy and if we have the Spirit of the Torah giver, then we do what is good, just and holy. We are all at different places of understanding and being sanctified but, we should “be holy because He is holy”.

Here is part of the law:

"If two men fight together, and the wife of one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of the one attacking him, and puts out her hand and seizes him by the genitals,then you shall cut off her hand; your eye shall not pity her. {Deuteronomy 25:11,12 NKJV)

Did this law really have its origin in God? Can you imagine Christ giving such a command in the “Sermon on the Mount”; yet Christ is Another exactly like the Father (Hebrews 1:3, John 14:9)

Is it possible that sometimes, Moses misunderstood the revelation of God? That he sometimes confused his own thoughts concerning what ought to be done with what God commanded?

Hi Paidion,
Yehovah is beyond me knowing completely.
I don’t think Moses misunderstood the revelation nor was he confused. My O is that we sometimes misunderstand and are confused. Like I told Bob W., I’m not a “learned” person or anything. I think, it is what it is. I could see logic in this command, God preserving and making known the importance of the “seed”. It is not that God’s laws are wrong or bad but, that He wants better of us. Imo, a woman - even today - has no business in a fight between two men anyway. Honestly, I would feel uncomfortable about this approach- I’d rather pray, or give the guy a good right hook or shoot him. (I’m working on the pacifist thing) :stuck_out_tongue: but, my point is, if I must do something to help my husband, I would not choose “that”. :open_mouth:
Jesus came and suffered for our sins but, He will return to judge. He taught us the way of Torah but, when He judges we will be accountable as to how we walked out the way. I believe God wants us to do right by Him and each other but, that there are consequences for doing wrong. I think He would like it if we just did what He desires of us and I don’t think it gives Him pleasure to discipline us. I don’t agree with christian ethics, I think it better to obey Torah and call it good, repent when I mess up and give thanks that I have a sacrifice ( Messiah- the Pesach Lamb) to cover me. I’m just kind of simple. I want to be like a child. My children didn’t always understand when we disciplined them. I don’t always either but, like our children, I know I am loved and submitted to someone who knows a lot more than me.