The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Eye for an Eye

I agree Jesus WAS confronting their religious hypocrisy. Do you agree that the text CLEARLY has Jesus stating that Moses’ words WERE IN FACT God’s words, i.e., “the commandment of God”? Or do you maintain that like Moses Jesus was himself likewise deceived by Satan in attributing to God (as the TEXT clearly indicates) said… “commandment of God”? What other consistent conclusion can your position lead to?

Hermano, you said:
Paul highlighted imperfections of the law of Moses thus: “The ministry that brought death…engraved in letters on stone…The ministry that brought condemnation.” 2 Cor. 3:7-9.

You mentioned this in another thread. However, the law of Moses which was written in stone was the Ten Commandments. This means they are firmly established and cannot be changed. Jesus DID NOT do away with them. They are included in His ministry as well.

Mark seems to recall the word choice of Christ differently in this incident than Matthew:

For MOSES said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, He who is speaking evil of father or mother – let him die the death. Mark 7:10. YLT.

To reiterate, I believe Moses sometimes mistakenly embellished his communications from God, adding threats and curses that were never from God. As I said earlier, I believe Jesus was sarcastically confronting the hypocrisy of the priests in nullifying the fifth commandment in deference to their selfish monetary interests.

That Jesus in the same breath mentions capital punishment for those who speak evil of their parents, which was an embellished dogma “commandment,” only adds to his sarcasm against the priests, who were guilty of the greater sin for leading people into deception—and therefore more “worthy” of death, according to dogma.

I do not in any way believe that Jesus was reaffirming a neglected “commandment” that called for the execution of children who dishonored parents. Do you? (Or should we suppose the Savior of the woman caught in adultery, the Savior of mankind, was actually frustrated by the Roman occupiers—because they were impeding executions that needed to be carried out by the Jews?)

The accuser is Satan (Zech. 3:1, Rev. 12:10); and sometimes it is Moses; but it is never Jesus:

Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. John 5:45.

Jesus is our advocate (1 Jn. 2:1). Satan’s weapon against us was Mosaic dogma (“the rules and requirements of the law of MOSES; carrying a suggestion of severity and of threatened judgment”), which God took away, nailing it to the cross. Col. 2:14-15.

Moses got things wrong every time he added vindictive dogma embellishments to God’s communications, and we recognize he added a bunch:

Love does no wrong to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law. Romans 13:10.

Let’s not redefine “love” to include “honor killings” and genocide, saying they are somehow “helpful to neighbors,” even in the Old Testament. God is love. God is unchanging. Let’s not take dogma down off the cross, insist it’s divine, and hand it back to the devil!

Hardly! Let’s consider the context…

Mk 7:9-10 He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’

Both Matthew and Mark are on the SAME page… you however are skirting the issue, i.e., what Moses reiterated WAS “the commandment of God— it is actually there in the text — Jesus affirms that what Moses spoke was what God did speak. It seems the embellishment is in the denial of the text.

So I ask again Hermano… do you agree that Jesus affirmed Moses’ words to be… “the commandment of God” as per the witness of these two text — YES or NO?

Davo, if you re-read my previous answers about this, you should see that, no, I do not believe Jesus was reaffirming honor killings to the Pharisees and teachers of the law, as a true “commandment of God.” Rather, in light of the tenor of his entire ministry, as well as additional revelation from the epistles concerning God’s true nature, I argue Jesus was using sarcasm against them, throwing Moses (and his intermixed law), in whom they mistakenly put their hopes, in their faces. --And let me point out, sarcastic quotes around any “commandments of God” to kill people, would not come through in the Greek.

He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Cor 3:6.

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17.

LLC, consider:

Romans 7:2, 6-7
2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him.
6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, You shall not covet.” [Exodus 20:17; Deut. 5:21]

The passage is showing that just as a wife is “released” from the law of her husband when he dies, even so, through the death of Christ, people were “released” from the obligations of the Mosaic law. That the law here contemplated is the law of Moses, including the Ten Commandments, is demonstrated by the reference to the tenth commandment in Romans 7:7.

As Paul later will argue that if a man receives one portion of the law [as binding for justification], he is a debtor to do all of it:

Galatians 5:
3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.

As I shared elsewhere regarding the law of Moses,

Hermano, I appreciate what you wrote about God not commanding that people be killed. I am in basic agreement with your explanation.

Yes, it APPEARS that Jesus is saying that Moses’ words are the commandment of God. But He may have been saying, “God said…” because the Jews BELIEVED that God had said what Moses stated that He had said. And so Jesus then showed that the Jews weren’t really carrying out the commands that “God gave them” (according to Moses).

Let me give you a more recent example in Islam:

27 ¶ O ye Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you, in the same manner as he got your parents out of the Garden, stripping them of their raiment, to expose their shame: For he and his tribe watch you from a position where ye cannot see them: We made the Evil Ones friends only to those without Faith.
28 When they do aught that is shameful, they say: “We found our fathers doing so”; and “Allah commanded us thus:” Say: “Nay, Allah never commands what is shameful: Do ye say of Allah what ye know not?”
29 Say: “My Lord hath commanded justice; and that ye set your whole selves to Him at every time and place of prayer, and call upon Him, making your devotion sincere as in His sight: Such as He created you in the beginning, so shall ye return.” (Koran 7)

From verse 24, these words are quoted as the words of Allah. “Allah” is simply the Arabic word for “God.” When a Muslim who speaks Arabic becomes as Christian, he continues to address God as “Allah,” for that is the word “God” in his language.

A Christian missionary to the Muslims might say to them, “As Mohammed wrote, God said that He commands justice and never commands what is shameful,” but YOU say, “It is just and not shameful for us to rape non-Muslim women in the name of God—thus you make the commandment of God of no effect!” This doesn’t imply that the missionary believes that God actually said those words, but since Muslims BELIEVE He said them, the missionary talks to them as if He had said them. I think Jesus was doing the same thing with the Jews.

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Amazing and almost amusing, but no! Though thoroughly not unexpected… your twists and contortions are worthy of gymnasts, but not the Scriptures. Such Islamic and so-called honor killing comparisons to Jesus’ intent of these passages are a fraudulent joke — have to call it for what it is.

No doubt you would say Jesus was on-the-money with Mt 15:4a BUT poorly lacking thereafter with Mt 15:4b — bad Jesus! Who knew the Koran could be so vital in understanding Jesus… go figure!? :thinking:

Here is the TRUE basis of Jesus’ reference to “the commandment of God” TO Moses/Israel…

Ex 21:17 “And he who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

Lev 20:8-9 And you shall keep My statutes, and perform them: I am the Lord who sanctifies you. ‘For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother. His blood shall be upon him.

Prov 20:20 Whoever curses his father or his mother, his lamp will be put out in deep darkness.

Life for the Hebrews under that old régime was indeed tough… little wonder God chose to do a new thing in Christ for the benefit of all, not just Israel.

Hermano and Paidion… according to your questionable renditions of the OT there is simply just way too much: “Then the Lord spoke to Moses saying…” that Ezra, or whoever it was who composed the text, got SO wrong (according to you guys) there must be little value in you guys believing ANY of it — and indeed it seems you don’t.

Go ahead, Davo. Keep on believing God kills people, commands rebellious sons to be killed, commands women’s hands to be cut off without mercy, nations to be wiped out including women and children (but not virgins who are to be saved for the army’s use), etc.,etc. Try you best to keep believing that all of this harmonizes with His essence which is LOVE as John affirmed—not merely one of His characteristics, but His very essence.

Then you have to fit in Jesus’ description of God, too—that He is kind to evil people and to unthankful people—that His kindness is intended to lead people to repentance, whereas with your belief one would expect His harshness, vengeance, and murder of people would lead to the repentance of the survivors.

It’s up to you to fit it all together in a harmonious whole! With us, that is unnecessary as, unlike you, we see no contradictory aspects to His character.

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I simply BELIEVE Jesus at his word WITHOUT trying to arbitrarily explain away selective TEXTS for conveniences sake.

And Paidion… as for what John affirmed, BE CONSISTENT — HOW do you know or by what measure do you say John heard what he heard correctly? According to your modus operandi there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON to treat John any differently to any other biblical author who you wilfully pillory as wrong, deceived, misguided, uniformed, or just basically stupid just because what they affirm utterly undermines your own presuppositional doctrines.

I’ve adopted this and bored ya’ll with it many times, but the more I read the more I see its usefulness and wisdom. Channing:

“We regard the Scriptures as the records of God’s successive revelations to mankind, and particularly of the last and most perfect revelation of his will by Jesus Christ. Whatever doctrines seem to us to be clearly taught in the Scriptures; we receive without reserve or exception. We do not, however, attach equal importance to all the books in this collection. Our religion, we believe, lies chiefly in the New Testament. The dispensation of Moses, compared with that of Jesus, we consider as adapted to the childhood of the human race, a preparation for a nobler system, and chiefly useful now as serving to confirm and illustrate the Christian Scriptures. Jesus Christ is the only master of Christians, and whatever he taught, either during his personal ministry, or by his inspired Apostles, we regard as of divine authority, and profess to make the rule of our lives.”

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Hermano, you posted:
Then, something tragic happened right at the foot of Mount Sinai. In Exodus 19:8, your English Bible says that the people cried out to Moses, saying, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” In the original Hebrew text, this is actually a statement of pride. They were saying, “All that God requires and demands of us, we are well able to perform.” In other words, they were saying, “God, stop assessing or blessing us based on Your goodness. Start assessing, judging and blessing us based on our obedience.” So they effectively exchanged covenants, from the Abrahamic covenant which is based on grace, to the Sinaitic covenant which is based on the law.

I disagree. As God said to Abraham in Genesis 17:1-2 “Walk before Me and be blameless and I will make a covenant between Me and you.” The covenant requires that you humble your heart towards God and willingly submit to His authority as verse 11 says “And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.”

I don’t believe it was a statement of pride when the people agreed to follow the Ten Commandments, which from what I understand, was all that the Lord had spoken. They were accepting God as their God and King.

And yes, if you accept the Spirit into your heart, then you are obligated to follow His laws. Otherwise, He is not your God. You have placed another god before Him.
However, I do agree that some fell away from God’s Law, and in their disobedience exchanged His Law for another of their own making.

LLC, I think you are misunderstanding Galatians 5. Paul is explicitly warning us that following the law is an impossible, all or nothing proposition; that we will fall from grace if we attempt it; so we shouldn’t even take the first step of getting circumcised.

‘If we are led by the Spirit, we are not under the law.’ Galatians 5:18.


Hermano you said : LLC, I think you are misunderstanding Galatians 5. Paul is explicitly warning us that following the law is an impossible, all or nothing proposition; that we will fall from grace if we attempt it; so we shouldn’t even take the first step of getting circumcised.

‘If we are led by the Spirit, we are not under the law.’ Galatians 5:18.

My response:
I think a lot of people misunderstand Paul.
Yes, we are still under a Law. As Hebrews 8:10 says, " For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel: After those days, I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God and they will be My people."
This is the SAME requirement of the covenant as that of Abraham and that of Moses. It is a circumcision of the heart; to obey the laws of the one true God, or in other words a baptism of the Spirit.

Your statement: that we fall from grace if we attempt to not kill, steal, lie, cheat, commit adultery etc. so that we shouldn’t even take the first step of getting circumcised, makes no sense to me.

When the Old Testament spells out its’ laws about circumcision, what in their language tells you that they are not actually about requiring a literal cutting of the male anatomy?

Yes, I daresay it was sure tough back then under the law of Moses. So, as to God ordering His people stoned to death for disobeying certain of His rules (like not collecting firewood on Saturday), I am so glad God finally changed His mind about that, shook it off, and decided to do a new thing, aren’t you? Whew!

Of course, Moses–directly quoting God’s thoughts to himself–reveals that even before Moses’ law, God could still get a little bit fed up and regretful:

So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” Gen. 6:7.

Tradition is SO very important. Who are we to challenge it? After all, “9 out of 10 genuine Christians agree” that God finally got all that anger and vindictiveness out of His system when He took it out on His own Son Jesus at the cross. (Some people might falsely compare that interpretation of events to an alcoholic father taking off his belt to beat up the kids when he gets home late at night; when thankfully, the noble mom jumps in between him and them, and cries, “No, take it out on me instead!”)

Nevertheless, the worry of people around the world is, did God the Father really get all the anger and vindictiveness out of His system at the cross? Many are fearful that it’s re-festering, building up steam for a worldwide bloodbath described in the book of Revelation, at “God’s” hands. (Unfortunately, not everyone has yet been set free about this concern by the deep truths of hyper-preterism.)

But…where is the devil in all this, Davo? (Do you even believe that the devil is a fallen angel named Lucifer?) Could it be that the Scriptures, when studied by the Spirit and not the Letter, show that any violence or bipolarity perceived about God, are, in reality, examples of where God was being mistakenly conflated with Satan by the prophets? That this rebellious angel, according to additional light provided in the New Testament, is the one who actually wields the power of God’s stated enemy, death? (Heb. 2:14, 1 Cor. 15:26.) That the unchanging God is only about abundant life? (John 10:10.)

Please (re)consider this amazing article:

SATAN: Old Testament Servant Angel or New Testament Cosmic Rebel?

Blessings to you.

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Bob you said:
When the Old Testament spells out its’ laws about circumcision, what in their language tells you that they are not actually about requiring a literal cutting of the male anatomy?

My response:
Because of the following verses:
Deut.10:12 Moses says, "And now, Israel what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in al His ways and to love Him; to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul."

Deut. 10:16 “Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart and be stiff-necked no longer.”
Deut. 10:18 “He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger giving him food and clothing. Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
Deut. 6:5-6 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul an with all your might and all these words which I command you today shall be in your heart."
Deut. 10:18 Therefore lay up these words of Mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them on your hand and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes."
Deut.30:6 “But the word is very near you in your mouth and in your heart that you may do it.”
Lev. 26:41 "If their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they accept their guilt then I will remember my covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham, I will remember."
Jer. 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord and take away the foreskins of your heart you men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem."
Ezek. 44:7 " When you brought in foreigners uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh to be in My sanctuary to defile it- My house- and when you offered My food the fat and the blood then you broke My covenant because of all your abominations."

As I mentioned before, from what I understand, Moses gave the Ten Commandments and explained the essence of the Law as described Deut.10:12-22 which includes the Golden Rule. I believe that Moses was a true prophet of God and any other commandments that he issued were consistent with these Laws.
However, we are told in Romans1:21-23 that “Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were they thankful, but became futile in their thoughts…Professing to be wise, they became fools and changed the glory of he incorruptible God into and image made like corruptible man- and birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things.” As Psalm 56:5 says, “All day long they distort My words.”

I also believe that some of these man-made laws are written in the books ascribed to Moses.
Isaiah 1 states that God hates their New moons and appointed feasts, the blood of bulls, burnt offerings etc. and that He can’t stand incense. All the other prophets repeat these same things. In fact, Jeremiah says that God did not speak to the fathers concerning burnt offering and sacrifices in the day He brought them out of Egypt.
So where did such things come from? Jeremiah has this to say: “How can you say " We have the Law of the Lord when actually the false pen of the scribe has handled it falsely.”

Zech. 7:9-12 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: " Execute true justice, show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart against his brother. But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets.”

I say that in Galatians 5, Paul is indicating that we are NOT obligated to obey the law of Moses in order to be justified. We are freely justified by Christ. Now we have a new nature, by which we desire to fulfill the law of love.

As I said earlier,

-Don’t you agree that Paul is warning in Galatians 5 against physical circumcision here, that it leads to bondage?

-Don’t you agree that “we have been RELEASED from the law” (from v. 6 of Romans 7, quoted above)?

Yet you seem to be saying that we have NOT been “released from the law.” I think it is obvious Paul is talking about our being released from the embellished law of Moses, not the royal law of love—which by the inner desire of our new nature, not from external obligation, we desire to fulfill.

Genesis 7:12 commands every 8 day old male be circumcised.
Exodus 12:48 requires even Gentiles who want to share in Passover to circumcise :every “male” in their household.
Joshua 5:2 commands, “Make flint knives and circumcize the Israelites,” and then refers to men needing a time of healing.

Do you think Jews who read such laws were expected to understand them as referring simply to an internal “circumcision of the heart,” or to perceive it as commanding and requiring a physical surgical act?