Re: [asa] A question on morals (OT and NT)

From: Murray Hogg <>
Date: Mon Nov 02 2009 - 17:42:34 EST

Two points should be made regarding the OT law in this context;

1. The OT texts (Leviticus 24:19–21, Exodus 21:22–25, and Deuteronomy 19:21) refer properly only to bodily injury, not to property damage.

2. The context is that of legal judgement, not personal vengance.

So, in respects of the damaged bike hypothetical, one may as well ask if - in a state which has the death penalty for murder - one would be justified in shooting one's neighbour for running over one's dog.

Hopefully, the obvious answer would be "no" on the grounds that (and notice these parallel 1. and 2. above);

1. The law applies to the killing of humans, not dogs.

2. The punishment is to be administered by a court, not by an aggrieved individual.

In respects of the teaching of Christ, Jesus is dealing with the teachings of the Rabbi's and not the OT. That is to say, by the time Jesus gets around to "you have heard it said" the OT text has been expanded to a universal principle of lex talionis (punishment fits the crime). Point being that one shouldn't confuse Jesus' critique of the Rabbinical interpretation with a critique of the OT itself.


Dehler, Bernie wrote:
> Now re-work the same scenario with a Jewish family. Since they are
> following the OT, is it s sin? I can’t guess what you’d say. If yes,
> they are being held to an account above that which they have accepted
> from God in the OT. If you say no, then apparently there are different
> levels of morality from the same God?

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Received on Mon Nov 2 17:42:52 2009

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