Archive | August 10, 2018

Laws with Appendices

JTB.SDG on the Puritan Board:

Within the law itself there is a setting apart the 10 Commandments in particular from the rest of the law. Check out Exodus 34:27-28; Deuteronomy 4:12-13; 9:9-11. Here it’s clear that the *covenant* God was making at Sinai was connected in an intimate way–not just with the law in general, but the “ten words” in particular.

One way that the ceremonial and judicial laws have been described in days past (IE, by the puritans), which I find extremely helpful, and which connects them back with the moral law, is in this way: as the first 4 commandments have to do with love for God, and the ceremonial laws have to do with Israel’s worship, the ceremonial laws are really an *appendix* to the first table of the law (the first 4 commands), as they further flesh out what love for God really looks like in their time and place.

The last 6 commandments have to do with love for neighbor, and seeing the judicial laws have to do with Israel’s civil state, they are like an appendix to the last 6 commandments; they flesh out what it really looks like in their time and place to love their neighbor. So, both ceremonial and judicial laws are *rooted* in the 10 Commandments.

But while the moral law of the 10 Commandments is perpetually binding (see the NT letters where you can find reference to each of the 10 Commandments binding believers to keep them), the judicial and ceremonial laws were for a particular people (the jews) who lived in a particular time (before the coming of Christ) and therefore served a temporary purpose and are no longer binding.

Now, they DO contain permanent principles (as Iain pointed out); but the particular application has changed. Which is why Paul in 2 Corinthians 5 cites a phrase used in the OT for the death penalty but changes the application to excommunication; and why he cites an OT verse about muzzling an ox but changes the application to financially supporting gospel ministers. They still express permanent principles; but Paul doesn’t apply them literally–he recognises they have a new application in the new covenant.

Source:, Comment 17