Sunday, January 07, 2007

Why The Ten Commandments Remain Valid, While The Deuteronomic And Levitical Proscriptions Do Not

"[A]n interesting distinction is made between the two codifications of the covenant. In the former case the code consists of the law, i.e., the decalogue, whose content is primarily moral, and of those precepts which were promulgated before the worship of the calf. This code is simple and easy to fulfil. Insofar as it takes any account of ritual observances, of oblations or sacrifices, these are presented as discretionary observances and as prefigurations of things to come. The second code, however, the the primarily ritual code that Moses received during his second sojourn on the mountain. It is this code which the rest of the Old Testament, and especially the Deuteronomic and Levitical codes, is concerned to develop and fill out, and which was imposed on the Jews because of their idolatry. It was meant for the Jews alone and was the instrument of divine punishment....It has been forever annulled by the redeeming death of Christ, because he put an end to the divine curse, even for the Jews. Nevertheless, the law, the first law, continues to exist as the way of salvation that is open to all men. This law was confirmed and made definite by Christ."

-Marcel Simon in Verus Israel, quoted in Scott Hahn's dissertation, Kinship By Covenant: A Biblical Theological Study of Covenant Types and Texts in the Old and New Testaments.

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