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What Was God's Real Heartbeat With The Law And Ten Commandments?

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by banjo71, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. Jesus reprimanded the Pharisees about the hardness of heart they and the children of God had in Moses' time about divorce - that because of the hardness of their heart they wrote a bill of divorcement, but from the beginning it wasn't so.

    Now that's not really the specific scripture I want to discuss here. But it's an example of how Jesus, as God, back in the Old Testament, wanted the children of God to live back then.

    So was it the same for following the Law and Ten Commandments in real-time during Moses' time? In other words, if a person committed adultery, were they absolutely to be stoned, or what if they repented and found God after the act, did God's heartbeat lie in mercy and not in the stoning? Just like with Jesus and the adulteress? Or with David in his sin of adultery? Neither died and both were forgiven by the King - so take an Israelite being led by Moses - did God want people to execute mercy first instead of jumping to the stoning?
  2. Before any stoning took place a panel of elders would judge and discuss what happened and all the implications of it. If a mentally handicapped person for example murdered someone, he was not stoned to death. With God we know that many who deserved death by the law still had favour with Him from their faith in Him (David, Abraham). Exactly the same as what we have today.

    But, no disputing that even though we have a type of the Jewish law in place today, the OT Jews had extra hardship... its just the way it was. As the chosen race they have extra blessings, curses and will get some special treatment with a second chance, having two witnesses in the tribulation. A number of reasons come to mind for their extra 'curse' of the law. 1. To stay a forced and visible holy race for the birth of Jesus. 2. To enforce the seriousness of disobedience to God's law. 3. A reminder of the reality of hell. 4. Setting undeniable precedents on what pleases and what angers God. 5. Being able to better grasp the significance of God's grace and mercy in sending Jesus.

    Then we also need to acknowledge that not only the Jews suffered the harsh consequence of God's law / wrath on disobedience. Just look at Sodom, Egypt and the Canaanites. I guess the bottom-line is that nobody escapes punishment for their sins. If we do in this life, we get it in the next. Then secondly, nobody that puts their faith in God / Jesus, gets God's wrath (hell). Murder, stoning etc is not exactly God's wrath.
  3. Mercy is above the law, imo.
    That is why, I will comment only on the law.
    I cannot comment on mercy, as I said: it is outside or above the law.

    Regarding the law:
    I think distinction need to be done:
    The penalty itself.
    The offence itself.
    The penalty follows the offence.

    Let say, we classify
    Offense as to: range of 10 heaviest, the long range of in-between, range of 1 or 0 lightest.
    Penalty as to: range of 10 maximum, the long range of in-between, and range of 1 or 0 minimum.

    The offense: Adultery….
    Offense : 10, this is subjective.
    But I think it is an offense to the max: it is a betrayal of trust between human relationship, of husband and wife
    If Offense 10, then Penalty 10….

    What can be a Penalty 10? Lashes, life sentence in jail?

    I can’t think of anything than death as maximum penalty.
  4. #4 aha, Oct 15, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
    Note: it does not mean i am pro-capital punishment.
    I agree in theory , that it is correct and just punishment in theory.
    But to practical implementation, very difficult.

    As i said, Mercy is above the law.


    Contemporary attitudes towards capital punishment
    Leading rabbis in Reform Judaism, Conservative Judaism, and Orthodox Judaism tend to hold that the death penalty is a correct and just punishment in theory, but they hold that it should not generally be used (or not used at all) in practice. In practice the application of such a punishment can only be carried out by humans whose system of justice is nearly perfect, a situation which has not existed for some time or never existed at all.
    Rabbinical courts have given up the ability to inflict any kind of physical punishment, and such punishments are left to the civil court system to administer. But the modern institution of the death penalty is opposed by the major rabbinical organizations of Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox Judaism

    Reform Judaism
    Since 1959, the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) have formally opposed the death penalty. The CCAR resolved in 1979 that "both in concept and in practice, Jewish tradition found capital punishment repugnant" and there is no persuasive evidence "that capital punishment serves as a deterrent to crime."[5]

    Conservative Judaism
    In Conservative Judaism the death penalty was the subject of a responsum by its Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, which has gone on record as opposing the modern institution of the death penalty:
    The Talmud ruled out the admissibility of circumstantial evidence in cases which involved a capital crime. Two witnesses were required to testify that they saw the action with their own eyes. A man could not be found guilty of a capital crime through his own confession or through the testimony of immediate members of his family. The rabbis demanded a condition of cool premeditation in the act of crime before they would sanction the death penalty; the specific test on which they insisted was that the criminal be warned prior to the crime, and that the criminal indicate by responding to the warning, that he is fully aware of his deed, but that he is determined to go through with it. In effect this did away with the application of the death penalty. The rabbis were aware of this, and they declared openly that they found capital punishment repugnant to them… There is another reason which argues for the abolition of capital punishment. It is the fact of human fallibility. Too often we learn of people who were convicted of crimes and only later are new facts uncovered by which their innocence is established. The doors of the jail can be opened, in such cases we can partially undo the injustice. But the dead cannot be brought back to life again. We regard all forms of capital punishment as barbaric and obsolete.
    —Rabbi Ben Zion Bokser, Statement on capital punishment, 1960. Proceedings of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards 1927-1970, Volume III, pp. 1537-1538

    Orthodox Judaism
    Orthodox Rabbi Yosef Edelstein writes:
    So, at least theoretically, the Torah can be said to be pro-capital punishment. It is not morally wrong, in absolute terms, to put a murderer to death… However, things look rather different when we turn our attention to the practical realization of this seemingly harsh legislation. You may be aware that it was exceedingly difficult, in practice, to carry out the death penalty in Jewish society... I think it's clear that with regard to Jewish jurisprudence, the capital punishment outlined by the Written and Oral Torah, and as carried out by the greatest Sages from among our people (who were paragons of humility and humanity and not just scholarship, needless to say), did not remotely resemble the death penalty in modern America (or Texas). In theory, capital punishment is kosher; it's morally right, in the Torah's eyes. But we have seen that there was great concern—expressed both in the legislation of the Torah, and in the sentiments of some of our great Sages — regarding its practical implementation. It was carried out in ancient Israel, but only with great difficulty. Once in seven years; not 135 in five and a half.
    Rabbi Yosef Edelstein, Director of the Savannah Kollel
    Orthodox Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan writes:
    In practice, however, these punishments were almost never invoked, and existed mainly as a deterrent and to indicate the seriousness of the sins for which they were prescribed. The rules of evidence and other safeguards that the Torah provides to protect the accused made it all but impossible to actually invoke these penalties… the system of judicial punishments could become brutal and barbaric unless administered in an atmosphere of the highest morality and piety. When these standards declined among the Jewish people, the Sanhedrin… voluntarily abolished this system of penalties.
    —(Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, Handbook of Jewish Thought, Volume II, pp. 170-71​
  5. I tend to see the difference in how you would treat a child you were training and how you would treat an adult who has already matured. We have different expectations. With Children, we will instruct them very specifically, but by the time they are mature adults, most of it should be "common sense". In the OT, God was telling the Israelites, "This is how you show love to me, and how you show love to others". Jesus told us that we are no longer children, but adults, and we don't need to act like children anymore, we should be mature. We should know how to love, but the Pharisees continued acting childish.

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