1. According to Acts 21:17-26 are the Jews who are under the New Covenant bound to keep the law of Moses for any reason?

2. Did this incident in verse 26 happen before or after writing the epistles of Romans, Galatians & Hebrews?

26So the next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he entered the temple to give notice of the date their purification would be complete and the offering would be made for each of them.

3. What offering did Paul make and why did He make it?

The question comes as Paul himself says to Timothy that he need not keep the law of Moses.

1 Timothy 4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, being received with thanksgiving;

And since it says that in Christ we died to the law.

Romans 7:4 Therefore, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God.

Galatians 2:19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live to God.

4. Was it only the Gentiles who died to the Law to be married to Christ and live to God?

Hebrews 8:13 By speaking of a new covenant, He has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

5. Is not the Old Covenant obsolete even for the Jews? And how did it soon disappear ?

Based on:

Acts 21:17 17When we arrived in Jerusalem, the brothers welcomed us joyfully. 18The next day, Paul went in with us to see James, and all the elders were present. 19Paul greeted them and recounted one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.

20When they heard this, they glorified God. Then they said to Paul, “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. 21But they are under the impression that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or observe our customs. 22What then should we do? They will certainly hear that you have come.

23Therefore do what we advise you. There are four men with us who have taken a vow. 24Take these men, purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses so they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know that there is no truth to these rumors about you, but that you also live in obedience to the law.

25As for the Gentile believers, we have written them our decision that they must abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality.”

26So the next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he entered the temple to give notice of the date their purification would be complete and the offering would be made for each of them.

  • 1
    But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?” (Gal. 2:14, ESV)
    – Perry Webb
    Commented Aug 11, 2019 at 12:21
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    They are not bound. It is a matter or culture, not salvation.
    – Perry Webb
    Commented Aug 11, 2019 at 12:50
  • @nigelJ Thanks. You know English better Commented Aug 11, 2019 at 16:52

1 Answer 1


No. Understand the time of their age... the time of transition.

"And when he is sitting on the mount of the Olives, the disciples came near to him by himself, saying, `Tell us, when shall these be? and what [is] the sign of thy presence, and of the full end of the age?'" (Matt. 24:3, YLT)

Christ Yeshua was manifested in the last days of the Mosaic age.

"foreknown, indeed, before the foundation of the world, and manifested in the last times because of you," (1 Pet. 1:20, YLT)

"...in these last days did speak to us in a Son,..." (Heb. 1:2, YLT)

The books of the NT were written during the first century AD after Christ's ascension (c. AD30-31). He came pronouncing that the kingdom was at hand during His ministry, the same as John had (Matt. 3:2; 4:17).

While the disciples and believers were hearing His words they were living in the last days of the Mosaic age. The prophesy for the end of that age was the destruction of the temple (Matt. 24 & 25).

There was a time of transition between the old Mosaic covenant age and the "age to come", which to those of the 1st century AD had not yet come to them. That transition was between the cross of Christ when all who would believe in Him were set free from the law, and the passing away of that law (Heb. 8:13).

The Jews called the temple "heaven and earth," where God met with man in the holy of Holies. Jesus used this idiom to tell His disciples when that Mosaic age would end.

"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." (Matt. 24:35, KJV)

Replacing the idiom with the sense the disciples received it, and we can hear...

[The temple shall pass away,] but my words shall not..... (1) (2)

God had to end those animal sacrifices that were still taking place at the temple in Jerusalem, which had become profane once Christ became the lamb slain. That time of transition between the cross and the destruction of the temple in AD 70 were still under the Mosaic age.

In their life time of the first century AD, "this age" = the Mosaic Age pointing toward the "age to come". The age to come was the fullness of the kingdom under the Messianic age (the promised land), the everlasting age of Christ's kingdom. It came into full effect at the destruction of the temple in AD 70. (3)

So, while Paul was living, before the destruction of the temple he did sometimes still observe the feasts and some of the practices under that Mosaic law, as Christ had told them that not one iota or one jot would pass until the temple (heaven and earth) passed (Matt. 5:18). Those observances did no harm to the gospel, and were still looking forward to AD 70, and the age to come... the kingdom.

Once Christ died on the cross, that law legally passed in the annulling the animal sacrifices and fence laws of the temple worship system. As the Passover Lamb, Christ had fulfilled the feast of Pesach (Passover), and Unleavened Bread. In another 50 days, He would fulfill the feast of Pentecost. (4) (5) (6)

However, it would be another 40 years - the fulfillment of the shadow of the exodus wandering - before the last fall feasts would be fulfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, and the complete and full establishment of His kingdom was in effect. During those 40 years the gospel would be preached into all of the inhabited land (oikoumenen - Luke 2:1) (7).

But, Paul also said that he had become all things to all men.

"And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;" (1 Cor. 9;20, KJV)

So, in order to gain those Jews still following after the temple ordinances, Paul took part in the Nazarite vow, the shaving of heads, paying for the men with him for those vows (Acts. 21: 23-24). He participated in the demands of those still weak in the gospel of Christ in order to strengthen their trust in him. He had Timothy circumcised, even though it was not required, because Timothy was going to be working with the Jews (Acts 16:1-3).

Paul told the assembly at Rome that the sound of the gospel had gone into "all the world" (Rom. 10:18), just as he told the Colossians it had been preached to every creature under heaven (Col. 1:23). So by as early as AD 55 when Romans was written, or by as late as AD 62 when Colossians was written, the word had gone out into all of the inhabited land of the Roman empire...."all the world".

Both Jew and gentile were amenable to the law of Christ at the cross. But the full passing of that Mosaic law would take another 40 years - "soon disappear". And some of the observances for the feasts and days and seasons were habitual and still practiced by the saints in Christ. But they were not obligated by those laws contained in ordinances (Eph. 2:15).

Now, in this Messianic age under which all succeeding generations have lived since AD 70, no one.. not Jew nor gentile.. have any obligation to the fence laws of the temple, nor of the feasts, nor of the times and seasons (Gal. 4:9-11).

All of the posts at my blog ShreddingTheVeil discuss the scriptures that deal with this time of transition and how Christ fulfilled all of the law.


1) Heaven and Earth Have Passed Away - here

2) Frequent Mistakes Part V: Roses Are Red... here

3) The Promised Land: Between The Cross and The Kingdom here

4) The Signs of The Feasts - Part I: Christ Told The Pharisees...here

5) The Signs of The Feasts - Part II: Christ Told His Disciples ...here

6) The Signs of The Feasts - Part III: The Thief in The Night here

7) Frequent Mistakes - Part IV: Where Was All The World? here

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