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In the book of Romans it says (4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes, -- Romans 10:4 (CSB)

23 Before this faith came, we were confined under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed. 24 The law, then, was our guardian until Christ, so that we could be justified by faith. 25 But since that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for through faith you are all sons of God in Christ Jesus. -- Galatians 3:23-26 (CSB)

I know that there are more verses in the new testament telling us that the old testament law is no more because Jesus died on the cross.

However, in Mark 10:17-19 it says 17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life? ”

18 “Why do you call me good? ” Jesus asked him. “No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: Do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; do not defraud; honor your father and mother. ” -- Mark 10:17-19 (CSB)

Does this mean that the 10 commandments of the old testament are reaffirmed by Jesus and are to be kept along with the commands that He gave in the New Testament?

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  • This question is covered by many questions and answers on SE-BH, such as this one which, in my own view, adequately (and succintly) answers the inquiry. Up-voted +1 (despite that some may regard it as a 'duplicate').
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jul 29, 2023 at 4:12
  • I’m voting to close this question because it is systematic theology. For it to be on-topic on this site it would need to clearly focus on just one passage. Please edit it if you think it can be focused like that.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jul 29, 2023 at 22:27
  • Search for ten commands or 10 commandments and the Ephesians 2:15 topics for the same question.
    – Michael16
    Commented Aug 8, 2023 at 8:29

3 Answers 3

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My preferred hermeneutic for all specific commandments is that offered by Jesus in Matt. 22:40, where he says that all the law and prophets are summarized in [A] "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, strength, mind, and soul" and [B] "Love your neighbour as yourself." I reason that we should be able to extrapolate and/or sift all remaining commandments based on these two.

The 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17):

  1. You shall have no other gods before me.
    Covered by [A].

  2. You shall not make for yourself, or worship, an image.
    While this is best covered by [A], it's also a good case for seeing how [A] allows us to identify the key part of this commandment: not the making of an image, but the worshipping, "for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God" (20:4). Hence, under this hermeneutic, we find that this is probably not a commandment against representation of natural or spiritual things, but against idol worship using said images. Other hermeneutic approaches might back this up, e.g. comparing commandments such as God ordaining the addition of statues of cherubim to the Ark and "bowls like almond blossoms" (Exodus 25) for the menorah. Without Jesus' identification of the two core principles of the law, there would seem to be a contradiction, but when we understand these principles, we see that there is no contradiction between "Love the Lord your God" and "Decorate the Ark with cherubim" (whom you don't worship).

  3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord.
    Covered by [A].

  4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Do no work.
    An interesting matter for debate whether this is covered by [A] (respect for God, as explicitly stated in the commandment), by [B] (mercy to the weary labourer, as stated by Jesus in Mark 2:27), or both.

  5. Honour your father and mother.
    Covered by [B].

  6. You shall not murder.
    Covered by [B].

  7. You shall not commit adultery.
    Covered by [B].

  8. You shall not steal.
    Covered by [B].

  9. You shall not give false witness.
    Covered by [B].

  10. You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbour.
    Covered by [B] when we remember that the full principle is not just "Love your neighbour," but "Love your neighbour as yourself." The neighbour's happiness must be seen as one with your own; we are not to distinguish between the love we would lavish on them in the form of good things and the love we would lavish on ourselves. Incidentally, this is one of those laws that, in a worldly sense, works best when reciprocated: they ought to be loving you likewise, such that in a God-fearing society, there should not be great differences in belongings that lead to covetousness.

As we can see when we use this hermeneutic, it doesn't matter so much whether we say that the old laws "still apply" or not, but rather whether they are reflections of the greatest commandments, which are presumably timeless. We could easily apply this (and I do) to every law in the OT.

(A few do give us pause in terms of trying to understand the nature of the love involved, and that's a rich field of study and application, of course. One example might be "Do not cook a goat in its mother's milk": Is this love of a kind of neighbour [B]? Is it a respect for natural sympathies that ultimately shows a love for nature's creator [A]? Or is it a cultural artifact that we can no longer understand in terms of the love it shows?)

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  • I considered the Commandments as effects not prohibitions. "Thou shalt not …" isn't saying that you shouldn't, it's promising that you won't. For instance: "6. Murder: Thou shalt not kill. Following God's way means tolerating other people's faults and behaviours, knowing that it is for God, not you, to judge them. You will never hate anyone, much less want to hurt or kill them. You'll be free of mental poisons such as hatred and vengeance.". — The Ten Freedoms. It's not necessarily true, but an interesting way of looking at it. Commented Jul 30, 2023 at 3:28
  • @RayButterworth An interesting (and quite different) approach. Goes well with the fact that some commandments, not just among the 10, come with their own explicit promises. Commented Jul 30, 2023 at 3:45
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“you must be careful to do everything they (the pharisees) tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach." (Mat 23:3)

"For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one dot or one mark will pass from the law until all be fulfilled." (Mat 5:18)

In the above verses Jesus reaffirmed the importance of keeping the law, but in reality we can only continuously do so if we crucify our flesh as prescribed for us on Golgotha.

“unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Mat 5:20)

“As Jesus started on His way, a man ran up and knelt before Him. “Good Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ “Why do you call Me good?” Jesus replied. “No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not cheat others, honour your father and mother.’” “Teacher,” he replied, “all these I have kept from my youth.” Jesus looked at him, loved him, and said to him, “There is one thing you lack: Go, sell everything you own and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” But the man was saddened by these words and went away in sorrow, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:17-23

In the above two passages we learn that keeping the law is required to achieve eternal life, but to reign with Christ we need to go a step further and be an unselfish giver as well.

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    "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome." — 1 John 5:3. Commented Jul 29, 2023 at 13:49
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Seems to be an imposition of Sola Fide into the text. The verses in Paul are dealing with the Law in a sense which St Paul is talking about the Law as something which delineates Jews and Gentiles:

Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for [the Gentiles] is that they may be saved (Romans 10:1, NCB)

In fact, it doesn't seem that St Paul addresses the righteousness angle of the law until later in the chapter, after the declaration in OP:

Concerning the righteousness that comes from the Law, Moses writes, “The person who does these things will attain life by them.” However, the righteousness that comes from faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). (Romans 10:5-7)

That same can be said of the other Epistles. It is an imposition onto the text to assume only an adherence to a Faith in Jesus is necessary. Rather, Paul is rejecting the idea that Israel is only defined by the Jewish Covenant, asserting instead that Jesus came to universilise faith in the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob.

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