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Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Self-Harmony of the Bible - 4 (Part Eleven)

Are Those Who Fail to Keep the Law Cursed?
            The skeptic cites Deuteronomy 27:26 (NWT), which says: “Cursed is the one who will not uphold the words of this Law by carrying them,” and Jeremiah 11:3 (NWT) which states: “This is what Jehovah the God of Israel says: “Cursed is the man who does not obey the words of this covenant.”” “Therefore, we see that violators are cursed,” the skeptic says.
            In Galatians 3:10-14, Paul cites Deuteronomy 27:26 also, so how does the skeptic allege that Paul contradicts one of his proof-texts? Because, Paul said (NWT): “Christ purchased us, releasing us from the curse of the Law.” Therefore, Paul asserts that we can violate the law, and yet remain uncursed. However, this is not a contradiction, for Christ fulfilled the law – a point brought by Paul in other places – and therefore the Law was no longer incumbent upon anyone. Even then, Paul did affirm that those who violate the law were otherwise cursed (hence why he quotes Deuteronomy 27:26), which is why the release by Christ was needed. The curse and its release belong to separate times, so there is no contradiction.

Can Those Without the Law Sin?
            Romans 2:12 accurately reports that those outside the Mosaic Law sinned. So, the skeptic, taking Paul’s own nearby words, creates a contradiction. He cites Romans 5:13 (NWT), which says: “For sin was in the world before the Law, but sin is not charged against anyone when there is no law.” The skeptic, though, confuses the act of sin with the charging of sin to the sinner. Paul knew that those who lived before the Mosaic Law sinned so he does not contradict himself, for he says in Romans 5:14 (NWT): “Nevertheless, death ruled as king from Adam down to Moses, even over those who had not sinned” – the skeptic would be pleased to stop here – “in the same way that Adam transgressed.” 

2 comments:

  1. Hi Sean. I haven't read the rest of the series, so perhaps I'm jumping the gun here, but in order to round out your defense I think you may need to include Matthew 5:17 & Matthew 22:36-40 and how those words from Jesus helped the then-developing Christian congregation to differentiate between ritual and moral laws. However, I do commend you for your point you make on timing.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Bart,
      Thanks for the suggestion. I'm currently editing and organizing all five parts into one book. When I get to this section, I'll review it while I keep in mind what you said.

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