Obey or Don’t – Please Resolve

bible.jpgLast night I was reading a book. That alone is no big deal, except that I don’t do it often enough. But last night I came across something as puzzling as it is interesting. Oh, and it’s a Bible thing.

Jesus Christ lived and died an observant Jew. In Galatians, the Apostle Paul asserts that following Jewish law is irrelevant for achieving salvation in Christ. It is by believing in His death and resurrection that one is saved.

In the Gospel of Matthew, written later than Paul, he says that one must adhere to Jewish law more than do the scribes and Pharisees in order to achieve salvation.

This is an obvious contradiction. Paul says, essentially, ignore the rules and prohibitions set forth in Leviticus and elsewhere in the Bible and Matthew says, oh, no, you must obey.

So, please, which is it – ignore or obey? Please cite book, chapter and verse that clearly validates one and invalidates the other. I suspect I’ll get no answer because…

Some months ago, I asked for book, chapter and verse for the Bible’s clear and unambiguous definition of marriage. Though there are comments, no one answered that one, either. Consequently, I renew the request.

Is it perhaps that these questions cannot be answered? That would be unfortunate because if the Bible is the inviolate word of God, one might ask, which side of His mouth should I listen to? Fortunately, that’s not a problem because God didn’t write the Bible. Men like Paul and Matthew did.

Meantime and seriously, how does one rationally reconcile the contradiction?

  6 comments for “Obey or Don’t – Please Resolve

  1. Robert Lauten
    December 13, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    It would have been helpful if you quoted chapter and verse. I’m Guessing – Matthew 5:20, (the obey verse). Answer in verses 17 thru 19: Vs. 17 “… I (Jesus)am not come to destroy (the law) but to fulfill.” Vs. 18 “… one jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled”. Jesus was the promised Messiah. His death and resurrection was the fulfillment.
    Robert Lauten
    Candidate for State Treasurer

    • December 14, 2009 at 6:37 am

      Yes, you are correct. That’s the passage from Matthew. Have a look at Galatians 2:16.

      “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

      So, there are the laws of man, the laws of God, and the laws of nature (which could be considered as being among the laws of God). What other laws are there? What law is it that Paul says can be ignored? How does this comport with Matthew?

  2. Robert Lauten
    December 14, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Paul is not saying the law can be ignored; – he is only saying that “… a man is not justified by the works of the law,” Galatians 2:16 above.
    In Matthew chapter 5 Jesus asks the multitudes to do more than what the Ten Commandments asks; – (not to be justified by the law, – but rather to “… glorify your Father which is in heaven” – when others see your good works, – Verse 16.)

    Robert Lauten
    Candidate for State Treasurer 2010
    http://www.politics1.com > State/Federal Candidates

    • December 14, 2009 at 2:56 pm

      Thanks for your comment. Regrettably I’m still confused. If “justification” is not salvation, what, then is it? And the original question remains: how does one reconcile Paul and Matthew?

  3. Robert Lauten
    December 14, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Some people want to be “confused”.

  4. December 14, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    The original question was genuine and remains so.

    Your insult does nothing to advance the discussion; to the contrary, it serves only to distract.

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