Difference Between the Moral and Ceremonial Law by A. LeRoy Moore

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How is the fact that "distinction of the law as 'moral' and 'ceremonial' is unheard of in Judaism" an argument against it? Had they distinguished the temporary ritual designed as a prophecy of the coming Lamb of God from the moral law they would not have crucified Christ. They jealously guarded the ritual system and circumcision as evidence that they were still the chosen people. That blindness remains to this day. The same inability of many Jewish believers to see this resulted in intense opposition of Judaizers which Paul faced throughout his life.

God obviously saw a difference between the moral and the ritual law and made that difference clear by having Moses put the ten commandments inside the ark and the "law of commandments contained in ordinances" (Eph 2:15) outside. The one being the foundation of God's moral government, the other a temporary reminder or "shadow of good things to come; but the body is of Christ." (Col. 2:17).

Do you not see a difference between the moral and ceremonial laws. From what I have read of your posts you believe in the perpetuity of the ten commandments. Do you see the ceremonial ritual as being equally binding? If not, why not? If you identify with Judaism in seeing them as a unified law with no real distinction, then would you not be bound by the ritual just as fully as by the moral law?

If you do place the ritual law on par with the moral law, then are you not promoting the doctrine of the Judaizers concerning whom Paul warned, "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh" (Phil 3:2-3)?

As for "wall of seperation" or the "soreq," that was undoubtedly involved in Paul's statement in Ephesians for it was the most significant symbol of the separation between Jews and Gentiles; a source of pride on one side and resentment on the other. Removal of the Levitical ritual in one stroke removed the segregation in worship and in social fellowship.

I appreciate your agreement that "the word for 'ordinance(s)' in Ephesians is the same as the word for 'ordinance' in Colossians."

God bless,

A. Leroy Moore ----- Original Message ----- From: Sidney Davis To: sdanet@lydia.sdanet.org Sent: Monday, June 30, 2003 12:04 PM Subject: Re: Biblical understanding of 1844--part2 (Col 2:13-14) Where I agree with Bacchiocchi on the Colossians text, I disagree with his here on the Ephesians text on two grounds. First the dualistic distinction of the law as "moral" and "ceremonial" is unheard of in Judaism as well as in Scripture and therefore an invention. To exegete the Ephesians text on such premises is illegitimate in my understanding of the text. Second, the word for "ordinance(s)" in Ephesians is the same as the word for "ordinance" in Colossians. It is a word ("dogma") that is never used of Torah or anything having to do with Torah as the Septuagint does not use it in reference to the Torah in any way shape fashion or form. This is also true of Judaic literature. I do agree with Bacchiocchi that the focal point of the Ephesians text is the "wall of seperation" or the "soreq." However the soreq itself stood for the "ordinances" that served to preserve the identity of Jews from "sinners" (the Gentiles) which was not mandated by Torah at all (! though based upon it). There is nothing in Torah about the temple or sanctuary enclosure known as the soreq. This was constructed in the second temple in response to Antiochus Epiphanes and the Greek violation of the temple. To make the "ordinances" of Ephesians the Torah or any part of it (such as a so-called ceremonial law) is not only anti-Torah but anti-Judaic, something I do not believe Paul to be at all. I do not beleive Paul is addressing the Gentile response or relation to Torah as I think he is addressing the mater of "identity."