Recently I was thinking about how many Christians consider the Law of Moses, the Torah, the Commandments, etc, to have all been done away with by Jesus dying on the cross. This is a belief that I was taught for many years, and for the most part I accepted it. However, lately I have been reconsidering some of my previously held beliefs as I have researched much of scripture for myself. One of the verses that I came across was from Deuteronomy 13 (bold is mine for emphasis), I have only quoted the first 5 verses, please read the entire chapter for context.
13 “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. 5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
Before we go much further, let me explain the Law of Non-Contradiction. The simplest explanation is this: A thing (we will use X to represent this) cannot equal not-X. So for instance, if I have a wife, it cannot also be true that I do not have a wife, I either have a wife or I don’t. Let’s say I go to the store to buy groceries, I either have money in the bank to buy those groceries, or I don’t have money in the bank to buy groceries. I cannot have money for groceries and not have money for groceries at the same time. I have included a teaching video below for further references, you can also read about the Law of Non-Contradiction here: Wikipedia.
So, you may be wondering how Deut. 13 and the Law of Non-Contradiction fit together, so let’s look at it. Deut. 13 says that if a prophet comes to you, performs a miracle, and the miracle comes to pass, but that prophet tells you to go after other gods, then you should not do that because it is a test. In vs. 4 it says that we should walk after the Lord, fear Him, and keep His commandments. So, if someone comes to us, and performs miracles and teaches us to follow other gods or to not obey the Lords commandments, then that person is a false prophet.
So, let’s use Paul the Apostle as an example. Many Christians teach that Paul taught us that the law, the Torah, is no longer relevant for Christians today. They teach that either the law was nailed to the cross and done away with, that it still exists but that we no longer have to obey it, or something similar. Let’s evaluate these views. If this is true, if Paul teaches us to not follow the commands of the Lord, then this makes Paul and his teachings false. At this point we are not to listen to him, and as a matter of fact we are to stone him. Both Deut. 13 and Paul (if he is in fact teaching against the law) can’t be true. Either we are to keep the Lords commands or we are not to keep the Lords commands. If Paul teaches us to ignore the commands then according to Deut. 13 he is not true.
Many Christians will teach that Jesus also came to do away with the law. However, if Jesus did teach against the law, or do away with it, then he has not only broken the Torah (Law of Moses) but He has also sinned. If Jesus has sinned, then He is not the Messiah but instead a false prophet. We know this because Jesus can’t be sinless and teach against the Law of Moses. If Jesus did away with the law, He is by definition of Deut. 13, a false prophet.
Now I want to be clear, I am not claiming that either Jesus or Paul is a false apostle, rather I believe Jesus is the Messiah and that Paul’s letters are inspired as Peter says in 2 Peter 3:16
as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.
In the last statement Peter claims that people twist Paul’s writings as they do the OTHER scripture. Well, if the Tanakh (Old Testament) is the other scripture here, then Paul’s writing must be being referred to as scripture in this verse, since you can’t have an ‘other’ unless there is a something. All this to say, either Paul is a false apostle, or his writings are misunderstood.
Now, if Paul’s writing are misunderstood, AND his writings were considered as scripture according to Peter, then his writings MUST line up with obeying the commands according to Deut. 13. Now there are two more things that we must consider, if the Law of Non-Contradiction is to prove that the Law of Moses is still in effect today:
If you do not believe that Deut. 13 is a part of scripture, then there is no contradiction for you (with this passage, there are others we could use though). And if Deut. 13 came about after Paul, then logically it would follow that Paul’s letters could in fact be doing away with the law AND then Deut. 13 would be in error – but either way, both can not be true.
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Here is a video teaching about the Law of Non-Contradiction: