Difficult Passages in the Torah and the Believer Today

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How do we relate to some of the seemingly severe laws in the Pentateuch? And what about the institution of slavery in Old Testament law? And how can we look to the Torah as a moral guide in light of some of these laws?

 

Hour 1:
Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line:  God’s Word, God’s Law, God’s Torah is a tree of life.  It separates clean from unclean, right from wrong, and it gives us the wisdom of God.  By meditating in it, you will find life!
 
Hour 2:
Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line:  I encourage you to explore the morality of the Scriptures.  Find out what it means to be holy because the Lord, our God is holy, and He calls us to pursue holiness, without which no one will see the Lord!

 

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Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus Volume 3This third installment of Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus looks specifically at questions raised about messianic prophecies in Isaiah, Daniel, Psalms, Haggai, and Zechariah.

and Volume 4In this volume of the Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus series, Dr. Brown counters the arguments that the New Testament mistranslates, misuses, and misunderstands the Hebrew Scriptures, also addressing the objections that Jesus or Paul abolished the Law.

5 Comments
  1. Dr. Brown,

    Since the topic of slavery has again become a subject of your talk, I am reposting a question that I put forth on your first broadcast about the topic with regards to Savage.

    The issue of slavery in the Bible seems to be common ammunition against Biblical truth. While I have heard you say that slavery was different from what it was later on, and that slavery was part of the economy of the time, this still does not seem to answer the moral issue of why it was just not prohibited.

    With regards to the NT, it seems reasonable for the apostles including Paul not to have made this a major issue. If they had, this might have become the “religion of slaves” and put the early church directly in the crosshairs of Rome to even a greater degree. It seems more reasonable to change the hearts of men and let the Holy Spirit convict them with the knowledge that all men are equal in Christ.

    With regards to the OT, the matter seems to be less clear. While slavery was different in terms of the degree of savagery, forced labor is forced labor. While one could not beat a slave to the point of permanent injury, one could still beat a slave and as long as he could get back up without permanent damage this appears to have been allowable. While Hebrew slaves were released after 7 years, no such provision was provided for non-Hebrew slaves who could be inherited by the “owners” children (YOUR DVD ON THE TOPIC–Homosexuality and the Church and Society seems a bit misleading on this as you did not differentiate between Hebrew Slaves and other slaves). If one person killed another, the one who killed would pay a life for a life, but if one kills a slave, then monetary compensation was all that was required. Further since during much of the history of “forced labor” (i.e. a euphemism for slavery) in Israel, it was a sovereign nation, unlike in the NT times, there was no other prevailing governmental force whose wrath Israel would have incurred. And saying things such as “it was a different economy” just doesn’t seem reasonable. To enslave another who is made in the image of God is wrong, despite any benefits to the economy of the time–wrong is still wrong! Further, Since the hand of God was guiding the success of the nation of Israel as it came out of slavery, then the nation should have suceeded economically without instituting slavery in its own society.

    Cannot we be accused of “white washing” slavery such that we try to redefine it as a kinder formulation or as an “economic necessity of the time”. Does even a kinder formulation of slavery do away with the moral problem of men stripping the freedoms away from another? You speak of seeds of freedom in the Bible. Is this not but rationalization from shadows?

  2. I’ll be looking forward to this also. We must be intellectually honest and transparent. If we say that all belief systems need to be examined (and rightfully so), that includes our biblical beliefs as well. May G-d’s eternal truth stand, and all else be proven false.

  3. I look at Biblical slavery like community service. It was either a way of paying off debt or a punishment for wrong doing. It was absolutely nothing like what was done to the Africans. The slave traders didn’t make them slaves because of debt or wrong doing, but because it was profitable to grab them and get free workers. And the Torah has rules about how to treat your servants and the Oral Law has even more protections for them.

  4. Even in today’s society you don’t see a major protest against criminals having to pick up trash off the side of the road, but that’s exactly like what the Torah was on about, not about kidnapping the innocent like what happened to the Africans, and the Torah has various ways out of it too – like the year of release, etc.

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