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11 November 2004 @ 03:30 am
How was I to know?  

I hadn't realized that the apparently common belief that Laws are for Other People has scriptural justification in the Christian Bible:

I agree that the Law is excellent—provided it is legitimately used, with the understanding that law is not intended for upright men but for the lawless and disorderly, the godless and irreligious, the irreverent and profane, men who kill their fathers or mothers, murderers, immoral people, men sexually perverted, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, or whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, as set forth in the glorious good news of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted (I Timothy 1:8-11).

Or is there some key fact I'm missing here?

 
 
Current Mood: surprisedsurprised
Current Music: The Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack
 
 
 
Stephen Leighsleigh on November 11th, 2004 05:29 am (UTC)
I'd make the assumption that what Timothy is saying is that upright men (as opposed, one would think, to men who walked on all fours -- is that really the best word the translator could have used?) don't need Law because their moral values guide them well enough Law isn't needed, whereas those nasty Other People need to have rules saying "You can't do this or you will be punished..."

Of course, the alternative interpretation is that Upright Men can do whatever the hell they please and are above Law because of their Uprighteousness.

Of course, I can't think of anyone about whom I think that second interpretation might apple.
Fred A Levy Haskell: eyes of the Fredcritterfredcritter on November 12th, 2004 08:54 am (UTC)

Yeah, pretty much like that on all counts. (See today's post.) I think I'll have more to say about this stuff in other posts in the near future.

And we won't speak of the other condition that might be indicated by the phrase "an upright man"…

gomeza on November 11th, 2004 06:39 am (UTC)
That sounds like one of those badly-translated-from-the-Hebrew things, where the word "punishment" might be mis-translated as the word "law" or "poisoner" becomes "witch" or the like. A lot of bad things happened to the bible even before King James and his cronies got their hands on it.
king_tirian on November 11th, 2004 07:34 am (UTC)
Yes, I believe you are missing a key fact. What Paul seems to be talking about here (and it's Paul's letter to Timothy, not Timothy's letter) is God's law, not secular law. If you start your reading at verse 3, it seems evident that he is pointing his missles at false prophets who were twisting Scripture to their own agendas. You can read Romans 7:4-12 for a longer passage where he uses the word "law" in this context.

And the belief in that context is hardly reserved to Paul. Jesus himself declared "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." (Matthew 9:12, NIV)
Fred A Levy Haskell: eyes of the Fredcritterfredcritter on November 12th, 2004 08:36 am (UTC)
What Paul seems to be talking about here … is God's law, not secular law.

Yes, that's what I missed (see today's post on the matter). Thank you for pointing that out to me.

…it seems evident that he is pointing his missles at false prophets who were twisting Scripture to their own agendas.

Perhaps. Given history and the greater context I think it more likely that his missles were pointed directly at the Torah and the 613 mitzvot. More on this later, when I'm more awake.

gomeza on November 11th, 2004 07:44 am (UTC)
Of course, all of this simply removes the issue one step to: "who is actually in need of curing, or who decides who has strayed". Both sides in any such debate believe they have the moral high ground.
Fred A Levy Haskell: eyes of the Fredcritterfredcritter on November 12th, 2004 09:16 am (UTC)

Exactly. Or, yes indeed. Or something like that.

ask mevorona on November 11th, 2004 08:18 am (UTC)
So is he referring to Torah? I don't really understand Christianity's relation to Torah, or how that all works.
Fred A Levy Haskell: eyes of the Fredcritterfredcritter on November 12th, 2004 09:13 am (UTC)

Yes, he is (see today's post). I don't quite understand it yet either, although I'm working on it.* Judaism and Christianity: The Differences, by Trude Weiss-Rosmarin is proving helpful, especially the chapter entitled "Faith vs. Law." But I think I'll wait until I'm more awake before I try to pass on any insights, given what happened in this post…

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*Heck, I was raised "relaxed" so I'm only just now learning about Judaism's relation to Torah. <wry grin>