From the Finger of God: The Biblical and Theological Basis for the Threefold Division of the Law

Overview

This book investigates the biblical and theological basis for the classical division of biblical law into moral, civil, and ceremonial. It highlights some of the implications of this division for the doctrines of sin and atonement, concluding that theologians were right to see it as rooted in Scripture and the Ten Commandments as ever-binding.

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Overview

This book investigates the biblical and theological basis for the classical division of biblical law into moral, civil, and ceremonial. It highlights some of the implications of this division for the doctrines of sin and atonement, concluding that theologians were right to see it as rooted in Scripture and the Ten Commandments as ever-binding.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
In this remarkable work Dr. Philip Ross studies the threefold Division of the Law as traditionally held by the Reformed, Orthodox and Catholic Churches and establishes this framework to be scripturally based. Ross's study is a welcome contribution to this topic especially in the context of challenges to this formulation from several modern authors who reject it as non-biblical, challenges which this study effectively refutes. This study is to be commended not only for its scholarly rigor but also for its ecumenical relevance. ~ George Keerankeri, S.J., (Reader in Sacred Scripture, Vidyajyoti College of Theology, Delhi)
From the Publisher
In this remarkable work Dr. Philip Ross studies the threefold Division of the Law as traditionally held by the Reformed, Orthodox and Catholic Churches and establishes this framework to be scripturally based. Ross's study is a welcome contribution to this topic especially in the context of challenges to this formulation from several modern authors who reject it as non-biblical, challenges which this study effectively refutes. This study is to be commended not only for its scholarly rigor but also for its ecumenical relevance. ~ George Keerankeri, S.J.,(Reader in Sacred Scripture, Vidyajyoti College of Theology, Delhi)"A book of great relevance with an immensely important message for the contemporary church, From the Finger of God is to be welcomed with open arms. It is a fine example of careful, readable biblical, theological, and historical scholarship that leads to deeply satisfying conclusions." ~ Sinclair B. Ferguson(Associate Preacher, St Peter's Free Church, Dundee)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845506018
  • Publisher: Christian Focus Publications
  • Publication date: 1/20/2011
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip S. Ross is a theological editor who studied in Wales. He worked extensively on the well-received Christian Heritage editions of The Marrow of Modern Divinity and subtitled five John Owen works — The Glory of Christ, The Holy Spirit, Communion with God, Assurance and The Priesthood of Christ. Philip lives near Loch Lomond in Scotland with his wife and three children.

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Table of Contents

Abbreviations xvii

Acknowledgments xix

I A Catholic Doctrine 1

No Minor Thread 2

For or Against? Mostly Against 9

Tracing the 'Orthodox Position' 19

Beyond the Confines of Hermeneutical Utopia 33

Scripture-the Source of Systematic Theology 34

Rejecting Methodological Schism 45

II What Would Moses Think? 51

The Distinctiveness of the Decalogue 52

Was the Decalogue New Law? 52

'God Spoke These Words' 80

The Covenant - 'Ten Words' From the Finger of God 83

$$$-'And he added nothing more.' 86

Apodictic Form and Sanctions 88

The Constitution of the Universe 92

Section Summary 104

'Commands, Decrees, and Laws' 106

Distinguishing Civil and Ceremonial 110

A Fivefold Division? 115

Summary 119

III Law in Action? 121

Juridical Process 121

'Mercy and not Sacrifice' 126

Law and Prophets 132

Law and the Songs of God's People 139

Summary 144

IV What Did Jesus Do? 145

John's 'Moral Bankruptcy' 147

The Most Important Commandment 154

A 'Pitiful Job' of Doctrinal Inculcation 160

Jesus and Purity Laws 173

Was Jesus Unclean? 174

What Defiles a Man 179

Rending the Temple Veil 187

Summary 190

V Jesus Preaches on the Law 193

'I Have not Come to Abolish...but to Fulfil' 195

Interpreting Matthew 5:17 199

'I will put my law within them' 203

'I will be their God and they shall be my people' 204

'They shall all know me' 206

'I will forgive their inquity' 211

Not a Jot or a Tittle 215

Antithesis & Advance v. Co-ordination & Continuity 220

Hatred and Lust 223

Divorce 225

Oaths 229

Lex Talionis 231

Love your Enemies 234

Summary 237

VI The Law in Acts 239

Echoes of Sinai 242

Statutes and Ordinances 247

Exodus 22:27 (BHS) and Acts 23:5 247

Deuteronomy 10:17 and Acts 10:34 248

Deuteronomy 23:21 and Acts 5:4 250

Deuteronomy 18:10-14 and Acts 19:19 251

Deuteronomy 28:29 and Acts 22:11 253

The Apostolic Decree 254

Summary 263

VII The Apostles and their Epistles 265

'Typical Ordinances' and 'Moral Duties' 266

Copies and Shadows 267

Identifying δογμα 279

'A Lamb without Blemish' 286

'Divers instructions of moral duties' 292

Section Summary 295

'Judicial Laws' 295

Submit Yourselves 298

Expired yet Speaking 299

General Equity 300

Section Summary 308

'A Perfect Rule of Righteousness' 308

Negativity Towards the Law 308

An Ineffaceable Inscription 318

Sin and Judgment 324

A Strengthened Obligation 334

A Rest Remains 341

Secondary Texts and Interrelated Themes 345

Summary 348

VIII The End of the Whole Matter 351

Appendix 1 355

Appendix 2 Defining πληροω - 'to fulfil' 357

Bibliography 371

Scripture Index 405

General Index 417

Index of Hebrew and Greek Terms 419

Index of Names and Authors 421

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