OrthodoxChristianity.net
December 18, 2014, 08:07:01 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Orthodox interpretation of Matthew 5:18  (Read 1712 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
dhinuus
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 497



« on: January 16, 2012, 01:33:06 AM »

I have a question on what is the correct Orthodox interpretation of Gospel according to St.Matthew 5:18. In NKJV / OSB it reads as:

“For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”

I understand the middle part of the sentence. It is basically telling us not even the dot of an “i” or a cross of a “t” in the law will pass. The part that I struggle with is the section that I have in bold above. It is giving two time frames.  It says nothing in the law is changing till
1) till heaven and earth pass away
2) till all is fulfilled.

My question is about the time frame referred to in the verse. In the notes section of OSB it says that 'all is fulfilled' refers to the Passion and Resurrection of Christ. And the old heaven and earth did pass away and the entire creation was renewed in our Lord's resurrection ?  So if that is the case, not all dots of the 'i' and not all crosses of 't' of the Law is still applicable.

Or is 'heaven and earth pass away' in verse 18  referring to the Second Coming of Christ, which would imply that the entire Law is still applicable.

I read the homily of St. John Chrysostom on this at http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/200116.htm , but  didnt understand it well. I will read it again. I also read 'The Explanation' by Blessed Theophylact and in it I saw the following commentary: "He is saying, therefore, that while the universe subsists, not the least letter of the law will pass away."  It also gives another alternative explanation that: "Christ is saying, therefore, that everything that was spoken concerning the Cross will be fulfilled."

I am confused. Can someone in plain simple words, explain please.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 01:34:44 AM by dhinuus » Logged

NULL
Melodist
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: The Faith That Established The Universe
Jurisdiction: AOANA
Posts: 2,523



« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2012, 09:50:44 AM »

The Law does three things.

1. It proclaims Christ. This part is fulfilled in all aspects of the Gospel from the annunciation when He became flesh in Mary's womb to His death and resurrection to His second coming. The tabernacle and then temple sacrifices served to proclaim the coming and work of Christ, but now He is our High Priest and the sacrafice that He offers is Himself. It's in the Epistle to the Hebrews.

2. It sets a moral standard of living based on the nature of who God is (love God and neighbor). We are still and will always be required to love God and neighbor based on the love that God shows us, shown more than anywhere else than in the Son of God becoming a man and dieing for us.

3. It sets the Jews apart as a people of God for the purpose of bringing God's Son into the world. Having come, and reconciling Jew and gentile back together to reconcile the entire human race back to God, this is fulfilled on the cross. Just as these were for the purpose of seperating the Jews from everyone else, and that wall of seperation was abolished on the cross uniting all of mankind in Christ, following Christ's instructions to not "put asunder that which God has joined together" (please forgive me if you think this is a stretch), we no longer seperate that which God has joined together on the cross. They were followed for a purpose, they served their purpose within history, and they continue to teach us about God's providence in bringing Christ into the world to save us.
Logged

And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

Made Perfect in Weakness - Latest Post: The Son of God
dhinuus
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 497



« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2012, 12:10:44 AM »

Thank you very much. Your interpretation makes sense; my question is how do you arrive at that conclusion from St.Matthew 5:18?
Logged

NULL
Melodist
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: The Faith That Established The Universe
Jurisdiction: AOANA
Posts: 2,523



« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2012, 01:05:03 AM »

Thank you very much. Your interpretation makes sense; my question is how do you arrive at that conclusion from St.Matthew 5:18?

I didn't pull them from Matt 5:18, but these are themes that are found throughout the NT and provide a context in which to better understand that particular verse.
Logged

And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

Made Perfect in Weakness - Latest Post: The Son of God
jaroslavkourakin
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 173



« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2012, 01:51:19 AM »

The Law is the Light and whoever is not under this Light is in Darkness. With the advent of Christ the same Light is even brighter. This means that the Law is still valid, and we are supposed to follow it even better. However, because of the advent of Christ, the true meaning of much of the symbology is revealed and fulfilled - circumcision, Sabbath, Passover, breaking bread etc. While it is still true that one should not eat unclean animals, the unclean animals themselves have been made clean, and not the Law abolished even in this regard.

So interpretation of the Law here is most important, and that would be why the admittance into the Kingdom is placed before the Law.

"The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law."

This being said, I think Paul was entirely wrong when he said the Law was a shadow. Maybe it is supposed to say that the Law pre-shadowed the things to come, but the Law itself is in all regards light. Alternatively of course, the Law is a shadow, and is still valid but only as a shadow, a testimony of things to come. So here the Jews have stumbled, still clinging to the Shadow, but they see it with the wrong light, and the things it testifies of regarding the future they interpret wrongly.

I find it odd. Because the Law is a testimony from God it cannot be called 'shadow'. It is light.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 02:01:34 AM by jaroslavkourakin » Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Online Online

Posts: 30,490



« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2012, 02:18:16 AM »

This being said, I think Paul was entirely wrong when he said the Law was a shadow.  

Are you thinking of Col. 2:17, or Heb. 10:1, or another passage?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 02:19:49 AM by Asteriktos » Logged

"By the way he dies as a human being he shows us what it is to be God." - Fr. John Behr
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Online Online

Posts: 30,490



« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2012, 02:22:38 AM »

...
..
.
I am confused. Can someone in plain simple words, explain please.

To be honest, I'm not sure. I think, according to certain passages (e.g. Hebrews 7), that the mosaic law has been superceded (and in it's place we have what James calls the "law of liberty," a law of love). Yet the timing thing you bring up... I don't know...
Logged

"By the way he dies as a human being he shows us what it is to be God." - Fr. John Behr
jaroslavkourakin
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 173



« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2012, 02:38:52 AM »

This being said, I think Paul was entirely wrong when he said the Law was a shadow. 

Are you thinking of Col. 2:17, or Heb. 10:1, or another passage?

Probably Hebrew, but I think Romans goes some length into it. Look at this, "It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.", yet the Law states that the blood of the animals have been given to atone for sins. Yet the difference might be, where one does not find forgiveness in the Law, one finds it in Christ. But then why does Christ forgive, if the Law does not forgive? Probably because the atoning power of animals is limited.

For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed be every one who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, and do them."

How can I agree with this? This seems to me complete perversion. They who rely on the works of the Law are blessed, for the Law must be light and not darkness if God gave it to us. Further he continues

Now it is evident that no man is justified before God by the law; for "He who through faith is righteous shall live"; but the law does not rest on faith, for "He who does them shall live by them." Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us -- for it is written, "Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree" -- that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Everyone is justified by the Law, because the Law is the way of righteousness. The Law does rest on faith, because whoever does not have faith will not do it that he may live. If anything, Christ redeems us from the curse of not having the Law, as it written (or revealed) in our hearts, and not being able to fulfill it, not by abolishing it's authority.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 02:40:39 AM by jaroslavkourakin » Logged
lost
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 296


« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2012, 12:01:34 PM »

The Law is the Light and whoever is not under this Light is in Darkness. With the advent of Christ the same Light is even brighter. This means that the Law is still valid, and we are supposed to follow it even better. However, because of the advent of Christ, the true meaning of much of the symbology is revealed and fulfilled - circumcision, Sabbath, Passover, breaking bread etc. While it is still true that one should not eat unclean animals, the unclean animals themselves have been made clean, and not the Law abolished even in this regard.

So interpretation of the Law here is most important, and that would be why the admittance into the Kingdom is placed before the Law.

"The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law."

This being said, I think Paul was entirely wrong when he said the Law was a shadow. Maybe it is supposed to say that the Law pre-shadowed the things to come, but the Law itself is in all regards light. Alternatively of course, the Law is a shadow, and is still valid but only as a shadow, a testimony of things to come. So here the Jews have stumbled, still clinging to the Shadow, but they see it with the wrong light, and the things it testifies of regarding the future they interpret wrongly.

I find it odd. Because the Law is a testimony from God it cannot be called 'shadow'. It is light.

It is a shaddow.
Logged
lost
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 296


« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2012, 12:23:54 PM »

I think the Law in here refers to the whole corpus of the Old Testament... It was and afaik it still is a way of refering to the entire corpus of the Old Testament... The Old heaven and earth passed away at Creation so dots and titles have passed from the Law... I think this is saying that by the time of the consumation of the entire corpus of the Bible, heaven and earth will pass.So one that will break one of the least commandments of this and teach people that way will be among the least in the kingdom of heaven, and those that do them and teach others that way will be among the greatest... Think about it?What could be Christ refering to, in there?To the Mosaic Law or to the entire Old Testament?One could find refuge under the letter of the Law... Just look at the pharisees... But the entire Old Testament explains the Law, and leaves no other refuge.. It uncovers it.. It lets it bare.. It is not the letter of the Law, but the Spirit of the Law... It is the entire Bible that is talking about in here, mostly of the Gospel, that supersedes the Law.About the doctrine of the Bible.. This is about the Orthodox faith.. If one breaks the Orthodox faith it will be among the least... If one fulfill the Orthodox faith it will be among the great... Everyone according to his virtue...

Logged
lost
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 296


« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2012, 12:47:58 PM »

the entire Old Testament foretells the Gospel and preaches the abrogation of the Old Law...
Logged
dhinuus
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 497



« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2012, 10:59:39 PM »

To be honest, I'm not sure. I think, according to certain passages (e.g. Hebrews 7), that the mosaic law has been superceded (and in it's place we have what James calls the "law of liberty," a law of love). Yet the timing thing you bring up... I don't know...
Thank you very much for trying to understand my question. From ther responses on here, you are the only one who I think understood my question.

It was and afaik it still is a way of refering to the entire corpus of the Old Testament... The Old heaven and earth passed away at Creation so dots and titles have passed from the Law

Are you saying that the old heaven and earth passed away at creation referred to in Genesis ? I am even more confused by your response. Or did you mean to say that old heaven and earth passed away and was renewed at the Resurruction of Christ, and 'all was fulfilled' at the crucification of Christ. So both the timeframes referred to in St.Matthew 5:18 has occured and hence the jots and tittles has indeed passed from the Law.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 11:01:03 PM by dhinuus » Logged

NULL
lost
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 296


« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2012, 02:46:19 PM »

To be honest, I'm not sure. I think, according to certain passages (e.g. Hebrews 7), that the mosaic law has been superceded (and in it's place we have what James calls the "law of liberty," a law of love). Yet the timing thing you bring up... I don't know...
Thank you very much for trying to understand my question. From ther responses on here, you are the only one who I think understood my question.

It was and afaik it still is a way of refering to the entire corpus of the Old Testament... The Old heaven and earth passed away at Creation so dots and titles have passed from the Law

Are you saying that the old heaven and earth passed away at creation referred to in Genesis ? I am even more confused by your response. Or did you mean to say that old heaven and earth passed away and was renewed at the Resurruction of Christ, and 'all was fulfilled' at the crucification of Christ. So both the timeframes referred to in St.Matthew 5:18 has occured and hence the jots and tittles has indeed passed from the Law.

I ment at the Cross, but I am currently on Moderation and I could not edit my post.
Logged
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.065 seconds with 40 queries.