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What the Bible says about Law as Instruction
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Amos 2:4-5

The translation of "law" is misleading. The word is torah, and in this context it does not mean a code of rules written in a book, like a book of law. That aspect is found in the word "commandments" or "statutes," which means written, in this case, on stone. The word is literally "engraved." "Law" is teaching or instruction, suggesting a relationship that exists because an instructor is teaching a pupil.

When God says, "they have despised the law," in reality they have rejected Him, the Instructor. In effect, He says, "The relationship has been broken and now you are breaking My commandments," showing that it is a cause and effect process. Just in case they missed the point, He illustrates what He meant from examples out of society.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Guard the Truth!

Galatians 3:24

All of God's law is a teaching vehicle. The Hebrew word most frequently translated as "law" is torah, but torah more closely translates into the broader meaning of "instruction." Instruction spans a wide spectrum of information and methods of increasing understanding, including law but also principles, symbols, and examples from people's lives. For example, the way Jesus kept the Sabbath should be understood as torah by those determined to follow in His steps. The goal of this broad teaching approach is to reveal God and His plan to us as clearly as possible.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Wavesheaf Offering

Galatians 4:21

He is essentially asking, "Do you understand the instruction contained in the following episode drawn from Genesis?" Alternatively, "Do you comprehend what is in the law and its application to a New Covenant Christian?"

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part One): Introduction

Galatians 4:21-23

The births of Ishmael and Isaac are recorded in Genesis 16 and 21. Though this happened long before the Ten Commandments and the other laws were given through Moses, Paul refers to this portion of Scripture as the law! Obviously, Paul uses "law" to mean the entire Pentateuch or Torah (the first five books of the Bible), not just the Commandments. In Galatians 4:24, he specifically mentions the Old and New Covenants.

Earl L. Henn (1934-1997)
What Was the Law 'Added Because of Transgressions'?


 




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