The Old Testament and Principlism Essay

The Old Testament and Principlism Essay

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Introduction
The Old Testament law is seen as irrelevant by most modern Christians today. Christians are now under the blood of Jesus Christ which is said to abrogate the Law. Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” The law of Christ is to love God and your neighbor as yourself. This does not mean, however, that the Old Testament Law does not apply to Christians today. Author J. Daniel Hays expounds on this topic in his article, “Applying the Old Testament Law Today,” and focuses on the hermeneutical approach of Principlism. This approach allows the Old Testament Law to be viewed in light of the New Testament.

Reflection of Principlism
The traditional approach to the Mosaic Law is categorized by moral, civil, and ceremonial laws. Hays mentions this is not the correct approach as it has three major weaknesses: no textual support, ignores the narrative context, and fails to reflect the changes from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. Hays postulates the correct method is Principlism, a five step approach to applying the Law.
The first approach is assessing the Law according to its target audience. This is beneficial as it defines the context in which the text is applying itself to. Hays mentions, “Connecting texts to their contexts is a basic tenet of proper interpretive method. The Law is part of a story, and this story thus provides a critical context for interpreting the Law.” This approach can be problematic as meaning of a particular law could be misinterpreted to fit the context in which it is placed in. The Law may be given in a specific instance; however, it could have a general meaning, which could be lost using this approach.
The second approach is determini...


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...his was the reason God gave the commandment not to eat blood, as the blood represents life, and most of all represents the blood of Christ poured out for all sinners. This command was so important that it carried over to the New Testament. This reflects the fourth approach of Principlism, applying an Old Testament law to the New Testament. This law is repeated as Christians are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. It is to be remembered by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and therefore the Old Testament law still applies to Christians today.
Conclusion
Principlism is a five step approach to interpret the Old Testament Law in light of the New Testament. This approach allows believers to apply these principles to their lives today. This does not destroy the teachings of the Old Testament, but allows for reflection on the text without diminishing the New Testament.

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