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I came across this quote from NT Wright:

The Torah [the Law of Moses] is given for a specific period of time, and is then set aside—not because it was a bad thing now happily abolished, but because it was a good thing whose purpose had now been accomplished.

I'd like to see this fleshed out in more detail. In what way is this true, according to Wright or others that hold this view?

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2 Answers 2

The question here really is "what is the purpose of the Torah?" and "what is achieved by God in Christ?" For NT Wright, they are in a sense the same. The key theme, as in much of Wright's work, is that of covenant relationship.

The purpose of the Torah, for Wright, is to mediate the covenant between YHWH and Israel. As Wright writes in Creation and Covenant,

Torah does in human life what the sun does within creation: it brings the light, power and searching, probing heat of YHWH’s presence into the depths of the human heart. Torah is, of course, the covenant charter of Israel, the Law given to bind Israel to YHWH, to establish the nation as his people. With Torah as its guide, Israel is the unique, chosen people of the one creator God.

So the purpose of the Torah is to bind YHWH and hoods people together, to mark them out as his covenant people. Basically it is to mediate the relationship.

For Wright, one aspect of Jesus' work (perhaps even the central aspect) is again to mediate the relationship between God and his people of the New Covenant. The Torah mediated the Old Covenant, but that purpose has passed away with the coming off Christ into the world, the perfect mediation of the covenant of love between God and his world.

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Actually the Torah is only "done" with when the law is written on your heart- the Torah remains because in the flesh we will never have the whole law written on our heart- We will add parts but the depth of the Word will never be realized by any one until emptied of our flesh in death. There is no other law that can be written on our hearts as the New covenant of Jeremiah reminds us. So the Mosaic law becomes obsolete in parts as we go from glory to glory when we clothe ourselves with the Word. We need the written in stone law as a guide to show us what sin is- the depth of what the Father sees as sin we will never fully know while in our flesh also- but there it is in the Torah-- that is why the psalmist states that we should meditate day and nite on the Torah or law of Moses- how else does it enter into our heart?

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