I don't know this question is within the scope or not.

Its straightforward. How many of the Laws in OT can be transported to NT and usable?

These are some of the OT laws which are no longer useful in NT:

  1. Animal Sacrifice
  2. Circumcision
  3. Unclean animals

But these are still valid in NT:

  1. Do not worship idol
  2. Do not Murder
  3. Do not commit Adultery

Some of my confusion list:

  1. Sabbath
  2. Tithe
  3. Passover

Is it possible to make a clear cut list?

Is this topic too vast to answer?

  • Nobody follows the Sabbath, Tithe, or Passover as literally required under the Old Testament. Tithing was very complex, nobody can even fully explain it that well. Picking up sticks on the Sabbath called for stoning. The passover meal was replaced by the Lord' supper. Where principles of love to God, or man, were incorporated in those old ceremonies, they are not superseded by the New Covenant but made alive and filled out. I am not answering, just commenting, as fredsbend is clear enough, I am just throwing some obvious clues about your particular questions.
    – Mike
    Feb 25, 2013 at 10:42
  • @Mike very misleading at least on Sabbath. The 7th Day Adventists follow the Sabbath to letter. They say it even starts Friday evening and ends Saturday evening. Punishments for not following Sabbath, or anything, is almost universally said to be civil law, because there really are no church states today. They do not have the civil authority to punish in that regard. Doesn't mean that they wouldn't if they did have it, though. New England Puritans were a church state and had some Leviticus like punishments. That was only 350 years ago.
    – user3961
    Feb 25, 2013 at 16:29
  • @fredsbend - interesting that 7 day think they can separate the ceremonial from the civil. see my comment on your post. I guess my comment would be misleading to them to say the least.
    – Mike
    Feb 25, 2013 at 23:54
  • @Mike I am not saying 7 day separate ceremonial and civil. What they would classify as those they would not follow anyway. I am pointing out that they may or may not enforce punishment laws if they had the authority to do so in some sort of a church state. It has happened before in history.
    – user3961
    Feb 26, 2013 at 0:34

1 Answer 1


Most theologians agree that there are three kinds of Old Testament laws. Summed up well here.

The Old Testament Law
Ceremonial Law: This type of law relates to Israel's worship. (Lev 1:1-13) The laws pointed forward to Jesus Christ and were no longer necessary after Jesus' death and resurrection. Though we are no longer bound to them, the principles behind the ceremonial laws, that is to worship and love God, still apply.
Civil Law: This law dictated Israel's daily living (Deut 24:10-11); but modern society and culture are so radically different that some of these guidelines cannot be followed specifically. The principles behind the commands are used to guide our conduct.
Moral Law: The moral laws are direct commands of God. A good example are the Ten Commandments (Ex 20:1-17). The moral laws reveal the nature and will of God, and still apply to us today. We do not obey this moral law as a way to obtain salvation, but to live in ways pleasing to God.

Now these divisions in the laws are not actual, meaning scripture itself does not explicitly call a law one kind or another. The concept was derived from the teaching that the law was 'nailed to the cross' with Christ, and therefore, some of it no longer needs to be followed to the letter, simplistically speaking.

Thus, most Christian sects will say that the Christian must only follow the moral laws. What the actual moral laws are is hotly debated. One commonality, generally, is that many Christians consider most if not all of Leviticus as Civil and Ceremonial Law and most if not all of the Ten Commandments in either Exodus or Deuteronomy are Moral Laws. After that, they seem to be debated on a one-by-one basis.

  • On which category Sabbath may fall?
    – Mawia
    Feb 25, 2013 at 5:31
  • 1
    @Mawia a whole sect of Christians exist almost for that alone! The Catholic and most Protestants answer that it was changed to Sunday because of tradition, or that it really is not important which day, or even that it is not important at all; just spend time with God is the morality that you are supposed to get from it. The 7th Day Adventist thinks it is so important that Sunday worship is actually the mark of the beast! Outlandish theology, but water tight once you take a few assumptions.
    – user3961
    Feb 25, 2013 at 5:39
  • E. G. White, a person Adventists consider to have had the gift of prophecy wrote The Great Controversey where she details the reasons why around chapters 20 - 22 I think. Makes for very interesting reading whether you take it as belief of not.
    – user3961
    Feb 25, 2013 at 5:39
  • Excellent answer. I definitely learned from this, thanks! Feb 25, 2013 at 6:07
  • although I upvoted your answer, it should be clarified that most theologians do not think these divisions are actual, just handy concepts to help understand the result of the entire Law crucified on the cross. the moral laws do not continue without a death of their stone version and resurrection into our heart through rebirth. The law ca never be ripped into pieces not even a jot will go unfulfilled.
    – Mike
    Feb 25, 2013 at 23:50

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