Peter is cited in Acts 15:10-11 as saying to the Jerusalem Council, "Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear?". And yet, in Deuteronomy 30:9-14:
The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
God states that not only is it possible for the average Israelite to obey the Mosaic Law, but implies that the Israelites' ancestors successfully did it (cf. Genesis 26:5, where God says that Abraham obeyed "My commandments, My statutes and My laws").
- In addition, the author of Psalm 119 appears to assume that it's possible for a person to follow the Law properly (vv.88, 145, 146) and praises such a person (vv.1-2, 33-34, 55), then claims to properly follow the Law himself (vv.14, 22, 31-32, 69, 129, 157, 167-168).
- In Deuteronomy 11:13 (and v.22), God says ("if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today — to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul") that the Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:36-38) is one of, or a shorthand for, the legal requirements of the Mosaic Law.
- Two people in the Gospels are recorded as asking Jesus what to do to inherit "eternal life". Each time, he responds by asking what is written in "the Law" or "the commandments", several examples are quoted from the Pentateuch and then Jesus says to the person to go and do them and "live" (Luke 10:25-38; Matthew 19:16-20).
So on what basis does Peter make the claim that the Mosaic Law is impossible to bear?