How Old Testament Laws Can Shape Christians Today (Carmen Imes)

As we’ve already discussed on The Biblical Mind podcast, the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible) is more than just a bunch of old stories with some laws thrown in. Instead, it is an interwoven collection of literature, carefully crafted to shape the Israelites into the people of YHWH. However, many people still regard the the Old Testament laws as inapplicable to modern Christianity. They may see the Israelite religion as a “religion of works” while seeing Christianity as a “religion of faith.”

In this episode, Dr. Carmen Imes, Associate Professor of Old Testament at Prairie College in Alberta, Canada, talks with Dr. Dru Johnson about the role of the Old Testament laws. Fulfilling individual Old Testament laws is meant to shape the wisdom and character of God’s people in response to God’s already accomplished work of salvation. Dr. Imes talks about biblical oath-making, the difference between ancient and modern views of law codes, and how God secures his faithfulness by swearing on Himself. If we learn to read the law as an extension of our love for God, we can see how the practices and guidance of the Torah can shape our modern life as Christians.

Show notes:

  • 0:00 Why the Torah isn’t what gave salvation to the Israelites
  • 2:28 Why there are rules in the Bible
  • 7:44 Oath-making in the Hebrew Bible
  • 13:07 What the Ten Commandments were really like
  • 17:23 The uniqueness of the Hebraic covenants and Old Testament laws
  • 25:04 What it means to “love the LORD your God with all your heart”

Carmen Imes’s blog: Chastened Institutions

Her most recent book: Bearing God’s Name: Why Sinai Still Matters

Show notes by Micah Long.

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