Does anyone have any good sources for understanding the Mosaic Law?
#1
I'm getting snagged on understanding the morality thereof and it's getting to me. I know the Law was provisional, and a case of progressive revelation (in that it was adapted to the capacities and understanding of man at that time) but the particulars are getting to me. I know from my studies years ago that the Law's "punishments" were meant to be read apophatically, and that they rarely even executed people due to needing at least two witnesses who caught the person in the act who warned them even though they didn't stop. I just have a hard time agreeing that some of the laws and prohibitions are good, in that I'm a relatively young millennial and a lot of it clashes with the morality of our times. Not to say I think we're particularly good to begin with. This age is a royal mess. But let's just say I feel a lot of difficulty when I read, say, the Psalms, and the psalmist is praising the Law. I get that it was better than a lot of other nations' legal codes but there's a lot that's hard to digest in it.

And, yes, a part of this is the fear that I won't be able to defend our Faith against the objections and criticisms of my peers. I've never been very good at that, and it's hard for me to process the amount I already know into an understandable form that others can get.
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#2
I recommend starting with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
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#3
(01-13-2021, 05:29 PM)anthonyagony Wrote: I just have a hard time agreeing that some of the laws and prohibitions are good, in that I'm a relatively young millennial and a lot of it clashes with the morality of our times.

Which parts?

Some of the prohibitions may have outlawed acts which were part of the religious rites of other (pagan) nations, to set the Jews apart from them as following the true God, and to help them avoid falling into idolatry. Some may have been a sort of punishment - throughout the Old Testament, more and more rules get added every time man falls away again, starting with Adam, then Noah, then Abraham, and finally Moses - with the point being that following God isn't always easy, and it's impossible to please Him on our own, without grace. And the harsh punishments remind us that every mortal sin (which includes all sexual sin) is deserving of hell, which is far worse than death, and to show just how much God hates sin.
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#4
(01-15-2021, 03:59 PM)Paul Wrote:
(01-13-2021, 05:29 PM)anthonyagony Wrote: I just have a hard time agreeing that some of the laws and prohibitions are good, in that I'm a relatively young millennial and a lot of it clashes with the morality of our times.

Which parts?

Some of the prohibitions may have outlawed acts which were part of the religious rites of other (pagan) nations, to set the Jews apart from them as following the true God, and to help them avoid falling into idolatry. Some may have been a sort of punishment - throughout the Old Testament, more and more rules get added every time man falls away again, starting with Adam, then Noah, then Abraham, and finally Moses - with the point being that following God isn't always easy, and it's impossible to please Him on our own, without grace. And the harsh punishments remind us that every mortal sin (which includes all sexual sin) is deserving of hell, which is far worse than death, and to show just how much God hates sin.

It's the harsh punishments that get to me. I'm against homosexuality (for instance) but prescribing the death penalty for such acts bothers me. And, of course, living in a modern democracy like the US, I'm used to religious freedom being the norm, so seeing how intense the punishments are for falling out of orthodox belief and practice is hard for me. I don't know. I'm not about to abandon ship over these things, I'm just struggling with conforming my understanding of things to God's. Involuntary doubt, ya know? I was hoping one of you would have a book or articles you could refer me to, to help me understand the Mosaic Law in detail from a Catholic perspective. I just came back to the Church and I'm trying to be serious about following our faith but there's a lot of details and it's driving me a bit batty. My mind is having a hard time with the sheer amount of things going through it that I have to try to understand in order to accept.
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#5
(01-15-2021, 11:31 PM)anthonyagony Wrote:
(01-15-2021, 03:59 PM)Paul Wrote:
(01-13-2021, 05:29 PM)anthonyagony Wrote: I just have a hard time agreeing that some of the laws and prohibitions are good, in that I'm a relatively young millennial and a lot of it clashes with the morality of our times.

Which parts?

Some of the prohibitions may have outlawed acts which were part of the religious rites of other (pagan) nations, to set the Jews apart from them as following the true God, and to help them avoid falling into idolatry. Some may have been a sort of punishment - throughout the Old Testament, more and more rules get added every time man falls away again, starting with Adam, then Noah, then Abraham, and finally Moses - with the point being that following God isn't always easy, and it's impossible to please Him on our own, without grace. And the harsh punishments remind us that every mortal sin (which includes all sexual sin) is deserving of hell, which is far worse than death, and to show just how much God hates sin.

It's the harsh punishments that get to me. I'm against homosexuality (for instance) but prescribing the death penalty for such acts bothers me. And, of course, living in a modern democracy like the US, I'm used to religious freedom being the norm, so seeing how intense the punishments are for falling out of orthodox belief and practice is hard for me. I don't know. I'm not about to abandon ship over these things, I'm just struggling with conforming my understanding of things to God's. Involuntary doubt, ya know? I was hoping one of you would have a book or articles you could refer me to, to help me understand the Mosaic Law in detail from a Catholic perspective. I just came back to the Church and I'm trying to be serious about following our faith but there's a lot of details and it's driving me a bit batty. My mind is having a hard time with the sheer amount of things going through it that I have to try to understand in order to accept.

Maybe if you could study the Epistles of St Paul in conjunction with the Catechism of the Catholic Church you could get a good understanding.
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