Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Noahide Laws

Even before the revelation on Sinai there were certain laws that according to the Rabbis were binding to all men. Jews may be subject to extensive provisions of Torah. However, there are a number of fundamental precepts deemed essential for the maintenance of a decent society. Because, according to Torah, all mankind branched out from Noah’s sons, these laws were incumbent upon them and therefore they are known as the Noahide Laws.

The Rabbis established six basic laws.

Man may not worship idols
Man may not blaspheme God
Man must establish courts of justice
Man may not kill
Man may not commit adultery
Man may not rob.

There is a seventh law that was added after the Flood.

Man may not eat flesh cut from a living animal

The Rabbis concluded that every man must come observe a minimum of religious and legal precepts. Consequently Jewish tradition distinguished three types of gentiles.

The Nochri (Akkum), which are those that do not observe the Noahide Laws.

The Ben Noah who does observe the laws.

The Ger Toshav are those who officially declare before a court that he will observe the seven precepts. The Ger Toshav was given the privilege of becoming a resident alien in the Holy Land.

We can see the influence of the Noahide Laws in the New Testament in the Book of James. James requires of Gentiles that they abstain from the pollution of idols, from eating blood and the meat of strange animals and from fornication.

1 comment:

jumping_off_bridges said...

youre obviously a religious man and you actually have something to believe and know about what others believe. my family has always been Episcopalian but i never really went to church and i grew up never actually knowing much about my families religion or anybody elses for that matter. so i feel ignorant of any religion (in that ive never tried to learn about religions) and you, obviously, arent and its pretty amazing.

just a comment. nothing to do with 'The Noahide Laws' but i just wanted to tell you.