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  Soon after the dissolution of the Christian Commune of Jerusalem, it appears that we have two sects developing with centers one in Jerusalem and the other in Antioch.  Jerusalem group was the extension of the Judaism which considered Jesus as the Mesia, whom we may call the Mesianic Jews.  This was led by Peter and James the brother of Jesus and other disciples of Jesus. 


Messianic Judaism
 is a movement of Jewish congregations
congregation-like groupings
committed to Yeshua the Messiah
that embrace the covenantal responsibility of Jewish life
identity rooted in Torah,
expressed in tradition,
renewed and applied
the context of the New Covenant.

[In the Summer of 2002, at the annual conference of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations the delegates approved the above defintion of the Messianic  Judaism]

The other sect was based in Antioch led by Barnabas and others to which group Paul joined.  Being not bound by the Judaic laws and traditions, these were the group who were called to minister to the gentile world.  The first group insisted on traditional cultural behaviors of the Hebrew culture and Christianity as a sect of Judaism while the second group was not bound by any cultural values. 

"Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch."

Acts 11:21-26


The foundational statement of the second group – Christians - was:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 3:28



These three were the groups that was represented in the new sect called Christians –

  • Jews and Gentiles,
  • slave and free,
  • male and female.


The word  Christian comes from Greek Χριστιανός (christianos).  It comes from Χριστός (christos) meaning "the anointed one". with an adjectival ending borrowed from Latin to denote adhering to, or even belonging to, as in slave ownership.  In the (Greek) Septuagint version of the Hebrew Bible, christos was used to translate the Hebrew מָשִׁיחַ (Mašía, messiah), meaning "[one who is] anointed."

The Talmudic term for Christians in Hebrew is Notzrim ("Nazarenes"), originally derived from the fact that Jesus came from the city of Nazareth in Israel,  The Messianic Jews are referred to in modern Hebrew as יהודים משיחיים (Yehudim Meshihi'im).

In other areas of the world where Christianity came with the Apostles they were called   Nasrani   derived from Nazareth  through the Syriac (Aramaic); or Masihi  means followers of the Messiah.   These indicate that the group that reached out to all gentiles were probably were influenced by the Antiochian group started to which Barnabas and Paul belonged.  After all the Judaic group was not interested in a world wide mission.  They were not able to comprehend the great commission, “Go ye into all the world” and “Preach the gospel to all creation”

I come from a  Malabar Syrian Nasrani family from Kerala, India which was established by St.Thomas in AD 52 - 72.

Nasrani Menorah or the Mar Thoma sleeba or  St. Thomas Cross

The first ecuminical council met in Jerusalem was a compromise between the two.  It was not difficult for the council to see how the regiments of Judaic tradtions should not be a constraint for the gospel among the non-jewish people.

The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter.
And after there had been much debate,

 Peter rose and said to them,…..

 And all the assembly kept silence; and they listened to Barnabas and Paul…..

After they finished speaking, James replied,  …. Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the pollutions of idols and from unchastity and from what is strangled and from blood.  ….."

(Act 15:6-21)

Thus the gentile christians were not required to follow the judaic customs and regulations.  Yet all congregations contained both jews and the gentiles, male and female, slaves and free and were free to follow the customs and traditions that do not conflict with the christian principles of moral standards. By this decree Christianity became a separate religion and ceased to be a sect of Judaism. We should also remember that there were no conventional priesthood in Christian congregation.  Because all Christians belonged to the Royal Priesthood.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1Pe 2:9)


Thus all believers were Priests to the world as a whole. Ordination was simply laying on of hands conferring specific blessings for specific ministries to reach out into the world for Christ. 

However both the groups  contained large number of jews.  The Jews correctly held that the fallen man was sinful by nature and therefore was necessarily to be placed under the law. We have discussed this earlier.  This is the First Covenant or Mosaic Covenant which was given in the Mount Zion. A description of the First Covenant Ceremony  can be found in Ex. 24.  An exact replication of the the first covenant is found in the Second Covenant Ceremony is found in  Luke 22,  In the first covenant God appeared as a Law giver and in the second covenant as a servant.  This gives us the idea of the difference of law and grace.


The "law" ( Greek :nomos  Hebrew: Mitzvah) consists of the Ten Commandments, the statutes and decrees given at Sinai,along with all the decrees subsequently given to Moses found in the five books of Moses, or the entire Old Testament,  according to Rabinical analysis there were 613 commandments.    On Mount Sinai God gave Moses 2 tablets of stone, which contained the "Written Law", the 10 commandments by the finger of God Himself and God also spoke to Moses the "Oral Law" consisting of 603 commandments to Moses.    According to Rabbi Ishmael only the principal commandments of these 613 were given on Mount Sinai, the remainder having been given in the Tent of Meeting. Rabbi Akiba, on the other hand, was of the opinion that they were all given on Mount Sinai, repeated in the Tent of Meeting, and declared a third time by Moses before his death. According to the Midrash, all divine commandments were given on Mount Sinai, and no prophet could add any new one (Midrash Sifra to Leviticus 27:34; Talmud, Yoma 80a).

(John1:17)” the law  came through Moses ..."  

In rabbinic thought, God's will is the source of, and authority for, every moral and religious duty. In this way, the Mitzvot thus constitute the Divinely instituted rules of conduct. In rabbinic thought, the commandments are usually divided into two major groups:

  • positive commandments (obligations) – mitzvot aseh מצות עשה
  • negative commandments (prohibitions) – mitzvot lo ta'aseh מצות לא תעשה

The system describing the practical application of the commandments is known as Halakha, loosely Jewish Law. The Halakha is the development of the Mitzvot as contained in the written law, via discussion and debate in the Oral law, as recorded in the rabbinic literature of the classical era, especially the Mishnah and the Talmud.

The Halakha dictates and influences a wide variety of behavior of traditionalist Jews


The majority view of classical rabbis was that the commandments will still be applicable and in force during the messianic era. However, a significant minority of rabbis held that most of the commandments will be nullified by, or in, the messianic era. It is this conflict that is reflected in the two groups of Early Christianity.

Maimonides' list of 613 Mitzvot

The following are the 613 commandments and their source in scripture, as enumerated by Maimonides:

1.            To know there is a God Ex.  20:2

2.            Not to even think that there are other gods besides Him Ex.  20:2

3.            To know that He is One Deut.  6:4

4.            To love Him Deut.  6:5

5.            To fear Him Deut.  10:20

6.            To sanctify His Name Lev.  22:32

7.            Not to profane His Name Lev.  22:32

8.            Not to destroy objects associated with His Name Deut.  12:4

9.            To listen to the prophet speaking in His Name Deut.  18:15

10.       Not to test the prophet unduly Deut.  6:16

11.       To emulate His ways Deut.  28:9

12.       To cleave to those who know Him Deut.  10:20

13.       To love other Jews Lev.  19:18

14.       To love converts Deut.  10:19

15.       Not to hate fellow Jews Lev.  19:17

16.       To reprove a sinner Lev.  19:17

17.       Not to embarrass others Lev.  19:17

18.       Not to oppress the weak Ex.  22:21

19.       Not to speak derogatorily of others Lev.  19:16

20.       Not to take revenge Lev.  19:18

21.       Not to bear a grudge Lev.  19:18

22.       To learn Torah Deut.  6:7

23.       To honor those who teach and know Torah Lev.  19:32

24.       Not to inquire into idolatry Lev.  19:4

25.       Not to follow the whims of your heart or what your eyes see Num.  15:39

26.       Not to blaspheme Ex.  22:27

27.       Not to worship idols in the manner they are worshiped Ex.  20:5

28.       Not to worship idols in the four ways we worship God Ex.  20:5

29.       Not to make an idol for yourself Ex.  20:4

30.       Not to make an idol for others Lev.  19:4

31.       Not to make human forms even for decorative purposes Ex.  20:20

32.       Not to turn a city to idolatry Deut.  13:14

33.       To burn a city that has turned to idol worship Deut.  13:17

34.       Not to rebuild it as a city Deut.  13:17

35.       Not to derive benefit from it Deut.  13:18

36.       Not to missionize an individual to idol worship Deut.  13:12

37.       Not to love the idolater Deut.  13:9

38.       Not to cease hating the idolater Deut.  13:9

39.       Not to save the idolater Deut.  13:9

40.       Not to say anything in the idolater's defense Deut.  13:9

41.       Not to refrain from incriminating the idolater Deut.  13:9

42.       Not to prophesize in the name of idolatry Deut.  13:14

43.       Not to listen to a false prophet Deut.  13:4

44.       Not to prophesize falsely in the name of God Deut.  18:20

45.       Not to be afraid of killing the false prophet Deut.  18:22

46.       Not to swear in the name of an idol Ex.  23:13

47.       Not to perform ov (medium) Lev.  19:31

48.       Not to perform yidoni ("magical seer") Lev.  19:31

49.       Not to pass your children through the fire to Molech Lev.  18:21

50.       Not to erect a pillar in a public place of worship Deut.  16:22

51.       Not to bow down before a smooth stone Lev.  26:1

52.       Not to plant a tree in the Temple courtyard Deut.  16:21

53.       To destroy idols and their accessories Deut.  12:2

54.       Not to derive benefit from idols and their accessories Deut.  7:26

55.       Not to derive benefit from ornaments of idols Deut.  7:25

56.       Not to make a covenant with idolaters Deut.  7:2

57.       Not to show favor to them Deut.  7:2

58.       Not to let them dwell in the Land of Israel Ex.  23:33

59.       Not to imitate them in customs and clothing Lev.  20:23

60.       Not to be superstitious Lev.  19:26

61.       Not to go into a trance to foresee events, etc. Deut.  18:10

62.       Not to engage in astrology Lev.  19:26

63.       Not to mutter incantations Deut.  18:11

64.       Not to attempt to contact the dead Deut.  18:11

65.       Not to consult the ov Deut.  18:11

66.       Not to consult the yidoni Deut.  18:11

67.       Not to perform acts of magic Deut.  18:10

68.       Men must not shave the hair off the sides of their head Lev.  19:27

69.       Men must not shave their beards with a razor Lev.  19:27

70.       Men must not wear women's clothing Deut.  22:5

71.       Women must not wear men's clothing Deut.  22:5

72.       Not to tattoo the skin Lev.  19:28

73.       Not to tear the skin in mourning Deut.  14:1

74.       Not to make a bald spot in mourning Deut.  14:1

75.       To repent and confess wrongdoings Num.  5:7

76.       To say the Shema twice daily Deut.  6:7

77.       To serve the Almighty with daily prayer Ex.  23:25

78.       The Kohanim must bless the Jewish nation daily Num.  6:23

79.       To wear tefillin (phylacteries) on the head Deut.  6:8

80.       To bind tefillin on the arm Deut.  6:8

81.       To put a mezuzah on each door post Deut.  6:9

82.       Each male must write a Torah scroll Deut.  31:19

83.       The king must have a separate Sefer Torah for himself Deut.  17:18

84.       To have tzitzit on four-cornered garments Num.  15:38

85.       To bless the Almighty after eating Deut.  8:10

86.       To circumcise all males on the eighth day after their birth Lev.  12:3

87.       To rest on the seventh day Ex.  23:12

88.       Not to do prohibited labor on the seventh day Ex.  20:10

89.       The court must not inflict punishment on Shabbat Ex.  35:3

90.       Not to walk outside the city boundary on Shabbat Ex.  16:29

91.       To sanctify the day with Kiddush and Havdalah Ex.  20:8

92.       To rest from prohibited labor Lev.  23:32

93.       Not to do prohibited labor on Yom Kippur Lev.  23:32

94.       To afflict yourself on Yom Kippur Lev.  16:29

95.       Not to eat or drink on Yom Kippur Lev.  23:29

96.       To rest on the first day of Passover Lev.  23:7

97.       Not to do prohibited labor on the first day of Passover Lev.  23:8

98.       To rest on the seventh day of Passover Lev.  23:8

99.       Not to do prohibited labor on the seventh day of Passover Lev.  23:8

100.   To rest on Shavuot Lev.  23:21

101.   Not to do prohibited labor on Shavuot Lev.  23:21

102.   To rest on Rosh Hashanah Lev.  23:24

103.   Not to do prohibited labor on Rosh Hashanah Lev.  23:25

104.   To rest on Sukkot Lev.  23:35

105.   Not to do prohibited labor on Sukkot Lev.  23:35

106.   To rest on Shemini Atzeret Lev.  23:36

107.   Not to do prohibited labor on Shemini Atzeret Lev.  23:36

108.   Not to eat chametz on the afternoon of the 14th day of Nissan Deut.  16:3

109.   To destroy all chametz on 14th day of Nissan Ex.  12:15

110.   Not to eat chametz all seven days of Passover Ex.  13:3

111.   Not to eat mixtures containing chametz all seven days of Passover Ex.  12:20

112.   Not to see chametz in your domain seven days Ex.  13:7

113.   Not to find chametz in your domain seven days Ex.  12:19

114.   To eat matzah on the first night of Passover Ex.  12:18

115.   To relate the Exodus from Egypt on that night Ex.  13:8

116.   To hear the Shofar on the first day of Tishrei (Rosh Hashanah) Num.  9:1

117.   To dwell in a Sukkah for the seven days of Sukkot Lev.  23:42

118.   To take up a Lulav and Etrog all seven days Lev.  23:40

119.   Each man must give a half shekel annually Ex.  30:13

120.   Courts must calculate to determine when a new month begins Ex.  12:2

121.   To afflict oneself and cry out before God in times of calamity Num.  10:9

122.   To marry a wife by means of ketubah and kiddushin Deut.  22:13

123.   Not to have sexual relations with women not thus married Deut.  23:18

124.   Not to withhold food, clothing, and sexual relations from your wife Ex.  21:10

125.   To have children with one's wife Gen.  1:28

126.   To issue a divorce by means of a Get document Deut.  24:1

127.   A man must not remarry his ex-wife after she has married someone else Deut.  24:4

128.   To perform yibbum (marry the widow of one's childless brother) Deut.  25:5

129.   To perform halizah (free the widow of one's childless brother from yibbum) Deut.  25:9

130.      The widow must not remarry until the ties with her brother-in-law are removed (by halizah) Deut.  25:5

131.      The court must fine one who sexually seduces a maiden Ex.  22:15-16

132.      The rapist must marry the maiden Deut.  22:29

133.      He is never allowed to divorce her Deut.  22:29

134.      The slanderer must remain married to his wife Deut.  22:19

135.      He must not divorce her Deut.  22:19

136.      To fulfill the laws of the Sotah Num.  5:30

137.      Not to put oil on her meal offering (as usual) Num.  5:15

138.      Not to put frankincense on her meal offering (as usual) Num.  5:15

139.      Not to have sexual relations with your mother Lev.  18:7

140.      Not to have sexual relations with your father's wife Lev.  18:8

141.      Not to have sexual relations with your sister Lev.  18:9

142.      Not to have sexual relations with your father's wife's daughter Lev.  18:11

143.      Not to have sexual relations with your son's daughter Lev.  18:10

144.      Not to have sexual relations with your daughter Lev.  18:10

145.      Not to have sexual relations with your daughter's daughter Lev.  18:10

146.      Not to have sexual relations with a woman and her daughter Lev.  18:17

147.      Not to have sexual relations with a woman and her son's daughter Lev.  18:17

148.      Not to have sexual relations with a woman and her daughter's daughter Lev.  18:17

149.      Not to have sexual relations with your father's sister Lev.  18:12

150.      Not to have sexual relations with your mother's sister Lev.  18:13

151.      Not to have sexual relations with your father's brother's wife Lev.  18:14

152.      Not to have sexual relations with your son's wife Lev.  18:15

153.      Not to have sexual relations with your brother's wife Lev.  18:16

154.      Not to have sexual relations with your wife's sister Lev.  18:18

155.      A man must not have sexual relations with an animal Lev.  18:23

156.      A woman must not have sexual relations with an animal Lev.  18:23

157.      For men not to use sex to gain 'ownership' over other menLev.  18:22

158.      Not to have sexual relations with your father Lev.  18:7

159.      Not to have sexual relations with your father's brother Lev.  18:14

160.      Not to have sexual relations with someone else's wife Lev.  18:20

161.      Not to have sexual relations with a menstrually impure woman Lev.  18:19

162.      Not to marry non-Jews Deut.  7:3

163.      Not to let Moabite and Ammonite males marry into the Jewish people Deut.  23:4

164.      Not to prevent a third-generation Egyptian convert from marrying into the Jewish people Deut.  23:8-9

165.      Not to refrain from marrying a third generation Edomite convert Deut.  23:8-9

166.      Not to let a mamzer (a child born due to an illegal relationship) marry into the Jewish people Deut.  23:3

167.      Not to let a eunuch marry into the Jewish people Deut.  23:2

168.      Not to offer to God any castrated male animals Lev.  22:24

169.      The High Priest must not marry a widow Lev.  21:14

170.      The High Priest must not have sexual relations with a widow even outside of marriage Lev.  21:15

171.      The High Priest must marry a virgin maiden Lev.  21:13

172.      A Kohen (priest) must not marry a divorcee Lev.  21:7

173.      A Kohen must not marry a zonah (a woman who has had a forbidden sexual relationship) Lev.  21:7

174.      A Kohen must not marry a chalalah ("a desecrated person") (party to or product of 169-172) Lev.  21:7

175.      Not to make pleasurable (sexual) contact with any forbidden woman Lev.  18:6

176.      To examine the signs of animals to distinguish between kosher and non-kosher Lev.  11:2

177.      To examine the signs of fowl to distinguish between kosher and non-kosher Deut.  14:11

178.      To examine the signs of fish to distinguish between kosher and non-kosher Lev.  11:9

179.      To examine the signs of locusts to distinguish between kosher and non-kosher Lev.  11:21

180.      Not to eat non-kosher animals Lev.  11:4

181.      Not to eat non-kosher fowl Lev.  11:13

182.      Not to eat non-kosher fish Lev.  11:11

183.      Not to eat non-kosher flying insects Deut.  14:19

184.      Not to eat non-kosher creatures that crawl on land Lev.  11:41

185.      Not to eat non-kosher maggots Lev.  11:44

186.      Not to eat worms found in fruit on the ground Lev.  11:42

187.      Not to eat creatures that live in water other than (kosher) fish Lev.  11:43

188.      Not to eat the meat of an animal that died without ritual slaughter Deut.  14:21

189.      Not to benefit from an ox condemned to be stoned Ex.  21:28

190.      Not to eat meat of an animal that was mortally wounded Ex.  22:30

191.      Not to eat a limb torn off a living creature Deut.  12:23

192.      Not to eat blood Lev.  3:17

193.      Not to eat certain fats of clean animals Lev.  3:17

194.      Not to eat the sinew of the thigh Gen.  32:33

195.      Not to eat mixtures of milk and meat cooked together Ex.  23:19

196.      Not to cook meat and milk together Ex.  34:26

197.      Not to eat bread from new grain before the Omer Lev.  23:14

198.      Not to eat parched grains from new grain before the Omer Lev.  23:14

199.      Not to eat ripened grains from new grain before the Omer Lev.  23:14

200.      Not to eat fruit of a tree during its first three years Lev.  19:23

201.      Not to eat diverse seeds planted in a vineyard Deut.  22:9

202.      Not to eat untithed fruits Lev.  22:15

203.      Not to drink wine poured in service to idols Deut.  32:38

204.      To ritually slaughter an animal before eating it Deut.  12:21

205.      Not to slaughter an animal and its offspring on the same day Lev.  22:28

206.      To cover the blood (of a slaughtered beast or fowl) with earth Lev.  17:13

207.      To send away the mother bird before taking its children Deut.  22:6

208.      To release the mother bird if she was taken from the nest Deut.  22:7

209.      Not to swear falsely in God's Name Lev.  19:12

210.      Not to take God's Name in vain Ex.  20:6

211.      Not to deny possession of something entrusted to you Lev.  19:11

212.      Not to swear in denial of a monetary claim Lev.  19:11

213.      To swear in God's Name to confirm the truth when deemed necessary by court Deut.  10:20

214.      To fulfill what was uttered and to do what was avowed Deut.  23:24

215.      Not to break oaths or vows Num.  30:3

216.      For oaths and vows annulled, there are the laws of annulling vows explicit in the Torah Num.  30:3

217.      The Nazir must let his hair grow Num.  6:5

218.      He must not cut his hair Num.  6:5

219.      He must not drink wine, wine mixtures, or wine vinegar Num.  6:3

220.      He must not eat fresh grapes Num.  6:3

221.      He must not eat raisins Num.  6:3

222.      He must not eat grape seeds Num.  6:4

223.      He must not eat grape skins Num.  6:4

224.      He must not be under the same roof as a corpse Num.  6:6

225.      He must not come into contact with the dead Num.  6:7

226.      He must shave his head after bringing sacrifices upon completion of his Nazirite period Num.  6:9

227.      To estimate the value of people as determined by the Torah Lev.  27:2

228.      To estimate the value of consecrated animals Lev.  27:12-13

229.      To estimate the value of consecrated houses Lev.  27:14

230.      To estimate the value of consecrated fields Lev.  27:16

231.      Carry out the laws of interdicting possessions (cherem) Lev.  27:28

232.      Not to sell the cherem Lev.  27:28

233.      Not to redeem the cherem Lev.  27:28

234.      Not to plant diverse seeds together Lev.  19:19

235.      Not to plant grains or greens in a vineyard Deut.  22:9

236.      Not to crossbreed animals Lev.  19:19

237.      Not to work different animals together Deut.  22:10

238.      Not to wear shaatnez, a cloth woven of wool and linen Deut.  22:11

239.      To leave a corner of the field uncut for the poor Lev.  19:10

240.      Not to reap that corner Lev.  19:9

241.      To leave gleanings Lev.  19:9

242.      Not to gather the gleanings Lev.  19:9

243.      To leave the gleanings of a vineyard Lev.  19:10

244.      Not to gather the gleanings of a vineyard Lev.  19:10

245.      To leave the unformed clusters of grapes Lev.  19:10

246.      Not to pick the unformed clusters of grapes Lev.  19:10

247.      To leave the forgotten sheaves in the field Deut.  24:19

248.      Not to retrieve them Deut.  24:19

249.      To separate the "tithe for the poor" Deut.  14:28

250.      To give charity Deut.  15:8

251.      Not to withhold charity from the poor Deut.  15:7

252.      To set aside Terumah Gedolah (gift for the Kohen) Deut.  18:4

253.      The Levite must set aside a tenth of his tithe Num.  18:26

254.      Not to preface one tithe to the next, but separate them in their proper order Ex.  22:28

255.      A non-Kohen must not eat Terumah[clarification needed] Lev.  22:10

256.      A hired worker or a Jewish bondsman of a Kohen must not eat Terumah Lev.  22:10

257.      An uncircumcised Kohen must not eat Terumah Ex.  12:48

258.      An impure Kohen must not eat Terumah Lev.  22:4

259.      A chalalah (party to #s 169-172 above) must not eat Terumah Lev.  22:12

260.      To set aside Ma'aser (tithe) each planting year and give it to a Levite Num.  18:24

261.      To set aside the second tithe (Ma'aser Sheni) Deut.  14:22

262.      Not to spend its redemption money on anything but food, drink, or ointment Deut.  26:14

263.      Not to eat Ma'aser Sheni while impure Deut.  26:14

264.      A mourner on the first day after death must not eat Ma'aser Sheni Deut.  26:14

265.      Not to eat Ma'aser Sheni grains outside Jerusalem Deut.  12:17

266.      Not to eat Ma'aser Sheni wine products outside Jerusalem Deut.  12:17

267.      Not to eat Ma'aser Sheni oil outside Jerusalem Deut.  12:17

268.      The fourth year crops must be totally for holy purposes like Ma'aser Sheni Lev.  19:24

269.      To read the confession of tithes every fourth and seventh year Deut.  26:13

270.      To set aside the first fruits and bring them to the Temple Ex.  23:19

271.      The Kohanim must not eat the first fruits outside Jerusalem Deut.  12:17

272.      To read the Torah portion pertaining to their presentation Deut.  26:5

273.      To set aside a portion of dough for a Kohen Num.  15:20

274.      To give the foreleg, two cheeks, and abomasum of slaughtered animals to a Kohen Deut.  18:3

275.      To give the first shearing of sheep to a Kohen Deut.  18:4

276.      To redeem firstborn sons and give the money to a Kohen Num.  18:15

277.      To redeem the firstborn donkey by giving a lamb to a Kohen Ex.  13:13

278.      To break the neck of the donkey if the owner does not intend to redeem it Ex.  13:13

279.      To rest the land during the seventh year by not doing any work which enhances growth Ex.  34:21

280.      Not to work the land during the seventh year Lev.  25:4

281.      Not to work with trees to produce fruit during that year Lev.  25:4

282.      Not to reap crops that grow wild that year in the normal manner Lev.  25:5

283.      Not to gather grapes which grow wild that year in the normal way Lev.  25:5

284.      To leave free all produce which grew in that year Ex.  23:11

285.      To release all loans during the seventh year Deut.  15:2

286.      Not to pressure or claim from the borrower Deut.  15:2

287.      Not to refrain from lending immediately before the release of the loans for fear of monetary loss Deut.  15:9

288.      The Sanhedrin must count seven groups of seven years Lev.  25:8

289.      The Sanhedrin must sanctify the fiftieth year Lev.  25:10

290.      To blow the Shofar on the tenth of Tishrei to free the slaves Lev.  25:9

291.      Not to work the soil during the fiftieth year (Jubilee)Lev.  25:11

292.      Not to reap in the normal manner that which grows wild in the fiftieth year Lev.  25:11

293.      Not to pick grapes which grew wild in the normal manner in the fiftieth year Lev.  25:11

294.      Carry out the laws of sold family properties Lev.  25:24

295.      Not to sell the land in Israel indefinitely Lev.  25:23

296.      Carry out the laws of houses in walled cities Lev.  25:29

297.      The Tribe of Levi must not be given a portion of the land in Israel, rather they are given cities to dwell in Deut.  18:1

298.      The Levites must not take a share in the spoils of war Deut.  18:1

299.      To give the Levites cities to inhabit and their surrounding fields Num.  35:2

300.      Not to sell the fields but they shall remain the Levites' before and after the Jubilee year Lev.  25:34

301.      To build a Temple Ex.  25:8

302.      Not to build the altar with stones hewn by metal Ex.  20:23

303.      Not to climb steps to the altar Ex.  20:26

304.      To show reverence to the Temple Lev.  19:30

305.      To guard the Temple area Num.  18:2

306.      Not to leave the Temple unguarded Num.  18:5

307.      To prepare the anointing oil Ex.  30:31

308.      Not to reproduce the anointing oil Ex.  30:32

309.      Not to anoint with anointing oil Ex.  30:32

310.      Not to reproduce the incense formula Ex.  30:37

311.      Not to burn anything on the Golden Altar besides incense Ex.  30:9

312.      The Levites must transport the ark on their shoulders Num.  7:9

313.      Not to remove the staves from the ark Ex.  25:15

314.      The Levites must work in the Temple Num.  18:23

315.      No Levite must do another's work of either a Kohen or a Levite Num.  18:3

316.      To dedicate the Kohen for service Lev.  21:8

317.      The work of the Kohanim's shifts must be equal during holidays Deut.  18:6-8

318.      The Kohanim must wear their priestly garments during service Ex.  28:2

319.      Not to tear the priestly garments Ex.  28:32

320.      The Kohen Gadol 's breastplate must not be loosened from the Efod Ex.  28:28

321.      A Kohen must not enter the Temple intoxicated Lev.  10:9

322.      A Kohen must not enter the Temple with his head uncovered Lev.  10:6

323.      A Kohen must not enter the Temple with torn clothes Lev.  10:6

324.      A Kohen must not enter the Temple indiscriminately Lev.  16:2

325.      A Kohen must not leave the Temple during service Lev.  10:7

326.      To send the impure from the Temple Num.  5:2

327.      Impure people must not enter the Temple Num.  5:3

328.      Impure people must not enter the Temple Mount area Deut.  23:11

329.      Impure Kohanim must not do service in the temple Lev.  22:2

330.      An impure Kohen, following immersion, must wait until after sundown before returning to service Lev.  22:7

331.      A Kohen must wash his hands and feet before service Ex.  30:19

332.      A Kohen with a physical blemish must not enter the sanctuary or approach the altar Lev.  21:23

333.      A Kohen with a physical blemish must not serve Lev.  21:17

334.      A Kohen with a temporary blemish must not serve Lev.  21:17

335.      One who is not a Kohen must not serve Num.  18:4

336.      To offer only unblemished animals Lev.  22:21

337.      Not to dedicate a blemished animal for the altar Lev.  22:20

338.      Not to slaughter it Lev.  22:22

339.      Not to sprinkle its blood Lev.  22:24

340.      Not to burn its fat Lev.  22:22

341.      Not to offer a temporarily blemished animal Deut.  17:1

342.      Not to sacrifice blemished animals even if offered by non-Jews Lev.  22:25

343.      Not to inflict wounds upon dedicated animals Lev.  22:21

344.      To redeem dedicated animals which have become disqualified Deut.  12:15

345.      To offer only animals which are at least eight days old Lev.  22:27

346.      Not to offer animals bought with the wages of a harlot or the animal exchanged for a dog Deut.  23:19

347.      Not to burn honey or yeast on the altar Lev.  2:11

348.      To salt all sacrifices Lev.  2:13

349.      Not to omit the salt from sacrifices Lev.  2:13

350.      Carry out the procedure of the burnt offering as prescribed in the Torah Lev.  1:3

351.      Not to eat its meat Deut.  12:17

352.      Carry out the procedure of the sin offering Lev.  6:18

353.      Not to eat the meat of the inner sin offering Lev.  6:23

354.      Not to decapitate a fowl brought as a sin offering Lev.  5:8

355.      Carry out the procedure of the guilt offering Lev.  7:1

356.      The Kohanim must eat the sacrificial meat in the Temple Ex.  29:33

357.      The Kohanim must not eat the meat outside the Temple courtyard Deut.  12:17

358.      A non-Kohen must not eat sacrificial meat Ex.  29:33

359.      To follow the procedure of the peace offering Lev.  7:11

360.      Not to eat the meat of minor sacrifices before sprinkling the blood Deut.  12:17

361.      To bring meal offerings as prescribed in the Torah Lev.  2:1

362.      Not to put oil on the meal offerings of wrongdoers Lev.  5:11

363.      Not to put frankincense on the meal offerings of wrongdoers Lev.  3:11

364.      Not to eat the meal offering of the High Priest Lev.  6:16

365.      Not to bake a meal offering as leavened bread Lev.  6:10

366.      The Kohanim must eat the remains of the meal offerings Lev.  6:9

367.      To bring all avowed and freewill offerings to the Temple on the first subsequent festival Deut.  12:5-6

368.      Not to withhold payment incurred by any vow Deut.  23:22

369.      To offer all sacrifices in the Temple Deut.  12:11

370.      To bring all sacrifices from outside Israel to the Temple Deut.  12:26

371.      Not to slaughter sacrifices outside the courtyard Lev.  17:4

372.      Not to offer any sacrifices outside the courtyard Deut.  12:13

373.      To offer two lambs every day Num.  28:3

374.      To light a fire on the altar every day Lev.  6:6

375.      Not to extinguish this fire Lev.  6:6

376.      To remove the ashes from the altar every day Lev.  6:3

377.      To burn incense every day Ex.  30:7

378.      To light the Menorah every day Ex.  27:21

379.      The Kohen Gadol ("High Priest") must bring a meal offering every day Lev.  6:13

380.      To bring two additional lambs as burnt offerings on Shabbat Num.  28:9

381.      To make the show bread Ex.  25:30

382.      To bring additional offerings on Rosh Chodesh (" The New Month") Num.  28:11

383.      To bring additional offerings on Passover Num.  28:19

384.      To offer the wave offering from the meal of the new wheat Lev.  23:10

385.      Each man must count the Omer - seven weeks from the day the new wheat offering was brought Lev.  23:15

386.      To bring additional offerings on Shavuot Num.  28:26

387.      To bring two leaves to accompany the above sacrifice Lev.  23:17

388.      To bring additional offerings on Rosh Hashana Num.  29:2

389.      To bring additional offerings on Yom Kippur Num.  29:8

390.      To bring additional offerings on Sukkot Num.  29:13

391.      To bring additional offerings on Shmini Atzeret Num.  29:35

392.      Not to eat sacrifices which have become unfit or blemished Deut.  14:3

393.      Not to eat from sacrifices offered with improper intentions Lev.  7:18

394.      Not to leave sacrifices past the time allowed for eating them Lev.  22:30

395.      Not to eat from that which was left over Lev.  19:8

396.      Not to eat from sacrifices which became impure Lev.  7:19

397.      An impure person must not eat from sacrifices Lev.  7:20

398.      To burn the leftover sacrifices Lev.  7:17

399.      To burn all impure sacrifices Lev.  7:19

400.      To follow the procedure of Yom Kippur in the sequence prescribed in Parshah Acharei Mot ("After the death of Aaron's sons...") Lev.  16:3

401.      One who profaned property must repay what he profaned plus a fifth and bring a sacrifice Lev.  5:16

402.      Not to work consecrated animals Deut.  15:19

403.      Not to shear the fleece of consecrated animals Deut.  15:19

404.      To slaughter the paschal sacrifice at the specified time Ex.  12:6

405.      Not to slaughter it while in possession of leaven Ex.  23:18

406.      Not to leave the fat overnight Ex.  23:18

407.      To slaughter the second Paschal Lamb Num.  9:11

408.      To eat the Paschal Lamb with matzah and Marror on the night of the fourteenth of Nissan Ex.  12:8

409.      To eat the second Paschal Lamb on the night of the 15th of Iyar Num.  9:11

410.      Not to eat the paschal meat raw or boiled Ex.  12:9

411.      Not to take the paschal meat from the confines of the group Ex.  12:46

412.      An apostate must not eat from it Ex.  12:43

413.      A permanent or temporary hired worker must not eat from it Ex.  12:45

414.      An uncircumcised male must not eat from it Ex.  12:48

415.      Not to break any bones from the paschal offering Ex.  12:46

416.      Not to break any bones from the second paschal offering Num.  9:12

417.      Not to leave any meat from the paschal offering over until morning Ex.  12:10

418.      Not to leave the second paschal meat over until morning Num.  9:12

419.      Not to leave the meat of the holiday offering of the 14th until the 16th Deut.  16:4

420.      To be seen at the Temple on Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot Deut.  16:16

421.      To celebrate on these three Festivals (bring a peace offering) Ex.  23:14

422.      To rejoice on these three Festivals (bring a peace offering) Deut.  16:14

423.      Not to appear at the Temple without offerings Deut.  16:16

424.      Not to refrain from rejoicing with, and giving gifts to, the Levites Deut.  12:19

425.      To assemble all the people on the Sukkot following the seventh year Deut.  31:12

426.      To set aside the firstborn animals Ex.  13:12

427.      The Kohanim must not eat unblemished firstborn animals outside Jerusalem Deut.  12:17

428.      Not to redeem the firstborn Num.  18:17

429.      Separate the tithe from animals Lev.  27:32

430.      Not to redeem the tithe Lev.  27:33

431.      Every person must bring a sin offering (in the temple) for his transgression Lev.  4:27

432.      Bring an asham talui (temple offering) when uncertain of guilt Lev.  5:17-18

433.      Bring an asham vadai (temple offering) when guilt is ascertained Lev.  5:25

434.      Bring an oleh v'yored (temple offering) offering (if the person is wealthy, an animal; if poor, a bird or meal offering) Lev.  5:7-11

435.      The Sanhedrin must bring an offering (in the Temple) when it rules in error Lev.  4:13

436.      A woman who had a running (vaginal) issue must bring an offering (in the Temple) after she goes to the Mikveh Lev.  15:28-29

437.      A woman who gave birth must bring an offering (in the Temple) after she goes to the Mikveh Lev.  12:6

438.      A man who had a running (unnatural urinary) issue must bring an offering (in the Temple) after he goes to the Mikveh Lev.  15:13-14

439.      A metzora must bring an offering (in the Temple) after going to the Mikveh Lev.  14:10

440.      Not to substitute another beast for one set apart for sacrifice Lev.  27:10

441.      The new animal, in addition to the substituted one, retains consecration Lev.  27:10

442.      Not to change consecrated animals from one type of offering to another Lev.  27:26

443.      Carry out the laws of impurity of the dead Num.  19:14

444.      Carry out the procedure of the Red Heifer (Para Aduma) Num.  19:2

445.      Carry out the laws of the sprinkling water Num.  19:21

446.      Rule the laws of human tzara'at as prescribed in the Torah Lev.  13:12

447.      The metzora must not remove his signs of impurity Deut.  24:8

448.      The metzora must not shave signs of impurity in his hair Lev.  13:33

449.      The metzora must publicize his condition by tearing his garments, allowing his hair to grow and covering his lips Lev.  13:45

450.      Carry out the prescribed rules for purifying the metzora Lev.  14:2

451.      The metzora must shave off all his hair prior to purification Lev.  14:9

452.      Carry out the laws of tzara'at of clothing Lev.  13:47

453.      Carry out the laws of tzara'at of houses Lev.  13:34

454.      Observe the laws of menstrual impurity Lev.  15:19

455.      Observe the laws of impurity caused by childbirth Lev.  12:2

456.      Observe the laws of impurity caused by a woman's running issue Lev.  15:25

457.      Observe the laws of impurity caused by a man's running issue (irregular ejaculation of infected semen) Lev.  15:3

458.      Observe the laws of impurity caused by a dead beast Lev.  11:39

459.      Observe the laws of impurity caused by the eight shratzim (insects) Lev.  11:29

460.      Observe the laws of impurity of a seminal emission (regular ejaculation, with normal semen) Lev.  15:16

461.      Observe the laws of impurity concerning liquid and solid foods Lev.  11:34

462.      Every impure person must immerse himself in a Mikvah to become pure Lev.  15:16

463.      The court must judge the damages incurred by a goring ox Ex.  21:28

464.      The court must judge the damages incurred by an animal eating Ex.  22:4

465.      The court must judge the damages incurred by a pit Ex.  21:33

466.      The court must judge the damages incurred by fire Ex.  22:5

467.      Not to steal money stealthily Lev.  19:11

468.      The court must implement punitive measures against the thief Ex.  21:37

469.      Each individual must ensure that his scales and weights are accurate Lev.  19:36

470.      Not to commit injustice with scales and weights Lev.  19:35

471.      Not to possess inaccurate scales and weights even if they are not for use Deut.  25:13

472.      Not to move a boundary marker to steal someone's property Deut.  19:14

473.      Not to kidnap Ex.  20:13

474.      Not to rob openly Lev.  19:13

475.      Not to withhold wages or fail to repay a debt Lev.  19:13

476.      Not to covet and scheme to acquire another's possession Ex.  20:14

477.      Not to desire another's possession Deut.  5:18

478.      Return the robbed object or its value Lev.  5:23

479.      Not to ignore a lost object Deut.  22:3

480.      Return the lost object Deut.  22:1

481.      The court must implement laws against the one who assaults another or damages another's property Ex.  21:18

482.      Not to murder Ex.  20:12

483.      Not to accept monetary restitution to atone for the murderer Num.  35:31

484.      The court must send the accidental murderer to a city of refuge Num.  35:25

485.      Not to accept monetary restitution instead of being sent to a city of refuge Num.  35:32

486.      Not to kill the murderer before he stands trial Num.  35:12

487.      Save someone being pursued even by taking the life of the pursuer Deut.  25:12

488.      Not to pity the pursuer Num.  35:12

489.      Not to stand idly by if someone's life is in danger Lev.  19:16

490.      Designate cities of refuge and prepare routes of access Deut.  19:3

491.      Break the neck of a calf by the river valley following an unsolved murder Deut.  21:4

492.      Not to work nor plant that river valley Deut.  21:4

493.      Not to allow pitfalls and obstacles to remain on your property Deut.  22:8

494.      Make a guard rail around flat roofs Deut.  22:8

495.      Not to put a stumbling block before a blind man (nor give harmful advice) Lev.  19:14

496.      Help another remove the load from a beast which can no longer carry it Ex.  23:5

497.      Help others load their beast Deut.  22:4

498.      Not to leave others distraught with their burdens (but to help either load or unload) Deut.  22:4

499.      Conduct sales according to Torah law Lev.  25:14

500.      Not to overcharge or underpay for an article Lev.  25:14

501.      Not to insult or harm anybody with words Lev.  25:17

502.      Not to cheat a convert monetarily Ex.  22:20

503.      Not to insult or harm a convert with words Ex.  22:20

504.      Purchase a Hebrew slave in accordance with the prescribed laws Ex.  21:2

505.      Not to sell him as a slave is sold Lev.  25:42

506.      Not to work him oppressively Lev.  25:43

507.      Not to allow a non-Jew to work him oppressively Lev.  25:53

508.      Not to have him do menial slave labor Lev.  25:39

509.      Give him gifts when he goes free Deut.  15:14

510.      Not to send him away empty-handed Deut.  15:13

511.      Redeem Jewish maidservants Ex.  21:8

512.      Betroth the Jewish maidservant Ex.  21:8

513.      The master must not sell his maidservant Ex.  21:8

514.      Canaanite slaves must work forever unless injured in one of their limbs Lev.  25:46

515.      Not to extradite a slave who fled to (Biblical) Israel Deut.  23:16

516.      Not to wrong a slave who has come to Israel for refuge Deut.  23:16

517.      The courts must carry out the laws of a hired worker and hired guard Ex.  22:9

518.      Pay wages on the day they were earned Deut.  24:15

519.      Not to delay payment of wages past the agreed time Lev.  19:13

520.      The hired worker may eat from the unharvested crops where he works Deut.  23:25

521.      The worker must not eat while on hired time Deut.  23:26

522.      The worker must not take more than he can eat Deut.  23:25

523.      Not to muzzle an ox while plowing Deut.  25:4

524.      The courts must carry out the laws of a borrower Ex.  22:13

525.      The courts must carry out the laws of an unpaid guard Ex.  22:6

526.      Lend to the poor and destitute Ex.  22:24

527.      Not to press them for payment if you know they don't have it Ex.  22:24

528.      Press the idolater for payment Deut.  15:3

529.      The creditor must not forcibly take collateral Deut.  24:10

530.      Return the collateral to the debtor when needed Deut.  24:13

531.      Not to delay its return when needed Deut.  24:12

532.      Not to demand collateral from a widow Deut.  24:17

533.      Not to demand as collateral utensils needed for preparing food Deut.  24:6

534.      Not to lend with interest Lev.  25:37

535.      Not to borrow with interest Deut.  23:20

536.      Not to intermediate in an interest loan, guarantee, witness, or write the promissory note Ex.  22:24

537.      Lend to and borrow from idolaters with interest Deut.  23:21

538.      The courts must carry out the laws of the plaintiff, admitter, or denier Ex.  22:8

539.      Carry out the laws of the order of inheritance Num.  27:8

540.      Appoint judges Deut.  16:18

541.      Not to appoint judges who are not familiar with judicial procedure Deut.  1:17

542.      Decide by majority in case of disagreement Ex.  23:2

543.      The court must not execute through a majority of one; at least a majority of two is required Ex.  23:2

544.      A judge who presented an acquittal plea must not present an argument for conviction in capital cases Deut.  23:2

545.      The courts must carry out the death penalty of stoning Deut.  22:24

546.      The courts must carry out the death penalty of burning Lev.  20:14

547.      The courts must carry out the death penalty of the sword Ex.  21:20

548.      The courts must carry out the death penalty of strangulation Lev.  20:10

549.      The courts must hang those stoned for blasphemy or idolatry Deut.  21:22

550.      Bury the executed on the day they are killed Deut.  21:23

551.      Not to delay burial overnight Deut.  21:23

552.      The court must not let the sorcerer live Ex.  22:17

553.      The court must give lashes to the wrongdoer Deut.  25:2

554.      The court must not exceed the prescribed number of lashes Deut.  25:3

555.      The court must not kill anybody on circumstantial evidence Ex.  23:7

556.      The court must not punish anybody who was forced to do a crime Deut.  22:26

557.      A judge must not pity the murderer or assaulter at the trial Deut.  19:13

558.      A judge must not have mercy on the poor man at the trial Lev.  19:15

559.      A judge must not respect the great man at the trial Lev.  19:15

560.      A judge must not decide unjustly the case of the habitual transgressor Ex.  23:6

561.      A judge must not pervert justice Lev.  19:15

562.      A judge must not pervert a case involving a convert or orphan Deut.  24:17

563.      Judge righteously Lev.  19:15

564.      The judge must not fear a violent man in judgment Deut.  1:17

565.      Judges must not accept bribes Ex.  23:8

566.      Judges must not accept testimony unless both parties are present Ex.  23:1

567.      Not to curse judges Ex.  22:27

568.      Not to curse the head of state or leader of the Sanhedrin Ex.  22:27

569.      Not to curse any upstanding Jew Lev.  19:14

570.      Anybody who knows evidence must testify in court Lev.  5:1

571.      Carefully interrogate the witness Deut.  13:15

572.      A witness must not serve as a judge in capital crimes Deut.  19:17

573.      Not to accept testimony from a lone witness Deut.  19:15

574.      Transgressors must not testify Ex.  23:1

575.      Relatives of the litigants must not testify Deut.  24:16

576.      Not to testify falsely Ex.  20:13

577.      Punish the false witnesses as they tried to punish the defendant Deut.  19:19

578.      Act according to the ruling of the Sanhedrin Deut.  17:11

579.      Not to deviate from the word of the Sanhedrin Deut.  17:11

580.      Not to add to the Torah commandments or their oral explanations Deut.  13:1

581.      Not to diminish from the Torah any commandments, in whole or in part Deut.  13:1

582.      Not to curse your father and mother Ex.  21:17

583.      Not to strike your father and mother Ex.  21:15

584.      Respect your father or mother Ex.  20:12

585.      Fear your father or mother Lev.  19:3

586.      Not to be a rebellious son Deut.  21:18

587.      Mourn for relatives Lev.  10:19

588.      The High Priest must not defile himself for any relative Lev.  21:11

589.      The High Priest must not enter under the same roof as a corpse Lev.  21:11

590.      A Kohen must not defile himself (by going to funerals or cemeteries) for anyone except relatives Lev.  21:1

591.      Appoint a king from Israel Deut.  17:15

592.      Not to appoint a foreigner Deut.  17:15

593.      The king must not have too many wives Deut.  17:17

594.      The king must not have too many horses Deut.  17:16

595.      The king must not have too much silver and gold Deut.  17:17

596.      Destroy the seven Canaanite nations Deut.  20:17

597.      Not to let any of them remain alive Deut.  20:16

598.      Wipe out the descendants of Amalek Deut.  25:19

599.      Remember what Amalek did to the Jewish people Deut.  25:17

600.      Not to forget Amalek's atrocities and ambush on our journey from Egypt in the desert Deut.  25:19

601.      Not to dwell permanently in Egypt Deut.  17:16

602.      Offer peace terms to the inhabitants of a city while holding siege, and treat them according to the Torah if they accept the terms Deut.  20:10

603.      Not to offer peace to Ammon and Moab while besieging them Deut.  23:7

604.      Not to destroy fruit trees even during the siege Deut.  20:19

605.      Prepare latrines outside the camps Deut.  23:13

606.      Prepare a shovel for each soldier to dig with Deut.  23:14

607.      Appoint a priest to speak with the soldiers during the war Deut.  20:2

608.      He who has taken a wife, built a new home, or planted a vineyard is given a year to rejoice with his possessions Deut.  24:5

609.      Not to demand from the above any involvement, communal or military Deut.  24:5

610.      Not to panic and retreat during battle Deut.  20:3

611.      Keep the laws of the captive woman Deut.  21:11

612.      Not to sell her into slavery Deut.  21:14

613.      Not to retain her for servitude after having sexual relations with her Deut.  21:14

Maimonides' Division of the Mitzvot


He divides the 613 commandments into 14 books, with 83 sections:


  1. The Book of Knowledge

75 The laws concerning religious belief,character, Torah study, idolatry, and



  1. The Book of Adoration

11 Recital of the Shma Yisrael, prayer, tefillin, mezuza, Torah scroll, tzitzit, blessings, and



  1. The Book of Seasons

35 The Shabbat, Yom Kippur, holidays, NewMoon, and fast days.



  1. The Book of Women

17  Marriage, divorce, seduction, and infidelity.


  1. The Book of Holiness

70  Illicit sexual relations, forbidden foods, and ritual slaughter.


  1. The Book of Specific Utterances

25   Oaths, vows, Nazirite restrictions, and devotion of property to the Sanctuary.


  1. The Book of Seeds

67   The crossing of seeds, cattle and materials, laws of charity and tithing, and laws regarding the sabbatical and jubilee years.


  1. The Book of Divine Service

103   The Sanctuary, how it is to be built, who serves in it and the nature of the service.


  1. The Book of Sacrifices

39   The sacrifices brought on holidays and as atonement for sins.


  1. The Book of Purity

20  All the causes of defilement and the requirements for purification.


  1. The Book of Injuries

36   The laws of compensation for damages and theft, returning lost property, murder, and the preservation of life.


  1. The Book of Acquisition

18   Commercial transactions, neighbors, and bondage.


  1. The Book of Judgments

23   Labor relations, renting and borrowing, and inheritance.


  1. The Book of Judges

74   The judicial system, rabbinic and parental authority, mourning, kings, and wars

Some people try to classify them into three groups

  •  moral laws 
  • cultura laws 
  • ceremonial laws. 

Many of these 613 mitzvot cannot be observed at this time for various reasons. For example, a large portion of the laws relate to sacrifices and offerings, which can only be made in the Temple, and the Temple does not exist today. Some of the laws relate to the theocratic state of Israel, its king, its supreme court, and its system of justice, and cannot be observed because the theocratic state of Israel does not exist today. In addition, some laws do not apply to all people or places. Agricultural laws only apply within the state of Israel, and certain laws only apply to kohanim or Levites.  Evidently Christians today cannot obey all the laws even if the temple sacrificial laws are removed (since Jesus completed these in one sacrifice on the cross)

 (Rom 6:14)  For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.


(Rom 7:4)  Likewise, my brethren, you have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God.


Gal 3:10-14  For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed be every one who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, and do them."  (11)  Now it is evident that no man is justified before God by the law; for "He who through faith is righteous shall live";  (12)  but the law does not rest on faith, for "He who does them shall live by them."  (13)  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us--for it is written, "Cursed be every one who hangs on a tree"--  (14)  that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.


Gal 3:24-27  So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith.  (25)  But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian; for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.


Gal 5:1  For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.


 2Co 3:15-17  Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their minds;  (16)  but when a man turns to the Lord the veil is removed.  (17)  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom



Two Approaches

In Covenant Theology,  the two covenants are considered as a continuous methods of God dealing with man.  So Continuity is the important factor. Hence   Old Testament Law are the eternal standards of God.   Are Christians under Law?  Covenant Theology says Yes.

Psalm 119: 89 Your word continues forever, ADONAI, firmly fixed in heaven; 90 your faithfulness though all generations; you established the earth, and it stands, 91 Yes, it stands today, in keeping with your rulings; for all things are your servants.

In Dispensational Theology, each dispensation has a different laws, people are bound only by the laws pertaining to the dispensation wherein they live.  Old Testament laws are not binding on Christians

Legalism teaches it is the keeping of the law to the details of the wording makes one righteous. Legalists are Nomianists.   But as is clear many of these laws are tied to the historical situation of the Jews of the period.  It certainly makes it ridiculous to claim that we need to follow those outdated statements.  Certainly they contain a principle which are still valid.  Thus evidently legalism needs reinterpretation to find the spirit of the law.  This is given by the indwelling Holy Spirit within the Grace period.  Thus the Grace did not nullify the law but reinterpreted it.  This is clearly emphasized by Paul in many passages.

Rom 6:14  For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Rom 7:6  But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.

Rom 8:1-2  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death.

But this should not be interpreted that  those who are in Christ are incapable of sin nor that the sin they do will have no consequence. Every Christian will still have the freedom to choose and they will have to pay the consequence of the sin they commit.  They are still under Grace and return to the Father and will be accepted if they are penitent and will return.
(Gal 5:18)  But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law.


 What is important here is that you are not under the law not just because you have confessed Jesus as Lord but because you walk in the Spirit.


There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. “ (Rom 8:1-4)


So the freedom from the law rests not just on the being in Christ Jesus, but also who walk according to the Spirit.  It is this basic fact that produced lot of problems  which Paul was trying to  solve.  When people took freedom from the law and did not walk according to the Spirit, Paul stuck down the law on their throat.

Gal 3:19  “Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions,…..”

“…the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, immoral persons, sodomites, kidnapers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine.” (1Ti 1:9-10)

This is true even if the person is under the new covenant.

Let us see some of these injunctions which appear as a contradictions to the theology of Paul with his strong law statements.  When Paul makes a law based statement he makes them in the strong Rabbinical fashion.


The Case of the Love Feasts.


So far as the Jerusalem community was concerned, the common meal appears to have sprung out of the koinonia or communion that followed from the first days of the Christian Communes. (compare Acts 1:14; Acts 2:1 etc.).  It was then celebrated every Sunday as a Chaburah Meal.  It followed the Jewish Passover meal during which Jesus instituted the ceremony of breaking bread and drinking wine in memory of his death and resurrection.  This was central to the Antiochian group where male and female, jews and gentials and slave and free joined together to express the unity in Christ.  However the members being still in carnal mind soon it began to show these disparities.  So Paul puts down his foot


1 Cor. 11:33-34". Wherefore, when ye come together to eat, etc. Let all wait, and let all eat and partake of the Lord's supper together.If any man is hungry, let him eat at home. This feast is not in order to satisfy the cravings of the appetite."


As the history shows this agape feast eventually decayed so that the Communion of breaking the bread and partaking of wine was removed from the agape feast. The combined Agape-Eucharist was discontinued.leaving the Eucharist as a symbolic meal.