I'm fairly new to theology and I want to hear other and alternate positions than the usual Christian one.
The question as you have phrased it is really theological in nature. Afterall, in a technical sense, the 'coming' of anyone does little more than bring about their existence. However, the only way to provide an 'alternate position than the usual Christian one' is to set aside the theology and look at the development of the religious movement as it's recorded in the texts of the New Testament. That is, we have to look at things from an historical perspective; not a theological one.
So don't worry about being 'new to theology'. Theology is irrelevant. This is history (sort of).
From this perspective, your question makes more sense if it asks whether Jesus specifically declared the Law 'null and void' or whether it was someone else who did this. The reason we ask it in this way is that we get too many different answers if we ask your original question and attempt to search the text for guidance (the purpose of the Bible Study forum). We need a single answer for a single answer if it is to have any meaning. So we ask instead: Where in the split of Christianity from Judaism did the Law get dropped as being necessary?
Was it with the teachings and actions of Jesus?
Our earliest mentions on the life of Jesus come from a handful of scant references in Paul. In Galatians 4:4, Paul clearly tells us that Jesus was "born under the law", indicating that he was born a Torah-observing Jew. The authors of our gospels put Jesus' teachings in a very Law-focused light, even having Jesus rebuke his detractors for their lack of respect for the Law as written:
He said to them, 'Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written, "This people honours me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines." You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.'
Then he said to them, 'You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, "Honour your father and your mother"; and, "Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die." But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, "Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban" (that is, an offering to God)— then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.'
In other occasions, Jesus debates finer points of interpreting the Law with the Pharisees (e.g., Mk 2:23–28, Lk 14:1–6). If Jesus really did nullify the Law, why isn't his answer to every challenge about the Law not simply answered with "I nullified the Law; 'nuff said"? And as you have already pointed out, specific quotes attributed to Jesus make a good case that the gospel writers (especially the authors of the Synoptics) did not see Jesus as nullifying the Law. As far as I can tell, in all the text of the New Testament, there is little to indicate that Jesus was ever viewed as declaring the Law 'null and void'; the Passover is littered with some unlawful pagan notions, but there's nothing to indicate that such things trace back to Jesus in their full form.
It seems unlikely that Jesus was responsible for Christianity's disregard of the Law. But then who is?
Was it the disciples?
This really seems unlikely. According to Luke 24:50–53, the disciples return to Jerusalem after Jesus' ascension, where they spend their time "in the temple blessing God". Paul further indicates in Galatians 2:11ff that the earliest members of the Jesus movement are still working from the standpoint that being a Christian means being a Law-abiding Jew. In fact, Paul devotes an enormous amount of time in his letters to the issue of whether Christians must observe the Law. While he seems to indicate that some early Christians certainly were compelled to do so, he himself is very clear that the Law is no longer necessary.
So, if we want to figure out who to blame for the Christian disregard for the Jewish Law as originally practiced by the earliest band of Jesus' followers, we can look to the most zealous anti-Law early Christian we have on record: Paul. As much as our records tell us, Paul created a Christianity marketable to Gentiles that stressed the belief that the Law was no longer applicable.
Jesus said this in the “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5:
quote: 27 "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
This gives us a more specific case to work with.
It gives us a specific case, yes, but is it a relevant case? Even Paul, who says: "it is evidence that no man is justified before God by the law" (Gal 3:11), gives moral teachings, particularly on marriage (see 1 Corinthians , for example). Marriage, murder, adultery—these things are still part of the Christian moral teaching; these parts of the Law didn't just disappear like other parts.
The parts of the Law that are really relevant are keeping kosher and circumcision. These were, as jar already pointed out, 'deal breakers' for early Gentile Christians who did not like having to give up certain foods or be bothered by the finer points of food preparation and were even more so against mutilating their penises.
These are the parts of the Law that really got dropped and set aside as the Jesus movement developed into the Christian religion.
quote:So, if we want to figure out who to blame for the Christian disregard for the Jewish Law as originally practiced by the earliest band of Jesus' followers, we can look to the most zealous anti-Law early Christian we have on record: Paul. As much as our records tell us, Paul created a Christianity marketable to Gentiles that stressed the belief that the Law was no longer applicable.
Paul's the one we should blame. Let's blame Paul.
I don't feel that Paul did nullify the Mosaic Laws. He didn't have that authority.
Sure; you can say that. But my point was not that the Mosaic Laws were somehow magically protected such that only certain people could alter them. My point was that there were folk making declarations that becoming Christian didn't necessarily mean keeping all of the Torah and that one of those people was definitely Paul. Paul said that following Jesus didn't necessarily mean following the Law.
Galatians 2:11 is not about abolishing the Mosaic Laws for the Jews. Politics of the time. ... It was more about hypocrisy.
It's about a lot of things. But I wasn't trying to interpret Paul's message, I was simply reading his words as insight into the nature of the early Christian movement, and Galatians 2:11 does indicate that at least some early Christians were working from the viewpoint that following Jesus meant keeping the Jewish Law. I mean, why else would Cephas refuse to eat with the Gentiles? And what else would the 'circumcision party' be other than a group of Jesus followers who believed following Jesus meant following the Law?
Christianity began as a cult movement within Judaism. Jesus was a Jew. His direct followers were Jews. The whole concept of what Jesus was was entirely entrenched in a Jewish world view. He was the Messiah who was resurrected after being executed during the Passover; he offered spiritual reinterpretations of the Law; and so the list goes on.
The Jesus Movement was a Jewish movement for Jews. The new movement didn't become Christianity until it started to become populated with non-Jews. The abandonment of the necessity for keeping certain parts of the Law was part of the general movement away from the Jewish Jesus Movement to a more universal Christianity.
If you disagree, make your argument and show support.
I've already made my argument and shown my support. Just click on the Jon Posts Only link under my avatar. You may not feel as though I've made my case, but I don't have the time to repeat myself. Others can decide for themselves who made the better argument based on our posts as they stand.