Someone recently asked me that if we don’t pay attention to some of the laws in the Bible [in the Old Testament], why should we pay attention to anything it says?

Mark:

Since Jesus’ intervention into human history we are not bound by these laws. Nothing could be clearer. Paul sets out the “New Covenant” and makes it clear that we do not live under the law.

One must learn to read in context. Many of the  OT laws were given as protective measures, either to protect Israel from health risks or to protect Israel from being assimilated into Godless cultures which sought to draw her away from her God. For example, Leviticus 19:28 reads, “You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the Lord.”  The practice of tattooing was very prevalent in pagan cultures in Israel’s history and not acquiring tattoos was a way of physically identifying with the Jewish faith.

The injunction about women not wearing gold 1 Timothy 2:9 “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, ” had to do with the fact that within the Christian community there were both rich and very poor. The injunction against wearing gold and costly garments is about not displaying your wealth in a way that will depreciate the value of the poor within your faith community [an act of self restraint in order to communicate worth to the less fortunate]. 

As to the matter of divorce, Mark 10:11-12, “And He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery, ” God wants us to keep our covenants like He does. Divorce is allowed, but restricted to serious violations of the covenant of marriage. Were we to follow that teaching our society would be far better off, as would the lives of our children.

Many critics of the Bible have accomplished nothing more than revealing their marginal understanding of the Bible. A critique is only as credible as the writer’s understanding of that which he critiques. In this case the writer has little credibility.