The Relationship of Jewish and Gentile Believers to the Law Between A.D. 30 and 70 in the Scripture

4 should not be read into earlier books. The book of Acts in particular reveals a loyalty to the Law by Jewish believers in the first three decades of the New Testament era. I would agree with Sanders and others in this regard, that the Law was not essentially a legalistic instrument and that its observance was a delight to the Jewish believer and his God. Though the major figures in the book under– stand that the New Covenant has come they do not seem to consider it to be incompatible with Mosaic regulations for worship. Perhaps more importantly, the freedom from the law which is negotiated in the Cornelius incident (Acts 10-11) and in the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15) only concerns Gentiles. The pattern which is observed in the book of Acts is that of Jewish believers who rejoice in their New Covenant relationship with God and express their worship according to Mosaic norms. Finally, the book of Galatians which is written just before the Jerusalem Council addresse~ the historical question of whether Gentiles enjoy the blessings of Abraham in Christ or in Law. Paul concludes that they are sons of God because they are in Christ and have no need to adopt the law . This message is focused, however , towards Gentiles and hould not be extrapolated beyond its target. That is, though Paul speaks pointedly about Gentile and the place of the law in salvation history , he does not address the relationship of the Jewi h believer to the Law of Moses in the letter. Thus, Gentiles were never obligated to the Mo aic law either befor Chri t or after hri t. Jewi h believer , on the other hand, were bound to the Law b f r hri t n were relea ed at alvary . In the progre of revelation , h wev r, thi kn come until relatively late in the New Te tam nt era . Thu , J i h b li t an iti nal p n d betw en A.D . 30 nd 70 , r j d in th ir al ti n thr u h M xpr d th ir o hip in th t y th kn h , t . . , b di n t th l n t rt nd ht