Thread: Noahide Laws for Gentiles
09-10-2005, 09:01 AM #1
Noahide Laws for Gentiles
The Noahide laws are the mitzvot (commandments) that Judaism teaches that all of humankind is morally bound to follow. Although opinions differ on the reach of these laws, all contemporary authorities agree that there are seven main laws.
According to rabbinic Judaism, the Noahide laws apply to all humanity through their descent from Noah after The Flood. In Judaism, B'nai Noach (Hebrew, "Descendants of Noah", "The Children of Noah"), and Noahide, are non-Jews who live in accord with the seven Noahide Laws (below). A non-Jewish person of any ethnic/religion is refered to as a bat(daughter)/ben (son) of Noah. Any organization of B'nai Noach is composed of gentiles who state that they following these rules.
All denominations of Judaism hold that gentiles (non-Jews) are not obligated to follow halakha (Jewish law and custom); only Jews are obligated to do so. Judaism has but a limited tradition of active conversion and modern-day Judaism discourages proselytization. Rather, for non-Jews, the Noahide Laws may be considered the way to have a meaningful relationship with God or at least comply with a minimum threshold of divine law.
The seven laws
The seven laws are first mentioned in Tosefta Sanhedrin 9:4 and Talmud Sanhedrin 56a/b:
1) Shefichat damim - Do not murder.
2) Gezel - Do not steal/kidnap.
3) Avodah zarah - Do not worship false gods/idols.
4) Gilui arayot - Do not be sexually immoral (forbidden sexual acts are traditionally interpreted to include incest, sodomy, male homosexual sex acts and adultery)
5) Ever min ha-chai - Do not eat anything of the body of an unslaughtered animal
6) Birkat Hashem - Do not blaspheme.
7) Dinim - Set up righteous and honest courts and apply fair justice in judging offenders and uphold the principles of the last six.
Any person who lives according to these laws is known as "the righteous among the gentiles".
Islam has a different tradition on Noah and his descendants; the Qur'an mentions additional narrative on Noah. As stated before, the Jewish authority Maimonides has maintained that Islam is a Noahide religion.
Within Judaism it is a matter of debate whether or not all Christians should be considered Noahides. The strict view is that Christian theology is considered avodah zarah (loosely translated as "idolatry") for all people, both Jew and gentile, as it subscribes to the Trinity. Therefore most Christians cannot be considered Noahides. However, Unitarian Christians and other followers of Jesus who do not believe that Jesus is God would still be considered Noahides.
09-10-2005, 09:04 AM #2
Muslims are practing the Noahide laws for gentiles, so Muslims are safe either way. Just putting information out there.
Last edited by CAUSASIAN; 09-12-2005 at 01:59 PM.
09-10-2005, 04:18 PM #3
09-10-2005, 08:12 PM #4
i agree..though there are varying christian viewpoints; some christians believe they are under the entire Mosaic Law (613 commandments), including all dietary restrictions. but i don't hold believe this. a) The Mosaic Law was for the physical people of Israel under the Old Covenant. I am a Gentile and was never under the Mosaic Law. b) I am under the New Covenant, which replaces the Old Covenant and its laws.
09-10-2005, 10:25 PM #5Originally Posted by max2extreme
Max, will you list the laws of this covenant as Jesus said when asked about the laws "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself."
Also... "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:43)
Paul also said in Romans: love is the fulfillment of the law.
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