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: Dr. Francis Nigel Lee

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Q. 1 (Question by Teacher). Who made you and everything else?
A. 1 (Answer by Pupil). The Triune God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Q. 2. What do you mean when you call God a Father?
A. 2. He has always been mature, and has never been without the Son nor the Spirit.
Q. 3. But wouldnt at least the Son then have been the smaller child of the Father?
A. 3. No, the Son has always been with the Father and is thus equally mature (John 1:1-18).
Q. 4. Did God the Father and Son then create the Holy Spirit?
A. 4. No, for the Father and the Son have always been maturely linked by God the Spirit.
Q. 5. You mean like an eternal Family of three different yet mature Persons?
A. 5. Yes, in covenant, like the mature Noah & his wife & sons & their wives (Genesis 6:18).
Q. 6. Was that of Noah, then, the first ever covenantal human family?
A. 6. No, they descended from the first covenantal people Adam and Eve (Hosea 6:7).
Q. 7. Did the Triune God create Adam and Eve as babies, or as mature persons?
A. 7. He created them as His mature images - as adults (Genesis 2:7-25).
Q. 8. Did He tell them to eat of the fruit of the tree of life in the garden of Eden?
A. 8. He did not forbid it to those adults, yet they never ate of it when in Eden.
Q. 9. Why did they then not eat that fruit at that time?
A. 9. Because they fell into sin before eating of it, and were then expelled from Eden.
Q. 10. So that their children, as children, could not eat of the fruit of that tree in Eden?
A. 10. Yes; God told Adam man would only later leave his parents and cleave to his wife.
Q. 11. Adams children were then born outside of Eden, and only after the fall?
A. 11. Yes; it was only "in process of time" that Cain and Abel brought God sacrifices.
Q. 12. Were Cain and Abel perhaps still little boys at that time?
A. 12. No, they were grown up. Cain was marriageable, and Abel owned a flock of sheep.
Q. 13. But didnt Adam also have other children?
A. 13. Yes, and they too catechized their children unto maturity (Genesis 4:26)
Q. 14. How do you know those descendants themselves catechized their children?
A. 14. Because Adams descendant Jared called his son Enoch, which means "catechized."
Q. 15. What was the result of Jared catechizing his son Enoch?
A. 15. Enoch walked with God; and also catechized his own children (Genesis 5:19-24).
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Q. 16. Who were Enochs son, grandson, and great-grandson?
A. 16. The Sethites Methuselah, Lamech and Noah.
Q. 17. Were they too catechized, and did they too "walk with God?"
A. 17. Yes; Lamech trusted the Lord, and Noah "walked with God" (Genesis 5:29 & 6:9).
Q. 18. After God destroyed the wicked in the Great Flood, who next "walked with God"?
A. 18. Abram or Abraham walked before the Lord (Genesis 12:3-8 & 15:6 & 17:1-25).
Q. 19. How did Abram show that God had made him into a righteous man?
A. 19. He catechized his servants, before they took holy bread and wine (Genesis 14:14-18).
Q. 20. How else do you know this?
A. 20. Abram circumcised those men, and his son Ishmael when thirteen (Genesis17:23-25).
Q. 21. What else did Abram do?
A. 21. He commanded his whole household to keep the way of the Lord (Genesis18:19).
Q. 22. Did God spare wicked Sodom after the sacrificing Abram prayed for it?
A. 22. No; for there were not even ten godly adult males in Sodom (Genesis 18:1-9, 18:18-20
& 18:32 cf. Exodus 18:12-21; Joshua 22:14; Judges 6:25-27 & 20:10; Ruth 4:2-11).
Q. 23. How old was Isaac, before he assisted his father Abram to sacrifice?
A. 23. He had clearly become a teenager (Genesis 21:8-20 & 22:6-13).
Q. 24. Did anyone before teenage ever bring a sacrifice to God, before the Passover?
A. 24. No, all of those sacrificing back then - were mature males alone.
Q. 25. Mention the names of some of those men who brought sacrifices?
A. 25. Adam, Abel, Noah, Abram, Isaac, and Jacob or Israel (Genesis 25:21 to 35:14).
Q. 26. And did Jacob or Israel teach his mature sons the Israelites to sacrifice?
A. 26. He certainly did so teach those Israelites (Genesis 46:1-4; 46:32-34; 47:3f; 49:11f; 50:8).
Q. 27. What about the later Israelites before their exodus from Egypt?
Q. 27. They too were so taught (Exodus 3:6-18; 5:1-17; 10:9-25; 12:3-50 cf. 18:12-21).
Q. 28. Does Exodus 10:9-25 imply also women and children co-sacrificed with the men?
A. 28. No, it says they would be with the men, while "those who are men" feasted - after Moses
and Aaron and the menfolk brought "sacrifice to the Lord."
Q. 29. Does Exodus 11:2 teach babes & toddlers would recover goods from the neighbours?
A. 29. No, it teaches every man would recover goods from his male neighbour; and that every
woman would recover jewels from her female neighbour (cf. 3:22 & 12:4 & 12:35).
Q. 30. Does Exodus 12:3-4 teach all would share the passover lamb with their neighbours?
A. 30. No, but that a few adult men should share the passover with their male neighbours.
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Q. 31. But doesnt Exodus 12:1-47 teach all the Congregation of Israel kept the Passover?
A. 31. That "Congregation" consisted only of adult males under the leadership of Elders.
Q. 32. How can you say that such "Congregation" excluded the women and children?
A. 32. God says it was "every man...according to the house of the fathers" (Exodus 12:1-3).
Q. 33. You say the "Congregation" was limited to circumcised and mature adult males?
A. 33. Yes; and they needed to be catechized before eating the Passover (Exodus 12:26-48).
Q. 34. But doesnt Exodus 12:3 say "a lamb for each household" ( including wives & babes)?
A. 34. No, it says "every man a lamb, according to the house of the fathers" not the mothers.
Q. 35. But it also adds "a lamb for a house."
A. 35. Yes, for "every man a lamb, according to the house of the fathers."
Q. 36. But doesnt Exodus 12:4 say "every person who has a mouth shall eat"?
A. 36. No, it says: "If the household is too small for the lamb, let him [the male householder]
and his male neighbour take it [the mature ram] according to the number of the souls of
every man [or adult male] according to his eating and make your count for the lamb."
Q. 37. Are you saying only the mature males who would eat of the lamb were counted?
A. 37 . Thats what God says; and He adds even the lamb is to be a mature male (Exodus 12:5).
Q. 38. Doesnt Exodus 12:6 say "the whole assembly of the Congregation...shall kill it?"
A. 38. That Assembly excluded all too young to kill the ram; and Exodus12:7 says the eaters
would paint the rams blood on the upper doorpost (unreachable by small children ).
Q. 39. Doesnt Exodus 12:8 say they would then roast and eat the meat with bitter herbs?
A. 39. Thats right; and toddlers cant roast , and unweaned babies cant eat bitter herbs .
Q. 40. Exodus 12:11 says to eat it hastily with "your shoes on your feet, with staff in hand."
A. 40. Such must obviously exclude shoeless babies and staffless toddlers!
Q. 41. In Exodus 12:12 God says: "I...will...this night...smite all the firstborn...of Egypt."
A. 41. Yes, Egypts grown-up first-born - not Egypts just-born babies or toddlers!
Q. 42. In Exodus 12:14a, God says: "This day shall be to you for a memorial."
A. 42. Indeed! And how can a speechless infant or a toddler remember and commemorate?
Q. 43. Exodus 12:14b adds: "You shall keep it a Feast to the Lord throughout generations."
A. 43. Exactly; those who keep it and who commemorate it, do so in each generation.
Q. 44. Exodus 12:15 says the Feasters must remove leaven from their homes for seven days.
A. 44. Also their wives and toddlers must not there eat leaven; as distinct from co-feasting.
Q. 45. How do you know wives and toddlers did not co-feast?
A. 45. Because Exodus 12:16 adds that no man may then work (and toddlers cant work ).
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Q. 46. Exodus 12:21 says: "Then Moses called for the Elders of Israel to kill the lamb.
A. 46. Elders means "the bearded ones"; and that excludes women and children.
Q. 47. Exodus 12:24 says the Passover shall be observed by bearded ones and their sons.
A. 47. But it does not say those sons ate it before they too become bearded ones!
Q. 48. Did Moses teach his mature sons how to sacrifice?
A. 48. Yes, also at the sacrifice of the Passover (Exodus 12:26-28 cf. 18:2-12).
Q. 49. Exodus 12:26 clarifies also the sons of bearded ones attended the Passover Service.
A. 49. Yes, but such sons were not speechless infants; for they asked a mature question!
Q. 50. They asked the bearded ones eating: "What do you mean by this Service?"
A. 50. Yes, if the askers too had eaten, they would say (but didnt): "Why are we doing this?"!
Q. 51. What does Calvin say about this verse in his Institutes IV:16:30.
A. 51. He says: "Circumcision, which...corresponds to our Baptism [Colossians 2:11-13], was
intended for infants; but the Passover, for which the Supper is substituted, did not admit
all...but was duly eaten only by those who were of an age sufficient to ask the meaning
of it (Exodus 12:26). Had these men [the Anabaptists] the least particle of soundness
in their brain, would they be thus blind as to a matter so very clear?"
Q. 52. What did those catechizing bearded Elders then reply?
Q. 52. They said: "It is the sacrifice of the Lords Passover who passed over the houses of the
sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians but delivered our homes."
Q. 53. And only the mature adult males then sacrificed, but not the women and children?
Q. 53. That is so - from the time of Adam right down to the time of Moses and beyond.
Q. 54. Doesnt the word "first-born" in Exodus 12:29 doesnt mean babies ate the Passover?
Q. 54. No; in Exodus 12:29 the firstborn already sat on Pharaohs throne or in his dungeon.
Q. 55. Exodus 12:37 speaks of 600 000 "men - beside children" clinging to mothers.
A. 55. Such 600 000 was the "count" for the eating of the passover lamb (at Exodus 12:4)
Q. 56. Wasnt the Passover, like the Supper which replaced it, for whosoever will?
A. 56. No, Exodus 12:43-45 say: "No stranger shall eat of it" and "a hired servant shall not."
Q. 57. Doesnt Exodus 12:44 says ones purchased slave in ones home may eat of it?
A. 57. Only after being circumcised and, as we shall see, also being catechized.
Q. 58. Does this mean that uncircumcised believers were not to eat of it?
A. 58. Indeed, no uncircumcised prenatal or baby or girl or adult woman might do so.
Q. 59. Would that then not mean that baptized women may not take the Lords Supper?
A. 59. No, for after Calvary, such are admitted to both Sacraments (Genesis 3:15; Acts 8:12;
First Corinthians 11:11-24; Galatians 3:27-29).
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Q. 60. Does Exodus 12:46 forbid carrying the Mass through the streets?
A. 60. Among other things, that is precisely what it also forbids!
Q. 61. But Exodus 12:47 says: "All the Congregation shall keep it."
A. 61. Yes; which means only catechized adult males - not uncircumcised babes & women!
Q. 62. Why then must such circumcised adult males also be catechized?
A. 62. For Exodus 12:48 says they must come near - meaning: be catechized (12:26 f).
Q. 63. After strangers have been catechized, may their circumcised boys too eat?
A. 63. No, God says "let him" (the stranger but not his boys) then "keep" it. Exodus 12:48.
Q. 64. When can such a strangers circumcised boys "keep" and eat of the Passover?
A. 64. Only when such sons themselves have later been catechized and come near.
Q. 65. But is such a law not only for strangers - yet not also for those born Israelites?
A. 65. No, for Exodus 12:49 commands: "One law shall be to him who is homeborn, and to the
stranger who sojourns among you!"
Q. 66. Who then determines when a covenant child had become a communicable man?
A. 66. Not the child, nor the childs parents, but the bearded Elders alone (Exodus 12:21-27
cf. Deuteronomy 19:12-15 & 23:1).
Q. 67. But doesnt Exodus 13:8-14 imply that also baby Israelites ate the Passover?
A. 67. No, for babies cannot ask questions and be catechized - any more than the firstborn
animals which open the womb of animals should eat the Passover.
Q. 68. Doesnt Exodus 16:16, cf. with 12:4, prove that all those children who ate the manna -
also ate the Sacrament of the Passover?
A. 68. No. For unweaned babies did not, but worms did, eat the manna (Exodus 16:20). Only
the mature men, the complaining Congregation, gathered it. Perhaps even the Israelites
unprofessing halfbreeds and even some of their animals ate that unsacramental manna.
But the mature men who gathered it, did so only for those in their tents who could eat
it - not for their prenatal babes or their unweaned infants (16:10-16).
Q. 69. Were women and children to eat of the Passover and the other two annual Feasts?
A. 69. Exodus 23:10-19 says: "You men shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread..... So too
the Feast of Harvest, the first fruits of the labours of you men..., and the Feast of
Ingathering...when you men have gathered in your labours.... Three times you men shall
keep a Feast to Me in the year.... Your males shall appear before the Lord."
Q. 70. Is this stated also elsewhere in the Book of Exodus?
A. 70. Exodus 34:l2-26 states: "Take heed...lest you men make a covenant with the inhabitants
of the land!... The Feast of Unleavened Bread you men shall keep.... You men shall
observe the Feast of Weeks...and the Feast of Ingathering.... Thrice in the year, all your
males shall appear before the Lord God.... Neither shall any man desire your land, when
you men shall go up to appear before the Lord your God thrice in the year."
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Q. 71. Dont some cite Leviticus 12:6-8 as if also women and children sacrificed?
A. 71. But Leviticus 1:2f says: "Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them: If any man of you
brings an offering to the Lord - you shall bring your offering!" Leviticus 12:6-8 says
that a new mother shall bring a lamb as a burnt offering not to the female door-keepers
at the door of the tabernacle but "to the priest" (who was always an adult male).
Q. 72. Did women and children manducate at the second Passover in Numbers 9:1-14?
A. 72. No. Certain adult men defiled by a dead body were refused that Passover till they had
cleansed themselves during the next month. This was instituted also for future
Q. 73. You say, then, that such precludes manducation by women and children?
A. 73. In the Talmud, Rabbi Jose here comments: "It excludes a minor!" And Christian
Scholars like Dr. Richard Bacon and Dr. Joe Morecraft observe that Numbers 9 must also
exclude from the Passover for ever all women menstruating during both the first month
and the second month (and therefore by implication also all other women).
Q. 74. Arent those views of the twenty-first century Bacon & Morecraft rather far-fetched?
A. 74. They seem to have fetched them from Herman Witsiuss far-off 1763 Economy of the
Covenants (4:9:15), where he explained that they could become unclean "by touching a
dead body; or by a leprosy; or whose seed went from them; or by any other accident
[Leviticus 13:1 to 15:17]; and women in their monthly courses [see inter alia Leviticus
15:18-33 cf. 12:2-8 etc.] were debarred from the Passover. Numbers 9:6f."
Q. 75. Did Israelitic women and children manducate at the pagan feasts of Numbers 25 & 31
(cf. First Corinthians 10:1-11 where, among other adulteries and idolatries, such are
discussed in connection with sinning before and during the Lords Supper)?
A. 75. They did not. Those punished for such actions were the adult Israelitic men and the
whoring Midianitesses concerned, but no Israelite women or pre-adolescent children.
Q. 76. Doesnt Deuteronomy 6:20 f, compared to Exodus 12:16, imply Paedocommunion?
A. 76. No, Deuteronomy 6:20f has nothing to do with the Passover. Yet even there, no answer
is offered at all - before the son gets old enough to ask a similar question.
Q. 77. Does God discriminate between men - and women and children?
A. 77. Very clearly! In Deuteronomy 20:13, He calls for the death only of weapon-bearing
enemy males (cf. Exodus 12:3f and 12:37) but not of their women and children.
Q. 78. Does Deuteronomy 12:6-18 teach women and children co-sacrificed with men?
Q. 78. No. It teaches men sacrificed, but women and children merely co-rejoiced - while
unclean people too might co-eat meat from unsacrificial and unsacramental offerings.
Q. 79. And what does Deuteronomy 16:1-15 teach?
A. 79. First, that only the Passover is here called a sacrifice; second, that all the men shall
appear thrice annually at the Feasts of the Passover and of Weeks and of Tabernacles; and
third, that then "every man shall give as he is able."
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Q. 80. What did Calvin teach in his Sermon on this passage?
A. 80. "We must also make Confession of our Faith.... Let us use the Sacrament of the
Lords Supper so that we may ask one another what is meant by it! For in Exodus 12:26,
our Lord shows us full well that we must profit in His School to be partakers of the
paschal lamb.... The Lords Supper ought to remind that our coming there ought not to
be without instruction.... It be not lawful to admit young children to the Lords Supper ."
Q. 81. Does Deuteronomy 23:1f prohibit sexually-minor males sacrificing passover lamb?
A. 81. Clearly. Also the Talmud teaches on this: "All slaughter is valid - except...[that of] an
imbecile or a minor.... They invalidate their slaughtering."
Q. 82. Does Judges 13:3-7 teach that Samson sacramentally communed prenatally?
A. 82. This has nothing to do with the Passover. A fetus does not avoid unclean food, nor
manducate sacramental food. That notion is sacramentalistic to the core. Only physical
nourishment and alcohol poisoning could be absorbing by a fetus via a manducating
mother. For a fetus is nourished not through a mouth as in Exodus 12:3f but through his
umbilical cord. And thus he no more then communes than he would be getting baptized
simply by his pregnant mother herself getting baptized.
Q. 83. Dont First Samuel one & two imply Elkanahs wives and children ate the Passover?
A. 83. This doesnt mention the Passover , nor teach his wives and children co-sacrificed with
him. It tells us Hannah didnt eat or drink at an annual feast before Samuel was
conceived (1:7-15); nor till after he was weaned and reached late childhood (1:21-25);
nor that Samuel himself did so till a teenager (2:1-26 cf. Luke 2:40-47).
Q. 84. Does Proverbs 9 teach only trained youth are to come for Wisdoms bread & wine?
A. 84. Matthew Henry here comments: "The grace of the Gospel is thus set before us in the
ordinance of the Lords Supper .... Ministers of the Gospel are commissioned and
commanded to give notice of the preparations which God has made in the Everlasting
Covenant for all those that are willing to come up to the terms of it.... Who is the
tempter? A foolish [sex-depraved] woman.... Who are the tempted? Young people
who have been well educated" and thus catechized - not pre-adolescent children!
Q. 85. What does Proverbs 22:6 really mean and require?
A. 85. "Catechize a lad for the time his beard begins to grow!" Attaining adolescence is to be
the normal terminus ad quem of catechizing - for admission to the Lords Supper.
Q. 86. Was the Passover at Second Chronicles thirty restrictive, or for "whosoever will?"
A. 86. The Westminster Larger Catechism (171) cited inter alia also from that chapter to prove
that "they that receive the Sacrament of the Lords Supper are, before they come - to
prepare themselves thereto, by examining themselves" - unlike those who at Second
Chronicles 30:18 "had not cleansed themselves yet the Passover" so sinfully.
Q. 87. What light does Joel 1:3 & 2:16 shed against Paedocommunion?
A. 87. Joel distinguishes the "Congregation" and the "Elders" from "the children" and "the
sucklings," and he urges his adult addressees to catechize their children so that they in
turn should later inform their children about Gods awesome works.
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Q. 88. Did Calvin regard Isaiah 7:14f as relevant to the formers Antipaedocommunionism?
Q. 88. Calvin comments: "There can be no doubt that the Prophet referred to Christ.... He will
be reared in the same manner children commonly are...until He arrives at that age when
He can distinguish between good and evil or, as we commonly say, till the years of
discretion." Viz. Luke 2:41-47 cf. the Westminster Larger Catechism 177.
Q. 89. Was Isaiah 28:7f relevant to Matthew Henrys Antipaedocommunionism?
Q. 89. He comments: "Ministers make them understand doctrine, verse 9. This
is Gods way of dealing with men - to enlighten mens minds first with the knowledge
of His truth.... It is good to begin betimes with children - to teach them, as they are
capable, the good knowledge of the Lord, and to instruct them.... For our instruction in
the things of God, it is requisite that we have precept upon precept and line upon line....
The same precept and the same line should often be repeated and inculcated....
Children...have need of milk and cannot bear strong meat (Hebrews 5:12) ."
Q. 90. Does Second Chronicles 35:1-17f teach that children kept the Passover?
Q. 90. It teaches that "Josiah kept a Passover" and got the mature male Congregation to prepare
by the houses of their "fathers" and to "sanctify" themselves and "prepare" their
"brethren" so that the mature "sons of Israel...kept the Passover."
Q. 91. What does Second Kings 23:9-21 teach happened just before that Passover?
Q. 91. Matthew Henry there comments: "The ordinance of the Lords Supper resembles the
Passover.... Religion cannot flourish where that Passover is...not duly observed.... He
charged them [Priests and Levites] to sanctify themselves and prepare their brethren.
Ministers...must sanctify themselves in the first place.... But it must not end there.
They must do what they can, to prepare their brethren - by admonishing, instructing....
The whole solemnity was performed with great exactness."
Q. 92. Are there any cases of Paedocommunion during Old Testament times?
Q. 92. Not among the faithful. But indeed among those syncretized with Paganism, and thus
among the syncretistic Samaritans (Second Kings 17:24-34 cf. Ezra 4:1-10f).
Q. 93. Is this reflected in Jeremiah (7:18), where he complains: "The children gather wood, and
the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough to make cakes to the Queen
of Heaven and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods"?
A. 93. Yes, and Calvin comments about the Lamentations 2:12 & 4:4 of that same faithful
Jeremiah: "The use of wine is not allowed to infants." For Jeremiah "speaks not of
sucklings but of children three or four years old."
Q. 94. What does the Prophet Ezekiel (44:4-21) predict about the cleansed Passover alias the
New Testament Lords Supper?
A. 94. Dr. Leonard Coppes says in his book Paedocommunion versus the Bible (pp. 22-24): "In
Ezekiel 44:4-9, God says that the New Covenant Israel is responsible to discipline [or to
disciple] those who approach Him. In the Judaism of Jesus day, Ezekiel 44 was
manifested in what has come to be known as bar mitzvah. God submitted Jesus to this
institution before He was allowed to approach Gods presence [ cf. Luke 2:40-47].... The
Rabbis forbid children to drink the wine.... The article Education [in the] Jewish
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Encyclopedia [says]...the children were to be treated as if they were to become Priests....
Leviticus 10:8 and Ezekiel 44:21 forbids priests to drink wine."
Q. 95. Why does Nehemiah (8:2) state "Ezra...brought the Law before the Congregation of
men, and to the women and all of them who could hear with understanding"?
A. 95. Matthew Henry here comments that the men "began to offer their burnt-offerings....
Masters of families should bring their families with them to the public worship of God....
Little ones, as they come to the exercise of reason, must be trained up in the exercises of
religion.... As young people grow up to be capable of distinguishing between good and
evil and of acting intelligently, they ought to make it their own act and deed to join
themselves to the Lord.."
Q. 96. What is the significance to Paedocommunion of Ezra 2:64-65?
A. 96. It says of "the whole Congregation" of 42 360 adult males that it excludes "their servants
and their maids" and also their 200 "singing men and women." This clearly shows that,
as in the Passover passage Exodus 12:3-37, women and children were not included with
the adult males in the number of the Congregation.
Q. 97. How does Ezra 10:1f disprove women and children were counted as Congregation?
A. 97. There was "a very great Congregation of men - and women & children.... Ezra...said
to them: You have transgressed, and have taken strange wives.... Therefore you must...
separate yourselves from...the foreign wives. Then all the Congregation [cf. Exodus
12:3-47] answered...with a loud voice: As you have said, we must do!"
Q. 98. In the Intertestamentary Period, did the Essenes practise Paedocommunion?
A. 98. The B.C. 130 Essenic Book of Jubilees, explicitly quoted in the Qumran Damascus
Document (CD 16:3f), teaches only mature men ate the Passover. Jubilees 49:6-21
teaches that "every man from twenty years old and upwards...shall eat it in the
sanctuary" - and that their married men ate the Passover alone, without their women and
children. Of them, Josephus writes in his A.D. 75 Wars of the Jews (2:8:7-10) that "if
anyone has a mind to come over to their sect, he is not immediately admitted; but he is
prescribed the same method of living which they use - for a year, while he continues
excluded.... When he has given evidence during that time...that he...approaches nearer
to their way of living..., his temper is tried for two more years.... If he appear to be
worthy, they then admit him into their society" (cf. First Corinthians 11:29).
Q. 99. Is this principle of three years catechization among the Essenes found elsewhere?
A. 99. It is rooted in Exodus 12:3f,21,26f,37,48f ; First Samuel 2:11-18f; and Proverbs 22:6 -
and anticipates what is recorded in Acts 20:31 & Galatians 1:18. It further seems to be
reflected in Aboth 5:21; Clement of Alexandrias Paidogogue 1:4-7 and Stromata II:18;
the Apostolic Constitutions 7:2;24 & 8:4:32 - and in John Calvins Institutes 4:19:4-12f.
Ideally, it best runs between the ages of ten and thirteen alias the attainment of puberty
or adolescence (Exodus 12:3,26,37; Proverbs 22:6; Luke 2:40-52).
Q. 100. What is the above-mentioned Aboth 5:21?
A. 100. In the Talmud, it is the Pharisees well-known text translated Fathers [cf. the word
"fathers" in the Passover passage Exodus 12:3f] . It states: "At five years old, one is fit
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for Scripture; at ten years, for the Mishnah; at thirteen, for the fulfilling of the
Commandments" (cf. Bar Mitzvaah Confirmation).
Q. 101. Some Paedocommunionists say this is a Talmudic doctrine of demons!
A. 101. Well, Paul was a Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee (Acts 23:6). He was born in
Tarsus (Acts 22:3a), and later "brought up" and "taught [or catechized] at the feet of
Gamaliel" (Acts 22:3b). Pauls being "taught" in Jerusalem would have started at the
very time he became a "youth" (cf. Acts 26:4-5). He himself would thus have become
a Passover Communicant in his "youth" - and indeed at its onset (age thirteen). Genesis
17:25; Exodus 12:3-4,26f,37; First Chronicles 21:5; Proverbs 22:6; Luke 2:40-47.
Q. 102. Is there any further evidence in the Talmud to this same effect?
A. 102. That thirteen is the age when one ceases to be a child and becomes obligated to observe
various ordinances, is clear also from many of the passages in the Talmud and the
Mishnah. See: Niddah (5:6); Yomah (8:4); Baba Kamma (4:4 & 8:4); Arakhin (1:1);
Tohoroth (3:6); and Makshirin (3:8 & 6:1). Furthermore, the fulfilment of various
ordinances at years below this age of thirteen - and notably manducation at the Passover
by pre-pubescent children - is actually forbidden. See: Rosh Ha-Shanah (3:8);
Menahoth (9:8); Hullin (1:1); and Parah (5:4).
Q. 103. But what has all this to do with the New Testament?
A. 103. Note the catechizing of the twelve-year-old Jesus, before His first participation in the
Passover (Luke 2:21,40-43,47)! The same was true of Paul (Acts 22:3; 23:6; Galatians
1:15f ; Philippians 3:5f). Timothy, the son of a mixed marriage between a Non-Jewish
Greek and a Jewess, is particularly significant. Growing up in a religious home, he was
catechized and confirmed as a Communicant in Christs Visible Church, perhaps even
by the laying on of the hands of Paul himself. Second Timothy 1:2-6; 3:14-17; First
Timothy 4:12-14; 6:12,21. Cf. too: Hebrews 5:14 to 6:2; Proverbs 3:8; 22:6; 31:1f.
Q. 104. What does the Hebrew-Christian Scholar Dr. Alfred Edersheim say about this?
A. 104. He claims the Passover Company in Luke 2:44 consisted of a count of at least " ten
persons to every sacrificial lamb [cf. Exodus 12:3f & 12:37].... In such festive
Company the parents of Jesus went to and returned from this Feast every year - taking
their Holy Child with them after He had attained the age of twelve (Luke 2:41-49)."
That was "the year before" a child "attained Jewish majority."
Q. 105. What does the great Gentile-Christian Scholar Dr. Emil Schrer say about this?
A. 105. In his book The Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, he refers to the Talmudic
tract Niddah 5:6, which "explains that When a child is twelve years and one day old, his
oaths are tested; when he is thirteen years and a day, they are valid.
Q. 106. And what does the Dutch Reformed Scholar Dr. R. Bijlsma say about this?
A. 106. In his Short Catechetics, he says: "About the beginning of our Christian Era...there
were Schools of Education established by the Jewish Congregation.... They were
grouped around teachers of the Law, appointed for the purpose, to whom [circumcised]
children...were brought.... Teaching of the Law was given at a higher level in the House
of Doctrine (Beth Ha-Midrash). This the forerunner of the Christian
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Catechism.... When the child was ten years old, the Doctrine (Mishna) came up. Then,
at the age of twelve to thirteen, children were obligated to keep the Hebrew Legal
Prescriptions (the Mitzvoth).... For many centuries [!], the fixed rule has been that a
youth becomes Bar-Mitzvah [or Son of the Law] as soon as he is thirteen years."
Q. 107. What happened when Jesus was twelve years old?
Q. 107. He then, approaching adolescence, ac-compani-ed a Passover "Company" or Sunodia
to Jerusalem - with the prospect of being admitted to manducation at that ordinance upon
His Bar Mitzvaah at age thirteen.
Q. 108. Did He first start catechizing only then - or even earlier?
A. 108. Already in Nazareth "the child grew and became strong in spirit - becoming filled with
wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him" (Luke 2:40). As He passed through His
late childhood toward His adolescence, He "became strong in spirit, becoming filled with
wisdom." No doubt God used also the catechetical efforts of Joseph and Mary to deepen
her sons wisdom. God would soon use also the ecclesiastical Teachers in Jerusalem to
deepen it further, between Christs twelfth and thirteenth birthday anniversaries. And
immediately thereafter too, "Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favour with
God and man" (Luke 2:40-52).
Q. 109. For how many years would Jesus probably have been catechized?
A. 109. In Luke 13:6-9, He describes a young fruit-tree being prepared to bear its first fruit
when attaining maturity three years later. This suggests officially starting to groom and
to catechize a ten-year-old covenant child for three years.
Q. 110. What does the A.D. 190 Church Father Clement of Alexandria say about this?
A. 110. In his Miscellanies II:18, that Clement says: "From the Commandments spring both
wisdom...and righteousness.... Farmers derived advantage from the Law in such things.
For it orders newly-planted trees to be nourished three years in succession, and the
superfluous growths to be cut off..., tilling and digging round them.... It does not allow
imperfect fruit to be plucked from immature trees - but after three years, in the fourth
year; dedicating the first-fruits to God after the tree has attained maturity. This type of
farming may serve as a mode of instruction, teaching that we must cut the growths of
sins, and the useless weeds of the mind that spring up round the vital fruit till the shoot
of faith is perfected and becomes strong . For in the fourth year, since there is need of
time to him that is solidly being catechized, the four virtues are consecrated to God." Cf.
Genesis 17:25 & Leviticus 19:23f & Deuteronomy 11:17-22 & 12:5-18 & 16:1-16 &
Proverbs 3:9-13 & 9:1-16 & 22:6.
Q. 111. Why did Jesus at 12 accompany others on their way to the Passover (Luke 2:40f)?
A. 111. To be catechized by the Teachers in Jerusalem during the week-long Passover Feast.
This was "after the custom of the Feast" - with a view to being admitted to manducate
thereat one year later soon after His thirteenth birthday in accordance with "the custom"
or sacred puberty-rite of Bar Mitzvaah.
Q. 112. Though not when twelve 12 manducating there, did Jesus attend the Passover Feast?
A. 112. It was throughout that Feast assumed that He too attended it. "Supposing Him to have
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been in the Company" or Sunodia - and accompanying the Number or Count of at
least ten mature male Communicants needed to constitute a Congregation of the Sons
of Israel. Luke 2:44-46 cf. Exodus 12:26-28. The following year, Jesus would turn
thirteen, when becoming a man (iysh). For then, He would be confirmed as a
Communicant Member of that "Company." Cf. too Luke 2:41-44 & 22:11-15 with
Exodus 12:3-4.
Q. 113. What does the great Baptist Theologian Dr. John Gill say about this?
A. 113. In his 1748 Exposition of the New Testament, on Luke 2:42 he rightly comments:
"According to the maxims of the Jews, persons were not obliged to the duties of the Law,
or subject to the penalties of it in case of non-performance - until they were...a male at
the age of thirteen years and one day." However, the Hebrews "used to train up their
children and inure them to religious exercises before" that - and especially throughout the
twelfth year before they turned thirteen.... Joseph was obliged to go [up to Jerusalem]
three times a year, as were all males in Israel - at the Passover, Pentecost, and
Tabernacles. Deuteronomy 16:16. The first of these is expressed here, at the Feast of
the Passover.... The women were not obliged to go up. For so it is said by the Jews [ T.
Hieros. Kiddushin, fol. 61.3]."
Q. 114. What is the meaning of Luke 2:46-47, when Jesus was beyond twelve years old?
A. 114. It says the Temple Teachers were then examining "His understanding and answers."
For Luke 2:46-47 (cf. Acts 22:3 & Exodus 12:26f) suggests such Teachers regularly
catechized and cross-examined Hebrew boys when the latter had turned twelve and up
to the time they turned thirteen years and one day old..
Q. 115. Why does the Westminster Assemblys Theologian Rev. Dr. John Lightfoot stress the
importance of the 12-year-old Christs Passover visit to the Rabbis in Jerusalem?
A. 115. Lightfoot cites first from the Talmudic tract Chetubim (folio 50). There, one reads:
"Let a man deal gently with his son, till he come to be twelve years old.... But from that
time, let him descend with him into his way of living" - that is, says Lightfoot, "let him
[the father] diligently and with severity (if need be) keep him [the twelve-year-old son]
close to that which he [the son] may get his living." Thus, "Christ being now
twelve years old," He now "applies Himself to His proper work" - viz. "to be about His
Fathers business." Even as "Moses, when he was twelve years old" - explained Rabbi
Chama (in the Shemoth Rabb.) - "was taken from his fathers house." And even
"Solomon when twelve years old - as also the Early Church Father Ignatius remarked
in his Epistle to the Magnesians (chapter 3) - "judged between two women."
Q. 116. Why does Matthew Henry insist children were not admitted to the Passover till 13?
A. 116. He says: "Jewish Doctors say that at twelve...children must begin to...learn..., [so] that
at thirteen years old a child begins to be a Son of the Commandment [or a Bar
Mitzvaah] - that is, obliged to the duties of Adult Church-Membership, having been from
his infancy by virtue of his circumcision a Son of the Covenant [or a Ben Beriyth]...
Those children that were in their infancy dedicated to God should be called upon when
they are grown up to come to the Gospel-Passover - to the Lords Supper - [so] that they
may make it their own act and deed to join themselves to the Lord.
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Q. 117. What comment does the great Lutheran Theologian Dr. Rudolph Stier make here?
A. 117. In his famous book The Words of the Lord Jesus, he says: "His parents took the youth
Jesus with them to Jerusalem [Luke 2:41]. There is a latent proof in the twelve years
[Luke 2:42]...that this was the first time.... The youth of Israel in that period [from
twelve years of age onward] were reputed [to be] Beneey Ha-Tooraah, Sons of the
Law.... The mistaken idea that Jesus taught [others during that episode] refuted by
verse 46. He sat as a learner, hearing those who taught, and asking questions."
Q. 118. What does the Hebrew-Christian Dr. Alfred Edersheim here comment?
A. 118. He says some allege "that, on the occasion referred to, the Saviour had gone up, as
being of a Bar Mitzvah or Son of the Commandment.... But the legal age for
this was not twelve, but thirteen (Aboth. 5:21). On the other hand, the Rabbinical Law
enjoined (Yoma 82a) that even before that - two years, or at least one year - lads should
be brought up to the Temple and made to observe [or bear witness without themselves
manducating at] the festive rites.... In conformity with this universal custom...Jesus went
on the occasion named - to the Temple." For Luke 2:42-47 gives the story of Jesus
"questioning the Rabbis in the Temple, the year before He attained Jewish majority"
status at age thirteen. Then, next Passover, after His Confirmation once thirteen, He
Himself would be able to manducate at that Sacrament.
Q. 119. After He turned thirty, did our Priest Jesus give the Passover also to children?
A. 119. When the annual Passover then drew near, Jesus non-sacramentally broke bread for five
thousand hungry men. John 6:4 cf. Matthew 14:14f. True to the Passover practice, the
count only of the adult males is stated. The women and children who were with them,
whom Jesus also fed non-sacramentally (because hungry), did not manducate at the
Passover. They were not counted, because the Hebrews were long accustomed to
number only the men - who alone would manducate at the Passover (cf. Exodus 12:3-4
& 12:37). "They that ate, were about five thousand men - beside women and children."
Matthew 14:14,15,20,21. Christs feeding of the five thousand men at Passover-time , in
decimal "Companies" (Sumposia) of hundreds and fifties, reflects the significance of at
least ten mature males or multiplications thereof as the essential number needed for
official meetings of Israels Congregation of adult males alone.
Q. 120. What does Calvin comment on this passage John 6:26-53f?
A. 120. He says: "This sermon does not refer to the Lords Supper, but to the continual
communication which we have apart from the reception of the Lords Supper.... As far
as young children are concerned, Christs ordinance forbids them to participate in the
Lords Supper - because they cannot yet try [or test and examine] themselves, or celebrate
the remembrance of the death of Christ [cf. First Corinthians 11:24f].... It is wrong to
expound this whole passage as applying to the Lords Supper."
Q. 121. Does the same apply to Christs later institution of the Lords Supper?
A. 121. Christ turned His last mature male Chebraah or Passover Company into His first
Lords Supper, where the absence of children was and is significant. In Matthew 23:1-8,
it is probable that Christ the Teacher actually calls Himself The Catechist or Ho
Katheegeetees. Among "His Disciples" - only those twelve who had at that time been
instructed fully by that Great Catechist were then admitted to His Holy Table.
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Q. 122. What does Witsius say about this in his Economy of the Covenants (IV:9:13)?
A. 122. He says: "The guests who partook of the paschal lamb, are commanded to meet by
houses or families. Exodus 12:3. If the house had not a Number sufficient to
consume a lamb, the neighbours were to be called in - till a just Number [alias a
decimal Count] was made up, verse 4. The Jewish masters took care that the Number
of [cleansed adult male] guests should not be under ten, nor above twenty [cf. Christ and
His twelve Apostles]. In those Companies or Societies called Phratrias by Josephus
(and called) by the Hebrews Chaburoth - men...sat down together - old men and young;
whole and sick; masters and servants"; excluding women and children.
Q. 123. And what does Rev. Professor Dr. Abraham Kuyper Sr. say about this?
A. 123. In chapter 110 of his great work Our Divine Worship Service, Kuyper writes: "The
Lords Supper was instituted at the Passover Feast. In order to celebrate the Passover
Feast, Jesus priorly got everything prepared in the Upper Room. The solemnity of the
Passover Feast, which looked back upon Israels redemption from Egypt, was indeed a
symbolic prediction of the redemption which the Lamb of God would bring.... It was
therefore not incidental that the Lord sat with His Disciples at a meal around a table. It
was a Passover. Every man in Israel was required thus to celebrate the Passover [Exodus
12:3-37 & 23:14-17 & 34:23-25]. Jesus too subjected Himself to the ordinance of the
Lord, and therein set an example for His Disciples.... It is true that the solemnity of the
Passover was completed before Jesus went on to institute the Lords Supper . But He
then did so, directly in conjunction with the Passover Meal - and without [first] standing
up from the Passover Meal."
Q. 124. Why then do we now give the Lords Supper not just to men but also to women?
A. 124. Calvary and the Resurrection were and are the hinge of the admission of women to the
Sacrament of the Eucharist and also to Christian Baptism. For before Calvary, although
by implication even infant males probably received Baptism from John (cf. John 1:25
with First Kings 18:30-36 and Genesis 17:1-27) - there is no indication any infant girls
or adult females were baptized. Yet after Christs resurrection, it is clear that both infant
girls and adult women were baptized (Acts 2:17f & 2:38f with 8:12 & 16:15 & 16:33 and
with Galatians 3:27-29). However, no infants of either gender - though indeed adult
women - were then admitted to manducation at the Eucharist (First Corinthians 11:11-
Q. 125. What is the significance of giving the Lords Supper to women but not to children?
A. 125. Once the promised mature male Messianic Seed of the woman had crushed Satan on
Calvary (Genesis 3:15) - saved women would be seen to be co-heirs, together with saved
men. As such, also saved women would then be admitted also to the Lords Table (First
Peter 3:7 & Second Peter 2:13f). Thus, in the Old Testament, women and infant girls
were uncircumcisable. After Calvary, Circumcision was replaced by Baptism which
could be and thenceforth would be administered also to women and infant girls.
Galatians 3:27-29. So too, after Calvary - manducation at the Passover (which till then
was restricted solely to adult males), would in the Lords Supper as its replacement
thenceforth be extended also to catechizable adult females. Cf. Acts 20:7f & 21:9 and
First Corinthians 11:11-34.
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Q. 126. At Acts 2:42, did only adult converts who "continued in doctrine" - eucharize?
Q. 126. Yes. The order of events in the life of those new converts is clearly stated in Acts
2:37-42. It is: (1) baptism; (2) catechization; (3) comradeship; and (4) eucharization.
For those converts were: (1) "baptized"; (2) then "they continued steadfastly in the
Apostles teaching" or didachee alias doctrine; (3) thus "they continued steadfastly in
the...fellowship" or koinoonia; and finally (4) "they the breaking of bread"
alias the Eucharist.
Q. 127. Does Acts 8:5-38 presuppose catechizing both the Samaritans and the Ethiopian?
A. 127. Yes. It illustrates the connection between the Infant Baptism of covenant children on
the one hand and their later Confession of Faith and Confirmation in Christ on the other.
Thus, comments Rev. Professor Dr. John Calvin, "when their age and ability to
understand will allow, they yield themselves to Him as Disciples - and...know, by the
discernment of faith, His power which is represented in Baptism.... The children of the
godly are born sons of the Church - and are numbered among the Members of Christ
from birth.... Christ initiates infants to Himself for this purpose sothat, as soon as their
age and ability to understand will allow, they yield themselves to Him as Disciples" -
alias catechized or taught ones. Then it is that they better "know, by the discernment
of faith, His power which is represented in Baptism." Cf. "not discerning" in First
Corinthians 11:29.
Q. 128. In Acts 10f, is there evidence that the household of Cornelius was catechized?
A. 128. Yes. Calvin comments that Cornelius was indeed devout and a God-fearer long
before meeting Peter. He says of Cornelius: "As a good family head, he took pains to
instruct the family.... Cornelius had a church in his household." Godly Cornelius had
sent two of his household servants and a devout soldier to seek out Peter in Joppa.
Calvin here commends Cornelius "for his diligence in instructing his household....
[However,] the Lord often inflicts just punishment on masters who have not been
concerned about the instruction of their household.... They have neglected to educate
them in piety."
Q. 129. How does all this bear on Confirmation as a Communicant after Profession of Faith?
A. 129. In Acts 10:47f, Peter baptizes both the believing adults and their infants. Here Calvin
comments: "I admit that those who are outside the Church must be instructed before the
symbol of adoption is conferred on them. But I maintain that believers children, who
are born within the Church, are Members of the family of the Kingdom of God from the
womb.... God has adopted the children of believers before they are born.... When Luke
says finally that Peter was asked by Cornelius and his relatives to stay for a few days [v.
48b], he is commending the desire they had to make progress. They were certainly
endowed with the Holy Spirit; but they had not reached such a peak that Confirmation
would be of no further use to them. Following their example, let us make diligent use
of the opportunity to make progress.... Let us not grow swollen with pride; for it bars
the entrance of teaching!"
Q. 130. Did Timothy get the Lords Supper before he professed his faith and got confirmed?
A. 130. Timothy was the grandson of a pious woman and the son of a godly and believing
mother. The latter had married a Greek, so that Timothy had not been circumcised in
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infancy. Later he heard the Gospel and became a Christian Either then or later,
Timothy was catechized, made his Profession of Faith, and was then confirmed as a
Communicant Member of Christs Church . Cf. Acts 16:1-3f; First Timothy. 4:12-14 &
6:12-21; Second Timothy 1:2-6 & 3:14-17; and Hebrews 5:14 to 6:2.
Q. 131. What happened in this regard in Northern Greece, according to Acts 17 to 20?
A. 131. In Acts 17f, it seems Christians were catechized in Philippi, Berea, and Ephesus. On
Acts 18, Calvin remarks that the previously-catechized Apollos received further
instruction. In Acts 19, Paul catechized some twelve ignorant heretics in Ephesus. And
in Acts 20, it seems the Disciples at Troas had been catechized before they eucharized.
Q. 132. Had all the Communicants in Troas previously been catechized (Acts 20:6-12)?
A. 132. In "the days of Unleavened Bread" the catechized or taught ones alias the "Disciples"
there, "came together to break bread." At some distance from the Communicants
themselves - and himself then sitting in "a window" at the side of the meeting-place - was
"a certain young man" called Eutychus. He was still a growing "boy"; apparently being
"catechized" (cf. Exodus 12:26f); and does not seem to have "tasted" the sacramental food
together with Paul and the others. According to many ancient Greek manuscript copies,
it was not all of the Christians who then manducated - but only the "Disciples."
Q. 133. What does it mean where Paul tells the childish Corinthians he had fed them with milk
and not with meat - that he had planted, but that Apollos had watered; and that God kept
on giving the increase (in First Corinthians 3:1-6)?
A. 133. It means Paul was the first to preach Christ to them; had baptized almost none of them;
that Apollos later baptized most of them; and that only those catechized who were of age,
were thereafter admitted to the Lords Supper .
Q. 134. How do you know that such was so?
A. 134. Paul himself there tells us as regards those Corinthian Christians: "I could not speak
to you as to spiritual, but as to carnal - even as to babes in Christ. I have fed you with
milk, and not with meat. For hitherto you were not able to bear it.... I have planted;
Apollos watered; but God gave the increase."
Q. 135. How does that First Corinthians 3:2 interdict Paedocommunion?
A. 135. Calvin comments:657 "Christ is milk for babes, and solid food for adults." And
Witsius, relating this passage to the Lords Supper, observes that "the words of our
Lords command are so expressed that they cannot belong to infants - who can neither
receive the bread, nor eat it.... For babes are fed with milk, and not with meat."
Q. 136. Does First Corinthians 5:1-8 also bear on this matter?
A. 136. There Paul, urging excommunication for adulterous incest, says: "Purge out thus the
old leaven, so that you may become a new lump!... For even Christ our Passover has
been sacrificed for us. Therefore, let us observe the Feast not with old leaven, neither
with the leaven of malice and wickedness - but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and
truth!" This excludes pre-adolescents from the Christian Passover or Eucharist.
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Q. 137. What does Calvin comment on this?
A. 137. In his Sermon on Deuteronomy 16:5f, he refers to First Corinthians 5:8 and says:
"Because our Easter lamb is offered up, we must now keep the Feast.... The use of the
Lords Supper ought to put us in mind that our coming there ought not to be without
instruction.... It be not lawful to admit young children to the Lords Supper ."
Q. 138. At First Corinthians 10:1-8, did children too eat the meat when our fathers did?
A. 138. This distinctly speaks of "our fathers." It does not say "our mothers." Nor does it say
our male ancestors when the latter were still infants. It says that, when fathers, "our
fathers did all eat the same spiritual meat and did all drink the same spiritual drink."
Yet, as pointed out next, some of those fathers, as fathers, were sadly also idolaters and
fornicators - which none of them were while previously still children.
Q. 139. Is this not stretching the meaning of the word "fathers" to exclude their infants?
A. 139. Hardly; for the use of the word "fathers" here needs to be compared to what Acts 7:19
says about Pharaoh - namely, that he "mistreated our fathers so that they cast out their
infants so that they [those infants] might not live." Cf. too Exodus 1:8 to 2:9.
Q. 140. But were not their infants baptized in the Red Sea together with their fathers?
A. 140. Yes, but First Corinthians 10:2 does not say their infants were baptized (passive voice);
it says their fathers actively got themselves baptized (middle voice). Nor does 10:3 say
the infants were fed; it says the fathers fed themselves and (actively) ate meat.
Q. 141. Surely that means both fathers and toddlers ate the Passover and the manna?
A. 141. No, it says nothing about either the Passover or the manna. It is talking not about
physical but about "spiritual meat" - just as 10:4 is talking not about the physical drink
of either wine or water or even milk, but about the "spiritual drink."
Q. 142. But surely also toddlers ate the manna and drank water from the rock?
A. 142. Yes, and worms too ate the manna - non-sacramentally! But the "liquid" in 10:4 is
neither wine nor water nor milk. For the Rock whence the fathers drank, was Christ!
Q. 143. What does Rev. Professor Dr. Charles Hodge comment on these verses?
A. 143. He says the interpretation that the manna was designed not only for the body but also
for the soul, "exalts the manna into a Sacrament - which it was not. It was...ordinary
food; as Nehemiah (9:15) says, Thou gavest them bread...for their hunger, and
broughtest forth for them water out of the rock for their thirst.... Our Lord represents
it in the same light when He said, Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness and are
dead. John 6: 49. He contrasts Himself, as the True Bread from Heaven Who gives
life to the soul, with manna which had no spiritual efficacy."
Q. 144. Couldnt pre-adolescents too have done all that Paul here says "our fathers" did?
A. 144. No, for he then goes on to say many of them lusted and idolized or fornicated.
Q. 145. What does Calvin comment on First Corinthians 10:1-10?
A. 145. Among other things, he refers at 10:10 "to the story which we have in Numbers
sixteen." There, he argues: "When God had punished the pride of Korah and Abiram,
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the people raised a tumult against Moses and Aaron.... God punished this uproar of the
people with fire from Heaven which devoured more than fourteen thousand...rebels and
trouble-makers." For they - unlike their babies and their toddlers! - "raised their voices
against Himself."
Q. 146. So First Corinthians 10:1-10 is then speaking exclusively about adults?
A. 146. Yes, and it goes on to state that "all these things happened to them, as examples....
They are written for our admonition.... Therefore my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry!"
First Corinthians 10:11-14.
Q. 147. Are you then saying that Paul is here speaking only to the adults in Corinth?
A. 147. Yes, for he tells us in the very next verses: "I am speaking to wise men [alias to
catechized adults with non-preadolescent wisdom teeth]. You need to judge about what
I am saying! The cup of blessing which we bless - is it not the communion of the blood
of Christ? The bread which we [wise ones] break - is it not the communion of the body
of Christ?" First Corinthians 10:15-16.
Q. 148. What does Calvin comment on these and the following verses?
A. 148: He says: "Since Paul was going to base his argument on the mystery of the Supper, he
uses this little preface.... He might have expressed himself in this way: I am not
speaking to beginners! You are well aware of the power of the Holy Supper. How
shameful of you, then, to enter into the fellowship of unbelievers so as to become united
in one body with them! But he condemns their lack of thought. For, after being
instructed in the School of Christ" - thus, after being catechized - "they were stupidly
involving themselves in what was sinful." He also discusses Pauls words Behold Israel
after the flesh! - in First Corinthians 10:18. He comments: "The Law of Moses allowed
no-one to the sacrificial feast - unless he prepared himself properly."
Q. 149. Why does Paul dwell so long on the Old Testament and on Grecian Pagan Feasts in
First Corinthians ten and eleven, before going on later in First Corinthians eleven to deal
with the required behaviour at the Lords Supper?
A. 149. One needs to see the bridge between the Communion passages in First Corinthians
chapters 10 and 11. First Corinthians chapter eleven is indeed the classic chapter on
the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Analysis thereof, after chapter ten, shows no approval
of Paedocommunion whatsoever. For the Lords Supper was to be no Agapee-meal.
Q. 150. What then does First Corinthians eleven principally teach?
A. 150. The passage falls has three parts. The first, First Corinthians 11:17-22, describes the
awful way the Corinthians had been celebrating ( sic) the Lords Supper. The second
part, First Corinthians 11:23-26, describes Pauls account of the Lords Own instituting
of the ordinance. The third part, First Corinthians 11:27-34, gives his corrective.
Q. 151. What then does the first part, First Corinthians 11:17-22, principally teach?
A. 151. It precludes infants and toddlers and other unqualified persons from communing. For
it deals with the relationships between men and women - not with that between adults and
children, nor that between boys and girls. Babies and children can neither promote nor
counter the inevitable heresies which surround the Church and her Supper (11:18f).
- 19 -
Q. 152. What does the second part, First Corinthians 11:23-26, principally teach?
A. 152. It teaches how Jesus instituted the Lords Supper only for His adult Disciples , and not
for His younger believers. Those manducating were to do it in remembrance of Him,
and also to proclaim the Lords death till He comes. Infants and toddlers cant do such.
Q. 153. What does Calvin comment on this part?
A. 153. He says: ""Christ divides the bread among the [fully-catechized adult] Disciples....
The memorial move us to praise Him openly - so as to let men know...what we
are aware of within ourselves in the presence of that we on our part may
acknowledge it before men.... In order that you may celebrate the Supper properly - you
must bear in mind that you will have to make Profession of your faith.
Q. 154. Does Do this in remembrance of Me in First Corinthians 11:24 exclude children?
A. 154. Yes. As Professor Dr. Kamphuis here points out in his 1984 article Infant Baptism and
Infant Communion: "Christ instituted the Lords Supper for the circle of those who had
professed His Name: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16)...
Do this in remembrance of Me! (First Corinthians 11:24-25).... Article 35 of the Belgic
Confession...states inter alia that at the Lords Supper we are making a profession of our
faith and of the Christian Religion.... First Corinthians 11:27-29 ought to be understood
from verse 26: For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the
Lords death till He comes.... The acme of the remembrance of the institution of the
Lords Supper thus rests upon accentuating the confessing character of the
Q. 155. What does the third part, First Corinthians 11:27-34, principally teach?
A. 155. It teaches that "whosoever" (including pre-adolescents) eats and drinks unworthily,
shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord (11:27). Babies and toddlers and
children should not drink alcoholic wine. "Let a man examine himself" before drinking -
and a pre-adolescent is not a "man" and cannot "examine himself." It says those who
dont, but yet drink - drink unto their own condemnation, not discerning the Lords body
(11:28) . It says those drinking need to judge themselves - which pre-adolescents cant
do either (11:31). And it says those drinking need to "wait for one another" (11:33) -
which babies and toddlers dont do.
Q. 156. What does Calvin comment on First Corinthians 11:27f?
A. 156. He condemns those who "are putting a barrier between every single man and woman
and the Supper.... Paul had already clearly pointed out...that those who eat unworthily
shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.... He declares that this food, which
is otherwise beneficial, will be turned into poison - and cause the destruction of those
who eat unworthily." In his Institutes IV:16:30, he insists with Paul - that God "does not
admit all to partake of the Supper, but confines it to those who are fit to discern the body
and blood of the Lord.... [For he who eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks
damnation to himself - not discerning the Lords body; and] Let a man examine himself,
and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup! Indeed, if those communing
"cannot partake worthily without being able duly to discern the sanctity of the Lords
body - why should we stretch out poison to our young children , instead of vivifying
food?.... What is our Lords injunction? Do this in remembrance of Me! [Luke 22:14-
- 20 -
19 cf. First Corinthians 11:24].... How, pray, can we require infants to commemorate
any event of which they have no understanding?" See too at Questions and Answers 86
& 98 & 120 above and at 194f & 198f below.
Q. 157. What did famous Luther Professor Dr. Walther say about the Lords Supper?
A. 157. He said in Amerikanisch-Lutherische Pastoraltheologie: "No one barred from
the preaching of Gods Word.... The case is different with the Lords Supper ....
Whoever partakes of the Lords Supper without the right faith...unworthily...draws from
it wrath instead of grace; death instead of life; curse instead of blessing. He becomes,
as St. Paul writes [in First Corinthians 11:27-29], guilty of the body and blood of the
Lord; he eats and drinks damnation unto himself, not discerning the Lords body....
Everyone who would approach the Lords Table, should first examine himself and
discern the Lords body... It will not do to give the Lords Supper to children incapable
of examining themselves.... Those who cannot examine themselves...are not to be
admitted to the Lords Supper ."
Q. 158. What did Walthers successor Luther Professor Dr. Pieper say about the Supper?
A. 158. He said in his Christian Dogmatics: "The divine promise guarantees the resurrection
of the body to all who believe that they have the forgiveness of their sins in Christ. Even
if...they have not eaten and drunk Christs body and blood in the Sacrament - as, for
instance, in the case of believing children.... Christ preached the Gospel to the Jewish
people generally.... But the first celebration of His Supper He held in the closed circle
of His Disciples [alias His taught ones] ...excluded...children."
Q. 159. What is the meaning of Pauls communion words Let a man examine himself!?
Q. 159. In First Corinthians 11:28, the Apostle Paul enjoins each and every Communicant, as
an adult human being (anthroopos), to keep on examining himself. The command here
is not: "Let all people keep on examining others!" Nor is it: "Let all men keep on
examining one another!" Nor is it: "Let all persons, including babies and toddlers, keep
on examining themselves!" It is: "Let a man keep on examining himself!"
Q. 160. What is Calvins comment on these inspired words of the Apostle Paul?
A. 160. He says: "There is one vow common to all Believers which, taken in Baptism, we
confirm and as it were sanction by our Catechism." We do so, "in making Profession
of ou
/: 11/07/04 23:34 | Email:

1.To know that God exists (Ex. 20:2; Deut. 5:6)

2.Not to entertain the idea that there is any god but the Eternal (Ex. 20:3)

3.Not to blaspheme (Ex. 22:27-28 ) Cf Lev 24:16

4.To hallow God's name (Lev. 22:32)

5.Not to profane God's name (Lev. 22:32

6.To know that God is One, a complete Unity (Deut. 6:4)

7.To love God (Deut. 6:5)

8.To fear Him reverently (Deut. 6:13; 10:20)

9.Not to put the word of God to the test (Deut. 6:16)

10.To imitate His good and upright ways (Deut. 28:9)

The Law
11.To honor the old and the wise (Lev. 19:32)

12.To learn Torah and to teach it (Deut. 6:7)

13.To cleave to those who know Him (Deut. 10:20)

14.Not to add to the commandments of the Torah.(Deut.13:1)

15.Not to take away from the commandments of the Torah (Deut.13:1)

16.That every person shall write a scroll of the Torah for himself (Deut. 31:19)

17.To circumcise the male offspring (Gen. 17:12; Lev. 12:3)

18.To put fringes on the corners of clothing (Num. 15:38)

19.To bind God's Word on the head (Deut. 6:8)

20.To bind God's Word on the arm (Deut. 6:8)

21.To affix the mezuzah to the door posts and gates of your house (Deut. 6:9)

Prayer and Blessing
22.To pray to God (Ex. 23:25; Deut. 6:13)

23.To read the Shema [lit:The Hearing] in the morning and at night (Deut. 6:7)

24.To recite grace after meals (Deut. 8:10)

25.Not to lay down a stone for worship (Lev. 26:1)

Love and Brotherhood
26.To love all human beings who are of the covenant (Lev. 19:18)

27.Not to stand by idly when a human life is in danger (Lev. 19:16)

28.Not to wrong any one in speech (Lev. 25:17)

29.Not to carry tales (Lev. 19:16)

30.Not to cherish hatred in one's heart (Lev. 19:17)

31.Not to take revenge (Lev. 19:18)

32.Not to bear a grudge (Lev. 19:18)

33.Not to put any Jew to shame (Lev. 19:17)

34.Not to curse any other Israelite (Lev. 19:14)

35.Not to give occasion to the simple-minded to stumble on the road (Lev. 19:14)
(this includes doing anything that will cause another to sin)

36.To rebuke the sinner (Lev. 19:17)

37.To relieve a neighbor of his burden and help to unload his beast (Ex. 23:5)

38.To assist in replacing the load upon a neighbor's beast (Deut.22:4)

39.Not to leave a beast, that has fallen down beneath its burden, unaided (Deut. 22:4)

The Poor and Unfortunate
40.Not to afflict an orphan or a widow (Ex. 22:21)

41.Not to reap the entire field (Lev. 19:9; Lev. 23:22)

42.To leave the unreaped corners of the field or orchard for the poor (Lev. 19:9)

43.Not to gather gleanings (the ears that have fallen to the ground while reaping)
(Lev. 19:9)

44.To leave the gleanings for the poor (Lev. 19:9)

45.Not to gather ol'loth (the imperfect clusters) of the vineyard (Lev. 19:10)

46.To leave ol'loth (the imperfect clusters) of the vineyard for the poor (Lev. 19:10; Deut. 24:21)

47.Not to gather the single grapes that have fallen to the ground (Lev. 19:10)

48.To leave the single grapes of the vineyard for the poor (Lev. 19:10)

49.Not to return to take a forgotten sheaf (Deut. 24:19) This applies to all fruit trees (Deut. 24:20)

50.To leave the forgotten sheaves for the poor (Deut. 24:19-20)

51.Not to refrain from maintaining a poor man and giving him what he needs (Deut. 15:7)

52.To give charity according to one's means (Deut. 15:11)

Treatment of the Gentiles
53.To love the stranger (Deut. 10:19) (CCA61).

54.Not to wrong the stranger in speech (Ex. 22:20)

55.Not to wrong the stranger in buying or selling (Ex. 22:20)
56.Not to intermarry with gentiles (Deut. 7:3)

57.To exact the debt of an alien (Deut. 15:3)

58.To lend to an alien at interest (Deut. 23:21)

Marriage, Divorce and Family
59.To honor father and mother (Ex. 20:12)

60.Not to smite a father or a mother (Ex. 21:15)

61.Not to curse a father or mother (Ex. 21:17)

62.To reverently fear father and mother (Lev. 19:3)

63.To be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:28)

64.That a eunuch shall not marry a daughter of Israel (Deut. 23:2)

65.That a bastard [Heb.mamzer = illegitimate son] shall not marry the daughter of a Jew (Deut.23:3)

66.That an Ammonite or Moabite shall never marry the daughter of an Israelite (Deut. 23:4)

67.Not to exclude a descendant of Esau from the community of Israel for three generations (Deut. 23:8-9)

68.Not to exclude an Egyptian from the community of Israel for three generations (Deut. 23:8-9)

69.That there shall be no harlot (in Israel); that is, that there shall be no intercourse with a woman, without previous marriage with a deed of marriage and formal declaration of marriage (Deut.23:18)

70.To take a wife by the sacrament of marriage (Deut.24:1)

71.That the newly married husband shall (be free) for one year to rejoice with his wife (Deut. 24:5)

72.That a bridegroom shall be exempt for a whole year from taking part in any public labor, such as military service, guarding the wall and similar duties (Deut. 24:5)

73.Not to withhold food, clothing or conjugal rights from a wife (Ex. 21:10)

74.That the woman suspected of adultery shall be dealt with as prescribed in the Torah (Num. 5:30)

75.That one who defames his wife's honor (by falsely accusing her of unchastity before marriage) must live with her all his lifetime (Deut. 22:19)

76.That a man may not divorce his wife concerning whom he has published an evil report (about her unchastity before marriage) (Deut. 22:19)

77.To divorce by a formal written document (Deut. 24:1)

78.That one who divorced his wife shall not remarry her, if after the divorce she had been married to another man (Deut. 24:4)

79.That a widow whose husband died childless must not be married to anyone but her deceased husband's brother (Deut. 25:5) (this is only in effect insofar as it requires the procedure of release below).

80.To marry the widow of a brother who has died childless (Deut.25:5)
(this is only in effect insofar as it requires the procedure of release below )

81.That the widow formally release the brother-in-law (if he refuses to marry her) (Deut. 25:7-9)

Forbidden Sexual Relations
82.Not to indulge in familiarities with relatives, such as sensual kissing, carnal embracing, or provocative winking which may lead to incest (Lev.18:6)

83.Not to commit incest with one's mother (Lev. 18:7)

84.Not to commit sodomy with one's father (Lev. 18:7)

85.Not to commit incest with one's father's wife (Lev. 18:8)

86.Not to commit incest with one's sister (Lev. 18:9)

87.Not to commit incest with one's father's wife's daughter (Lev.18:9)

88.Not to commit incest with one's son's daughter (Lev. 18:10)

89.Not to commit incest with one's daughter's daughter (Lev.18:10)

90.Not to commit incest with one's daughter (this is not explicitly in the Torah but is inferred from other explicit commands that would include it)

91.Not to commit incest with one's fathers sister (Lev. 18:12)

92.Not to commit incest with one's mother's sister (Lev. 18:13)

93.Not to commit incest with one's father's brothers wife (Lev.18:14)

94.Not to commit sodomy with one's father's brother (Lev. 18:14)

95.Not to commit incest with one's son's wife (Lev. 18:15)

96.Not to commit incest with one's brother's wife (Lev. 18:16)

97.Not to commit incest with one's wife's daughter (Lev. 18:17)

98.Not to commit incest with the daughter of one's wife's son (Lev.18:17)

99.Not to commit incest with the daughter of one's wife's daughter (Lev. 18:17)

100.Not to commit incest with one's wife's sister (Lev. 18:18)

101.Not to have intercourse with a woman, in her menstrual period (Lev. 18:19)

102.Not to have intercourse with another man's wife (Lev. 18:20)

103.Not to commit sodomy with a male (Lev. 18:22)

104.Not to have intercourse with a beast (Lev. 18:23)

105.That a woman shall not have intercourse with a beast (Lev.18:23)

106.Not to castrate the male of any species; neither a man, nor a domestic or wild beast, nor a fowl (Lev. 22:24)

Times and Seasons
107.That the new month shall be solemnly proclaimed as holy, and the months and years shall be calculated by the Supreme Court only (Ex. 12:2)

108.Not to travel on the Sabbath outside the limits of one's place of residence
(Ex. 16:29)

109.To sanctify the Sabbath (Ex. 20:8)

110.Not to do work on Sabbath (Ex. 20:10)

111.To rest on Sabbath (Ex. 23:12; 34:21)

112.To celebrate the festivals (Ex.23:14)

113.To rejoice on the festivals (Deut. 16:14)

114.To appear in the Sanctuary on the festivals (Deut. 16:16)

115.To remove leaven on the Eve of Passover (Ex. 12:15)

116.To rest on the first day of Passover (Ex. 12:16; Lev. 23:7)

117.Not to do work on the first day of Passover (Ex. 12:16; Lev.23:6-7)

118.To rest on the seventh day of Passover (Ex. 12:16; Lev. 23:8)

119.Not to do work on the seventh day of Passover (Ex. 12:16;Lev. 23:8)

120.To eat "matzah" [unleavened bread] on the first night of Passover (Ex. 12:18)

121.That no leaven be in the Israelite's possession during Passover (Ex. 12:19)

122.Not to eat any food containing leaven on Passover (Ex.12:20)

123.Not to eat leaven on Passover (Ex. 13:3)

124.That leaven shall not be seen in an Israelite's home during Passover (Ex. 13:7)

125.To discuss the departure from Egypt on the first night of Passover (Ex. 13:8)

126.Not to eat leaven after mid-day on the fourteenth of Nissan (Deut. 16:3)

127.To count forty-nine days from the time of the cutting of the Omer
(i.e. first sheaves of the barley harvest) (Lev. 23:15)

128.To rest on Pentecost (Lev. 23:21)

129.Not to do work on the feast of Pentecost (Lev. 23:21)

130.To rest on Rosh Hashanah [i.e the feast of Trumpets] (Lev. 23:24) (CCA29)

131.Not to do work on Rosh Hashanah (Lev. 23:25)

132.To hear the sound of the Trumpet [Heb. shofar or ram's horn] (Num.29:1)

133.To fast on Yom Kippur i.e the day of Atonement (Lev. 23:27)

134.Not to eat or drink on Yom Kippur (Lev. 23:29) (CCN152)

135.Not to do work on Yom Kippur (Lev. 23:31) (CCN151)

136.To rest on the Yom Kippur (Lev. 23:32)

137.To rest on the first day of the feast of Tabernacles or Booths.[Heb. Sukkot] (Lev. 23:35)

138.Not to do work on the first day of the feast of Tabernacles. (Lev. 23:35)

139.To rest on the eighth day of the feast of Tabernacles (Lev.23:36)

140.Not to do work on the eighth day of the feast of Tabernacles
(Lev. 23:36)

141.To take during Sukkot a palm branch and the other three plants (Lev. 23:40)

142.To dwell in booths seven days during Sukkot (Lev. 23:42)

Dietary Laws
143.To examine the marks in cattle (so as to distinguish the clean from the unclean) (Lev. 11:2)

144.Not to eat the flesh of unclean beasts (Lev. 11:4)

145.To examine the marks in fishes (so as to distinguish the clean from the unclean (Lev. 11:9)

146.Not to eat unclean fish (Lev. 11:11)

147.To examine the marks in fowl, so as to distinguish the clean from the unclean (Deut. 14:11)

148.Not to eat unclean fowl (Lev. 11:13)

149.To examine the marks in locusts, so as to distinguish the clean from the unclean (Lev. 11:21)

150.Not to eat a worm found in fruit (Lev. 11:41)

151.Not to eat of things that creep upon the earth (Lev. 11:41-42)

152.Not to eat any vermin of the earth (Lev. 11:44)

153.Not to eat things that swarm in the water (Lev. 11:43 and 46)

154.Not to eat of winged insects (Deut. 14:19)

155.Not to eat the flesh of a beast that is torn (Ex.22:30)

156.Not to eat the flesh of a beast that died of itself (Deut. 14:21)

157.To slay cattle, deer and fowl according to the law if their flesh is to be eaten (Deut. 12:21)

158.Not to eat a limb removed from a living beast (Deut. 12:23)

159.Not to slaughter an animal and its young on the same day (Lev.22:28)

160.Not to take the mother-bird with the young (Deut. 22:6)

161.To set the mother-bird free when taking the nest (Deut.22:6-7)

162.Not to eat the flesh of an ox that was condemned to be stoned (Ex. 21:28)

163.Not to boil meat with milk (Ex. 23:19)

164.Not to eat flesh with milk (Ex. 34:26)

165.Not to eat the of the thigh-vein which shrank (Gen. 32:33)

166.Not to eat the fat of the offering (Lev. 7:23)

167.Not to eat blood (Lev. 7:26)

168.To cover the blood of undomesticated animals (deer, etc.) and of fowl that have been killed (Lev. 17:13)

169.Not to eat or drink like a glutton or a drunkard (not to rebel against father or mother) (Lev. 19:26; Deut. 21:20)

Business Practices
170.Not to do wrong in buying or selling (Lev. 25:14)

171.Not to make a loan to an Israelite on interest (Lev. 25:37)

172.Not to borrow on interest (Deut. 23:20) (because this would cause the lender to sin)

173.Not to take part in any usurious transaction between borrower and lender, neither as a surety, nor as a witness, nor as a writer of the bond for them (Ex. 22:24)

174.To lend to a poor person (Ex. 22:24)

175.Not to demand from a poor man repayment of his debt, when the creditor knows that he cannot pay, nor press him (Ex.22:24)

176.Not to take in pledge utensils used in preparing food (Deut.24:6)

177.Not to exact a pledge from a debtor by force (Deut. 24:10)

178.Not to keep the pledge from its owner at the time when he needs it (Deut. 24:12)

179.To return a pledge to its owner (Deut. 24:13)

180.Not to take a pledge from a widow (Deut. 24:17)

181.Not to commit fraud in measuring (Lev. 19:35)

182.To ensure that scales and weights are correct (Lev. 19:36)

183.Not to possess inaccurate measures and weights (Deut.25:13-14)

Employees, Servants and Slaves
184.Not to delay payment of a hired man's wages (Lev. 19:13)

185.That the hired laborer shall be permitted to eat of the produce he is reaping (Deut. 23:25-26)

186.That the hired laborer shall not take more than he can eat (Deut. 23:25)

187.That a hired laborer shall not eat produce that is not being harvested (Deut. 23:26)

188.To pay wages to the hired man at the due time (Deut. 24:15)

189.To deal judicially with the Hebrew bondman in accordance with the laws appertaining to him (Ex. 21:2-6)

190.Not to compel the Hebrew servant to do the work of a slave (Lev. 25:39)

191.Not to sell a Hebrew servant as a slave (Lev. 25:42)

192.Not to treat a Hebrew servant rigorously (Lev. 25:43)

193.Not to permit a gentile to treat harshly a Hebrew bondman sold to him (Lev. 25:53)

194.Not to send away a Hebrew bondman servant empty handed, when he is freed from service (Deut. 15:13)

195.To bestow liberal gifts upon the Hebrew bondsman (at the end of his term of service), and the same should be done to a Hebrew bondwoman (Deut. 15:14)

196.To redeem a Hebrew maid-servant (Ex. 21:8)

197.Not to sell a Hebrew maid-servant to another person (Ex. 21:8)

198.To espouse a Hebrew maid-servant (Ex. 21:8-9)

199.To keep the Canaanite slave forever (Lev. 25:46)

200.Not to surrender a slave, who has fled to the land of Israel, to his owner who lives outside Palestine (Deut. 23:16)

201.Not to wrong such a slave (Deut. 23:17)

202.Not to muzzle a beast, while it is working in produce which it can eat and enjoy (Deut. 25:4)

Vows, Oaths and Swearing
203.That a man should fulfill whatever he has uttered (Deut. 23:24)

204.Not to swear needlessly (Ex. 20:7)

205.Not to violate an oath or swear falsely (Lev. 19:12)

206.To decide in cases of annulment of vows, according to the rules set forth in the Torah (Num. 30:2-17)

207.Not to break a vow (Num. 30:3)

208.To swear by His name truly (Deut. 10:20)

209.Not to delay in fulfilling vows or bringing vowed or free-will offerings (Deut. 23:22)

The Sabbatical and Jubilee Years
210.To let the land lie fallow in the Sabbatical year (Ex. 23:11; Lev.25:2)

211.To cease from tilling the land in the Sabbatical year (Ex. 23:11) (Lev. 25:2)

212.Not to till the ground in the Sabbatical year (Lev. 25:4)

213.Not to do any work on the trees in the Sabbatical year (Lev.25:4)

214.Not to reap the aftermath that grows in the Sabbatical year, in the same way as it is reaped in other years (Lev. 25:5)

215.Not to gather the fruit of the tree in the Sabbatical year in the same way as it is gathered in other years (Lev. 25:5)

216.To sound the Ram's horn in the Sabbatical year (Lev. 25:9)

217.To release debts in the seventh year (Deut. 15:2)

218.Not to demand return of a loan after the Sabbatical year has passed (Deut. 15:2)

219.Not to refrain from making a loan to a poor man, because of the release of loans in the Sabbatical year (Deut. 15:9)

220.To assemble the people to hear the Torah at the close of the seventh year (Deut. 31:12)

221.To count the years of the Jubilee by years and by cycles of seven years (Lev. 25:8)

222.To keep the Jubilee year holy by resting and letting the land lie fallow (Lev. 25:10)

223.Not to cultivate the soil nor do any work on the trees, in the Jubilee Year (Lev. 25:11)

224.Not to reap the aftermath of the field that grew of itself in the Jubilee Year, in the same way as in other years (Lev. 25:11)

225.Not to gather the fruit of the tree in the Jubilee Year, in the same way as in other years (Lev. 25:11)

226.To grant redemption to the land in the Jubilee year (Lev. 25:24)

The Court and Judicial Procedure
227.To appoint judges and officers in every community of Israel (Deut. 16:18)

228.Not to appoint as a judge, a person who is not well versed in the laws of the Torah, even if he is expert in other branches of knowledge (Deut. 1:17)

229.To adjudicate cases of purchase and sale (Lev. 25:14)

230.To judge cases of liability of a paid depositary (Ex. 22:9)

231.To adjudicate cases of loss for which a gratuitous borrower is liable (Ex. 22:13-14)

232.To adjudicate cases of inheritances (Num. 27:8-11)

233.To judge cases of damage caused by an uncovered pit (Ex.21:33-34)

234.To judge cases of injuries caused by beasts (Ex. 21:35-36)

235.To adjudicate cases of damage caused by trespass of cattle (Ex.22:4)

236.To adjudicate cases of damage caused by fire (Ex. 22:5)

237.To adjudicate cases of damage caused by a gratuitous depositary (Ex. 22:6-7)

238.To adjudicate other cases between a plaintiff and a defendant (Ex. 22:8)

239.Not to curse a judge (Ex. 22:27)

240.That one who possesses evidence shall testify in Court (Lev.5:1)

241.Not to testify falsely (Ex. 20:13)

242.That a witness, who has testified in a capital case, shall not lay down the law in that particular case (Num. 35:30)

243.That a transgressor shall not testify (Ex. 23:1)

244.That the court shall not accept the testimony of a close relative of the defendant in matters of capital punishment (Deut. 24:16)

245.Not to hear one of the parties to a suit in the absence of the other party (Ex. 23:1)

246.To examine witnesses thoroughly (Deut. 13:15)

247.Not to decide a case on the evidence of a single witness (Deut.19:15)

248.To give the decision according to the majority, when there is a difference of opinion among the members of the Sanhedrin as to matters of law (Ex. 23:2)

249.Not to decide, in capital cases, according to the view of the majority, when those who are for condemnation exceed by one only, those who are for acquittal (Ex. 23:2)

250.That, in capital cases, one who had argued for acquittal, shall not later on argue for condemnation (Ex. 23:2)

251.To treat parties in a litigation with equal impartiality (Lev. 19:15)

252.Not to render iniquitous decisions (Lev. 19:15)

253.Not to favor a great man when trying a case (Lev. 19:15)

254.Not to take a bribe (Ex. 23:8)

255.Not to be afraid of a bad man, when trying a case (Deut. 1:17)

256.Not to be moved in trying a case, by the poverty of one of the parties (Ex. 23:3; Lev. 19:15)

257.Not to pervert the judgment of strangers or orphans (Deut.24:17)

258.Not to pervert the judgment of a sinner (a person poor in fulfillment of commandments) (Ex. 23:6)

259.Not to render a decision on one's personal opinion, but only on the evidence of two witnesses, who saw what actually occurred (Ex. 23:7)

260.Not to execute one guilty of a capital offense, before he has stood his trial (Num. 35:12)

261.To accept the rulings of every Supreme Court in Israel (Deut.17:11)

262.Not to rebel against the orders of the Court (Deut. 17:11)

Injuries and Damages
263.To make a parapet for your roof (Deut. 22:8)

264.Not to leave something that might cause hurt (Deut. 22:8)

265.To save the pursued even at the cost of the life of the pursuer (Deut. 25:12)

266.Not to spare a pursuer, but he is to be slain before he reaches the pursued and slays the latter, or uncovers his nakedness (Deut. 25:12)

Property and Property Rights
267.Not to sell a field in the land of Israel in perpetuity (Lev. 25:23)

268.Not to change the character of the open land (about the cities of) the Levites or of their fields; not to sell it in perpetuity, but it may be redeemed at any time (Lev. 25:34)

269.That houses sold within a walled city may be redeemed within a year (Lev. 25:29)

270.Not to remove landmarks (property boundaries) (Deut. 19:14)

271.Not to swear falsely in denial of another's property rights (Lev.19:11)

272.Not to deny falsely another's property rights (Lev. 19:11)

273.Never to settle in the land of Egypt (Deut. 17:16)

274.Not to steal personal property (Lev. 19:11)

275.To restore that which one took by robbery (Lev. 5:23)

276.To return lost property (Deut. 22:1)

277.Not to pretend not to have seen lost property, to avoid the obligation to return it (Deut. 22:3)

Criminal Laws
278.Not to slay an innocent person (Ex. 20:13)

279.Not to kidnap any person of Israel (Ex. 20:13)

280.Not to rob by violence (Lev. 19:13)

281.Not to defraud (Lev. 19:13)

282.Not to covet what belongs to another (Ex. 20:14)

283.Not to crave something that belongs to another (Deut. 5:18)

284.Not to indulge in evil thoughts and sights (Num. 15:39)

Punishment and Restitution
285.That the Court shall pass sentence of death by decapitation with the sword (Ex. 21:20; Lev. 26:25)

286.That the Court shall pass sentence of death by strangulation (Lev. 20:10)

287.That the Court shall pass sentence of death by burning with fire (Lev. 20:14)

288.That the Court shall pass sentence of death by stoning (Deut.22:24)

289.To hang the dead body of one who has incurred that penalty (Deut. 21:22)

290.That the dead body of an executed criminal shall not remain hanging on the tree over night (Deut. 21:23)

291.To inter the executed on the day of execution (Deut. 21:23)

292.Not to accept ransom from a murderer (Num. 35:31)

293.To exile one who committed accidental homicide (Num. 35:25)

294.To establish six cities of refuge (for those who committed accidental homicide)
(Deut. 19:3)

295.Not to accept ransom from an accidental homicide, so as to relieve him from exile (Num. 35:32)

296.To decapitate the heifer in the manner prescribed (in expiation of a murder on the road, the perpetrator of which remained undiscovered) (Deut. 21:4)

297.Not to plow nor sow the rough valley (in which a heifer's neck was broken)
(Deut. 21:4)

298.To adjudge a thief to pay compensation or (in certain cases) suffer death (Ex. 21:16; Ex. 21:37; Ex. 22:1)

299.That he who inflicts a bodily injury shall pay monetary compensation (Ex. 21:18-19)

300.To impose a penalty of fifty shekels upon the seducer (of an unbetrothed virgin) and enforce the other rules in connection with the case (Ex. 22:15-16)

301.That the violator (of an unbetrothed virgin) shall marry her (Deut. 22:28-29)

302.That one who has raped a damsel and has then (in accordance with the law) married her, may not divorce her (Deut. 22:29)

303.Not to inflict punishment on the sabbath (Ex. 35:3) (because some punishments were inflicted by fire)

304.To punish the wicked by the infliction of stripes (Deut. 25:2)

305.Not to exceed the statutory number of stripes laid on one who has incurred that punishment (Deut. 25:3) (and by implication, not to strike anyone)

306.Not to spare the offender, in imposing the prescribed penalties on one who has caused damage (Deut. 19:13)

307.To do unto false witnesses as they had purposed to do (to the accused) (Deut. 19:19)

308.Not to punish any one who has committed an offense under duress (Deut. 22:26)

309.To heed the call of every prophet in each generation, provided that he neither adds to, nor takes away from the Torah (Deut.18:15)

310.Not to prophesy falsely (Deut. 18:20)

311.Not to refrain from putting a false prophet to death nor to be in fear of him (Deut. 18:22) (negative)

Idolatry, Idolaters and Idolatrous Practices

312.Not to make a graven image; neither to make it oneself nor to have it made by others (Ex. 20:4)

313.Not to make any figures for ornament, even if they are not worshipped (Ex. 20:20)

314.Not to make idols even for others (Ex. 34:17; Lev. 19:4)

315.Not to use the ornament of any object of idolatrous worship (Deut. 7:25)

316.Not to make use of an idol or its accessory objects, offerings, or libations (Deut. 7:26)

317.Not to drink wine of idolaters (Deut. 32:38)

318.Not to worship an idol in the way in which it is usually worshipped (Ex. 20:5)

319.Not to bow down to an idol, even if that is not its mode of worship (Ex. 20:5)

320.Not to prophesy in the name of an idol (Ex. 23:13; Deut.18:20)

321.Not to hearken to one who prophesies in the name of an idol (Deut. 13:4)

322.Not to lead the children of Israel astray to idolatry (Ex. 23:13)

323.Not to entice an Israelite to idolatry (Deut. 13:12)

324.To destroy idolatry and its appurtenances (Deut. 12:2-3)

325.Not to love the enticer to idolatry (Deut. 13:9)

326.Not to give up hating the enticer to idolatry (Deut. 13:9)

327.Not to save the enticer from capital punishment, but to stand by at his execution (Deut. 13:9)

328.A person whom he attempted to entice to idolatry shall not urge pleas for the acquittal of the enticer (Deut. 13:9)

329.A person whom he attempted to entice shall not refrain from giving evidence of the enticer's guilt, if he has such evidence (Deut. 13:9)

330.Not to swear by an idol to its worshipers, nor cause them to swear by it (Ex. 23:13)

331.Not to turn one's attention to idolatry (Lev. 19:4)

332.Not to adopt the institutions of idolaters nor their customs (Lev. 18:3; Lev. 20:23)

333.Not to pass a child through the fire to Molech (Lev. 18:21)

334.Not to suffer any one practicing witchcraft to live (Ex. 22:17)

335.Not to practice observing times or seasons -i.e. astrology (Lev. 19:26)

336.Not to practice superstitions/witchcraft (doing things based on signs and potions; using charms and incantations) (Lev. 19:26)

337.Not to consult familiar spirits or ghosts (Lev. 19:31)

338.Not to consult wizards (Lev. 19:31)

339.Not to practice specific magic by using stones herbs or objects. (Deut. 18:10)

340.Not to practice magical practices in general.(Deut. 18:10)

341.Not to practice the art of casting spells over snakes and scorpions (Deut. 18:11)

342.Not to enquire of a familiar spirit or ghost (Deut. 18:11)

343.Not to seek the dead (Deut. 18:11)

344.Not to enquire of a wizard) (Deut. 18:11)

345.Not to remove the entire beard, like the idolaters (Lev. 19:27)

346.Not to round the corners of the head, as the idolatrous priests do (Lev. 19:27)

347.Not to cut oneself or make incisions in one's flesh in grief, like the idolaters (Lev. 19:28; Deut. 14:1)

348.Not to tattoo the body like the idolaters (Lev. 19:28)

349.Not to make a bald spot for the dead (Deut. 14:1)

350.Not to plant a tree for worship (Deut. 16:21)

351.Not to set up a pillar (for worship) (Deut. 16:22)

352.Not to show favor to idolaters (Deut. 7:2)

353.Not to make a covenant with the seven (Canaanite, idolatrous) nations (Ex. 23:32; Deut. 7:2)

354.Not to settle idolaters in our land (Ex. 23:33)

355.To slay the inhabitants of a city that has become idolatrous and burn that city (Deut. 13:16-17)

356.Not to rebuild a city that has been led astray to idolatry (Deut.13:17)

357.Not to make use of the property of city that has been so led astray (Deut. 13:18)

Agriculture and Animal Husbandry
358.Not to cross-breed cattle of different species (Lev. 19:19)

359.Not to sow different kinds of seed together in one field (Lev.19:19)

360.Not to eat the fruit of a tree for three years from the time it was planted (Lev. 19:23)

361.That the fruit of fruit-bearing trees in the fourth year of their planting shall be sacred like the second tithe and eaten in Jerusalem (Lev. 19:24)

362.Not to sow grain or herbs in a vineyard (Deut. 22:9)

363.Not to eat the produce of diverse seeds sown in a vineyard (Deut. 22:9)

364.Not to work with beasts of different species, yoked together (Deut. 22:10)

365.That a man shall not wear women's clothing (Deut. 22:5)

366.That a woman should not wear men's clothing (Deut. 22:5)

367.Not to wear garments made of wool and linen mixed together (Deut. 22:11)

The Firstborn
368.To redeem the firstborn human male (Ex. 13:13; Ex. 34:20;Num. 18:15)
369.To redeem the firstling of an ass (Ex. 13:13; Ex. 34:20)

370.To break the neck of the firstling of an ass if it is not redeemed (Ex. 13:13; Ex. 34:20)

371.Not to redeem the firstling of a clean beast (Num. 18:17)

High Priest, Priests and Levites
372.That the Priest shall put on priestly vestments for the service (Ex. 28:2)

373.Not to tear the High Priest's robe (Ex. 28:32)

374.That the Priest shall not enter the Sanctuary at all times (i.e.,at times when he is not performing service) (Lev. 16:2)

375.That the ordinary Priest shall not defile himself by contact with any dead, other than immediate relatives (Lev. 21:1-3)

376.That the sons of Aaron defile themselves for their deceased relatives (by attending their burial), and mourn for them like other Israelites, who are commanded to mourn for their relatives (Lev.21:3)

377.That a Priest who had an immersion during the day (to cleanse him from his uncleanness) shall not serve in the Sanctuary until after sunset (Lev. 21:6)

378.That a Priest shall not marry a divorced woman (Lev. 21:7)

379.That a Priest shall not marry a harlot (Lev. 21:7)

380.That a Priest shall not marry a profaned woman (Lev. 21:7)

381.To show honor to a Priest, and to give him precedence in all things that are holy (Lev. 21:8)

382.That a High Priest shall not defile himself with any dead, even if they are relatives (Lev. 21:11)

383.That a High Priest shall not go (under the same roof) with a dead body (Lev. 21:11)

384.That the High Priest shall marry a virgin (Lev. 21:13)

385.That the High Priest shall not marry a widow (Lev. 21:14)

386.That the High Priest shall not cohabit with a widow, even without marriage, because he profanes her (Lev. 21:15)

387.That a person with a physical blemish shall not serve (in the Sanctuary) (Lev. 21:17)

388.That a Priest with a temporary blemish shall not serve there (Lev. 21:21)

389.That a person with a physical blemish shall not enter the Sanctuary further than the altar (Lev. 21:23)

390.That a Priest who is unclean shall not serve (in the Sanctuary) (Lev. 22:2-3)

391.To send the unclean out of the Camp, that is, out of the Sanctuary (Num. 5:2)

392.That a Priest who is unclean shall not enter the courtyard (Num. 5:2-3) This refers to the Camp of the Sanctuary

393.That the sons or descendants of Aaron shall bless Israel (Num. 6:23)

394.To set apart a portion of the dough for the Priest (Num.15:20)

395.That the Levites shall not occupy themselves with the service that belongs to the sons of Aaron, nor the sons of Aaron with that belonging to the Levites (Num. 18:3)

396.That one not a descendant of Aaron in the male line shall not serve (in the Sanctuary) (Num. 18:4-7)

397.That the Levite shall serve in the Sanctuary (Num. 18:23)

398.To give the Levites cities to dwell in, these to serve also as cities of refuge (Num. 35:2)

399.That none of the tribe of Levi shall take any portion of territory in the land (of Israel) (Deut. 18:1)

400.That none of the tribe of Levi shall take any share of the spoil (at the conquest of the Promised Land) (Deut. 18:1)

401.That the sons of aaron shall serve in the Sanctuary in divisions, but on festivals, they all serve together (Deut. 18:6-8)

Tithes, Taxes and T'rumah [Hebrew Offerings]
402.That an uncircumcised person shall not shall not eat of the t'rumah (heave offering), and the same applies to other holy things. This rule is inferred from the law of the Paschal offering, by similarity of phrase (Ex. 12:44-45 and Lev. 22:10) but it is not explicitly set forth in the Torah. Traditionally, it has been learnt that the rule that the uncircumcised must not eat holy things is an essential principle of the Torah and not an
enactment of the Scribes

403.Not to alter the order of separating the t'rumah and the tithes; the separation be in the order first-fruits at the beginning, then the t'rumah, then the first tithe, and last the second tithe (Ex.22:28)

404.To give half a shekel every year (to the Sanctuary for provision of the public sacrifices) (Ex. 30:13)

405.That a preist [kohein] who is unclean shall not eat of the t'rumah (Lev.22:3-4)

406.That a person who is not a kohein or the wife or unmarried daughter of a kohein shall not eat of the t'rumah (Lev. 22:10)

407.That a sojourner with a kohein or his hired servant shall not eat of the t'rumah (Lev. 22:10)

408.Not to eat unholy things [Heb. tevel] (something from which the t'rumah and tithe have not yet been separated) (Lev. 22:15)

409.To set apart the tithe of the produce (one tenth of the produce after taking out t'rumah) for the Levites (Lev. 27:30; Num.18:24)

410.To tithe cattle (Lev. 27:32)

411.Not to sell the tithe of the heard (Lev. 27:32-33)

412.That the Levites shall set apart a tenth of the tithes, which they had received from the Israelites, and give it to the Priest [Heb.kohanim] (called the t'rumah of the tithe) (Num. 18:26)

413.Not to eat the second tithe of cereals outside Jerusalem (Deut.12:17)

414.Not to consume the second tithe of the vintage outside of Jerusalem (Deut. 12:17)

415.Not to consume the second tithe of the oil outside of Jerusalem (Deut. 12:17)

416.Not to forsake the Levites (Deut. 12:19); but their gifts (dues) should be given to them, so that they might rejoice therewith on each and every festival

417.To set apart the second tithe in the first, second, fourth and fifth years of the sabbatical cycle to be eaten by its owner in Jerusalem (Deut. 14:22)

418.To set apart the second tithe in the third and sixth year of the sabbatical cycle for the poor (Deut. 14:28-29)

419.To give the kohein [i.e. Priest] the due portions of the carcass of cattle (Deut. 18:3)

420.To give the first of the fleece to the priest (Deut. 18:4)

421.To set apart a small portion of the grain, wine and oil for the Priest [Heb. kohein] [Heb. t'rumah g'dolah i.e.(the great heave-offering) (Deut.18:4)

422.Not to expend the proceeds of the second tithe on anything but food and drink (Deut. 26:14)

423.Not to eat the Second Tithe, even in Jerusalem, in a state of uncleanness, until the tithe had been redeemed (Deut. 26:14)

424.Not to eat the Second Tithe, when mourning (Deut. 26:14)

425.To make the declaration, when bringing the second tithe to the Sanctuary (Deut. 26:13)

The Temple, the Sanctuary and Sacred Objects
426.Not to build an altar of hewn stone (Ex. 20:22)

427.Not to mount the altar by steps (Ex. 20:23)

428.To build the Sanctuary (Ex. 25:8)

429.Not to remove the staves from the Ark (Ex. 25:15)

430.To set the showbread and the frankincense before the Lord every Sabbath (Ex. 25:30)

431.To kindle lights in the Sanctuary (Ex. 27:21)

432.That the breastplate shall not be loosened from the ephod (Ex.28:28)

433.To offer up incense twice daily (Ex. 30:7)

434.Not to offer strange incense nor any sacrifice upon the golden altar (Ex. 30:9)

435.That the Priest shall wash his hands and feet at the time of service (Ex. 30:19)

436.To prepare the oil of anointment and anoint high priests and kings with it (Ex. 30:31)

437.Not to compound oil for lay use after the formula of the anointing oil (Ex. 30:32-33)

438.Not to anoint a stranger with the anointing oil (Ex. 30:32)

439.Not to compound anything after the formula of the incense (Ex.30:37)

440.That he who, in error, makes unlawful use of sacred things, shall make restitution of the value of his trespass and add a fifth (Lev. 5:16)

441.To remove the ashes from the altar (Lev. 6:3)

442.To keep fire always burning on the altar of the burnt-offering (Lev. 6:6)

443.Not to extinguish the fire on the altar (Lev. 6:6)

444.That a kohein shall not enter the Sanctuary with disheveled hair (Lev. 10:6)

445.That a kohein shall not enter the Sanctuary with torn garments (Lev. 10:6)

446.That the kohein shall not leave the Courtyard of the Sanctuary, during service (Lev. 10:7)

447.That an intoxicated person shall not enter the Sanctuary nor give decisions in matters of the Law (Lev. 10:9-11)

448.To revere the Sanctuary (Lev. 19:30) (today, this applies to synagogues)

449.That when the Ark is carried, it should be carried on the shoulder (Num. 7:9)

450.To observe the second Passover (Num. 9:11)

451.To eat the flesh of the Paschal lamb on it, with unleavened bread and bitter herbs (Num. 9:11)

452.Not to leave any flesh of the Paschal lamb brought on the second Passover until the morning (Num. 9:12)

453.Not to break a bone of the Paschal lamb brought on the second Passover (Num. 9:12)

454.To sound the trumpets at the offering of sacrifices and in times of trouble (Num. 10:9-10)

455.To watch over the edifice continually (Num. 18:2)

456.Not to allow the Sanctuary to remain unwatched (Num. 18:5)

457.That an offering shall be brought by one who has in error committed a trespass against sacred things, or robbed, or lain carnally with a bond-maid betrothed to a man, or denied what was deposited with him and swore falsely to support his denial.
This is called a guilt-offering for a known trespass (Lev. 5:15-19)

458.Not to destroy anything of the Sanctuary, of synagogues, or of houses of study, nor erase the holy names (of God); nor may sacred scriptures be destroyed (Deut. 12:2-4)
Sacrifices and Offerings
459.To sanctify the firstling of clean cattle and offer it up (Ex. 13:2;Deut. 15:19)

460.To slay the Paschal lamb (Ex. 12:6)

461.To eat the flesh of the Paschal sacrifice on the night of the fifteenth of Nissan (Ex. 12:8)

462.Not to eat the flesh of the Paschal lamb raw or sodden (Ex.12:9)

463.Not to leave any portion of the flesh of the Paschal sacrifice until the morning unconsumed (Ex. 12:10)

464.Not to give the flesh of the Paschal lamb to an Israelite who had become an apostate (Ex. 12:43)

465.Not to give flesh of the Paschal lamb to a stranger who lives among you to eat (Ex. 12:45)

466.Not to take any of the flesh of the Paschal lamb from the company's place of assembly (Ex. 12:46)

467.Not to break a bone of the Paschal lamb (Ex. 12:46)

468.That the uncircumcised shall not eat of the flesh of the Paschal lamb (Ex. 12:48)

469.Not to slaughter the Paschal lamb while there is leaven in the home (Ex. 23:18; Ex. 24:25)

470.Not to leave the part of the Paschal lamb that should be burnt on the altar until the morning, when it will no longer be fit to be burnt (Ex. 23:18; Ex. 24:25)

471.Not to go up to the Sanctuary for the festival without bringing an offering (Ex. 23:15)

472.To bring the first fruits to the Sanctuary (Ex. 23:19)

473.That the flesh of a sin-offering and guilt-offering shall be eaten (Ex. 29:33)

474.That one not of the seed of Aaron, shall not eat the flesh of the holy sacrifices (Ex. 29:33)

475.To observe the procedure of the burnt-offering (Lev. 1:3)

476.To observe the procedure of the meal-offering (Lev. 2:1)

477.Not to offer up leaven or honey (Lev. 2:11)

478.That every sacrifice be salted (Lev. 2:13)

479.Not to offer up any offering unsalted (Lev. 2:13)

480.That the Court of Judgment shall offer up a sacrifice if they have erred in a judicial pronouncement (Lev. 4:13)

481.That an individual shall bring a sin-offering if he has sinned in error by committing a transgression (Lev. 4:27-28)

482.To offer a sacrifice of varying value in accordance with one's means (Lev. 5:7)

483.Not to sever completely the head of a fowl brought as a sin-offering (Lev. 5:8)

484.Not to put olive oil in a sin-offering made of flour (Lev. 5:11)

485.Not to put frankincense on a sin-offering made of flour (Lev.5:11)

486.That an individual shall bring an offering if he is in doubt as to whether he has committed a sin for which one has to bring a sin-offering. (Lev.5:17-19)

487.That the remainder of the meal offerings shall be eaten (Lev.6:9)

488.Not to allow the remainder of the meal offerings to become leavened (Lev. 6:10)

489.That the High Priest [Heb. Kohein] shall offer a meal offering daily (Lev. 6:13)

490.Not to eat of the meal offering brought by Aaron and his sons (Lev.6:16)

491.To observe the procedure of the sin-offering (Lev. 6:18)

492.Not to eat of the flesh of sin offerings, the blood of which is brought within the Sanctuary and sprinkled towards the Veil (Lev. 6:23)

493.To observe the procedure of the guilt-offering (Lev. 7:1)

494.To observe the procedure of the peace-offering (Lev. 7:11)

495.To burn meat of the holy sacrifice that has remained over (Lev.7:17)

496.Not to eat of sacrifices that are eaten beyond the appointed time for eating them (Lev. 7:18)

497.Not to eat of holy things that have become unclean (Lev. 7:19)

498.To burn meat of the holy sacrifice that has become unclean (Lev. 7:19)

499.That a person who is unclean shall not eat of things that are holy (Lev. 7:20)

500.A Priest's daughter who profaned herself shall not eat of the holy things, neither of the heave offering nor of the breast, nor of the shoulder of peace offerings (Lev. 10:14, Lev. 22:12)

501.That a woman after childbirth shall bring an offering when she is clean (Lev. 12:6)

502.That the leper shall bring a sacrifice after he is cleansed (Lev.14:10)

503.That a man having an issue shall bring a sacrifice after he is cleansed of his issue (Lev. 15:13-15)

504.That a woman having an issue shall bring a sacrifice after she is cleansed of her issue (Lev. 15:28-30)
505.To observe, on Yom Kippur, the service appointed for that day, regarding the sacrifice, confessions, sending away of the scapegoat, etc. (Lev. 16:3-34)

506.Not to slaughter beasts set apart for sacrifices outside (the Sanctuary) (Lev. 17:3-4)

507.Not to eat flesh of a sacrifice that has been left over (beyond the time appointed for its consumption) (Lev. 19:8)

508.Not to sanctify blemished cattle for sacrifice on the altar (Lev.22:20) This text prohibits such beasts being set apart for sacrifice on the altar

509.That every animal offered up shall be without blemish (Lev.22:21)

510.Not to inflict a blemish on cattle set apart for sacrifice (Lev.22:21)

511.Not to slaughter blemished cattle as sacrifices (Lev. 22:22)

512.Not to burn the limbs of blemished cattle upon the altar (Lev.22:22)

513.Not to sprinkle the blood of blemished cattle upon the altar (Lev. 22:24)

514.Not to offer up a blemished beast that comes from non-Israelites (Lev. 22:25)

515.That sacrifices of cattle can only take place when they are at least eight days old (Lev. 22:27)

516.Not to leave any flesh of the thanksgiving offering until the morning (Lev. 22:30)

517.To offer up the meal-offering of the Omer on the morrow after the first day of Passover, together with one lamb (Lev. 23:10)

518.Not to eat bread made of new grain before the Omer of barley has been offered up on the second day of Passover (Lev.23:14)

519.Not to eat roasted grain of the new produce before that time (Lev. 23:14)

520.Not to eat fresh ears of the new grain before that time (Lev.23:14)

521.To bring on wave loaves of bread together with the sacrifices which are then offered up in connection with the loaves [Pentecost feast] (Lev. 23:17-20)

522.To offer up an additional sacrifice on Passover (Lev. 23:36)

523.That one who vows to the Lord the monetary value of a person shall pay the amount appointed in the Scriptural portion (Lev.27:2-8)

524.If a beast is exchanged for one that had been set apart as an offering, both become sacred (Lev. 27:10)

525.Not to exchange a beast set aside for sacrifice (Lev. 27:10)

526.That one who vows to the Lord the monetary value of an unclean beast shall pay its value (Lev. 27:11-13)

527.That one who vows the value of a his house shall pay according to the appraisal of the Priest (Lev. 27:11-13)

528.That one who sanctifies to the Lord a portion of his field shall pay according to the estimation appointed in the Scriptural portion (Lev. 27:16-24)

529.Not to transfer a beast set apart for sacrifice from one class of sacrifices to another (Lev. 27:26)

530.To decide in regard to dedicated property as to which is sacred to the Lord and which belongs to the Priest (Lev. 27:28)

531.Not to sell a field devoted to the Lord (Lev. 27:28)

532.Not to redeem a field devoted to the Lord (Lev. 27:28)

533.To make confession before the Lord of any sin that one has committed, when bringing a sacrifice and at other times (Num.5:6-7)

534.Not to put olive oil in the meal-offering of a woman suspected of adultery
(Num. 5:15)

535.Not to put frankincense on it (Num. 5:15)

536.To offer up the regular sacrifices daily (two lambs as burnt offerings) (Num. 28:3)

537.To offer up an additional sacrifice every Sabbath (two lambs) (Num. 28:9)

538.To offer up an additional sacrifice every New Moon (Num. 28:11)

539.To bring an additional offering on the day of the first fruits [Pentecost]
(Num. 28:26-27)

540.To offer up an additional sacrifice on [Feast of Trumpets] or Rosh Hashanah (Num.29:1-6)

541.To offer up an additional sacrifice on the day of Atonement or Yom Kippur (Num. 29:7-8)

542.To offer up an additional sacrifice on Feast of Tabernacles [Heb. Sukkot] (Num. 29:12-34)

543.To offer up an additional offering on the eighth day after the feast of Tabernacles called (Heb. Shemini Atzeret), which is a festival by itself (Num. 29:35-38) This eighth day is an anticipation of the New Testament Sabbath which would be instituted on the first day of the week, which is also the eighth day.

544.To bring all offerings, whether obligatory or freewill, on the first festival after these were incurred (Deut. 12:5-6)

545.Not to offer up sacrifices outside (the Sanctuary) (Deut. 12:13)

546.To offer all sacrifices in the Sanctuary (Deut. 12:14)

547.To redeem cattle set apart for sacrifices that contracted disqualifying blemishes, after which they may be eaten by anyone. (Deut. 12:15)

548.Not to eat of the unblemished firstling outside Jerusalem (Deut.12:17)

549.Not to eat the flesh of the burnt-offering (Deut. 12:17). This is a Prohibition applying to every trespasser, not to enjoy any of the holy things.

550.That the sons of Aaron [i.e. his descendents] shall not eat the flesh of the sin-offering or guilt-offering outside the Courtyard (of the Sanctuary) (Deut.12:17)

551.Not to eat of the flesh of the sacrifices that are holy in a minor degree, before the blood has been sprinkled (on the altar), (Deut. 12:17)

552.That the Priest shall not eat the first-fruits before they are set down in the Courtyard (of the Sanctuary) (Deut. 12:17)

553.To take trouble to bring sacrifices to the Sanctuary from places outside the land of Israel (Deut. 12:26)

554.Not to eat the flesh of beasts set apart as sacrifices, that have been rendered unfit to be offered up by deliberately inflicted blemish (Deut. 14:3)

555.Not to do work with cattle set apart for sacrifice (Deut. 15:19)

556.Not to shear beasts set apart for sacrifice (Deut. 15:19)

557.Not to leave any portion of the festival offering brought on the fourteenth of Nissan unto the third day (Deut. 16:4)

558.Not to offer up a beast that has a temporary blemish (Deut.17:1)

559.Not to bring sacrifices out of the hire of a harlot or price of a dog (apparently a euphemism for sodomy) (Deut. 23:19)

560.To read the portion prescribed on bringing the first fruits (Deut.26:5-10)

Ritual Purity and Impurity
561.That eight species of creeping things defile by contact (Lev.11:29-30)

562.That foods become defiled by contact with unclean things (Lev.11:34)

563.That anyone who touches the carcass of a beast that died of itself shall be unclean (Lev. 11:39)

564.That a lying-in woman is unclean like a menstruating woman (in terms of uncleanness) (Lev. 12:2-5)

565.That a leper is unclean and defiles (Lev. 13:2-46)

566.That the leper shall be universally recognized as such by the prescribed marks So too, all other unclean persons should declare themselves as such (Lev. 13:45)

567.That a leprous garment is unclean and defiles (Lev. 13:47-49)

568.That a leprous house defiles (Lev. 14:34-46)

569.That a man, having a running issue, defiles (Lev. 15:1-15)

570.That the seed of copulation defiles (Lev. 15:16)

571.That purification from all kinds of defilement shall be effected by ceremonial washing (Lev. 15:16)

572.That a menstruating woman is unclean and defiles others (Lev.15:19-24)

573.That a woman, having a running issue, defiles (Lev. 15:25-27)

574.To carry out the ordinance of the Red Heifer so that its ashes will always be available (Num. 19:9)

575.That a corpse defiles (Num. 19:11-16)

576.That the waters of separation defile one who is clean, and cleanse the unclean from pollution by a dead body (Num.19:19-22)

Lepers and Leprosy
577.Not to drove off the hair of the scall (Lev. 13:33)

578.That the procedure of cleansing leprosy, whether of a man or of a house, takes place with cedar-wood, hyssop, scarlet thread, two birds, and running water (Lev. 14:1-7)

579.That the leper shall shave all his hair (Lev. 14:9)

580.Not to pluck out the marks of leprosy (Deut. 24:8)

The King
581.Not to curse a ruler, that is, the King in the land of Israel (Ex. 22:27)

582.To appoint a king (Deut. 17:15)

583.Not to appoint as ruler over Israel, one who comes from non-Israelites (Deut. 17:15)

584.That the King shall not acquire an excessive number of horses (Deut. 17:16)

585.That the King shall not take an excessive number of wives (Deut. 17:17)

586.That he shall not accumulate an excessive quantity of gold and silver (Deut. 17:17)

587.That the King shall write a scroll of the Torah for himself, in addition to the one that every person should write, so that he writes two scrolls (Deut. 17:18)

588.That a Nazarite shall not drink wine, or anything mixed with wine which tastes like wine; and even if the wine or the mixture has turned sour, it is prohibited to him (Num. 6:3)

589.That he shall not eat fresh grapes (Num. 6:3)

590.That he shall not eat dried grapes (raisins) (Num. 6:3)

591.That he shall not eat the kernels of the grapes (Num. 6:4)

592.That he shall not eat of the skins of the grapes (Num. 6:4)

593.That the Nazarite shall permit his hair to grow (Num. 6:5)

594.That the Nazarite shall not cut his hair (Num. 6:5)

595.That he shall not enter any covered structure where there is a dead body (Num. 6:6)

596.That a Nazarite shall not defile himself for any dead person (by being in the presence of the corpse) (Num. 6:7)

597.That the Nazarite shall shave his hair when he brings his offerings at the completion of the period of his Nazariteship, or within that period if he has become defiled (Num. 6:9)

598.That those engaged in warfare shall not fear their enemies nor be panic-stricken by them during battle (Deut. 3:22, 7:21,20:3)

599.To anoint a special Priest (to speak to the soldiers) in a war (Deut. 20:2) This is today's equivalent to a military chaplain.

600.In a permissive war (as distinguished from obligatory ones), to observe the procedure prescribed in the Torah (Deut. 20:10)

601.Not to keep alive any individual of the seven Canaanite nations (Deut. 20:16)

602.To exterminate the seven Canaanite nations from the land of Israel (Deut. 20:17)

603.Not to destroy fruit trees (wantonly or in warfare) (Deut.20:19-20)

604.To deal with a beautiful woman taken captive in war in the manner prescribed in the Torah (Deut. 21:10-14)

605.Not to sell a beautiful woman, (taken captive in war) (Deut.21:14)

606.Not to degrade a beautiful woman (taken captive in war) to the condition of a bondwoman (Deut. 21:14)

607.Not to offer peace to the Ammonites and the Moabites before waging war on them, as should be done to other nations (Deut.23:7)

608.That anyone who is unclean shall not enter the Camp of the Levites (Deut. 23:11)

609.To have a place outside the camp for sanitary purposes (Deut.23:13)

610.To keep that place sanitary (Deut. 23:14-15)

611.Always to remember what Amalek did (Deut. 25:17)

612.That the evil done to us by Amalek shall not be forgotten (Deut.25:19)

613.To destroy the seed of Amalek (Deut. 25:19)

/: 31/01/04 13:08 | Email:
: G. I. Willliamson

Renewal of Scriptural Worship
G. I. Willliamson

The Reformation was, above all, a return to God in genuine worship. Out of this came the zeal that sustained the elders in their arduous task and the work of catechetical teaching. I'm not ashamed, then, to speak out for what many regard as a concern of another era. I refer to a holy worship of God that conforms to Scriptural standards. I've been reading, of late, from the selected works of that eminent reformer John Calvin. And it has struck me again how zealous he was along with the other reformers to get back again to a worship of God that is worthy of our God and Savior. And the only worship that's good enough is the worship He has commanded. How vital this was when the church was reformed can be seen in our great confessions because they all give eloquent witness to the guardian principle of all true spiritual worship. If something is not commanded by God Himself, it is therefore forbidden. We must worship God only as He tells us in His Word, and not according to our own traditions, or popular custom.

Now I assume that you know most of the Biblical texts that were cited in defense of this principle by the Reformers. Well, I don't intend to review all this not because I think it isn't conclusive, but simply because I want to try to give an over-view of Biblical teaching.

Let me begin, then, by reminding you of what happened at the beginning when Adam and Eve sinned against God, and were driven out of His presence. Would you not agree that the only way there could be acceptable worship from that moment on was for God Himself to institute it by Divine revelation? When we understand what the fall did to man, one thing is perfectly certain. Sinful man could not possibly devise for himself a way of acceptable worship. Indeed, it was precisely the failure to realize and acknowledge this fact that brought about Cain's utter rejection. He thought that he could worship God in a way of his own devising; but God made it clear that true worship had to be in the way of His institution.

And is it not this very principle that we constantly see in the Old Testament Scriptures? Did not God make it clear crystal clear that He was to be worshipped only as He commanded? Take, for instance, the five books of Moses. Is it not true that much of the content of these books especially Exodus and Leviticus deals with God's provision for acceptable worship? And is it not true that if one thing stands out again and again in these books, it is the fact that everything that pertained to the worship of God had to be only as He commanded? There is a vast amount of data given in these books, but it can be summed up in one simple statement everything had to be exactly as God commanded.

I. The Changes Through Redemptive History

Now the worship of God in Old Testament times was by means of a system of symbols. It was like a shadowy silhouette of what was still in the future. That's why the worship of God had to be radically changed after the atonement of Jesus. The old symbols just wouldn't do any more when the reality (of which they were a shadow only) had come into historical existence. This is what our Lord Jesus meant when He spoke to the Samaritan woman. When He told her that salvation was 'from the Jews' he was looking back at the preparatory phase of God's plan of salvation. But when He told her that now the hour had come when the old argument between Samaritan and Jew would no longer be a relevant question, He was contemplating the new temple of God with its new way of worship.

Our Savior said God is Spirit, and that those who worship Him must do so in spirit and truth. Now what, exactly, did Jesus mean by that statement? Did He mean by 'spirit' the Holy Spirit, or only the human spirit? Either way it makes very good sense and is consistent with the rest of the Bible. Taking it one way it would mean that the true worship of God must 'live and move and have its being' (as it were) in the realm of the Holy Spirit. Taking it the other way it would mean that the genuine worship of God involves the inward reality of our own human spirits. I have not been able to find any conclusive argument for either of these possible meanings. But in this instance as in so many others it really makes little difference. You certainly can't have any true worship of God apart from the Holy Spirit. And the heart of man has to be 'in it' as we say, if it is genuine worship. It may even be as we believe it often is in the writings of John that there's a deliberate dualism of meaning. In any event, the great contrast here is between the two historical eras the one existing before Jesus came, the other after His coming. Before Jesus came and finished His work, John says the Holy Spirit wasn't yet given (John 7:39). This doesn't mean the Spirit was not there at all, of course, in the Old Testament worship. And it doesn't mean that there was no sincerity, then, in Old Testament worship. No, it's not an absolute contrast. Yet it is a contrast that underlines the radical difference between the two historical eras and the two kinds of worship. We can see this very clearly when we consider the other term used by our Lord Jesus. We cannot say the Old Testament worship was a system of falsehood and error. No, the contrast here was rather the difference between the 'real' and the 'synthetic.' What we now have in the finished work of Christ is 'the real thing' (to use a modern expression). What they had, in Old Testament times, was only a simulation. Because we now have the true, and not a mere representation, it follows that our worship has to be radically different. We must worship God in the sphere of the real not the synthetic. This, says Jesus, is the kind of worship that God seeks for His people to practice.

It may not be out of place to remark, here, that there is precedent for this reformation of worship. Because there were a number of times, in the Old Testament period, where there were some radical changes. (1) In the long era of history between the time of Adam and Abraham, for instance, it appears that there was universalism in God's dealings with men which was later restricted. The first we see in Melchizedek, and in Abraham we see the second. And while Abraham acknowledged the superiority of Melchizedek's priesthood, Melchizedek also acknowledged the special calling of the one who was to become the father of the faithful. (2) Then later on, the rather simple worship of the Patriarchs gave way to Mosaic worship. And things which had been legitimate before were now expressly forbidden. The Patriarchs were priests, in a sense, within their own household of people. But now the only valid sacrifices were placed in the hands of the Levites. My point is that at least twice before God instituted radical changes. (3) How much more, then, when the final reality came in the redemptive sphere in the finished work of the Lord Jesus?

II. The Radical Difference Between Old and New Testament Worship

The worship of God, under the Old Testament of necessity moved in the realm of representation. It was, in a word, worship made by men, located here on this planet. It could represent the house of God, but even Solomon realized that this was all there really was to it (I Kings 8:27). He knew that God cannot really dwell in a house made with hands. Now so long as these things could only be made known to man by shadowy symbols by weak and beggarly elements you had to have these visible, tangible objects. But now God had come down to us Himself, in the person of Jesus, reconciling us to Himself through the cross in order that He might be exalted. He now sits at the right hand of God, and there is actually praised and adored by both men and angels. And in the light of all this, our worship now must be of another order. It must be spiritual not ceremonial. It must move in the realm of truth not symbol. It is a noteworthy thing that these two things spirit and truth are closely joined in the Scriptures. And we should never try to separate the Spirit of God (or even man's own regenerate spirit) from the truth of God in the Scriptures. And this means that true worship, today, must be radically different from temple worship. Material things such as the following are no part of true worship. Under the ceremonial law you had a special building and in it you had an elaborate ritual and a priestly order with choir and musical instruments. I could go on but my point is clear; these things were proper and legitimate then because worship then was synthetic. (I will come back to this a bit later on with reference to the choir and orchestra.)

Now it seems to me that what I've summarized is one of the clearest Biblical teachings. As a matter of fact there's a whole New Testament book that deals with this subject. The book of Hebrews from beginning to end draws precisely this contrast: the old worship no longer stands as legitimate because of what we now have in Jesus. Listen to what the writer says, for example: "have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. . . . Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire."

To worship God now in the Old Testament way is an insult to Jesus. We must be done with the weak and beggarly things of that era, and we must really take part in spirit and truth in this heavenly worship. This means that there is no legitimate place in the church today for what I would call 'the mentality of temple worship.' And the tragic thing is that it is so common today even in supposedly Reformed denominations. Let me give you an example. I attended a service, a few years ago, in a church that has had the reputation of being very Calvinistic. The day was the Lord's Day but it fell on the 25th of December. Well, there was no sermon in the 'service' that day. Instead, there was a lot of ceremonial worship. The choir sang, again and again, and then they came to what was supposed to be 'the great climax.' Candles were passed down the rows, and each person was asked to light it from another. And the tragic fact is that there was no warrant at all for practically everything in that worship.

III. The Example of Choirs

Now the truth is that there's no warrant at all in the Bible for choirs in worship. It is perfectly clear that the only choir ever sanctioned or commanded by God was part of ceremonial worship. In I Chron. 28:11-19 we are expressly told that God gave David the detailed plan for the temple. "All this," David said, "the Lord made me understand in writing, by His hand upon me, all the works of these plans." Later on, in II Chronicles 29 we read of the great work of reformation in the time of Hezekiah. Beginning in verse 25 we read that he "stationed the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with stringed instruments, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, of Gad the king's seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for thus was the commandment of the Lord by his prophets. The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. Then Hezekiah commanded them to offer the burnt offering on the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord also began, with the trumpets and with the instruments of David king of Israel. So all the congregation worshipped, the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished. And when they had finished the offering, the king and all who were present with him bowed and worshipped. Moreover King Hezekiah and the leaders commanded the Levites to sing praise to the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped."

Now please note the following facts, clearly revealed in this passage: (1) The only people who played the musical instruments, or sang in the choir, were Levites. This, right away, indicates that this was a ceremonial aspect of worship. (2) The only time when the choir, accompanied by the musical instruments, was heard was while the burnt offering was being completed. (3) Therefore, the choir and musical instruments were aspects of ceremonial worship and they have no more right to a place in our worship today than the sacrifice to which they were appended. You see, what was really going on in that temple worship was what I would call 'synthetic' redemption. It was like a program you see on TV with very tense drama. Since it isn't 'real' a musical score has to be written into the background to induce a 'feeling' response in us that approximates what we would feel if it was real. But what a tremendous difference there is between the feeling you get from watching a romance on TV and the experience you have when you actually have your own romance. Well, that's like the difference between Old and New Testament worship. We don't need a Hollywood backdrop. Yet the church today is literally full of ceremonial worship. And the more it declines in its grasp of the truth the more you see this so-called 'liturgical revival.'

Now, the tragic thing is that the worship today that you find in most of our churches is very much under the cloud you could say of this old ceremonial worship. We have choirs, and ritual, and symbols, and orchestras, and special clerical garments. We have cathedral-like buildings that make you think you are in some sacred temple. The simple fact is that none of these things has any warrant in the teaching of Scripture. As a matter of fact, it is perfectly clear that they belong to the synthetic era. I know very well that many will say many do say that this isn't very important. The important thing is that God's Word is preached and sinners are brought to conversion. Well, I say that this is simply a man-centered view of the problem. But it just isn't true that we're dealing here with a peripheral matter. No, our Lord said that we must worship God in spirit and truth. No doubt there are those who in spite of all these synthetic things that shouldn't be there manage to worship God in truth in the spirit. But this is not because of these things, but in spite of their hindering presence.

Let me close with this illustration. There's nothing wrong with a little girl who lives to play with her little toy dolls. But what would we say of a grown woman who is married and has her own children if she spent half her time in the attic playing with her old dolls? What she should be doing is taking care of her own living children. And it is exactly the same with the Church. Paul expressed it this way: "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish ways." (I Cor. 13:11) Temple worship and all of the weak and beggarly things that were part of that system were designed for the use of the church before it came of age. Now it has come to age, and it ought to live in the realm of reality and no longer of mere symbols.

We selected the example of choirs. But there are many other examples, today, of the practical denial of the Biblical standard of worship. One is the celebration of special sacred days other than and in addition to the Lord's Day. Yet another is the use of musical instruments in worship. And there are others. There once was a deep concern about faithfulness to Biblical principles in worship, in Reformed churches. But at present there is a very uncritical eclecticism. And nothing is more vital to the revival of our churches, because this gives God the glory He ought to receive and brings us into His presence. As we see it, it is the lack of this more than anything else that lies at the root of the present-day weakness of our churches. "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire." (Heb. 12:28)

From Journey, January-February 1987.

/: 09/10/03 19:08 | Email:

4- , .


(by Rev. Professor Dr. Francis Nigel Lee,
Presbyterian Church of Australia, Brisbane)

In the May 1985 issue of the magazine New Horizons in the 'Orthodox
Presbyterian Church' there is an article titled Children at the Lord's Supper? It
relates the problems experienced by OPC Pastor Hailu Mekonnen, in ministering to Ethiopian exiles in Washington, D.C. In their old country, they had been used to their traditional denomination's ritualistic administration of the Sacrament of Communion to newly- baptized infants. So, an OPC Presbytery studying the matter then decided to overture the General Assembly "to study the issue of paedo-communion and provide voluntary guidelines for determining the age children might be allowed to come to the Lord's Supper."

The June 1985 Commissioners' Handbook to the General Assembly of the
'Presbyterian Church in America' (PCA), is even more interesting. It consists of a
Majority Report and a Minority Report -- anent the increasing problems posed by the modern rise of paedocommunionism now on the fringes of that Presbyterian Church itself.

The PCA Majority Report, drafted by Westminster Theological Seminary's
Ex-President Rev. Professor Edmund P. Clowney (and others), appeals to Witsius and Bavinck. States that Report: "Bavinck replies [to paedocommunionism]...that John 6:53 refers not to a sacramental eating, but to the spiritual and mystical eating of faith. He further argues: 'Withholding of the Supper from children, deprives them of not one benefit of the covenant of grace. This would indeed be the case, if they were denied Baptism ....Whoever administers Baptism and not the Lord's Supper to children, acknowledges that they are in the covenant and share all the benefits of it. He merely denies to them a special way in which those same benefits are signified and sealed when that does not suit their age.'"

Continues the Majority Report: "When Bavinck and others describe
Circumcision and Baptism as 'passive' Sacraments, they are first of all referring to the obvious fact that both may be applied to a tiny infant without its participation [or consent?]. The infant is in no sense the agent of the Sacrament, but the one to whom it is applied. For participation in the Passover or the Lord's Supper, however, some degree of active ingestion is required.... The PCA is well advised to continue the Classic Reformed practice of delaying the admission of children to the Lord's Table -- until they reach a level of maturity at which they can profess their faith and partake of the elements with discernment..., [as] stated in the Larger Catechism. Q. 177."

Even the Minority Report, written by Rev. Dr. Robert S. Rayburn (son of
Rev. Prof. Dr. Robert G. Rayburn) does not propose passive intinction for
baptized infants, but active manducation only by weaned covenant children.
It rightly warns against the many dangers inherent in the practice of
Paedocommunion. Though inadequate and unconvincing in its exegesis, the
Minority Report is very adequate and very convincing in its documentation of
the verdict of Church History!

For it rightly points out that even "the opinion of Thomas
similar to that of Reformed writers" -- and that even Rome [but only since
our twentieth century!] fixes "the age of discretion first for Confession
[and] then Holy Communion" at "about seven years" and not sooner. Prior to
the twentieth century, Rome had for very many centuries rightly maintained
puberty as the minimum age.

Indeed, the Minority Report also rightly points out that all of the
Reformed theologians without exception (save only that Semi-Lutheranistic
and Semi-Mystic maverick Rev. Wolfgang Musculus), were clearly
anti-paedocommunionistic. Thus Calvin, Beza, Ursinus, Marckius, Walaeus, the
Synopsis, Ames, Wendelinus, Voetius, Witsius, Turretin, Mastricht, Pictet,
Heidegger, Bavinck, Louis Berkhof, and John Murray.

Let us then hear from this Minority Report. It quotes Aquinas as saying:
"As soon as children begin to have some use of reason, they are able to
grasp the devotion of this Sacrament." It cites Calvin: "The Supper is given
to older persons who, having passed tender infancy, can now take solid
food." It then quotes Ursinus,541 one of the two writers of the famed
Heidelberg Catechism: "They are to be admitted to the Lord's Supper by the
Church...who are of a proper age to examine themselves.... I Cor. 11:25-28.
The infant children of the Church are therefore not admitted to the use of
the Lord's Supper, even though they are included among the number of the

The Minority Report next goes on to cite from the famous Reformer Theodore
Beza: "Those who by reason of their age show themselves to be unable to
examine themselves..., [need to] be warned lest they should bring ruin upon
themselves." John a Marck too is then cited: "Baptized infants are not to be
admitted to this [Communion] Sacrament, since these would not be able to
examine themselves, discern the Lord's body, and proclaim His death."

The Minority Report continues, next citing Walaeus who states:544 "I know
many of our men err..., who suppose it to be a mistake for anyone but a
fullgrown adult to be admitted to the Supper." Here, however, Walaeus only
means that even adolescents may communicate (cf. Lk. 2:41-52) -- before
achieving "fullgrown" majority status around age twenty (cf. Num. 1:2-18f).
The Synopsis Puriora Theologiae is then cited: "The Apostle refers not only
to Pastors but also to the rest of the Church [in] I Cor. 11..., and to
those living piously...; but on the other hand, not to baptized Catechumens"
alias those still being catechized [before their first 'Admission' to

Ames(ius) is next quoted: "The Supper is to be administered only to those
who are visibly capable of nourishment and growth in the Church." Then
Wendel(inus): "From the use of the Holy Supper, are excluded infants. They
are not to be admitted to the Lord's Supper: 1, because they are not able to
remember the history of the death of the Lord; 2, because they are not able
to prepare themselves for the worthy use of this Sacrament; and [3, because]
both are required of Communicants. I Cor. 11:24-26,29."

The Minority Report next cites Voetius: "Regarding infants..., they would
not be able to test and examine themselves, nor would they have actual
repentance...concerning which things they ought to examine themselves
[about]. But, in fact, both the latter and the former are required in I Cor.
11:16,28-31.... Nevertheless, it has at least been proved that all or most
are equally...received to Communion after fourteen years of age."

Witsius is the next to be quoted: "All the words of our Lord's command
(with respect to this Sacrament) are so expressed that they cannot belong to
infants, who can neither receive the bread nor eat it.... For babes are fed
with milk, and not with meat. I Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12" etc. Then a citation is
given from the famous Institutes of Elencthic Theology: "From the precept of
God..., the symbol of the Eucharist ought to be administered to...faithful
adults." Reference is also made to Mastricht who, distinguishing Baptism as
the 'Sacrament of regeneration' from the Supper as the 'Sacrament of
nutrition' etc., denies that children should communicate.

The Minority Report next gives an extended citation from Pictet: "The
Supper ought not to be administered, except to adults; especially not to
infants.... There is a great difference between Baptism and the Supper. 1,
Baptism is the Sacrament of initiation in the Church; but the Holy Supper is
the Sacrament instituted for the nourishing of the soul and for confirming
faith through the commemoration of the benefit of Christ. Of the first,
infants are capable; of the second, only adults. 2, that is confirmed by the
fact that Paul demands examination for those who receive the Holy Supper;
and infants are not capable of examination.... Baptized infants should not
be admitted to the Supper.... Formerly, circumcised infants did not eat the

J.H. Heidegger [the famous co-author (with Gernler and Turretin) of the
1675 Formula Consensus Helvetica], is next quoted: "After the first Supper,
all believers and true Christians are added to the number of Communicants
who have duly examined themselves and have learned these 'Mysteries'.... Let
each one examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that
cup. I Cor. 11:28. In the number of these, infants are not included!"

The Minority Report next cites Bavinck's view of the Lord's Supper: "The
children are excluded.... 1. In the Old Testament, there was a great
difference between Circumcision and the Passover. Circumcision was
prescribed for all male children; but the Passover -- not at once with the
institution of it, but later in Palestine -- was celebrated in the Temple of
Jerusalem. 2. In the same way, there is a great difference between Baptism
and the Lord's Supper. Baptism is the Sacrament of the new birth, wherein
the individual is passive. The Lord's Supper is the Sacrament of growth in
fellowship with Christ, of the nurture of the spiritual life; and it
supposes conscious, active participation in those who receive it."

Continuing with its free translation from Bavinck, the Minority Report
adds: "3. Christ instituted the Lord's Supper in the midst of His disciples,
saying to them all: 'Take; eat; drink!' These words suppose that they would
take the bread and wine from His hand. And Paul says that the Congregation
at Corinth came together in order to eat, and gives no other impression than
that only grown persons in possession of intellectual powers participated in
the Supper. 4. In I Cor. 11:26-29, the Apostle emphatically sets forth the
requirement that before the Supper, men examine themselves so that they may
distinguish the body of the Lord and not eat and drink unworthily. This
requirement is set forth in an entirely general fashion, directed to all
participants in the Supper, and therefore, in the nature of the case,
excludes children."

The Minority Report continues: "Abstaining from the Supper," etc. From
this point onward, it gives a rather poor translation (from Bavinck's
original Dutch) of the passage better translated in the Majority Report.

The Minority Report finally says in conclusion: "L. Berkhof writes:
'Children...cannot be permitted to partake of the Table of the Lord.'"
Sadly, it then cites John Murray out of context -- as if Murray were
favorable to Infant Communion! In actual fact, however, Murray stoutly
opposed both Infant Communion and Child Communion, as we ourselves have
already previously pointed out.

Nevertheless, the Minority Report is full of most valuable citations
(against its own position!). Especially from the Protestant Fathers of the
sixteenth century Reformation and the seventeenth-century 'Second

However, while it indeed majors heavily on those Reformed Fathers (who
agree with us and not with paedocommunionism!) -- it also almost totally
ignores the Early Church Fathers (who also agree with us and not with the
Minority Report)! Indeed, although it (among recent Reformed theologians)
downplays the Hodge's, Dabney, Warfield, and Kuyper etc. -- it does indeed
quote Herman Bavinck, Louis Berkhof and John Murray (who all agree with us
and not with paedocommunionism)! With quotes like that, the Minority
Report hardly needs refutation!

The Majority Report, on the other hand, reveals a degree of healthy
confessional loyalty and a careful subscription to the Westminster
Standards. For it rightly concludes by approvingly citing our Westminster
Larger Catechism: "Q. 177. Wherein do the Sacraments of Baptism and the
Lord's Supper differ? A. The Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper
differ, in that Baptism is to be administered but once, with water, to be a
sign and seal of our regeneration and ingrafting into Christ, and that even
to infants; whereas the Lord's Supper is to be administered often, in the
elements of bread and wine, to represent and exhibit Christ as spiritual
nourishment to the soul, and to confirm our continuance and growth in Him --
and that only to such as are of years and ability to examine themselves!"
/: 09/10/03 19:07 | Email:

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The Church Order: Admittance to the Lord's Supper
Rev. Ronald Cammenga
(Standard Bearer Vol. 73; No. 8; January 15, 1997).
(Rev. R. Cammenga is pastor of the Southwest Grand Rapids MI Protestant Reformed Church)

None shall be admitted to the Lord's Supper except those who according to the usage of the church with which they unite themselves have made a confession of the Reformed religion, besides being reputed to be of a godly walk, without which those who come from other churches shall not be admitted.
Church Order, Article 61
Articles 61-64 of the Church Order deal with the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. These articles lay down the fundamental guidelines that safeguard the administration of the sacrament in Reformed churches. There is evident in these articles a deep concern for the proper administration of the Lord's Supper, the purity of the sacrament, and the protection of the sacrament against profanation.
The concern of our Church Order rests on the conviction of our Reformed fathers that the proper administration of the sacraments is a distinguishing mark of the true church of Jesus Christ in the world. Neglect of the principles set forth in these articles in many Reformed churches today is a glaring indication of the extent to which these churches have forsaken their heritage and come under the influence of apostasy.

Supervision of the Lord's Supper
The concern of the Church Order is the responsibility of the consistory with respect to the Lord's Supper.
This is not to say that the individual Christian has no responsibility for the proper administration of the Lord's Supper. Not at all! The individual Christian has a responsibility with respect to himself. He must examine his own heart and life and be sure that he partakes of the Lord's Supper worthily. "But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body" (I Cor. 11:28, 29).
The individual Christian also has a responsibility with respect to his fellow church members. If he is aware that he is the occasion of offense against any other member, he must clear up the offense before coming to the Lord's Supper. "Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee: leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift" (Matt. 5:23, 24). Or, if he has knowledge that a brother is walking in sin, in order that the sacraments not be profaned and in order to gain the brother, he must deal with the brother in the way prescribed in Matthew 18:15-20.
But the focus of Article 61 is the responsibility of the consistory with respect to the administration of the Lord's Supper. The elders of the church have the calling from Christ to guard the sacrament. In the past this responsibility was often referred to as the elders' calling to "fence" the sacrament.
Article 61 makes plain that this calling means not only that the elders bar from partaking those who are living impenitent in sin. But the calling goes further. The elders are to do all in their power to assure that those who do partake are worthy to partake.

Confession of Faith
In order to assure that only those who are worthy partake of the Lord's Supper, Article 61 requires of consistories that they admit to the sacrament those who "... have made a confession of the Reformed religion, besides being reputed to be of a godly walk...." Confession of faith is the way to the Lord's table.
This confession is to be a confession of "the Reformed religion." Faith is necessary for a right partaking of the Lord's Supper. But faith is knowledge. Only those are to be admitted to the Lord's Supper who have a knowledge of the fundamentals of the Reformed faith. If one's knowledge is deemed deficient, the consistory ought to delay admittance to the Lord's Supper in order that further instruction can be received.
Faith is also confidence. The knowledge of the Reformed faith is not merely, therefore, head knowledge. But there must also be expressed the personal conviction on the part of the one making confession of faith of his own heartfelt belief of the truths of the Word of God.
If this faith is a genuine faith, it will also be a faith that produces the fruit of holiness. This, too, must be a concern of the consistory in those who are admitted to the sacrament: "... besides being reputed to be of a godly walk." For this reason, novices and strangers must not be admitted to the Lord's Supper. It may very well be that they are walking godly. But the consistory must know this about them. The consistory must be sufficiently acquainted with those whom it admits to the Lord's Supper that it can testify to the uprightness of their walk of life.
If a confession of faith is required of those who are to partake of the Lord's Supper, it is plain that Article 61 prohibits young children from partaking of the sacrament. Paedo-communion, a practice gaining acceptance in many Reformed and Presbyterian churches in our day, not only runs counter to Reformed tradition, but is contrary to the Scriptures. It ought to be plain that no child can carry out the requirements of I Corinthians 11 with a view to partaking of the Lord's Supper: self-examination (v. 28); discerning the Lord's body (v. 29); judging ourselves (v. 31).
This is not to deny that there are varying degrees of understanding on the part of those admitted to the Lord's Supper. This is certainly the case. There are those of greater and lesser intellectual capacity who confess their faith and seek to come to the Lord's table. More will be required of those brought up in the church all their lives than of those quite new to the faith. Those who are new to the faith will often require private instruction by the pastor before making confession of faith. All these factors must be taken into consideration by a consistory. Still there must be a sufficient grasp of the fundamentals of the faith and evidence of the putting of the teachings of the Word of God into practice in everyday life.

Procedure for Confession of Faith
No specific procedure for confession of faith is set forth in Article 61. The procedure followed in our churches rests on the principles of the article.
Those seeking admittance to the Lord's Supper first make confession of their faith before the consistory. Usually the minister leads their examination, asking questions with regard to doctrine and life. Members of the consistory are also given opportunity to question the individual. It is to be recommended that those making confession of faith before the consistory be examined individually, and not as a group. If there are a number of confessions of faith to be heard by a consistory, a separate evening ought to be set aside to allow for sufficient time to examine each one personally. In their absence, the consistory ought to take a formal decision approving the confession of faith and setting the date for their public confession of faith before the congregation. The person is summoned into the meeting once more and is informed of the decision. This is followed usually by a prayer of thanksgiving and expressions of gratitude by the individual consistory members.
The second step in confession of faith is public confession before the congregation. Notice of public confession ought to be made, usually by way of the weekly church bulletin, on at least two successive Sundays. This allows for the approbation of the congregation. Barring any lawful objections, the public confession takes place on the date specified, during a regular worship service and with the asking of the questions for "Public Confession of Faith" that have been adopted in the churches.

Admittance of Those from Other Churches
Although the procedure differs when a consistory receives communicant members from other churches, the principle of Article 61 applies: "... without which those who come from other churches shall not be admitted."
In the case of those who come from churches outside the denominational communion, the consistory must be assured that they confess the Reformed faith and are reputed to be of a godly walk. It is recommended that those who request to join one of our congregations and who come from another fellowship be visited by a committee of elders. Only if this committee can report that they are one with us in the Reformed faith and life should their membership be approved and admittance be granted to the Lord's Supper.
Those transferring from one congregation to another within the denomination must receive membership attestation from the consistory of the church from which they are transferring their membership. This membership transfer will attest that they are "sound in faith and upright in walk." Within the communion of the denomination, this attestation must be honored. This is also the case with respect to membership transfers from sister churches. If the person concerned cannot be given such an attest because he is the object of church discipline, this must be noted by the consistory on the transfer of membership. If a consistory has reason to question the attest, the matter must be taken up with the individual concerned and with the consistory which granted the attestation.

Open, Closed, or Close Communion?
It ought to be plain that Article 61 opposes the practice of open communion, that is, the practice of opening the Lord's table to all who desire to partake. Partaking of the Lord's Supper is not merely a matter of the individual conscience. Consistories must exercise proper supervision. For this reason it is a good practice that on the Sunday of the administration of the Lord's Supper, a notice be placed in the bulletin that supervision is exercised over the administration of the sacrament, so that only those who are members in good standing or those who have received special permission from the consistory may partake.
Does this mean that the churches ought to practice "closed" or "close" communion? Closed communion means that admittance to the Lord's Supper is granted only to those who are members of the congregation or are members of a sister church.
Our churches practice close communion. This allows for those who are not members of our churches or of a sister church to partake after they have received special permission from the consistory. This may include those who are in the process of joining the congregation, or those who for one reason or another are unable to partake of the sacrament in their own congregation. It may be that they are forced to be absent from their own congregation temporarily because of work assignment or because they are pursuing an education.
These will be rare exceptions. A consistory must exercise good judgment in each of these cases, granting special permission to partake only to those who make "... a confession of the Reformed religion, besides being reputed to be of a godly walk...." In this way the sacrament will be protected, lest it be profaned and the wrath of God fall on the whole congregation (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord's Day 30, Q/A 82).
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