For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves (Romans 2:14, NASB).
In most societies, various laws function at the same time. There can be general laws that apply to everyone and, simultaneously, local laws that prevail in one community but not in another.
In New Testament times, when a person used the common word for
law (nomos in Greek, lex in Latin, and Torah in Hebrew), he or she could have been referring to any one of a number of laws. Often the only indicator as to the exact law being discussed was the context of the conversation. Thus, as we study this quarter we’ll always need to keep the immediate context in mind in order to understand best what law is being discussed.
This week’s lesson investigates the various laws that functioned in the community during the time of Christ and the early church. We will study these various laws but only in the context of helping to set a foundation for the study of the law that will be the major focus of this quarter-God’s moral law, the Ten Commandments.