Pete Enns & The Bible for Normal People

Pete Ruins Exodus: Part 5

In this episode of The Bible for Normal People Podcast, Pete walks us through the Ten Commandments and how Christians have misinterpreted Old Testament law codes as he explores the following questions:

  • What is the importance of the Code of Hammurabi?
  • What does “torah” really mean?
  • What is the Book of the Covenant?
  • How has our interpretation of the New Testament affected the way we read Old Testament laws?
  • What’s the difference between casuistic and apodictic laws?
  • Why are the laws of Moses hardly referenced in subsequent Old Testament books?
  • How do different traditions order the Ten Commandments?
  • What does “decalogue” mean?
  • Are the laws of the Ten Commandments new or unique to Israel?
  • What are some theories about the two tablets the commandments are given to Moses on?
  • Is there evidence for multiple traditions within the Ten Commandments?
  • What are some moral issues raised by the Book of the Covenant?
  • How do the law codes in Exodus compare to other ancient Near Eastern law codes?
  • What modern theological issues do the law codes bring up?
  • How do the subheadings in our English Bibles change the way we read the text?


Pithy, shareable, less-than-280-character statements from Pete you can share. 

  • “Law is a response to deliverance.” @peteenns
  • “These books are more than just lists of laws… they are laws woven into a narrative framework.” @peteenns
  • “Israelites weren’t the only ones to receive commands from their God and they weren’t the first either.” @peteenns
  • “Law and legalism are not the same thing.” @peteenns
  • “The laws we see in Exodus weren’t just like timeless abstractions but, like everything else in the Bible, they have a context.” @peteenns
  • “It’s very hard to bring ancient case laws into today’s world, no matter how much we might want to be obedient to God.” @peteenns
  • “The commands are for those already in, they are not meant to be imposed on those who do not wish to be in.” @peteenns

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