When Did The Law of Moses Leave?
The Law Was Only Until John The Baptist?
It is common to hear someone point to the misunderstood phrase from Luke 16:16, "Did not the New Testament say that the Law and the prophets were only until John?" Along with the question, "Aren't we under the Age of Grace today?" This verse is often wrongly interpreted. Luke 16 is simply stating that the Law and the prophets until John was all the Scripture there was at that time.
And the Word (Greek Numos = Hebrew Torah) was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bore witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He that comes after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law (Torah) was given by Moses, [but] grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (John 1:14-17 KJV)
The New Testament [Hebrew B'rit Hadashah], as we know it today, was not canonized until some 150 years after John the Baptizer. Furthermore, the Book of Luke could not possibly mean that the Law of God was outdated, because it was used constantly by the church after John the Baptizer a minimum of 185 times in the New Testament writings. This is not to imply that the writings of Luke were not inspired, but that it was not until approximately 200 A.D. that the New Testament was collected into a recognized corpus of writings that were listed as authoritative. It is clear that Sha'ul, like the Messiah, never intended to be understood as replacing God's eternal Law [Matthew 5:17-20; Romans 3:31].
It is equally clear that Sha'ul had strong feelings about his Gentile [non-Jews including the tribes making up the "house of Israel", also called the "lost sheep of the House of Israel"] converts not having to live by or attain salvation through the Law that the Lord had given as a covenant to the Israelites and mixed multitude leaving Egypt with Moses . [I Corinthians 7:17-20].
I Corinthians 7:17-20 LITV Only as God has divided to each, each as the Lord has called, so let him walk. So I command in the assemblies. (18) Was anyone called having been circumcised? Do not be uncircumcised. Was anyone called in uncircumcision? Do not be circumcised. (19) Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of God's commands. (20) Each one in the calling in which he was called, in this remain.
The doctrinal attacks by Sha'ul above was not only against what Rabbinical Judaism was pushing where men converting to Judaism were forced into circumcision living according to the Oral Law, before they could even seek salvation from God through Y'shua's death, burial and resurrection; but also from what the Hellenistic Jews had begun and that was circumcision was out in favor of Greek/Roman acceptance. It boiled down to a three sided war that Sha'ul as well as Y'shua waged; the Pharisees, the Sadducees and worst of all, the Herodians.
Acts 23:6-11 NASB But perceiving that one group were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, Paul began crying out in the Council, "Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead!" (7) As he said this, there occurred a dissension between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. (8) For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. (9) And there occurred a great uproar; and some of the scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, "We find nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?" (10) And as a great dissension was developing, the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them and ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks. (11) But on the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, "Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also."