This important question gets to the heart of the relationship between law and covenant. Many Christians dislike (what they consider to be) the "harshness" and detailed nature of YHWH's judicial law revealed to Moses. These Christians adopt a theological position which essentially conflates the concepts of law and covenant. They will assert either:
- that the concepts "law" and "covenant" are identical, or
- that they are ontologically inseparable
By adopting this conceptual conflation, these Christians believe they have an argument that denies the binding nature of YHWH's judicial laws in the New Covenant. They reason: if all of these laws were covenantally-bound, then -- unless the laws/penalties were explicitly restated in the New Covenant -- they have been abolished along with the defunct Sinai Covenant.
However, this argument based upon conflation fails, because it leads to a contradiction with Jesus' own words. Here's why.