Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
A Court of Judges?
07/18/2005 - James WhiteContinuing with the argumentation presented regarding the characteristics of a Davidic king, we have seen that thus far the characteristics chosen have been rather random: none, thus far, have actually defined David's rule, the incidents/persons referred to taking place or living after David's reign was over. We have likewise seen no foundation offered for why these particular offices/incidents/people are to be considered central to a fulfillment of the Davidic line in Christ, nor have we seen any inspired utterance supporting such a concept in the New Testament. So we come to the last of the alleged parallels, that of a "court of judges" selected by God.
The reference given by my correspondent is Deuteronomy 17:8-13. However, one is immediately struck by the following facts upon a review of this passage:
a) The "place which the LORD your God chooses" would be the Tabernacle and then the Temple, not a Davidic king.
b) The passage refers to "the Levitical priest or the judge who is in office in those days."
c) It was this very legal arrangement that Israel rebelled against in rejecting the system of judges and asking for a king.
Hence, one would have to demonstrate the continued existence of this system of justice as part and parcel of the Davidic kingdom, which my correspondent did not attempt to do.
Of course, one would also have to attempt to make the connection between the use of priests/judges prior to the establishment of the monarchy in Israel and the order commanded by the Apostles in the New Testament Church. No such attempt is made by my correspondent.
So I return to the list of arguments provided initially, returning now to point number five.
5) Christ is the fulfillment of the type of David, but this does not provide a ground for someone to randomly pick incidents out of the entirety of the Old Testament, both before David and after him, and insist that these are characteristics that must be followed through into the fulfillment in Christ. The argument is without merit, especially since it lacks any New Testament grounding.
6) Hence the conclusion fails for lack of foundation. What is also interesting to note is that the argument would only hold for modern Roman Catholicism. That is, the modern Papacy is a result of a long process of evolution and change; the Marian dogmas likewise; so too the alleged infallibility of the Magisterium. Hence, this kind of argumentation, even if it were biblically valid, would not apply to the earliest centuries of the Church. Would this not refute the argument as well? I believe it would.
I am sure my correspondent is well-meaning, but this kind of argumentation, as popular as it might be, is not at all compelling to the person who takes the Scriptures, exegesis, and history, seriously. And remember, the position being argued for is not just a "matter of opinion." Rome makes grand, sweeping claims of ultimate authority. One would think that such claims of authority by a religious group would be able to be supported by considerably more compelling arguments.