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The Institutes of Biblical Law

R.J. Rushdoony

To attempt to study Scripture without studying its law is to deny it. To attempt to understand Western civilization apart from the impact of Biblical law within it and upon it is to seek a fictitious history and to reject twenty centuries and their progress.

The Institutes of Biblical Law has as its purpose a reversal of the present trend. it is called “Institutes” in the older meaning of the that word, i.e., fundamental principles, here of law, because it is intended as a beginning, as an instituting consideration of that law which must govern society, and which shall govern society under God.

To understand Biblical law, it is necessary to understand also certain basic characteristics of that law. In it, certain broad premises or principles are declared. These are declarations of basic law. The Ten Commandments give us such declarations.

A second characteristics of Biblical law, is that the major portion of the law is case law, i.e., the illustration of the basic principle in terms of specific cases. These specific cases are often illustrations of the extent of the application of the law; that is, by citing a minimal type of case, the necessary jurisdictions of the law are revealed.

The law, then, asserts principles and cites cases to develop the implications of those principles, with is purpose and direction the restitution of God’s order.

Institutes of Biblical Law 146 Lectures Series – Index

Rousas John Rushdoony

IBL09: Ninth Commandment

1. Tempting God

2. Sanctification and the Law

3. The False Prophet

4. Jesus Christ as the Witness

5. Witness of the False Prophet

6. Corroboration

7. Perjury

8. False Witness

9. False Freedom

10. The Lying Tongue

11. Slander Within Marriage

12. Slander

13. Slander as Theft

14. Every Idle Word

15. Trial by Ordeal

16. Judges

17. The Responsibility of Judges

18. The Court

19. Procedures of the Court

20. Judgment of the Court

21. Perfection

IBL10: Tenth Commandment

1. Covetousness

2. The Law in Force

3. Special Privilege

4. Offenses Against Neighbors

5. The System

IBL11: Promises of the Law

1. The Use of the Law

2. The Law and the Ban

3. Curses and Blessings

4. The Unlimited Liability Universe

IBL12: Law in the Old Testament

1. God the King

2. The Law and the Prophets

3. Natural and Supernatural Law

4. Law as Direction and Life

5. The Law and the Covenant

IBL13: The Law and the New Testament

1. Christ and the Law

2. Woman Taken in Adultery

3. Antinomianism Attacked

4. The Transfiguration

5. The Kingdom of God

6. The Tribute Money

7. The Cultural Mandate

8. Law in Acts and Epistles

IBL14: Church Law

1. The Eldership

2. Office of Elder in the Church

3. The Christian Passover

4. Circumcision and Baptism

5. The Priesthood of All Believers

6. Discipline

7. Rebuke and Excommunication

8. Power and Authority

9. Peace

Appendix: Law in Western Society

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Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916–2001), was a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical law to society. He started the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965.  His Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) began the contemporary theonomy movement which posits the validity of Biblical law as God’s standard of obedience for all. He therefore saw God’s law as the basis of the modern Christian response to the cultural decline, one he attributed to the church’s false view of God’s law being opposed to His grace. This broad Christian response he described as “Christian Reconstruction.”  He is credited with igniting the modern Christian school and homeschooling movements in the mid to late 20th century. He also traveled extensively lecturing and serving as an expert witness in numerous court cases regarding religious liberty. Many ministry and educational efforts that continue today, took their philosophical and Biblical roots from his lectures and books.

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