James Bannerman on the distinction between church and state in Old Testament Israel

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Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
The Church and the state among the Jews were distinct in respect of the nature of the power which they exercised respectively. Here, again, the very same difference is to be observed between the two societies as exists under the present dispensation. It is true, indeed, that exceptional instances may be pointed out of individual men who, in virtue of an extraordinary commission from God, united civil and ecclesiastical functions in their own persons. ...

The power exercised by the Jewish state was purely civil and coercive in its nature. This is evident from the kind of penalties inflicted, such as fines, scourging, death by stoning, or hanging on a tree. The power exercised by the Jewish Church, on the other hand, was not coercive, but spiritual in its nature. It did not affect the properties or the lives of men, but was exerted in the way of warning, rebuke, ecclesiastical censure, and finally excommunication, or “cutting off from the congregation.” ...

For more, see James Bannerman on the distinction between church and state in Old Testament Israel.
 
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