Welcome To ThinkNot, Matthew 5:17.

Did Paul Teach Against the Law?


When someone reads the letters to the churches that Paul wrote, one can get the impression that Paul was teaching that a Christian should not follow the instructions and teachings that are given to us in the Torah and Prophets (Old Testament). This is NOT TRUE. But before you consider my or your pastors word for it, let’s examine what Paul stated when he was accused of teaching this.

The Real Question

We need to ask “what did Paul believe” and “what did Paul say he was teaching”. Let’s look at the scripture.

The Accusation:

As recorded in Acts, Paul was being accused of teaching against 2 things that the religious establishment took issue with (he also taught about Jesus, in which many did not believe, but that is not the focus of this discussion). The two issues we are looking at are:
1. Gods Instructions (the law)
2. The Temple

James and a council of elders advise Paul how to address this:

Acts 21:24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.

Acts 21:27-28 And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him, 28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men everywhere against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.

Paul’s Reply:

Acts 24:12-15 And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city: 13 Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. 14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: 15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

Acts 25:8 While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.

Acts 26:22-23 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: 23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.


As recorded in Acts, we see that Paul was accused of teaching against "the law" and "the temple". In his reply he states that they cannot prove that he is teaching this and this is not his belief.

Did You Know?

Paul was observant of the instructions given by God to direct our daily walk. I believe that the testimony of Paul is a more powerful statement than letters written to churches to address specific issues in the church. Anyone studying the writings of Paul needs to consider this testimony of Paul.
Updated January - 2018