Before I plunge into the deep, I must define my terms, and give a brief summary of the various biblical meanings of â€˜the lawâ€™.1 And there is need! Most evangelicals think of â€˜the lawâ€™ as a moral system encapsulated in the ten commandments. This is a bad, bad mistake, and the source of much misunderstanding and trouble. True, â€˜the ten commandmentsâ€™ is a biblical phrase, but its use in Scripture is very rare, and the law is never defined in this way, never! The phrase â€˜ten commandmentsâ€™ occurs only three times in the entire Bible (Ex. 34:28; Deut. 4:13; 10:4), never once in the New Testament. Of course, the â€˜tablets of stoneâ€™, and â€˜the ministry... written and engraved on stonesâ€™ are mentioned in the New Testament (2 Cor. 3:3,7), but whether these are references exclusively to the ten commandments or to the entire Sinai covenant is debatable. So where did the idea â€“ that â€˜the lawâ€™ means â€˜the ten commandmentsâ€™ â€“ come from? It originated with Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century, was developed by the Reformers, and reached its zenith in the following hundred years under the Puritans. It is still with us. And it confuses â€“ and worse than confuses â€“ the debate right at the start.