What is St. Thomas Aquinas' conception of divine law?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Thomas Aquinas states that there are four kinds of law in existence: eternal law, natural law, human law and divine law. According to him, divine law originates from eternal law (will of God) and it has historically been transmitted to human beings by way of revelation. It is then circulated to other people through writing or via word of mouth. This law is necessary in guiding man towards fulfilling his supernatural end. Aquinas also states that there are two types of divine law: Old Law that nearly corresponds to the Old Testament and the New Law which nearly corresponds to the New Testament. Therefore, Aquinas refers to the Ten Commandments when discussing the Old Law and focuses on Jesus’ teachings when referring to the New Law.

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