Is the Old Testament for today - one opinion
Posted by Omegaman 2.0 on the January 15th, 2007
I got tired of seeing my last blog, as the latest blog, so I did another to bump my position.
I came in at the tail end of a conversation in chat one night, not long ago, it was close to venomous between a few, or at least in seemed to me to be so. As near as I could figure out, it began on a topic like war or the death penalty, or something along those lines. Those topics are still what I would call peripheral theology, yet I cannot deny their importance, because human lives are at stake. What I saw in that chat, was that everyone was under the assumption that their opinion was the right one or the superior one, and felt that their view was justified by scripture.
Now, it is great, that everyone is willing to back up their ideas, and form their beliefs, from the scripture. I Try to do that, and just like all of these good people I watched, I too, have opinions, which I have formed from the scriptures. Unlike some of those I observed, I am willing to entertain the notion, that my understanding is limited, and my opinions can be wrong, very wrong. I am going to let some of those opinions show through in this blog, they are not the subject, they are the illustration, feel free to have your own convictions, in fact, you are not only entitled to them, you SHOULD form you own conclusions, for you are accountable to God, not to me, only somewhat to your brothers.
At the same time, we should all be open to hearing the opinions and convictions of others.
To quote Paul (out of context): 1 Cor 8:1-3
Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. 2 If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; 3 but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.
Now, in the discussion that night, there was a recurring theme. “That is not in the New Testament”, “We are not under law, we are under grace”. There were others, but the point seemed to be, that we do not have to bother with the Old Testament anymore, the New Testament is what runs the show.
Is this notion true? Is the question which Testament we are under? Is it, which parts of the Old Testament, can we dispense with? Or, is it possible, that we should be asking, if the New Testament is an edition to the Old Testament, a clarification, not in any way a replacement? Are there other ways we could ask this question?
I have some thoughts on this, and, I have some of my opinion on social topics, woven in as well. If you think that you would like to see it, I would be happy for you to do that. I am afraid, however, that it will not be received well by some, because my opinions are there. They will be unpopular with some, and I accept that. I ask you, to consider, whether you can read my opinions, opinions which I would share openly in chat, without holding them against me personally. It is our responsibility, to love each other, and harbor no ill feelings, yet recognize, that differences of opinion are inevitable. We can agree to disagree, agreeably. If you have that maturity, or if you can isolate good principles from a mans opinions, then by all means, check out my thoughts at the link I will provide. Also, feel free to leave you comments in this blog, about what you read, but be forewarned, I am not going to drawn into a debate in this blog, the one I watched, got too close to ugly.
15 Responses to 'Is the Old Testament for today - one opinion'
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Rebekah David said,
on January 20th, 2007 at 2:01 pm
Read your link oman . Interesting ideas can not say i agree with them all tho that is okay.
I do have a question tho when Jesus was talking about the law i have always understood that to mean the Ten Commandments? is this incorrect?
My humble opinion is that the OT is just as important as the NT and have seen the same Lord (of both) making them each very relievant to my life. I will say there are parts of each i do not understand and yet do see them as both compatible and neccessary to understand a small glimpse(and darkly at that)our Wonderful Creator.
on January 26th, 2007 at 2:34 am
Thank you for your taking the time to read it Rebekah. I do not expect everyone to agree with me, when they do, I will assume I am wrong.
I do not think that Jesus, in referring to the law, is talking about the ten commandments. Observe this familiar passage:
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.
Notice there are two things He did not come to destroy. The Prophets, is a reference to the Books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekial, etc. Similarly, the Law, is also a collection of books. It was terminology well known to His audience. The Jews had divided the scriptures into categories, but these are manmade, just as our chapter and verse number system is. Jesus was basically saying “I have not come to destroy the scriptures, but to fulfill them.” There are other similar phrases Jesus used.
“These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures
There - you see Jesus talking about the Law of Moses. This is probably a longhand version of what He meant by the Law in the previous verse. The Law of Moses, might sound again like the ten commandments to our ears, but it is a referance to the first five books of the Bible. Christians sometimes refer to these as the Pentateuch, to the Jews, it is Torah. The Torah, is obviously more than the ten commandments.
When we divide things into categories like this, it is good for some purposes, we like things organized.
Consider this. Jesus was always being criticised for things like violating the Sabbath. That, is a violation of law.
In the following, you can see that Jesus saw the law as prophetic. Maybe one could make the case that the ten commandments are a prophecy of the Messiah, but I won’t try.
Matt 11:13 “For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John.
Here is more evidence, that the Law is more than a few “thou shalt nots”:
21 And when eight days were completed before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
22 And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every first-born male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”
Now all that being said, I think there is a sense in which you are correct. If you think of the Law as rules for behavior, it is obvious that we do not obey the law flawlessly. Whether you limit yourself to just the ten commandments, or the multitude of other commandments in the Bible. Since we do not obey, we need a way to deal with sins. In Old Israel, they depended on the sacrifice of animals. This, was only a picture of what was to come. The blood of a few animals is not sufficient to cleanse us of sins. Faith in God, and His provison for us, is how we access cleansing from sin. I believe all the animals in the world. can not atone for a single persons sin. I do not belive that the sacrifice of a single sinless person, could atone for the sins of mankind. The math just doesn’t work. However, if God Himself were to sacrifice His body, He is of sufficient worth to cover all of mankind. Problem is, in order for God to do that, He would have to have a body which can shed blood and die. This is why the Diety of Christ is a vital doctrine.
Pauls refers to the Law as our schoolmaster, as I believe I mentioned in the link you read. It teaches us two things. The first, is that we are not good enough, the second, is that it points out, through prophecy, who would save us from our sins.
I know that was way more than your questioned looked for. so I will do a recap after all my typical longwindedness.
Your short question:
I do have a question tho when Jesus was talking about the law i have always understood that to mean the Ten Commandments? is this incorrect?
My short answer:
Yes, it is incorrect, lol.
Donna Ps25 said,
on February 20th, 2007 at 12:02 pm
As always God amazes me. My sister told me this weekend she plans to obtain a new tattoo. So I asked her what the Bible said about it. She mentioned well, there are many Christians she knows that have tattoos. I said yes. And so she thinks we can do as society says is correct?? Then she is conforming to the world. I showed her the passage in Lev. 19 about Tattoos, and so we discussed how several items in that passage are still things we consider we should practice today (as Christians) but yet things like weaving 2 types of material together and cutting sides of hair we have never thought twice over.
Later that evening, I just happened to check blogs, and this new one had been posted by you. Very interesting that it came together.
Thank you for adding in to our study on the topic. It’s now up to her to pray about her decision.
Rebekah David said,
on April 27th, 2007 at 1:21 pm
Thanks oman! (sorry this reply was so late in coming)
I appreciated your long version as it really clarified my misconception and also the short recap as my mind got lost thinking about your long version
on May 24th, 2007 at 12:49 pm
Greetings brother, I after many years of bible study am inagreement with you. I would like to to go even deeper about the role of the Jews and what we owe to them. God tells us to pray every day for Jerusalem. This is very important and again why the Old testement is very important to all of us. We are adopted into Gods family. Sorry I hope I didn’t open up any problems. Thank you for sharing your thoughts (well done) 2 Tim 3: 16-17
Have a blessed day
on May 27th, 2007 at 4:38 pm
Thank you for your blog.
In order to understand the new testement and specifically what Yeshua teaches, you must have the Old Testement.
Myself, I have never read a scripture written by God that tells me to do away with the Old Testement.
I think however, one must discover that which is created by man (Church dogma), and that which is commanded by God.
An example of what I mean…..for a very long time and maybe still, catholics were not allowed to eat meat on friday….so who deceided this….God or the pope.
It has always amazed me that christians do alot of man inspired things and totally ignore the commandments and the Festivals commanded by God.
Another example, it is my belief that the Puritans were not celebrating “Thanksgiving”, but the Feast of the Tabernacle.
It is by the Grace of God through our belief in He Who is the Christ that we are saved.
How folks think that eliminates the Old Testement and it’s teachings is beyond me.
Donna Ps25 said,
on June 13th, 2007 at 10:00 pm
I’m currently reading an amazing book I’ll recommend by Ray Stedman called ‘Adventuring through the Bible’. It has really opened my eyes to looking at the Holy Book in different ways. He very much ties the OT and NT together. The prophecies, the fullfillments, the reason behind each book and why it was written and to whom. I just started the NT part, but the OT was a wealth of info to me.
Joel R. said,
on June 28th, 2007 at 12:45 pm
I have read your link and it is very ineteresting. Like you said we can have a discussion about meanings and literal translations but the Lord taught us in the OT to be responsible for our own actions, something of a rare occasion in our present time. To ignore the OT, which spawned what are now the three main religions of christianity, judaism, and islam (yes even islam) and to replace it with the NT is rather extreme. Watching the end of the movie is much less enjoyable than watching it in it’s full context.
Robert Cartwright said,
on July 5th, 2007 at 8:35 am
I had an ‘out of body’ experience when I suffered a cardiac arrest. The comment I have to make about,” is the Old Testament relevant for today.” is simple. Yes it is!
I say this because I thought and quite rightly that my last breath had been taken from me.
I uttered the words, “well I’ve finally bought it Lord and I’ve failed you.”
The reply came back, “My ways are not your ways, neither are your ways my ways; I have chosen you with all your faults, you didn’t choose me. I know your faults. Now go back and follow my laws, do this and you will greatly please me.”
So where did I go? To the ten commandments of course. Then I began to study different laws and see if they were relevant to my situation and the modern day or if they were directed to the peoples of that period in time.
A great deal of wisdom, understanding and discernment are needed to interpret these correctly and that is why we have God’s Holy Spirit who will direct us into all truth and knowlege. We are human and we will continue to make mistakes but remember that God knows us and all our ways.
The Old and New Testaments compliment each other and there is a wealth of instruction and hope in the old as well as the new. Prayer is the key to heaven and faith unlocks the door. Enjoy both old and new.
on July 29th, 2007 at 11:59 pm
Jesus did not come to “replace the law but to fulfill the law”.
God does not change and people are not different from thousands of years ago. Societies and mans laws change.
What applied to mankind b.c. still applies today. Living by faith instead of the law does not negate the law. God still expects the same from mankind as any other time.
on August 18th, 2007 at 1:51 pm
I am aware that not many Christians truely know what OLD TESTEMENT means. Some even those who retun tihe believe that the OT is simply the book from Genesis to Malachi.
But the OT in reality refers to ANIMAL / BLOOD SACRIFICES.
When we say that we are not under the OT what we must undrstand from this is that we are no longer obligated to use animal sacrifices, or high priest or any of the ” shadows” that represented Jesus.
The book of Hebrews chapters 7-10 give a good discription of the old covenant and new. and the book of Acts chapter 15 gives a good indication that we ( NONE HEBREW BELIEVERS IN JESUS) must continue to obey the laws writen in the book which we call the OT.
The division of the bible into books of OT and NT is not divine. Its a human doing. God divided His SCRIPTURE into two divisions: THE LAW ( written by Moses) and THE PROPHETS. Now these are the divisions made by God and are divine, and ALL of them regardless of what book we read apply today
on September 4th, 2007 at 3:23 pm
Read your blog, superfantastic, meaty with scripture and none ramming - down - your - throat - style. I have and still do struggle with new and old testasment scripture, but know that Its not about me, its about God.
I do stuff wrong, we all do, but I just say, hey God I mucked it up again looks like I really do need you. he just needs us to acknowledge our sin and he gives us his grace. Don’t know about you but I live by faith and Grace and Gods Love alone.
I have left the pentecostal church I attended because of legalism, saying we should be right with God and be righteous, but We can never be right with God, He makes us right by sending Jesus Christ to shed his blood for us. That and only that Is being right with God. Be real people, stand for Jesus just as you are. live under Grace, and let him love you into being holy through faith in Jesus and his grace and mercy.
Thank you for writing what I feel is inspiring to my walk. Refreshing and Real.
May God truley and richly bless you with his Love.
on November 9th, 2007 at 6:15 pm
I’d say that the old testament is alive and well. I only just escaped from a christian chat room where they were discussing the merits of castrating child molesters and rapists! When I asked what we do with women who do those things, stony silence was the stern reply.
Seriously though, I have to agree with you. The old testament is rich with God’s promises, the fulfillment of which we see in the life, death and ressurection of Christ. In truth, I don’t think you can have one without the other. The old testament, taken as a whole, is the story of God’s law, and how utterly we are unable to live up to it. The new testament is about what God did about that.
I am what could best be termed a ‘returning backslider’. I have been in the wilderness for many years, but just last week I finally took the Book off the shelf, blew the dust off it, and asking God for a ’sign’, for want of a better word, opened up at Isiaih 41. It got my attention, especially vs 8-20. I couldn’t think of a better scripture for someone in my position. There were no flashing lights, no bells or whistles; just a feeling of assurance that I am loved, that God has not forgotten me, that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
My conclusion? The Word of God is a thing of beauty, of promise, of love and grace. Check out John 1:1-5. Jesus is the Word of God. And it says somewhere,(Revelation?) that not one jot or tittle of the word will be nullified, or words to that effect.
As for you, Omegaman,(revelation again!), you seem to be a fairly sensible, well adjusted bloke. I think, in my experience, that a lot of Christians forget one of the Lords greatest gifts to us: Commonsense.
Grace and peace.
on November 11th, 2007 at 8:39 pm
After reading most of the blogs on this issue about the Old and New Testaments, I felt strongly moved to chime in. It’s funny– I’ve been reading the books of Exodus, Numbers and Leviticus lately because I’ve grown deeply fascinated with the Tabernacle in the wilderness and Yahweh’s Laws concerning its building and sanctification. All things about the tabernacle symbolize our Lord Jesus Christ: the sacrificial bronze altar, it’s annointing with blood, the priest’s robes, and the curtain that is before the Most Holy Place. One of God’s instructions to Moses was to use the colors red, purple and blue year when making the curtain of the tabernacle [Exodus 26:1-2],when making Aaron’s priestly sash and other things. [The Jews Torah? states that the purple yarn represents the Messiah. Purple as you know, is a mixture of red=earth and blue=heaven. There is so much more symbolism that points to Christ, just as he told his apostles. Is the Old Testament relevant for Christians. You bet. I was able to understand Jesus’ even better after reading about the very detailed laws and procedures that Yahweh gave to the Israelites through wonderful Moses.If we don’t consider the ancient symbols that represented the Savior, I feel the we’ll miss out on a lot.(Exodus 26:1-2). PLEEEZE read the Old Testament books–then look at Revelation 1:9-16). Peace.
Rev Albert said,
on November 14th, 2007 at 12:37 am
In all you have said, you have demonstrated what the church currently suffers from. Not the subject on the Old Testament, but about how every uses the Scriptures to push forward their own opinions. I am truly impressed with your level of Comprehension as one who has stepped back and look at everyone doing their own thing.
This day, the day you read this tread, declares the Lord God of the heavens, and his only begotten Son Jesus Christ, the Angel of the Lord will make camp with you; and will endow you with all the Gifts of the Spirit and indeed increase your understand.
In God’s word we are commanded to humble ourselves; and God will raise us up. You can never know personally that you are humble, but your demonstrated love through how you deal with others shows your humility. You think about your words before you write them or say them; that speaks about your heart.
The Angel with you will teach you how to heal the sick and raise the dead; and will also teach you how the power of healing works; and will move you to show love to everyone that you want to help. Once you desire to help, he will move upon anyone you touch and give you tangible evidence that he is there. Even if you do not believe that he is there, he will not leave; and only when you start desiring to show love to someone by either giving or helping them, that he will move upon the person.
And God Bless you