Friday, January 09, 2015

"Old Testament"?

What we, and our Bible publishers, call "Old Testament", is not what the Scriptures call "old testament".

Originally published at:

1 comment:

Kent West said...

The Law of Moses, the "old covenant", given only to Israel at the time of the Exodus, was separate and distinct from the covenant with Abraham, given to all people of faith, Jew and Gentile (Gal 3:7-9), given 430 years earlier, and which is still in effect (Gal 3:29).

It was also separate and distinct from the Noahic covenant, given even earlier than that, which was given to all humanity and all animals, and which is still in effect (thankfully, or the rainbow would provide us no protection whatsoever).

It was also separate and distinct from the Adamic/Edenic covenants, given at the very beginning, to all humanity, and which is still in effect, allowing Jesus to appeal to that covenant for his ruling on marriage regardless of what Moses said about marriage. (Jesus didn't pronounce new law in making his statement on marriage; he appealed to an even older legal, and more universal, precedent than Moses' law.)

Anything prior to about Exodus 12, such as the mandate to do science ("have dominion over the earth", requiring study and understanding of the earth), and anything after the last chapter of Deuteronomy, such as the Psalms or the book of Micah (although these books were compiled/written while the old covenant was in effect), is not "old covenant/testament", regardless of the millions of printed Bibles that "wrongly divide" the Word in that way.

When King Josiah (2 Kings 22) had the Temple cleaned, and the book of the Law was found, that book of the Law was the old covenant; the reporting of Josiah's finding it is not part of the old covenant, although it was reported while that old covenant was still in effect.

We live while the U.S. Constitution is in effect; but any documents produced now (except for Constitutional Amendments) are not the U.S. Constitution. Likewise, the book of the Law of Moses (Ex 12 - Deut) is the old covenant, and any events/documents produced later while that covenant was in effect, like the book of Proverbs, are not the old covenant.

Now, having said that, God makes clear, on the Mount of Transfiguration, when Moses (representing the Law) and Elijah (representing the Prophets) appear with Jesus, and Peter wants to honor all three, that Jesus has priority over the Law and Prophets by announcing, "This is my beloved son; hear him!"

Still, the psalms and proverbs and chronicles and Job and the minor prophets and the major prophets, while written under the old covenant, are not "old covenant".