Aaaaaand we’re back!
So, another contention on the whole JC/Christian thought deal is the concept of a “new” testament, which is based on Jeremiah 31:31-37 [30-36 for us Jew types]:
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day [that] I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, [and] the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts [is] his name:If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, [then] the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever. Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.”
This idea of a “new testament” is then reinforced by Hebrews 8:6-13 in the NT:
“But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first [covenant] had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.In that he saith, A new [covenant], he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old [is] ready to vanish away.”
Anyone catch those bits of editing to the original Jeremiah verse in there? Good. Somehow “I was a husband” turns into “I regarded them not”. Anyhoo, this is the basis for the Christian claim the the OT is no longer applicable. Now lets get into it:
1-YES. Both Christians AND Jews agree this is a messianic prophecy. Which is where the first problem arises. Jeremiah states that this new covenant will be made with “the house of Israel and the house of Judah”. However, at the time of JC, there was no “house of Israel” anymore. It had gone into exile already. [Ironically as a result of the prophecy over in isaiah 7:14-16. Remember THAT?] So if the house of Israel was no more, how could the Christian New Testament be the upgrade if this new covenant is supposed to be made with BOTH houses? Clearly this is an event that has yet to happen. Meaning the “New Testament” isnt the real McCoy. The Jewish interpretation of this verse is that this new covenant will be “written in their hearts”, i.e., an integral part of Israel, completely ingrained into them.
2-“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me”. This verse states that at the time of this new covenant EVERYONE will know who Gd is. The sheer fact that there are Christian missionaries who try to bring knowledge of “the savior” to people, heck, the fact that this post even EXISTS is proof of the fact that this has ALSO not been accomplished. Is there a universal Gd that everyone acknowledges? Nope. Just ask that atheist dude over there. So then what does that do to the Christian New Testament? [Btw, also note that this verse contains two of those messianic requirements we talked about: the idea of universal belief and the ingathering of exiles back to Israel, neither of which were accomplished by JC].
3-Also, the verse in Jeremiah states that there will be a new COVENANT. not a new LAW. The COVENANT that was broken between Gd and the Jews was the AGREEMENT that they would follow the LAW. Because thats what a covenant is:
an agreement, usually formal, between two or more persons to do or not do something specified.
So since the old agreement was violated, a new one is necessary. Not like the one “of their fathers” which was broken multiple times. Think of it as Gds lawyers suing Israel for being in breach of contract, not drawing up new agreements for an entirely different scenario.
4-If the New Testament is supposed to supplant the old one, then that means that Gd is either a liar or not omniscient, because there are several OT laws described as “forever”, “eternal” and “for all your generations”. If He KNEW at Sinai that he was going to send His kid down in a little over a millennium to change everything up, then WHY would He say they were eternal when He knew He’d change them? That would make Him a liar. And if Gd didn’t know He was going to change the laws later and so mistakenly called some of these laws “forever”, then you’re saying that Gd is imperfect. Why else would He have all these eternal laws then?
Things like the Passover sacrifice [Ex 12:14]
“And this day shall be unto you for a memorial, and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.”
Passover in GENERAL [Ex 12:17, 12:43]
“And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore shall ye observe this day throughout your generations by an ordinance for ever.”
“It [is] a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this [is] that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations.”
Celebrating Yom Kippur [The Day of Atonement] [Lev 16:29,31,34/23:31]
“And [this] shall be a statute for ever unto you: [that] in the seventh month, on the tenth [day] of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, [whether it be] one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you:”
“It [shall be] a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.”
“And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.”
“Ye shall do no manner of work: [it shall be] a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.”
Celebrating Shavuot [Festival of Weeks] [Lev 23:14,21]
“And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: [it shall be] a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.”
“And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, [that] it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work [therein: it shall be] a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.”
Celebrating Sukkot [Festival of Booths] [Lev 23:41]
“And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. [It shall be] a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.”
And dont forget the other 14 times in Ex 27:21, 28:43, Lev 3:17, 7:36, 10:9,17:7, 24:3, Num 10:8, 15:15, 19:10, 19:21, 18:23, 35:29, and Deut 29:28.
Now, look, this is what the definition of eternal and forever is for us mere MORTALS:
continually; incessantly; always: He’s forever complaining.
Get it? Got it? Good. Now keep in mind that we’re talking about GD here. So HIS definition of eternal is probably best expressed by the following equation:
[And so ur probably thinking, “But wait, arent there a BUNCH of laws you Jews dont do any more? How does that work if theyre ETERNAL, huh??”
And the difference is, Jews dont think these laws DONT APPLY, its just that we’re UNABLE to do them under the present conditions. If there’s no altar, how can we keep a fire burning on it? See?
Think of it like a class where the professor wants a double-spaced, typed paper and you only have access to looseleaf and a pencil. You cant hand in a handwritten paper because the professor wont accept it. That DOESNT mean the paper doesnt apply anymore, but it DOES mean you cant do the paper until you are able to present it in the manner the professor wants it in.
So for us, those kinda laws are just TEMPORARILY dormant. But they still EXIST.]
5-Coming back to Hebrews 8:6,7, it seems to imply that the original law was imperfect and too hard and 8:13 says that it has decayed and wasted away. But again, the sentiment is that it was imperfect. Which flies in the face of Psalms 19:7:
“The law of the LORD [is] perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD [is] sure, making wise the simple.”
If Gd’s law is perfect, then there’s no need for a new one. It says exactly what it means to say and it’s meant to be followed as its written, not double-guessed or decided that its no longer applicable.
Alright. lets break and eat. Recess