The Old Testament was Jesus' Bible.  For Jesus there is no real before or after so don't think of Old and New Testament that way.  The Bible claims to be a unity.  But however some practices of the Old Testament have been dropped by Christians. The Church holds that the moral rules of God that he revealed in the Old Testament are unchangeable for justice will always be justice and love will always be love.  These laws are nearly all in the first books of the Bible. We call this collection the Torah.

Jesus said that if anybody watered down anything in the Jewish Law they would be considered dirt in his kingdom - Matthew 5.  Jesus actually made it stricter for he said that even having an unfulfilled urge to commit adultery is to be counted as adultery.  The commandment says that adultery is a serious sin and if proven demands a cruel death penalty.  Paul declared that the moral law given in the Jewish Law is unchangeable but the rest of the law could be kept not as means to get salvation but as a blessing from God (1 Corinthians 9).  The doctrine of Paul was not that the law was wrong but the problem was nobody was obeying it.  The heart inside needed to be changed and God needed to give grace to give you a fresh start.  Paul was about saving people from the penalty of the law not the law so that they could begin to love God again from the heart.

In Acts 15 the apostles decide not to burden Gentile converts with the law.  They give rules to avoid food sacrificed to idols, fornication including gay sex, the eating of blood and the meat of strangled animals.  What they mean is the law is still in force but the Gentiles cannot be ready for a full imposition.  So a few basic rules will do for now.

The letter of James chapter 2 is clear that for Christians that to fail to keep one law is to simply smash the whole law.  It implies disrespect to the other laws.  Thus there is no room for saying it is okay to keep all the laws as long as you consider yourself exempt from say the homosexuality ban.  James is a moralistic letter and it is thinking of the principles of the law about right and wrong.  Like Jesus, it is banning anybody watering down any of the rules of the Torah.  Jesus made some of the rules obsolete but was careful to stress that not needing a law any more does not mean you break it by dropping any commandment.

James 2:10 is seen to indicate that since to break one law is to break them all that the Law of Moses with its 613 commandments is a unit.  This implies that all the laws are true and valid.  The idea is that the basic law is that evil must be banned and the rules are only working that out and detailing it.  So to break one law is to become evil.  It reminds us how Jesus defined the law as being about love of God and neighbour and as every positive has its negative that means, "Spurn evil - spurn failure to love God and neighbour." 

The book, Jesus The Only Saviour, teaches that the moral law of the Old Testament is still as true and valid as ever for Christ paid the penalty for those who broke the moral law and only abolished the ceremonial for us by keeping it for us (page 54). This is correct except that Jesus did not do away with the ceremonial. Jesus did not come to change the Law but to make it tougher which is changing it in a sense but the Law as it is in the Torah is still intact and interference with its precepts is against the will of the Christian God.

The book has surmised that because Jesus paid the death penalty for us that it would be wrong to execute capital punishment because that would be making a sin paid for twice over which would flout justice. This is the chief argument used by Christians and it sounds as hollow as it is which is why it cannot safeguard against Christianity managing to restore the death penalty in the future for it is wrong and error is only of short-term value regarding preventing evil. Truth is the only way.

And what is hollow in the argument is this. Jesus may have paid for us but we still die and death is punishment if God sends it for it is not a good thing. Even it is takes us to a good place it is still not good. The Bible says that death is punishment and if we still die after Jesus saved us it is still punishment for death is death. So when the bad thing of death still happens after Jesus saves you it follows that God thinks that you are so hateful that even when Jesus pays in full for you, you still have got to pay. The Catholic Church is no position to deny that death is punishment for that cult insists that though Jesus paid for the sins of those who die in hell-deserving sin that will not stop them going to Hell to pay themselves. So since death happens naturally and by the power of God nobody can say that God forbids capital punishment. If the death of Jesus implied it did it would also imply that it was wrong to send a repentant Christian rapist to jail! When Jesus did not intend to do away with punitive law by his death that is a strong endorsement of punitive law.
A Christian book called War and Pacifism tell us that there are five different approaches to the Old Testament on account of its seeming harshness compared with the New (page 21). They are:

Firstly, to abandon it – which cannot be done for the New Testament depends on it and appeals to it and Jesus treated it as a certificate that he was the Son of God.

Secondly, to spiritualise it – this cannot be done either for Jesus used the book literally and looking for spiritual meanings is silly for that makes you able to twist it any way you want and the book never said it was meant for such treatment but does expect to be taken as it stands.

Thirdly, to see the Old Testament as true but to hold that Jesus has changed its rules so they no longer stand.

Fourthly, to believe that the Old Testament is still in force but no longer relevant for God gave it for a different time and place. This is not plausible either for Israel’s history changed so much and the law was still binding on them and what is the difference between two men lying together in Old Testament times and getting stoned to death and between two men doing it in our day?

Fifth, to see the Old Testament as valid and true for today in all that it says except that Jesus made it tougher – for example, the law that lying was wrong was stretched to the degree that Jesus wanted us to be so truthful that we would not need oaths though they were permitted by the law. This approach makes the law liberal compared to the teaching of Christ.

The book states that only options four and five are feasible (page 22). Incidentally, the book boasts that in the Old Testament wars the wars were very clearly sanctioned and commanded by God (page 31) which is an attempt to say that we should not kill when the Law tells us to unless we become prophets and God tells us to obey the Law. It tells us to look up Judges 7 as an example. But when it was a prophet or a leader of the army who got the command what use is that? Anybody could say God told him we should fight. The Bible is bigoted and reckless.

Christians who know what God is supposed to have said believe that there is no conflict between the Old and New Testaments (page 23, War and the Gospel) because they were given by the God who never changes.

So if God wrote the Bible or inspired it then he meant for there to be no conflict so one affirms the other.  To say you love and respect the New Testament is to pay homage to the Old whether you like it or not.  The Old and New Testament is a division made by scholars but the Bible claims to be just the testament.  Remember that.


No Copyright