If Christians don't have to follow the laws of the Old Testament, why is the Old Testament part of the Bible?
I'm really sick of this back and forth here. Every time atheists point out the evil and barbaric parts of the Bible, Christians always come back and say, "That's in the Old Testament, so it doesn't matter anymore."
OK, carpet scrapers, explain that one. If the OT has somehow been nullified, why is it still in the Bible? Furthermore, exactly where does it say that the OT has been nullified? And if that is true, then doesn't that mean that one of the following must be true?
1. The god of the OT and the god of the NT are different gods.
2. The fact that a new set of rules was made proves god changed its mind, which means it is not infallible, which means it isn't really god.
It seems like millions of Christians only care about the OT and don't care about the NT at all. That's why so many Christians hate homosexuals, abuse their families, own stockpiles of weapons, and treat everyone different from them like animals. What is good about keeping the OT in the Bible if it leads to that?
- ♫DaveC♪♫Lv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
Personally, I've studied the Bible -- both Old and New Testaments -- for over 40 years and I find no difference between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament. I also find that His Law is the same in both the Old and the New Testament. That is why, for example, I still go to church on the God's (Saturday) Sabbath, don't eat unclean flesh foods, don't touch alcohol, faithfully return the tithes and offerings to God, and don't accept an old earth nor evolution.
Those Christians whom like to make a distinction between the Old and the New Testament and claim that any part of God's Law is no longer in effect, are Christians in name only and have been deceived by the traditions of man (which, of course, come from the devil). This is what they may hear when Jesus comes to receive His True followers to Himself:
Mat. 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
EDIT: (from post further down)
>> The Mosaic covenant was given to the Jews living under
>> a theocracy before Christ was born, so it never was
>> intended for us Christians.
That is an example of a deceived Christian. He then goes on to single out (pick-n-choose) nine of the Ten Commandments as the only part of the Old Testament Law which should be kept. That is incorrect. How do I know he is deceived and how do I know that *all* of God's Law (the Commandments, Statutes, and Judgments) is still in force? Seriously consider, with prayer and supplication, the full meaning of Malachi 4 and then you'll understand.
- JanetLv 44 years ago
You are misinterpreting the passage here. Even if your interpretation were correct, Christians would still not be required to keep that law unless they underwent circumcision, and Gentile Christians were never required to do so. Now, are there laws codified in the prophets? No. Can you destroy or fulfill something in the prophets that is not in the prophets? No. If Jesus came to "fulfill" the "law and prophets" then what exactly did He do to accomplish this? "The law at the time was the law of the Old Testament." No, the law in this context are the first 5 books of the old testament writings, and could also refer to the entirety of the old testament writings. "Show me a verse in the Bible which says that it is ok to disregard the laws of the Old Testament?" A loaded question. The old testament is also the old covenant, and Gentile Christians never became a legal party to that covenant. Also, that covenant ended; being replaced by the new covenant. Is the new covenant not good enough for you? .
- 4 years ago
It s a misnomer for a group of people to call themselves Christians but ignore the Old Testament. I guess these people take the NT as the only authentic authority for their faith.If this is the case,they have missed the way.They should realize that Jesus,whose followers were later called Christians had access only to the Tanakh,the Jewish Bible (now recognized as the Old Testament),and He constantly referred to it in His ministry.
Jesus said,"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.........."(Matt 5:17-19). The problem these people have is the word Law because they have learned that as Christians we are no longer under the law, but grace.This is an aspect of the Christian doctrine commonly misunderstood by some Christian teachers.They believe that the OT teaches the law while the NT is for grace. This is absolutely untrue.The Tanakh contains the Torah,the Prophet and the Writings.Torah means Teachings but translated as law by Greek translators. The teachings were basically God s instructions to the Israelites as a mode of living. With time the Israelites developed the apart from the Talmud which was to be observed strictly,though not included in the Torah that God gave them through Moses.Most of the confrontations Jesus had from the Pharisees and the Elders were sourced from the Talmud.
So the Torah is fundamental in the Christian doctrine just as other parts (Prophets and Writings) of the Jewish Bible are. In fact many modern Rabbis now find their salvation to Jesus through the OT,particularly Isaiah 53.
- superpest_99Lv 41 decade ago
Everything in the Scriptures matters a lot. It's true that a large part of the Old Testament is recorded history of both warnings against doing evil and of examples of doing good, and therefore necessary, even today. It delineates the laws of God but also the Jewish economy that was ideal at the time under a theocracy. God didn't change - man did. Man broke the covenant made at Sinai, not God. Yet God made a new covenant, reflective of the old because the people repented (for awhile). But the Old Testament is also full of prophecies, most of which have been fulfilled and some yet to come. The fulfillment of the prophecies in themselves proves the validity of both the OT and NT and that it was divinely inspired. You can't throw the baby out with the bathwater just because some passages of Scripture aren't appealing to you. As Christians, we understand the sins and punishments of old are recorded as examples for us NOT to follow. We also understand the difference between a people ruled by God and a nation NOT under a theocracy; that they must still have moral standards yet obey the rulers as long as their rules don't contradict God's laws. The OT and NT complete each other by giving us the bigger picture of why the FT (Future Testament, as I like to call it) will be possible and endure forever. Our lives will be very different in the eternal afterlife, but the principles of love between God and man, and between brethren will never change.
As for your last comment, if you say Christians do this, then obviously they are not Christians, now are they?
I see someone's on a hatefest. Oh well.
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
I wish I could say that your question is outrageous. Sadly, it's not. Many Christians do say exactly the kind of things you mention. Why is this? I honestly don't know. Yes, the portions of the Mosaic Law relating to ceremonial purity, circumcision, and foods were set aside in the New Testament. The Law was a treaty between God and the nation of Israel. God promised to protect and nurture Israel while Israel was responsible to keep the terms of the Law as their part of the agreement. Since the Church was open to both Jews and gentiles it should be obvious why this legal treaty, or covenant, is not binding on the Church. Christianity and Judaism are two different faiths. But to say that the OT doesn't apply to Christians is just plain dumb.
That being said, it is also true that specific instructions-- invade this land, or attack that city-- were time specific. The Old Testament is both a historical and religious book. Not everything recorded is held forth as an example for us to follow. I personally don't believe God needs or wants me to make excuses for Him. So I don't. The God of the OT is the same as the God of the New. And if I want to know what the God I worship is like I need the Old Testament.
The last part of your question has no answer because it isn't a question at all. You're just venting.
- MarieLv 71 decade ago
I am a Christian and believe the Ten Commandments are as important now as the day they were written. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The Ten Commandments reflect just how imperfect we are. If we are measured by the Ten Commandments, how many of us are without guilt? They are a mirror that shows us just how much we have fallen short. They have not been "nullified". Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-19, "Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, untill heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everthing is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
The God of the Old Testament is STILL the same Almighty God of the New Testament. If He condemns a certain behavior in the OT, you can take it to the bank that it is also wrong in the New. Jesus taught Torah. He taught from the ancient scrolls. He was a traditional Jew when he walked the earth. Anyone that says the Ten Commandments are nullified has not read the New Testament correctly.
Here is what New Testament teaches that corrisponds to Old Testament teaching:
No other gods - Exodus20:3 - Matthew 4:10,22:37-40 Luke 4:8
Idols - Exodus 20:4-6 - Romans 2:22
Do not take the - Exodus 20:7 - Acts 26:11
name of the Lord in
Honor your father and Exodus 20:12 - Ephesians 6:1-3
Do not murder Exodus 20:13 - Romans 13:9
Do not commit Exodus 20:14 - Romans 2:22;13:19
Don't steal Exodus 20:15 - Romans 2:21;13:9
No False witness
against your neighbor Exodus 20:16 - Romans 19:9
Do not covet
what others have. Exodus 20:17 - Romans 13:9
No command for the
sabbath. However, Jesus
observed traditional Jewish
I really hope this clears things up for you! Like I said God is the same God yesterday, today, and forever!
- Jasmine808Lv 61 decade ago
The Old Testament laws are categorized in three groups: the civil, the priestly, and the moral. Since we are not under a theocracy and Jesus fulfilled the priestly laws those rules mentioned in the Old Testament are no longer applicable. The moral laws that were put in place during the Old Testament are a reflection of God's character and His character has not changed.
Furthermore, the Christian idea of God is understood as the trinity. The OT and NT do not have two different gods nor are the moral laws of the OT nullified by anything said in the NT.
- David SLv 51 decade ago
The OT is a part of the Bible and should not be thrown out because it is the inspired word of God. God did not change between the OT and the NT; God never changes. The OT contains much that we Christians can learn from: history, wisdom, prophecy, inspiration. The Mosaic covenant was given to the Jews living under a theocracy before Christ was born, so it never was intended for us Christians.
However, of the Ten Commandments given to Moses, nine of them are repeated in the NT. We don't become saved by following these commandments; we follow them because we are saved and we want to please God.
- lawrencegrossmanLv 51 decade ago
God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses along with the first Five Books of the Old Testament. He didn't say OK keep these laws for a while then do what you want.
- Sean BrockLv 51 decade ago
You must only know the Christians here on R&S.
The reason why they say "It's in the OT so it doesn't matter anymore," is because they don't know how to explain it. There God has taught them to be peaceful and kind (definitely not their religion) as well as they believe that their Word is infallible as if God himself wrote it, and not people he inspired and revealed to - all of whom were human. So if the Word is infallible then we'll they can't contend with it and so it is confusing that such barbaric things happened in the OT (well and during the dark ages too thanks to the apostate Catholic church). So they try to disregard it.
The truth is fallible men wrote the bible and fallible (and even wicked and coniving) men translated the bible -most of whom weren't inspired or directed to by God. There are mistranslations, misunderstandings, and calculated errors in the OT and NT, which makes it very necessary that someone listens to the Holy Ghost and it's promptings to make it through the incorrect ideas and properly grab onto the truth. It also makes it very necessary that there should be a prophet, as is the Lord's precedent, and will always be Amos 3:7, and since the Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever, then he must be revealing his word and his work is not yet done - for all men have not been born and Satan has not been cast into the pit. Jesus Christ still lives, and still reveals his will to the prophets and apostles.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
The Old Testament is kept to show how Christ is the Messiah, so show Gods miracles with the Israelites, and to show how people need a Savior.
However, the laws of the Old Testament are part of the Old Covenant, and were necessary for people before Christ came to forgive sins. The idea of the old laws remain the same, however we don't have to do 654 different Kosher things to keep in line.
We're to love God and our neighbors. If we love God and our neighbors that means we're respectful of others, forgiving, and basically want to live to the best of our ability and keep good character.
Christians who are hateful, abusive etc. really need to check their religion.
Also for you: not everyone who calls themselves a Muslim, Jew or Christian is. I as an Arab can say European. But if I don't speak any European language, couldn't name you 5 European dishes, know nothing about Europe's culture, politics, laws etc., have absolutely no European ideologies or mannerisms... exactly how European does that make me? In this PC world I'm more than allowed to call myself European but I'm sure Europeans would find me incredibly annoying and tell you that I absolutely am not.
Christians who read the Bible as a whole are real decent people I've found. They're often convicted to live really good lives and help others. Unfortunately these days most Christians are only so by 'title' and make a real mess of things.
I say investigate Christianity further than you're obviously sweeping superficial generalizations that you've made here, and you'll understand things a lot more.