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The old Testament

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics' started by ximmix, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. ximmix

    ximmix Newbie

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    As a non Christian, it's very confusing how Christians see the Old Testament. Some say ignore it, there is a new Covenant. Some Christians choose certain parts of it, and some say the Laws still stand. So my question is, why is the Old testament still in the Bible if it's not relevant still? And, if it is still relevant, how do you choose what's relevant and what's not (mixed fabrics, eating seafood, gays)
     
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  2. Eloy Craft

    Eloy Craft Myth only points, Truth happened! Supporter

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    It's relevant like subconscious motivations are relevant to one's behaviour. We hear our parents voices in our subconscious. They took root there when we were young and most impressionable. Throughout salvation history God has been like a parent giving us what is appropriate for our age. We, like a child are being raised up and like a parent with a wayward child God's attitude is "whatever it takes'.
     
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  3. Dave G.

    Dave G. Well-Known Member

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    We live in the church age now under the new covenant but the whole counsel of God is there for our edification and enlightenment ( old and new testament). A good bible teacher can make the old relevant to the new, show the differences, the similarities, the promises and promises fulfilled. And that helps bring clarity.

    But for it all to register you need a changed heart.
     
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  4. ximmix

    ximmix Newbie

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    So only some special "teacher" who somehow has more information than other Christians can say what is relevant from the old Testament. Is that fair to say?
     
  5. ximmix

    ximmix Newbie

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    Sorry, that didn't help me at all.
     
  6. Dave G.

    Dave G. Well-Known Member

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    Not especially fair to say, no. A good teacher is valuable regardless the topic or field of study, is that fair to say ? If I want to know the inner workings of an average internal combustion engine say from a Ford, I can rip into one and start learning by tinkering around. Eventually, who knows how long from then, I can come to gain some simple understanding of the relationship between the camshaft, crankshaft, valve timing and efficient horse power. But if I'm taught by the engineer who designed it and guided by the head mechanic at the dealership that specific engine belongs to ( Ford) I'm going to gain a much deeper understanding and do so more quickly. Is that fair to say ?
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  7. ximmix

    ximmix Newbie

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    Fair enough. So i'll have to ask this teacher then how the old Testament applies today, it's obviously not something any ordinary Christian knows anything about...
     
  8. Dave G.

    Dave G. Well-Known Member

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    It helps to be taught, if not by a teacher ( special as you put it) then at least someone who has been taught ( maybe the mechanic vs the engineer in my analogy).

    There is a certain degree of revelation that comes out of reading on your own ( ripping an engine apart), in fact it can be new every day but someone educated and showing you can bring more clarity.

    Just to be simplistic. There is a common theme between old and new testament, that is grace and mercy. People like to dwell on the harshness of God in the old testament but they miss the grace and mercy He imparted to people who obeyed or even some who sinned but turned their ways back to God. That grace and mercy is alive in the new testament and old.

    God is sovereign, then and now. Ever present then and now. Holy and pure then and now. Sin was sin then and now. Walking with God was the plan then and now. Jesus Christ was present then and now but kept a secret then with prophecy of His day coming, prophesy of the cross and a new covenant. He is now revealed in our age. The book is interconnected cover to cover. People who only have and read the new testament still have something good but they are missing about 3/5 of the rest of the full counsel of God. Does that make sense to you ?
     
  9. Lukaris

    Lukaris Orthodox Christian Supporter

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    I think a major aspect of the old to new covenants is the keeping of God’s commandments.

    God gave a covenant to Noah ( Genesis 9:1-17). This I believe is a universal, moral covenant in which our conscience is accountable & St. Paul talks about this in Romans 2.

    With the Law given to Moses, God has begun His revelation to man (Deuteronomy 5, Deuteronomy 6, Leviticus 19, etc.). Ordinances, like circumcision, were meant for the Jews not mankind but the moral law is universal as Paul indicates in Romans 1 ( also compare Leviticus 18, Leviticus 19, Leviticus 20 in their morality. Note that the Sermon on the Mount ( Matthew 5, Matthew 6, Matthew 7) upholds the old moral code but preaches repentance instead of lethal punishment for lawlessness.

    In the old covenant, Solomon asserts that we are to fear the Lord & keep the commandments ( Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). In the New, the Lord says to love Him (God) & keep His commandments ( John 14:15-18). He says to love God & neighbor ( Matthew 22:36-40 etc.) to treat others accordingly (Matthew 7:1-12) .

    Love is the fulfillment of the law ( Matthew 5:17-20). This is done by keeping the commandments (Matthew 19:16-19, Romans 13:8-10 etc.).

    This is fulfilled by the Lord in His Incarnation, Preaching, Cross, Resurrection, & Ascension. It is not easy ( 1 John 2).
     
  10. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    It is relevant in the sense that it shows us who God is, how he relates to us, what he has done in the world, etc. I don't know what could be more relevant than that. Rules and ordinances were never the heart of the Hebrew Bible. Christianity is much more than just a set of rules, and texts are not measured solely be their rules.

    Do you see how you view everything in terms of rules?

    In general Christians believe that Jesus Christ and the New Testament fulfilled the Old. One example of this is the way that Jesus subtly undermined temple worship by shifting the focus of God's presence away from the physical building onto himself (and baptized believers). Thus the cultic aspects of the OT find their fulfillment in Christ and have served their purpose.
     
  11. ximmix

    ximmix Newbie

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    So the answer to my question is?
     
  12. ximmix

    ximmix Newbie

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    Well, the only reason i see it in terms of rules, is that there are a lot of rules in the Old Testament. My question is are the rules relevant still, or did they only apply to the people at that time (which would make for a pretty poor guide for all times)
     
  13. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Fire for the Earth! (Luke 12:49) Supporter

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    The answer to your question is "yes," the Old Testament still has some level of application for us today, but because the Bible doesn't actually provide a full and comprehensive explanation of 'how' we are to do this, only giving a few indications here and there, then opinions among Christians today will vary as to the extent and kind of relevance and applications that can be seen to be warranted.

    An example of this can be seen in 1 Corinthians where Paul uses a phrase from the Old Testament pertaining to the putting to death and removal of an excessively evil person among the assembly of righteous persons. The irony in Paul's reference is that, apparently with the additional application of values expressed by Jesus in the New Testament, this reference is tempered by grace so as to instead mean something like "...well guys, you've got a fellow Christian person among you doing dirty deeds; you'll need to apply congregational discipline to him and temporarily ex-communicate him until he gets his Christian act together!"

    So, we see that in this case, Paul referred to and made use of a law from the Old Testament, but that its application under and within the New Covenant of Christ was to be tempered with additional considerations of grace, mercy, and care for the sinful individual.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  14. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    Quantitatively or proportionately? Law-giving is an important part of the Old Testament, but it is far from the whole and far from the majority.

    It depends on the rule and what it was for. Building on my first post, the cultic or ceremonial precepts found their fulfillment in Christ. They were intended to aid worship, and therefore when God became flesh Temple worship was superceded. The dietary regulations were largely intended to separate Israel from the surrounding peoples, and thus when salvation was opened to the Gentiles these dietary regulations were superceded. The Ten Commandments show us how to live as humans, and since we are still humans they are still in effect. Humans should not murder.
     
  15. ximmix

    ximmix Newbie

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    (trying to avoid so's law) You say the diatery laws were only for that time and for that people, and that is the point of my question, what parts of the Old Testament do Christians consider relevant today?
     
  16. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    It depends who you ask. I am just giving you a hermeneutic with which to address your question. Not all questions have easy, ready-made answers.
     
  17. ximmix

    ximmix Newbie

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    Ok, thanks. I understand it's not an easy question to answer, if it had been i would already have known the answer. :)
     
  18. eleos1954

    eleos1954 God is Love Supporter

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    This is real basic (not totally encompassing by no means) ... difficult to give a short answer on your question, but maybe this will help some.

    The Old Testament is foundational; the New Testament builds on that foundation with further revelation (details) from God/Jesus

    The Old Testament establishes principles that are seen to be illustrative of New Testament truths.

    The Old Testament contains many prophecies that are fulfilled in the New.

    The Old Testament provides the history of a people;

    the New Testament focus is on a Person/individual.

    The Old Testament shows the wrath of God against sin (with glimpses of His grace); the New Testament shows the grace of God toward sinners (with glimpses of His wrath).
     
  19. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    Then why do they seem to be books about Gods with completely different characters and approaches to solving problems?
    Then why does the New Testament immediately abolish just about everything the Old Testament commanded?
    The New Testament is a series of books. The gospel writers would have known all about the prophecies.
    In what way does this explain the contrast in their views of God?
    In the Old Testament, God's answer to every problem is to curse and kill. In the New Testament, God's answer to every problem is to love and forgive. For example, in the New Testament, God is confronted by a problem. His creation is growing wicked. The world is getting out of control. His solution? To incarnate himself as a human, preaching a message of peace and love, meekness and submission.

    Is this the message God gave us in the Old Testament when confronted with a similar problem? Well, no. His reaction then was to drown almost every living thing on earth.

    Something of a difference? I have a little trouble seeing how the Old Testament, full of genocide, slaughter, rape, murder and brutality, all sanctioned and indeed often ordered by God, is "what humans were ready for at the time" and that His real message was to do good to other people, bless those that curse you, and forgive when provoked, again and again.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  20. Lukaris

    Lukaris Orthodox Christian Supporter

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    I think people in the OT, were not sure whether human suffering was simply from natural causes or divine wrath. I think the Lord explains that natural or man made disaster is not usually the wrath of God ( Luke 13:1-9). Still our suffering is because of sin simply because we die (although individual guilt varies- Romans 5:12-14).
     
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