Has the New Testament Replaced the Old Testament?

Posted on Aug 21, 2013 in Restoring Christian Roots

Has the New Testament Replaced the Old Testament?

WHY THE CHRISTIAN FAITH HAS LEFT ITS ROOTS AND OLD TESTAMENT SCHOOLMASTER

Misconception =   A mistaken thought or idea. 

MISCONCEPTION TWO: Since we have been given a New Covenant (New Testament) the Old instructions and teachings (Old Testament) of GOD  have been done away with and need not be taught.

Romans 3:1-2  “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?  Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God”.

If you had ask Apostle Paul about the “Old Testament or the “New Testament,”  Paul would have had no idea what you were talking about. Why is this? First, there was no canon of the New Testament books until after 367 A.D. The last New Testament book was not written until around ninety A.D. In 367 A.D. the Bishop of Alexandria, Athanasius, gave a list of the twenty-seven books that would make up our NewTestament and he used the word “canonized” in regards to these 27 books. The majority of Christians had accepted these as the New Testament by the middle of the third century. So asking Apostle Paul to teach a New Testament Bible lesson would have been impossible as he was dead long before these 27 books became scripture. So how did the Apostles establish Christians, establish Churches, and preach the word of GOD?

The answer is quite obvious. The word of GOD that was used to train the 1st century believers was the Old Testament. Should you have tried to use any other manuscript than the only Bible GOD had given man at this time you would have been breaking the
laws of GOD.

Now for a rethink on the word “testament,” it actually is translated from the word covenant. The word testament is never used in the Old Testament as it is a New Testament translation of the word covenant. The word covenant is used 292 times in the Bible of which 272 are in the Old Covenant and 20 times in the New Covenant. Notice I just started using the Bible word covenant and not the English translation of this word Testament. Words can change our perception and thoughts on a subject. Tertullian a prolific Christian author around 200 A.D. was the first we know of to use the term New Testament. This was a century after the death of the Apostles of Jesus. Tertullian’s other addition to Christianity was his formal exposition of a Trinitarian theology, with his writing “Three Persons One Substance” hence he was the 1st Latin writer to use the term Trinity. Once again words can change our perception, and using terms and words that are not in scripture can lead to a completely different idea on a subject. The Prophets of the First Covenant understood they were to write only the words that were spoken by GOD. When man adds the words of men and they become doctrines they must be

examined by what GOD says in his word. If we understand the difference between the word covenant given to us by GOD and testament given to us by Tertullian our thoughts may change on how one views the complete Bible. God’s covenants in the Old are everlasting covenants.

Some examples of these everlasting covenants:

  • God to Abram and his seed. Genesis 17:7 “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee”.
  • GOD to Noah and all humanity after him. Genesis 9:16 “And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth”.
  • GOD to Jacob concerning the land of Israel. Genesis 48:4 “And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession”.                   1 Chronicles 16:14-17 “He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations”.
  • Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac; and hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant. Is it just the way my mind works? I did not question my teachers on doing away with an Old Testament, however doing away with an everlasting covenant causes me to stop and think. Is throwing away two thirds of the Word of GOD containing teachings, and prophecies yet to be fulfilled, not to mention everlasting covenants a correct action. Even if this testament is old its teachings are everlasting. Do you realize the New Testament is old today, yes over 2000 years old, but thank GOD it is still everlasting as well? The two covenants do not contradict one another, they actually enhance each other. Let us get back to how the Apostles established Christian conversions without a New Testament. With the death, burial, and resurrection they now had a New Covenant, yet they still had no new testament.

The Bible the Apostles, and Jesus taught from contain the foundation, and explanation of the Christian faith as well as the prophecies not yet fulfilled of the future 1000 year reign of Christ (the messianic kingdom to come). So how did the writers of the letters to first century Churches, called Apostles (later making up the New Testament) teach and convert Jews and Gentiles to accept Jesus as the
Messiah.

We will now open our eyes to what is contained in the New Covenant Books of our completed Bible. Have you heard the statement: “The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament Revealed?” Here is why this rings so true to all who accept the complete Bible in their studies:

  • Of the 27 New Covenant books there are 4,105 quotations and references from the Old Covenant.( Roger Nicole, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1979, Volume 1, page, 617).

So what were the Apostles using to establish a New Covenant (not a new Bible). They wrote and taught from the Word of GOD, which is what we call the Old Covenant. Now, since 367 A.D. its teachings are written in the New Testament.

The covenant has been improved or made new, but the teachings of the old have not been thrown away or done away with. The covenant of circumcision has been made new, but this did not do away with the other ninety percent of the scripture contained in the original Bible. This I will attempt to explain in a future lesson, but first we must open our mind to one Bible with an old and now an added improved covenant completing one Bible. This one Bible is incomplete without the teachings of either one of the two testaments teachings. However to teach the old covenant  still is the law today is a misunderstanding. Just like doing away with the teaching, instructions, and prophecies still to come in the Old Covenant by saying it has all been done away with is incorrect. Back to the question, what did the Apostles and Jesus use to proof who the Messiah was, and how to follow GOD and his Christ. (A new church and religion was not started, the Gentile was now allowed into GOD’S church)

  • Of the 27 New Covenant books 21 quote the Old Covenant ( the six that do not are 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, Titus, Jude and Philemon and three of these six allude to Old Covenant Passages, or Personalities)
  • Of the 39 books of the Old Covenant only nine are not quoted in the New Covenant Books.
  • The first five books of the Old Covenant (the Torah) are quoted over 240 times with many other references in the New Covenant books just to these five Old Covenant Books.
  • We will not get into the teaching in this lesson, however why would GOD do away with what he is going to teach from Jerusalem in the rebuilt earthly temple system?
  • Interesting that the Messiah Jesus, who many have been taught did away with the Old Covenant has this to say: Matthew 5:17-19 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven”.

So what commandments are being referred to here?

Remember there is no New Testament/Covenant yet. Jesus’s statement that not even a small letter in the Old Covenant will pass till all be fulfilled deserves some investigative thought. There are many scriptures in the Old Covenant yet to be fulfilled and here are a few. Zechariah 14:1-4 “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south”.

  • Has this been fulfilled? Isaiah 66:15-16 “For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many”.
  • Has this been fulfilled? The last book of the Old Covenant closes with these verses. Malachi 4:4-6 “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse”. (Yes, John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah, but Elijah will not be back as one of the two witnesses in the Book of Revelations. So has this been fulfilled, and the list goes on. )
  • So these are the closing remarks of the last book in the Old Covenant, please reread them. Have they been fulfilled?
  • 430 years later Jesus begins teaching. He quotes directly from the Torah around 60 times.
  • Paul tells Timothy: 2 Timothy 3:15 “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus”.

What scripture is Paul referring to as there is no New Covenant Books to read from at this time? Yet Paul tells Timothy the scripture he is studying will give him faith in Christ Jesus which is his salvation. Yes that is what you get out of GOD’S Bible before he gave us the 27 books of the improved covenant, completing one Bible. Why would we throw these O.T. verses and the foundation for all other New Testament teachings away? If we did we would have no way to rightly interpret the N.T. It is possible that throwing away the school master would create many denominations do too many interpretations of a 2000 year old manuscript written by Jews.

  • Jesus after his resurrection: Luke 24:25-27 “Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself”.

Jesus did not start a New Teaching here, but he did start a New Covenant, a better covenant. But he did not do away with the book of
GOD’s teaching or GOD’S book of instruction that the explanation of the Old Covenant was contained in. To throw away or do without this foundation of the Books of the Old Covenant makes an incomplete document. In the words of Paul: 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”. In order for Timothy to rightly divide the WORD he needed to study his Bible. That Bible was the Old Covenant. So how can we teach the Old Testament has been done away with? In the proceeding short lesson you read we covered a very small amount of Biblical examples of why this would not make sense. The last thing I want to do is be a legalist, or bring myself and others under the curse of the Law. I have been set free from the law of sin and death, that’s the Old Covenant. But I certainly do not want to be ignorant of the instruction GOD gave to the original church he started at Mt. Sinai. Jesus Christ died to tear down the middle wall of partition that we as gentiles could join GOD’S Church without the covenant of circumcision.

But GOD never told us to throw away the instructions. Psalm 1:1-4 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day andnight. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper”.

We want to be like David, a people after GOD’S own heart, a people that meditate and delight in GOD’S instructions. Incidentally the Hebrew word instruction when translated into our English language became law. No wonder we want rid of it, however none of us want to throw away instructions.In the words of the New Covenant additions to make one complete Bible: Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

There is no way one can cover an explanation of how, why, and when all the confusion and out of balance belief systems we have arrived to in 2013 in a one hour lesson. Our hope is these mini lessons will encourage a love and greater understanding of the complete Bible and its instructions.