Question about the "New Covenant"
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07-05-2013, 11:20 AM
Question about the "New Covenant"
Not being a biblical scholar myself, can someone explain the basis (or shoot me a link to something that explains it critically) for essentially throwing out the OT? I did a quick google search and perhaps my search terms sucked but the top responses were all from apologist sites.
Is the NT clear on this or is there a bit of interpretation required?
How is this rationalized with a perfect being who appears to change their mind quite drastically?
Does it truly abandon the entire OT or just the inconvenient parts?
Are there any contradictions in the NT?
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07-05-2013, 12:43 PM
RE: Question about the "New Covenant"
My understanding is that it's mostly apologetic interpretation.

From wiki:

The key New Testament chapter for the Christian concept of the New Covenant is Hebrews 8, a portion of which is quoted below:
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. 8 For he finds fault with them when he says: "Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more." 13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
—Hebrews 8:7–13
That full quotation, with partial quotations of the same text in other New Testament passages, reflects that the authors of the New Testament and Christian leaders generally, consider Jeremiah 31:31–34 to be a central Old Testament prophecy of the New Covenant.[citation needed] Here is the key text:
31 "Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."
—Jeremiah 31:31–34
Some Christians claim[who?] that there are many other passages that speak about the same New Covenant without using this exact wording. Some passages speak of a "covenant of peace",[5] others use other constructions; some simply say "covenant", but the context may imply that the New Covenant is at issue; and some claim metaphorical descriptions, for example that "Mount Zion" is really a metaphor for the New Covenant.[citation needed]

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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07-05-2013, 01:22 PM
RE: Question about the "New Covenant"
My personal philosophy...if it's still there...it's not thrown out. If it's there only for a believer to live in denial about it as a virtue for your faith, then allow me to be the first to call you a dum dum.

Leviticus does not justify stupidity, but it is more than enough to define corruption of the human mind.

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07-05-2013, 02:48 PM
RE: Question about the "New Covenant"
There were lots of covenants.
One with mythical Noah, one with the mythical Abraham, one with mythical Moses, and others. So Saul of Tarsus and the author(s) of John's gospel started claiming that the speech they made up for the "Last Supper", inaugurated the age of the messianic covenant. Of course we know Jebus never said what they said he said in the Last Supper speech, as there are errors in it, and no Jew would ever ever ever even think about drinking blood. It was an "abomination". Clearly a later, (probably Greek) invention. Saul needed something to compete with the Greek mystery cults, so he cooked up his own. Today it's called "Christianity".

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07-05-2013, 04:00 PM
RE: Question about the "New Covenant"
I'll give you a new covenant...

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07-05-2013, 06:29 PM
RE: Question about the "New Covenant"
Gwynnite, I did not check out the book. I might ask if we are to worship a female figure should she not be more fulsome. A skinny woman should not be worthy of our praise and devotion.
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07-05-2013, 06:46 PM (This post was last modified: 08-05-2013 08:52 AM by nach_in.)
RE: Question about the "New Covenant"
WHAT! wrong thread... ignore this and carry on... Tongue

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07-05-2013, 09:31 PM
RE: Question about the "New Covenant"
Quick and dirty version, as taught to me by Christian circles during my years as a believer:

The wages of sin is always death, blood is symbolic of this. To pay for sin, there must be death/blood. In the old covenant, this was handled by animal sacrifice as early as Cain & Abel, and most likely Adam (assumed to participate in this). This practice stretched on until Abraham's near sacrifice of Isaac, which was stopped by an Angel, and is believed to be a foretelling of the final human sacrifice of Christ, which is seen to be the sacrifices to end all sacrifices. The actual covenant, or solidifying of this deal, was made with Moses ala the ten commandments.

The New Covenant doesn't mean to usurp the old, it is meant to bolster and fulfill it, since we rotten humans are so lowly and incapable of doing so ourselves. It is basically a loophole, which allows a human to be cleansed from sin through Christ's sacrifice, and pay for all sin through the shedding of his divine blood. This circumvents the original sin curse by allowing the saved to pass through judgement as they are seen as flawless, the wages of their sins paid for in full.

Now the rational mind can see a lot of problems with this, and I don't really need to spell this out for those who possess one. Above is the modern Christian pseudo-rationalization for how this works. Most Christians who barely read their own book, think this is a free license to disregard the OT as they see fit. And most do so, but do keep the rules that appeal to them, hence the obvious cherry picking that ensues. They justify not following the ones they don't like by the pseudo-rationalization "I'm a sinner anyway, and there's no way I can obey all of these rules, but I get points for trying, and I get full credit for everything simply by believing".

That's it in a nutshell.

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07-05-2013, 09:58 PM
RE: Question about the "New Covenant"
(07-05-2013 09:31 PM)KMFDM_Kid2000 Wrote:  Quick and dirty version, as taught to me by Christian circles during my years as a believer:

The wages of sin is always death, blood is symbolic of this. To pay for sin, there must be death/blood. In the old covenant, this was handled by animal sacrifice as early as Cain & Abel, and most likely Adam (assumed to participate in this). This practice stretched on until Abraham's near sacrifice of Isaac, which was stopped by an Angel, and is believed to be a foretelling of the final human sacrifice of Christ, which is seen to be the sacrifices to end all sacrifices. The actual covenant, or solidifying of this deal, was made with Moses ala the ten commandments.

The New Covenant doesn't mean to usurp the old, it is meant to bolster and fulfill it, since we rotten humans are so lowly and incapable of doing so ourselves. It is basically a loophole, which allows a human to be cleansed from sin through Christ's sacrifice, and pay for all sin through the shedding of his divine blood. This circumvents the original sin curse by allowing the saved to pass through judgement as they are seen as flawless, the wages of their sins paid for in full.

Now the rational mind can see a lot of problems with this, and I don't really need to spell this out for those who possess one. Above is the modern Christian pseudo-rationalization for how this works. Most Christians who barely read their own book, think this is a free license to disregard the OT as they see fit. And most do so, but do keep the rules that appeal to them, hence the obvious cherry picking that ensues. They justify not following the ones they don't like by the pseudo-rationalization "I'm a sinner anyway, and there's no way I can obey all of these rules, but I get points for trying, and I get full credit for everything simply by believing".

That's it in a nutshell.

And so, YHWH is still the jealous god he ever was. He is all powerful, yet unable to disregard his own bloodlust. I see the hypocrisy in the "judge not" sentiment.

So Jesus was no damned hippy. Just drawn up as one.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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08-05-2013, 01:50 AM (This post was last modified: 08-05-2013 01:53 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Question about the "New Covenant"
What Bucky said.

Allow me to expand on this a little.

The "New Covenant" idea was Paul's.

Paul was a salesman with an ambitious agenda. He hoped to expand his interpretation of Judaism into the gentile world. I think he had a plan to undermine those dangerous Nazarene beliefs that roused rebellion against Roman rule.
He wrote to various groups scattered throughout the Empire, and desperately insisted they believe only his theology. He was so obsessed with snaring converts that little else in his life mattered. In Romans 15:16, he wrote that Gentiles were an offering he would bring to God.
“That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.”

Most of the people he wrote to were Gentiles (pagans) associated with Jewish synagogues, (“God-fearing Gentiles,”) although he wrote to some Jews too. From Paul’s perspective, his patrons were in desperate need of direction and an authoritative, charismatic leader to look up to. He considered himself just the man. He knew how to win the hearts, minds, and souls of people, as he imagined himself as one of the few god fearers (i.e. Jews) who understood Gentile cultures.

Paul’s theology probably had a long and carefully thought out gestation. He was a salesman who knew his customers. In order to appeal to gentiles, he needed a product very different to traditional Judaism, which required obedience to cumbersome dictates. The Jews believed one had to be circumcised, a painful and embarrassing procedure, not easy to sell to an adult man. They worshiped Yahweh, who is portrayed in Jewish scripture as a thunderous and violent pro-Jewish anti-gentile God. They could only eat kosher food, marry someone Jewish, and had to stop work on the Sabbath. Jewish heritage and history were regarded as superior, and all Jews were expected to take part in the fasts and feasts celebrating the ancient epic of Israel. The Jews thought they were one day going to be the masters of the world. Paul knew that gentiles found all this inconvenient, irksome and out of touch with reality, so he labeled these Jewish rules and beliefs as a type of “slavery.” He also knew Jewish traditions were an obstacle to the peace Rome imposed on the people of the empire. He had to jettison the old rules, so he did, by reinventing Judaism so that it was more to the gentile world’s liking.

According to Paul, there was now no need for circumcision or to stop work on the Sabbath. The dietary kosher rules were out; bacon sandwiches were on the breakfast menu. He downplayed the importance of the Jewish Temple, and replaced the political messiah of Israel with Christ, the savior of mankind. The “kingdom of God” became a place in heaven, not in Israel. He declared Yahweh was such a decent deity he’d sent his own precious son, the Christ, to earth. He alleged gentiles were descendants of Abraham too, and that the centuries-old Jewish Law was a “curse.” All that was now required was faith in his claims about Christ. Voilà! The Christ myth and Christian theology were born.

Paul was one of history’s first examples of an ambitious cult leader who, when the rules of the established religion were no longer convenient, simply invented new ones to suit himself. He replaced the so-called “old covenant” of the Jews with his entirely fabricated “new covenant.” He was trying to reinvent Judaism and I think doing his best to dampen down Jewish messianic dreams. He was bending over backwards to dilute Judaism with Gentiles and Gentile ideas. He had no idea he was creating an almost entirely new religion, yet that’s precisely what his writings helped do many years later.

To help realize this remodeling of belief, he undermined Yeshua’s family and disciples behind their backs. He was surprised and angry to find himself competing with them for people’s allegiance. They were treading on what he considered his turf. How dare they preach old-fashioned Jewish theology and disrupt his mission to set up communities of believers! Those annoying war mongering Jews were full of subversive fantasies about a messiah, but God had revealed to him the real Christ, the up-to-date modern Christ! He, not them, was plugging the “good news.” He knew what the newly flexible, expansionist, less violent, less Judaic God expected in these modern, pro-Roman times. He was an educated, savvy, Greek-speaking sophisticate who knew a stack more about selling religion to the subjects of the Empire than the anti-Roman bumpkins from the backwater of Galilee!
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