ORIGINALLY POSTED 26 NOVEMBER, 2009
Everyone who expresses trust in Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) believes that we are a part of what is commonly called “New Covenant faith.” But what is New Covenant faith? We all recognize that at the Last Supper, our Lord said, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood” (Luke 22:20). The sacrificial work of Yeshua has surely inaugurated the reality of the New Covenant, which includes complete forgiveness and permanent redemption from the power of sin, as well as people being filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Yet, not enough evangelical Christians today are familiar with the fact that the expectation of the New Covenant, as it is commonly called, is something rooted within some distinct prophecies of the Hebrew Bible or Tanach.
Messianic Believers, who are of the conviction that God’s Torah remains relevant instruction for His people today, are often refuted with the concept that since we are living in the age of the New Covenant—the Old Covenant or the Old Testament is not something that is to really govern or control our lives, or possibly even inform us that much about proper spirituality. The problem with this commonly held opinion is that even though a transition has surely taken place for those of us in this post-resurrection era, it is not a transition that completely divorces us from the Law of Moses, and certainly not from the Tanach. Yeshua explicitly said that He did not come to abolish the Torah (Matthew 5:17-19), immediately after saying for His followers to demonstrate good works to the world at large (Matthew 5:14-16). The witness of the Tanach is to point us to Him (Luke 24:44).
It is important that we take a look at some of the main Scripture passages, which specifically deal with what the “New Covenant” is, in both the Tanach and Apostolic Writings. What have some of us perhaps missed or overlooked in our reading of the Bible? Is the New Covenant something completely separate from the Torah? How much continuity is there throughout the Scriptures, and what new things has this post-resurrection period specifically brought to God’s people? What are some of the similarities and differences between the Sinai Covenant and this New Covenant?
We will be examining four specific areas of Scripture (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:25-27; Hebrews 8:7-13; Hebrews 10:14-18), a selection of the main passages which clearly articulate the concept of the “New Covenant.” We will discuss the previous ministry of death or condemnation, which composed the “Old Covenant.” We will also consider the dynamics of the New Covenant, how we might properly consider them in relation to the current development of today’s Messianic community, and how we should approach the subject of “Torah” for the future.What_is_the_New_Covenant_NTVT-MAX
Today’s broad Messianic movement is of the conviction that the Torah or Law of Moses is relevant instruction for God’s people in the post-resurrection era. This is a conviction firmly rooted within the teaching of Yeshua the Messiah, who explicitly said that He did not come to abolish or eliminate the Torah (Matthew 5:17-19). Yet throughout much of Christian history, and even more so today, many theologians and examiners have argued that Moses’ Teaching has been rendered inoperative, and/or that it was only to be followed by those in the pre-resurrection era. Many of today’s Messianic people, while having a witness of the Spirit that God’s commandments are to be written on their hearts and minds via the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:25-27), are not equipped well enough to answer common arguments delivered by evangelical Protestant family members, friends, acquaintances, or even various pastors or teachers that they know—when they quote verses to them from the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament), in support of the premise that the Torah of Moses has been abolished.
The New Testament Validates Torah is a massive resource that all of today’s Messianic Believers need, especially in the current season of growth, development, and expansion in which our faith community finds itself. This publication is an extensive compilation of data across the wide range of books and commentaries available from Messianic Apologetics. The core of this resource is an examination of fifty passages, which are commonly used as proof texts to claim that the Torah is not to be followed by God’s people today. Statements such as not being “under the Law” (Romans 6:14-15), “Christ is the end of the Law” (Romans 10:4), “All things are lawful” (1 Corinthians 6:12), ‘how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things” (Galatians 4:9), “abolishing…the Law of commandments contained in ordinances” (Ephesians 2:15), “having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14), and even “Thus He declared all foods clean” (Mark 7:19)—among many—are thoroughly addressed. Considerable attention is given to various Hebrew and Greek issues, potential translation differences, and differences of perspective. Cross-examination and discussion with a wide number of commentators have also been offered, as well as an exploration of important subjects present within today’s Biblical Studies.
The New Testament Validates Torah is an important apologetic study that will benefit Messianic Believers and evangelical Christians alike. There is literally nothing in today’s Messianic movement that has compiled and packed as much information on Torah relevance for God’s people into a single book. Also, unlike some other publications issued on the message of Torah relevance, The New Testament Validates Torah is highly respectful to Protestant voices over the centuries who have valued what they have considered to be the “moral law” of the Old Testament, and seeks to fairly honor those who have preceded us in the faith, establishing common ground where possible.