POSTED 27 OCTOBER, 2017
Pastor: 2 Corinthians 3: The veil of the old covenant has been removed.
“Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some, letters of commendation to you or from you? You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Messiah, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence we have through Messiah toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it. For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory. Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech, and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away. But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Messiah. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; 16 but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”
ch 3 There are significant statements appearing in 2 Corinthians ch. 3, which bear understandable importance for today’s Messianic movement, as they involve Jewish evangelism and common Jewish resistance to the good news of Yeshua the Messiah. 2 Corinthians 3:14 depicts the common predicament of Jewish people often being closed to the gospel: “for to this day the same veil remains over them when they read the Old Covenant; it has not been unveiled, because only by the Messiah is the veil taken away” (CJB/CJSB). Only with proper Divine intervention can many Jewish people receive a revelation of Yeshua as the Jewish Messiah. For the Apostle Paul writing in the First Century, much of this was just the result of a stubbornness and close-mindedness which needed to be overcome. For many of us today, a close-minded obstinance has been compounded by a complicated history of relations between the Jewish Synagogue, and a largely non-Jewish Christian Church that has often wanted little or nothing to do with its faith heritage and connections to Judaism. The Messianic community has obviously emerged to help resolve some of these problems.
While there are deep emotions and experiences which can be invoked, when today’s Messianic people approach 2 Corinthians ch. 3—there are also significant theological discussions and debates that one will encounter, which today’s Messianic people, unfortunately, do not tend to handle very well. Many Christian readers of 2 Corinthians ch. 3 draw the conclusion that the Apostle Paul teaches that the Old Covenant—widely classified to be the Torah or the Law of Moses—was a veil of condemnation and death that was abolished by the work of Yeshua the Messiah. Thus, any one purporting to be a Believer in Jesus should not even be considering following its commandments and instructions. However, when one pays close attention to the statements made within the text of 2 Corinthians ch. 3, a much different picture is presented than one of the “Old Covenant law” needing to be superseded by “New Covenant grace.”
Click here for the complete version of “2 Corinthians 3: responding to ‘The veil of the old covenant has been removed.'”2_Corinthians_3_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.