UPDATED 26 JUNE, 2006
Why do you not call the New Testament the B’rit Chadashah as some other Messianics do?
There are several reasons why we as a ministry do not refer to the “New Testament” as the B’rit Chadashah, unlike many in the Messianic movement. First of all, the b’rit chadashah or “new covenant” is promised in Jeremiah 31. The text says,
“‘Behold, days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,’ declares the LORD. ‘But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people’” (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
The b’rit chadashah is actually a covenant that the Lord has made with Israel, to be fully realized in the end-times. This is what the author of Hebrews talks about in Hebrews 8:8-12:
“For finding fault with them, He says, ‘Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will effect a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue in My covenant, and I did not care for them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, and everyone his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” for all will know Me, from the least to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.’”
As a ministry we believe that it is a misnomer to call the Hebrew Scriptures the “Old Testament.” The more correct term to use is Tanach/Tanakh, an acronym for Torah (Law), Nevi’im (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings). We certainly will use the term “Old Testament” in passing for those who are unfamiliar with the term “Tanach,” but Tanach by far is the preferred term.
The same is the case when we consider the “New Testament.” There is nothing “new” about these Scriptures other than the fact that they are the continual progressive revelation of God that attest to the work of Messiah Yeshua and His early followers. These are the Divinely inspired works of the early Disciples and Apostles. Messianics often compound the confusion that exists among many Christians regarding the “New Testament” by using terms such as New Covenant or B’rit Chadashah. More correct terms to use in reference to the “New Testament” would be the Apostolic Scriptures or Apostolic Writings, or Messianic Scriptures or Messianic Writings. The New Covenant or b’rit chadashah in actuality is the prophesied promise of God to write His Torah on our hearts. The Apostolic Scriptures do not make up a covenant but rather record the works of God in the period of the Messiah’s time on Earth and immediately following.