Stop calling it the ‘Old Testament’

by Michael Freund –  March 12, 2017

The use of the term “Old Testament,” suggests that the Hebrew Bible is outdated and archaic, like an old shoe or outmoded car that should be discarded. Indeed, it is difficult to reconcile the obvious contradiction at work here: Western civilization often proudly invokes its “Judeo-Christian heritage,” and yet the very basis of that patrimony – the Hebrew Bible – is implicitly vilified and demeaned as if it were a relic of a bygone era, rather than the living text that it is.

This may sound like little more than an issue of semantics, but labels have power and they affect how people perceive things and the extent to which they value them. For Jews, what many refer to as the Old Testament is in fact the Only Testament. It is the basis of Judaism, the foundational document that defines our faith as well as our relationship with God and our fellow man. As former British chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks once pointed out, “One of the most tragic moments in Western civilization came when Christians began distinguishing between what they called ‘the Old Testament God of vengeance’ as opposed to the ‘New Testament God of love.’ This is not a small error. One trembles to think how many Jews lost their lives because of it.”

Obviously, Christians have the right to believe what they wish about the relevance or applicability of what they refer to as the Old Testament. But using that phrase in public discourse, or even in the course of casual conversation, is something that is hurtful to Jews, our beliefs and our tradition. There are plenty of other terms, such as Hebrew Bible or Tanach, that can be utilized instead which don’t carry the same derogatory weight, and the use of which could help to improve mutual understanding and respect.

At a time of rising anti-Semitism across Europe and even North America, it is all the more essential that steps be taken to defend the integrity of Judaism and its sacred texts. A good place to start would be to encourage the media and public figures to give the God of Israel and His Torah the respect that is their due. (End o extract)

 

COI Comment

A New Covenant there shall be ­indeed! The ‘Old Covenant’ (O.C.), like “The Go­d of the O.C.” NEVER changes, for He is PERFECT and perfection cannot be improved. Why do NC promoters only quote from verse 31 of the 31st chapter of Jeremiah? If they care to read and understand the first 30 verses, they will find the clear Time Setting for the NC: AFTER G­d has revealed and returned the Lost 10 Tribes of Israel ­ referred to as the ‘House of Israel’ in the Bible. This has not happened yet ­ it is only starting now, with millions of non-Jews around the world waking up to and restoring (Jewish) Torah in their Faith practice. And this will be an Exodus Event greater than the Exodus of the 12 Tribes from Egypt 3000 years ago – Jer. 16:14 “However, the days are coming,” declares HaShem, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As surely as HaShem lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ 15 but it will be said, ‘As surely as HaShem lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ For I will restore them to the land I gave their ancestors.” THEN only …. verse 31, ch. 31, He shall make a New Covenant with them. Over and over the Scriptures confirm (Ezek. 11:19; 37:24; 36:27) that under this New Covenant they will respect His Laws and Observances, not reject them together with the Jews as these NC promoters do today. And even their “NC” in Rom. 3:2 confirms that the Jews are the Guardians of His Law and Observances.

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