Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Old Testament v New Testament

What is the difference between the old testament and the new testament. What do Christians follow. If they follow the new testament (which I understand they do), why dont they follow the old testament. What do they think of the old testament, I mean in terms of authenticity.

I would really appreciate an answer on this one, because whenever I ask my Christian friends, I do not get straight answers. Also, I hope you won't cut and paste tons of text from the net.
Thanks in advance.

Jeff Answers:
Christians believe that the whole Bible, Old and New Testaments together, is the inspired Word of God. That means that God is the Primary Author, but that the human authors are also true authors. God inspired them in such a way that that person was involved in the writing, with all their history and culture, psychology, and writing styles: He didn't just sort of hypnotize them.

They believe that the Old Testament was a limited version of revelation, in preparation for Christ's coming. Christ fulfilled the Law, which was not perfect before He came.

Imagine you are a parent. You tell your young child: "Never take another child's toys. And they also have to learn not to take your toys. These are YOUR toys; those are the OTHER CHILDREN'S toys. Don't take their toys. And they won't take yours either."

Later, when the child is a bit more grown up, you may say, "You need to do more than just respect ownership. You need to learn to share your toys. It's not ENOUGH for everyone to keep to their own. You need to learn a spirit of kindness, too."

Here's one example from the New Testament. Christ teaches his disciples like this (I'm not looking up the exact quote, but it's pretty close): "Moses taught you that divorce is okay. But he let you have divorce because your hearts were hard. In the Beginning, things were not this way. If you want to be my followers, this will be the Rule: When you take a wife, the two of you become One Flesh. No one can take apart what God has joined together. Anyone who puts away his own wife and takes another commits adultery."

Another example: Christ says, "Before, you were taught that you should love your parents and those that do good to you. But I say, Love your enemies and do good to those who persecute you. If someone hits you, turn the other cheek. If someone takes your shirt, give them your cloak, too. If someone forces you to go one mile with them, go two miles freely."

You see the idea? Fulfillment of what came before; what was imperfect becomes perfect.

Of course, you didn't ask this, but the Old Testament is the Holy Writings of the Jews. Jews do not accept the New Testament at all and they do not accept Christ.

I said I would be short, but that's probably very long! It's easy to write even whole BOOKS on questions like this! And there are differences between Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox...But I tried, and if you have questions, feel free to ask.

One question everyone will have: Why don't we follow these rules better? What answer can we give, but that we are sinners? It's our shame. God forgive us.


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