My Reply to Deep, re: The Old Testament - U2 Feedback

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Old 02-14-2007, 11:40 PM   #1
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My Reply to Deep, re: The Old Testament

In another thread, you wrote the following. I am answering it here, because we were reminded that it is not really on topic for the other thread:

according to Nathan1977 and 80s

God says to kill.

the scripture they are advocating and that they say are God'd words are from the NIV Bible

here is some more

7 "If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as menservants do. 8 If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself, [b] he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. 9 If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter. 10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. 11 If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.
Personal Injuries
12 "Anyone who strikes a man and kills him shall surely be put to death. 13 However, if he does not do it intentionally, but God lets it happen, he is to flee to a place I will designate. 14 But if a man schemes and kills another man deliberately, take him away from my altar and put him to death.

15 "Anyone who attacks [c] his father or his mother must be put to death.

16 "Anyone who kidnaps another and either sells him or still has him when he is caught must be put to death.

17 "Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.

18 "If men quarrel and one hits the other with a stone or with his fist [d] and he does not die but is confined to bed, 19 the one who struck the blow will not be held responsible if the other gets up and walks around outside with his staff; however, he must pay the injured man for the loss of his time and see that he is completely healed.

20 "If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, 21 but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.

22 "If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely [e] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

It seems pretty obvious to me that these laws were written by men.
First, according to most of the Biblical experts,scholars that I have heard or read, the term "kill" in the "thou shalt not kill" commandment is more accurately translated as "murder". However, I do not know this for sure, since I do not know Hebrew or Aramaic. If it were New Testament, I could look up the Greek word in my Lexicon.

You know, in the Old Testament, God actually commands that his people kill people in the nations they invade. I know that all the nations they invaded were nations with all sorts of wicked practices. But to be perfectly frank and honest with you, this type of thing in the Old Testament bothers me.

The truth is that I can't begin to understand the Old Testament completely. The New Testament is a lot easier for me, because with the exception of the 33 years that Jesus lived on the Earth, it's all about The New Covenant, in whcih man is granted mercy and forgiveness if he believes upon the death and resurrection of Christ and follows him. Sure, God granted mercy in the Old Testament, but there are also many times when he poured forth his wrath, and when he commanded things that I just can't wrap my mind around and that bother me from a human standpoint.

So what do I do? At the end of the day, with the studying done, and the questions about these things still swirling about in my mind, I just have to be perfectly honest with God and say "I just don't get it". And that's the key - I don't understand, and it gets under my skin because I feel like I have to have a good grasp of everything going on. But after I say "I just don't get it", it's followed by "But I put my trust completely upon you, Lord, and believe that you do understand and that there is a reason". I realize that I am a man created by an all powerful, all-knowing God, and do not even have the capacity to understand him completely. There will always be things I don't understand, but my faith remains that there is an answer and there is a reason.

So, if certain things in the Old Testament bother my human mind, why do I still believe in the OT; why don't I just chuck it and believe in the New Testament? Several reasons.

First, since I know that I know nothing compared to God, it would be intellectually dishonest for me to throw out things just because I, in my limited human ability to reason, do not understand them.

Secondly, the Old Testament and New Testament are so intricately woven together by culture, history and most importantly prophecy. Without the OT, there would be no NT. Look at the following ways the two testament are bound together:

(1) The OT explains the law, which was the first covenant, then in the NT, Christ comes along, fulfills the law and those who follow him are now under the new covenant, grace, made possible by the redeeming sacrifice of Christ on a cross.

(2) The OT documents and explains how the lineage of David and thus Christ himself, was preserved and blessed by God. In the New Testament, Christ is born, fulfilling the mission of this highly favored lineage.

(3) The OT is chock full of prophecy about the coming Messiah. In fact, the first prophecy is in the early chapters of the first book, Genesis. Then in the New Testament, Christ comes along and fulfills them all.

There are many other ways in which the two testaments are woven together.

And that's the best reply I can come up with. I know it was probably more than you asked for, but I had to elaborate to this depth to explain my thoughts on the Old Testament.

Note to anyone who might be reading: As I am posting this, I really only seek to address something Deep wrote in another thread. I am not really designing it as a "thread starter" but if you folks would like to discuss further, please do, I won't get into argument about this, because it is stuff that I have gone over and over in my mind, heart and soul. I am confident in what I believe, and if I have further questions about stuff like this, it is best that I seek advice and wisdom from people who know me personally.

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Old 02-15-2007, 07:43 AM   #2
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Re: My Reply to Deep, re: The Old Testament

Originally posted by 80sU2isBest
Secondly, the Old Testament and New Testament are so intricately woven together by culture, history and most importantly prophecy. Without the OT, there would be no NT.
And you've just described the sole reason that the Church fathers even included the OT in the Christian Biblical canon in the first place. Pauline theology believed that, with the advent of Jesus, that the OT was fulfilled, and, as such, had no real remaining purpose. The NT was created to be the new "Scriptures" for the Christian Church, and, with that, there were many who were adamantly opposed to the ultimate decision to include the OT. However, it was decided that the OT was important for matters of history and reference, as the NT refers to prophecies in the OT.

In terms of morality, however, the OT was deemed obsolete. They didn't feel the need to explain or justify every bizarre thing written in Mosaic Law, because the NT was written to supersede it. That was part of the "liberation" of Christ, after all.

Of course, that's not to say that later Christians have followed the early Church fathers' original intent regarding the OT, and it certainly makes me cringe over how many modern Christians cite the OT as a reason to believe any number of bizarre and illogical things. Too many Christians have willingly reshackled themselves to the "law" that Jesus liberated them from.
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