Old testament vs new testament
Many Christians suggest that with the coming and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the old testament laws are no longer valid. Others suggest these laws only applied to the Jews. Historians and all manner of Christians disagree on this issue. The more moderate Christians tend to think of the old testament as somewhat obsolete; the evangelicals do not. There is certainly no universally-agreed idea over whether or not the old testament is less valid, less truthful or whose rules no longer apply.
The Old Testament Laws still stand
Here is the classic KJV translation making the point quite clear:
- Luke 16:16-17:
The law and the prophets [were] until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. KJV
- Matthew 5:17-18:
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. KJV
Even in the more modern, supposedly less-biased NIV, it's made clear:
- Matthew 5:17-20:
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. New International Version
Every Jot and Tittle?
Scripture makes it clear that the Bible's words are to be taken seriously and in detail. Here is one theists' analysis:
The "Jot" is the Hebrew word "Yodh" which is the 10th letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It is also the smallest letter. It's European or English equivalent is the letter "Y" as in the English term Yahweh or in Hebrew YHVH since there were no vowel's used in the ancient script.
The word "jot" itself is an English transliteration of "iota" which is the 9th letter of the Greek alphabet. "Iota," in turn, is the nearest Greek equivalent for the Hebrew yodh.
The "tittle" is the small decorative spur or point on the upper edge of the yodh. If you can imagine a tiny letter with a slightly visible decorative mark.
Tittle is used by Greek grammarians of the accents and diacritical points. It means the little lines or projections by which the Hebrew letters differ from each other. One example would be the difference between the letter L and I. The difference is only one small mark. We use phrases like "the dotting of the i, and the crossing of the t," and "every iota."
It is interesting that the Jewish scribes who copied the MT (Massoretic Text) of the Hebrew Bible scrolls paid the greatest attention to the minutiae of detail and such marks attached to each consonant throughout the entire text. They even numbered every letter, word, sentence, paragraph, chapter, section, and scroll to insure that the total equalled that of the text being copied before allowing it to enter the holy synagogue.The meaning of the passage is very clear. Not even the smallest letter or even its decorative spur will ever disappear from the "God Breathed" Word until all is fulfilled. In fact when heaven and earth are replaced by a new heaven and earth, the Word of the Lord will have accomplished its purpose and will be fulfilled in every detail even to the very letter.
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