Jewish Covenant: Valid?





Your thread seems to have gotten sidetracked. Sorry.

I don’t know what the official RCC teaching about the current validity of the old covenant for Jews.

Jesus did not so much negate the Old Covenant as fulfil it. (Mt. 5:17-18) and established the prophecied New Covenant. (eg. Jer 31:31. Read also Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, chapters 8 and 9 especially.)

Can a modern religious Jew get to heaven? Yes.
See the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 846-848. Paragraph 847, referencing the Vatican II document “Lumen Gentium” reads:
Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience–those too may achieve eternal salvation.



It’s quite clear—the old Covenant has never been revoked. I’ve posted the same passage from the Catechism any number of times now; why not just look it up?

What may muddy the waters for you is that the Church does not presume to know who will and who will not be saved; merely that having a full complement of sacraments and using them puts us on the best path to salvation.


You know, I think your ccc has a mistake in it regarding this issue.

Would you like to discuss why I think that?


Didn’t John Paul II state some where that the Old Covenant with the Jews was still valid. I have no idea when or where he said it, but seem to recall that someone on these forums had a problem with it…


From the Catechism:

121 The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture. Its books are divinely inspired and retain a permanent value,** for the Old Covenant has never been revoked.**


Well, what exactly does that mean to you? Does it mean that the Jews should still follow the law and do all the ritual cleansing and sacrificing? Or, does it mean something else entirely?


Actually I never thought about it much. Since I’m not Jewish, I really don’t care :smiley:

But I think it dovetails into the discussion(s) all over CAF about Christ fulfilling the law, not replacing it.

But I guess for the Jews who have not seen the light and the new covenant, that they should continue on with the old covenant. After all, it was the best covenant available for a long time. :wink:

I’m not here to debate. Just watching.


I think that quote refers to The Old Testament as The Old Covenant. Interchange them and see the difference.

There is no “Old Covenant” and “New Covenant” existing side by side! The “Old Covenant” has to be defined into WHICH one does it refer to, or is it ALL of them? Noahide, Abraham or Moses?

St Paul negates “The Law” as enslaving us! That clearly refers to “Moses” and the various Laws he was given.

It should then follow that The Abrahamic one continues in the sense that it was fulfilled in Christ. If by “Jewish Covenant” you mean keeping The Laws will save you, the answer is NO. That is not just a Catholic position, but a Biblical one.

As regards “No salvation outside The Catholic Church” as explained above, is true now as it was then, but better defined. If you know what The Catholic Church teaches about salvation and DECIDE (wilfully) that they teach error and depart from Her, then the matter is in God’s hands. However, the signposts dots the road to salvation already where His Son left them. It is a simple matter of connecting the dots without favour.



I am slightly confused on the issue going on…

  1. Why is it a protestant can say… If i tell you about Christ, but you refuse to accept it, you are condemned. But if the Catholic church says the same thing, we are mean spirited and closed minded. (keep in mind, when the CC says outside the CC, baptised protestants are considered, by catholics, as part of the CC, just not in complete Union. Doesn’t matter if Joe Protestant doesn’t like or agree with the statement, Fact is, if you are a Christian baptised in the name of the Father Son and HS, you are part of the Catholic Church.)

  2. The bible says the old law is not abolished, but fulfilled by Jesus. The bible Says that if you submit to part of the law, you submit to all the Law… Sounds to me like the Covenant is still in effect. We just have Jesus Christ to make th Covenant complete…

In Christ


Sure. I like to establish what the Church really teaches, then any discussion about whether that teaching is correct or not is on much firmer ground.

Fire away!



So that we don’t talk around each other, can you tell me what you believe your catechism means when it says the old covenant has not been revoked?

Exactly which covenant are we talking about and what are the requirements of that covenant?


Precisely right on both counts. Bear in mind that there is also the nagging matter that Scripture indicates the Jews WILL convert before the end. What happens to the righteous Jews who keep the letter and spirit of the Law in the meantime (in other words, Jews who do not engage in the hypocrisy of the Pharisees)?

It might help to refer to another part of the Catechism where the Church is more explicit:

839 "Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways."325

The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People,326 "the first to hear the Word of God."327 **The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God’s revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews “belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ”,328 "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."329 **

840 And when one considers the future, God’s People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expectation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah. But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God; the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus.


Jews should follow the Law which has been given to them until such time as they recognize Christ as Messiah.


Hey Everyone,
Thanks for getting back on track. I just wanted to posts this comment that I found last night in your Catechism. Any thoughts?

[FONT=Arial]“The Catholic Church also acknowledges her special relationship to the Jewish people. The Second Vatican Council declared that ‘this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts he makes nor the calls he issues’. When God called Abraham out of Ur, he promised to make of him a ‘great nation’. This began the history of God’s revealing his divine plan of salvation to a chosen people with whom he made enduring covenants. [FONT=Georgia]Thus the covenant that God made with the Jewish people through Moses remains eternally valid for them. At the same time, ‘remembering, then, her common heritage with the Jews and moved not by any political consideration, by solely by the religious motivation of Christian charity, she (the Church) deplores all hatreds, persecutions, displays of antisemitism leveled at any time or from any source against the Jews” (pg. 131).[/FONT][/FONT]


It might help if everyone had a shared definition of “Jewish Covenant”.

Anybody have a good one?



This is the a portion of the (New) United States Catholic Catechism for Adults which seem to be a reprint of the catechism with efforts of unifying clarification being inserted by the authoring bishops & cardinals. I understand that it has caused some alarm among many within Catholicism (USA)

Firstly, it is yet to be approved by the Vatican (Pope) as far as I know. At first glance it is ‘clearly’ in contradiction of what ** the actual Catechism states** So I defer a definitive opinion until either the bishops / cardinals offer a clarification, or the Vatican decides to comment.

It is similar to the varying opinions of prelates within and without Catholicism about the inerrancy of Scriptures.

My jury will ‘retire’ when more is known!



Well, let’s see what CCC says about the Old Covenant:

Here are some of the tangible aspects of it:

1150 Signs of the covenant. The Chosen People received from God distinctive signs and symbols that marked its liturgical life. These are no longer solely celebrations of cosmic cycles and social gestures, but signs of the covenant, symbols of God’s mighty deeds for his people. Among these liturgical signs from the Old Covenant are circumcision, anointing and consecration of kings and priests, laying on of hands, sacrifices, and above all the Passover. The Church sees in these signs a prefiguring of the sacraments of the New Covenant.

And here’s the evolving Old Covenant, beginning with God’s promise to Noah not to destroy the world because of evil men again:

The Covenant with Noah

56 After the unity of the human race was shattered by sin God at once sought to save humanity part by part. The covenant with Noah after the flood gives expression to the principle of the divine economy toward the “nations”, in other words, towards men grouped “in their lands, each with [its] own language, by their families, in their nations”.9

57 This state of division into many nations is at once cosmic, social and religious. It is intended to limit the pride of fallen humanity10 united only in its perverse ambition to forge its own unity as at Babel.11 But, because of sin, both polytheism and the idolatry of the nation and of its rulers constantly threaten this provisional economy with the perversion of paganism.12

58 The covenant with Noah remains in force during the times of the Gentiles, until the universal proclamation of the Gospel.13 The Bible venerates several great figures among the Gentiles: Abel the just, the king-priest Melchisedek - a figure of Christ - and the upright “Noah, Daniel, and Job”.14 Scripture thus expresses the heights of sanctity that can be reached by those who live according to the covenant of Noah, waiting for Christ to “gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad”.15

God chooses Abraham

59 In order to gather together scattered humanity God calls Abram from his country, his kindred and his father’s house,16 and makes him Abraham, that is, “the father of a multitude of nations”. "In you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed."17

60 The people descended from Abraham would be the trustee of the promise made to the patriarchs, the chosen people, called to prepare for that day when God would gather all his children into the unity of the Church.18 They would be the root on to which the Gentiles would be grafted, once they came to believe.19

61 The patriarchs, prophets and certain other Old Testament figures have been and always will be honored as saints in all the Church’s liturgical traditions.

God forms his people Israel

62 After the patriarchs, God formed Israel as his people by freeing them from slavery in Egypt. He established with them the covenant of Mount Sinai and, through Moses, gave them his law so that they would recognize him and serve him as the one living and true God, the provident Father and just judge, and so that they would look for the promised Savior.20

63 Israel is the priestly people of God, “called by the name of the LORD”, and “the first to hear the word of God”,21 the people of “elder brethren” in the faith of Abraham.

64 Through the prophets, God forms his people in the hope of salvation, in the expectation of a new and everlasting Covenant intended for all, to be written on their hearts.22 The prophets proclaim a radical redemption of the People of God, purification from all their infidelities, a salvation which will include all the nations.23 Above all, the poor and humble of the Lord will bear this hope. Such holy women as Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Judith and Esther kept alive the hope of Israel’s salvation. The purest figure among them is Mary.24


It’s my position that the old covenant, as a legal entity, refers only to the covenant given to Moses by God on Mt Sinai and Mt Horeb and that it was conditional upon man (specifically the Jews) obeying the law.

It is my position that your church can not possibly mean that the old covenant (Mosaic covenant) has not been done away with. The evidence from scripture and your church’s own tradition make to strong a case against such an outlook and the CCC must be referring to something else when it says that the old covenant has not been revoked.

I have heard that the CCC must be speaking of the old testament and that by old covenant, the CCC is referring to the old testament. There are some pretty good reasons to believe that is the case but nevertheless, it is indefensible to assume that there the Mosiac covenant is in force today.

Your above section from the catechism contains some fluff. To be clear, we are not (or at least in my mind we aren’t) discussing the covenant between Noah and God or any other covenant than the old covenant (Mosaic covenant).

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