Why do you suppose God seems so different in the Old Testament? Does it have something to do with Gods three-in-one personality? :shrug:
I don’t think God can be different. I think maybe He seems different in the NT because Jesus presented Him differently and cleared up a lot of misunderstandings about Him. The people of the OT seemed to focus more on His wrathful aspects- but of course, back then the Jews were constantly under attack or in exile, and so they were more concerned with how God could crush their enemies or free them from bondage. Granted, they didn’t have it much better in the NT days, but Jesus reminded them that God is also loving and forgiving. The ancients seem to have seen God as an unapproachable (remember nobody but the High Priest could even approach the Ark), iron-fisted Emperor- Jesus presented him as a loving Father (and the temple vail was torn open at his death, signifying that all could come to God). Anyways, I think most of what was believed about God in the OT was just what was encouraged by the priests- the same people that Jesus was constantly chastising for not knowing what God was all about.
Thank you. That was a very good explanation.
I agree, this was a good explanation, but God in the Old Testament (who also was Jesus) was more than just wrathful. In a modern day suspense novel the God of the Old Testament would be considered a serial killer.
There are many passages in which God told his Generals so to speak to kill men, women, children, and anamils, and to leave nothing alive.
This can be a thorn in the side for anyone who begins to read Scripture.
I often wondered if the Sacred writers depicted the ’ wrath of God’ as a literary device, just to show God is all powerful.
I wonder, too. I also wonder if maybe some of the people who killed multitudes on God’s command were actually hearing from God. While I do not doubt the inspired nature of the Scriptures, I realise that just because it is inspired doesn’t necessarily mean that it is all literally true. Remember that back then they used the Urim and Thummim to discern God’s will. They would ask a question and the High Priest would draw one of the stones out of his ephod to get the answer- a Holy Roll of the Dice, pretty much… Should we kill multitudes (reaches in and pulls out a stone)? Thummim! God say’s kill 'em all!! I mean, seriously, there are many people throughout history who have killed because “God told them to.” But just because we write down what happened doesn’t mean that we think it’s true that God commanded it.
I believe God is just. What he ordered his people to do was to accomplish the greatest good, such as a demonstration of his power as in the Egyptian plagues and the destruction of the Egyptian army. He demonstrates his favor to the Israelites when he orders them to take the promised land and helps them win their battles. We all will experience death at some point, what is the difference if God has his chosen people take the lands he promised them or he destroys them through plague or lets them die old and weak.
I think God makes available what we need at the right time. It may not make the most sense when considered in another time of history. When Moses was wandering around for 40 years if Jesus had showed up would we have the same bible, I don’t think so? Everything in its time and we do not know when the next appearance will be but hopefully we are ready.
The old testament is not christianity, it is judaism. The only reason the two are combined, is so that the first book, can explain the meaning behind the 2nd book because they were written in the same context and within the same tribal community.
The NT, uses a lot of symbolism from the OT, because the writers of the NT were trying to appeal to the audience of the OT. They were trying to say…This…is the new way, for all humanity, not just the Jews.They were, however talking to the Jews primarily when they wrote it. It wasn’t made for the ears of a Gentile, because the Gentile did not understand its context.
There is a belief, that God “changed” his relationship with man, through christ. Hence it is the same god with dramatically different behaviour.
There is another view. Jesus, disagreed with the Jew’s and their religion. They were wrong. Their view of God was not correct at the point in time Jesus was born, and Jesus taught about God, not about the Jewish God.
Throw that teacher into a very strict jewish culture, and the writers of the Gospels, had to appeal to the ancient texts and the culture of the day or their message would never have been heard.
The two books are combined, because you cannot understand the 2nd, without the first, not because Jesus agreed with the 1st, but because the people who met him, had to communicate with those, of the 1st.
That is the view I suspect is most accurate. Go and listen to a Jewish scholar, on the NT, and you will see…a whole different book.
I agree more with the second view- Jesus totally turned Judaism on its head. He actually instructed people NOT to be like the priests and “experts” of the Mosaic law, so they obviously had many things wrong.
If one uses the idea of progressive revelation, one find Abraham, one individual possesed by the revelationof a god different from those of his fathers, and who then sets out on his mission in obedience to his voice. The world around Abraham does not change but Abraham over the course of time begins to see it in a new light and to begin to change his own behavior accordingly. Like the rest of us, Abraham is the prisioner of his own time and place, and only gradually does he break out, meanwhile behaving in many respects like those around him. The crucial moment comes when he is commanded to sacrifice his son to his god, but his hand is stayed. This is not the gods towhom he is used, who readily accept human sacrifice. When he obeys God, he comes cloer to God. He takes two steps forward and then one back, or one step forwards and two steps back. This in short is also the story of his children. Things are too complicated, the web of human teachery too hard to avoid, so we do not walk into paradise but continue our journey, guided by the cloud by day and the light by night.
God has always been the same. He is God of everyone. Our interpretations of God have evolved in different directions throughout the world.
As a Catholic I believe…
God chose to reveal Himself through the tribe of Israel. And eventually through the tribe of Judah. (Old Testament)
And then through the son of Joseph and Mary as Jesus. Jesus helped us interpret God better. (New Testament)
Old Testament writers gave us exactly what we needed. New Testament writers gave us exactly what we needed. We need to continue to grow closer to God each and every day.
Ah yes, I’ve noticed this.
Keep in mind: God cannot change, but people and their ideas/thoughts/assumptions about Him can.
Ironically Yours, Blade and Blood
This seems dangerous to say. Jesus did not repudiate or negate the Mosaic Law, He was the fulfillment of it. He did not do away with it and only appeal to the Hebrew Scriptures because it was easier to get His message across, He did so because He was fulfilling those very Scriptures. The issue wasn’t that Judaism was flat-out wrong, in fact there was no real separation between Judaism and Jesus’ teachings for some 60 years after His death/resurrection. The issue was that the Scriptures were being fulfilled and many did not recognize that. Let us not forget that Jesus was a Jew in many ways. In Pope Benedict’s own words (then Cardinal Ratzinger):
“He was one of the Jewish people. He was a Jew, in that he accepted and lived out the Law, and indeed, in spite of all criticism, he was a pious Jew who observed the Temple regulations. And nonetheless he broke out of the Old Testament mold and went beyond it–on his authority as Son. Jesus understood himself as being the new and greater Moses, who thus does not merely interpret but actually renews the Law.”
My apologies if this basic point is made later, I just read this thread and decided to reply at this point, I’m new to the Forum and love it so far!
I suspect the people who knew Jesus, were completely and utterly blown away by him.
There you have this incredibly strict culture, where the religious leaders ruled, where fear was invoked and “rules” were enforced through punishment, and even death. Every infraction was watched over and condemed. Every person was judged and valued in accordance with their belief about God.
And there was this dude, raised in this culture, embraced it completely…and then challenged it.
I do not believe Jesus was God. But, I am mightily impressed by him and what he taught considering the world he lived in. He was truly exceptional. Obviously the gospel writers believed the same things and it appears that it wasn’t until he died for what he believe in, that they finally understood what his teachings were about.
The people who listened to him, and believed in him…thought he was the fullfillment.
Obviously the Jews did(and still do) not agree, because what they got, was not what they expected. [edited]
I’m not christian and I take a much more historical view of Jesus than a religious one.
I believe that the central concept in undertanding this issue is to be found in ‘covenant’. Those outside the covenant, even in the new dispensation will be subject to God’s just wrath on the last day.
Because in Baptism we are clothed in Christ, we enter into the llove of God the Father for God the Son. A friendship of even greater intimacy than that experience by Blessed Moses.
The covenant is secure in the Blood of the Lamb, God gazes on His Son’s satisfaction which is our satisfaction to the extent that we are united to Him.
God has extended His invitation to friendship to the whole of mankind explains the universal disposition which previously was only towards the most virtuous of the once chosen people.
Not everyone shares this view of the God of the OT.
[FONT=Arial]The Books of the Old and New Testament provide us with the first and fundamental fact concerning the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness. In the Psalms and in the preaching of the Prophets, the name merciful is perhaps the one most often given to the Lord, in contrast to the persistent cliché whereby the God of the Old Testament is presented above all as severe and vengeful.[/FONT] (JPII - 1984)
A good discussion on this can be found at
I guess it has something to do with Christians not often reading the book of Revelation.