Old -vs- New


#1

The DW and I are participating in a scripture study called “Parables of the Kingdom”. (Little Rock Scripture Study).

As we progress, some thoughts come to mind.

In the Old Testament, God is very specific with regard to many things…methods of worship, rituals, clean and unclean, foods, etc…

In the New Testament, Jesus changes all of that. He is much simpler, but in reality much more demanding. Demanding in the sense that he doesn’t “cover us up” with rules and rituals, but instead lays out some basic principles for us to follow.

Parables tell a story. Jesus tells parables that are, in most cases, easy to understand the point. We are then exhorted to “live out” that point.

Even the Commandments reflect the different philosophies. The Ten Commandments that God gave Moses in the Old Testament are straight forward, easy to understand.

Jesus, on the other hand gives us but two. First reaction of human nature is to think that two is easier than ten. Ah, grasshopper, but the two are much more difficult. Jesus appears to be more nebulous, but in reality the two commandments are much more difficult to adhere to.

As I pondered this, it occured to me that the Church, pre and post Vatican II have a bit of a parallel to this…now, I am NOT saying that the pre-V2 Church is “Old Testament”, not at all.

But what I do see, is a loosening of rote-memory ritual, but in reality, a greater call in our lives…a call to a more personal spirituality instead of rote-memory ritual.

Your thoughts?


#2

Hi ethelzguy

The DW and I are participating in a scripture study called “Parables of the Kingdom”. (Little Rock Scripture Study).

Is it Catholic?

In the Old Testament, God is very specific with regard to many things…methods of worship, rituals, clean and unclean, foods, etc…

But it has to be taken in the context and culture from where it came from. Tribal theology of the ancient Hebrews is different than the theology of St. Paul and St. Thomas Aquinas.

In the New Testament, Jesus changes all of that. He is much simpler, but in reality much more demanding. Demanding in the sense that he doesn’t “cover us up” with rules and rituals, but instead lays out some basic principles for us to follow.

Jesus taught in the context of agape love, not in the context of reward and punishment, as the Old Testament writers did.

Jesus, on the other hand gives us but two.

The two commandment Jesus gave us, Love of God and Neighbor, are the sum of the 10 Commandments.

First reaction of human nature is to think that two is easier than ten. Ah, grasshopper, but the two are much more difficult. Jesus appears to be more nebulous, but in reality the two commandments are much more difficult to adhere to.

They’re the same, but love is the basis of all the commandments and Jesus presented his teachings in the context of love.

“God can not be grasped, except through love.” From the Cloud of Unkowning.

As I pondered this, it occured to me that the Church, pre and post Vatican II have a bit of a parallel to this…now, I am NOT saying that the pre-V2 Church is “Old Testament”, not at all.

But what I do see, is a loosening of rote-memory ritual, but in reality, a greater call in our lives…a call to a more personal spirituality instead of rote-memory ritual.

Your thoughts?

It has more to do with changes in culture. In the pre-Vatican II days, society as a whole, accepted things in black and white. There was little questioning of anything put forth from the government or the religion. There was more of a conformist mentality. However, the Vietnam war showed that conforming to the will of the government, just for conformity sake, was dangerous. This level of skeptical questioning, transcended to all parts of society, including science.

The same happened in in religion. For the many Catholics, they were Catholics, but hardly Christian. The same was true for protestants, I’m not just point out Catholicism here. Not belonging to a Christian religion in the 30’s 40’s and 50’s, was socially damaging. I remember the negative stigma, that people had to suffer with, when they got divorced, and for many Catholics, were no longer able to receive the Sacraments, so no longer went to Church. Everyone in the neighborhood knew them. My friend’s parents were divorced, and some of the kids in the neighborhood, were not allowed to play with him. Can you imagine? :frowning:

Today, we’re more tolerant of people who don’t follow religion or those who follow other religions other than Christianity. However, I’m seeing less tolerance lately, and its a growing concern.
Also today, more of us go to Church on a regular basis, because we have faith and want to, rather than merely fulfill an obligation.

We also have more access to being educated about the Church, than in pre-Vatican II.

I remember my mother forgetting it was Friday, and she accidentally prepared a meat dish, for supper. She called the parish priest and asked if she could serve it. All she go was, “NO.” No explanation, no logic, just “NO.” So, she complied. We had it for left overs the next night. Instead, my father sent out for my favorite, fried clams.

This sort of thing made no sense to a great many Catholics and they in fact left the Church, because of it.

So, the bottom line is, look at the culture and you’ll see the Church adapt accordingly.

Jim


#3

“But what I do see, is a loosening of rote-memory ritual, but in reality, a greater call in our lives…a call to a more personal spirituality instead of rote-memory ritual.”

:thumbsup:
Lilly:heart:


#4

lillydew,
true and today we have a tug of war with those who want the Church to return to the “rote-memory” rites, because they some how believe that back then, things were more reverent.

This was true on the surface, but in actuality, we were afraid of the authority of the Church. Worse we were more afraid of God, than we where in awe of Him. Our relationship with God and Church was one of reward and punishment, over compassion and mercy.

Jim


#5

This was true of culture in general. My grandparents, who were of WWI era, and my parents of the WWII era, couldn’t understand the protest against the Vietnam war. Their way of thinking was that the government asked you to go to war, you went, without question. When young people questioned the Vietnam War, the older generations were for the most part, appalled.

Of course the pendulum of skepticism, swung far to the left and it went beyond reason.

Pope Benedict XVI wrote about the necessity for faith and reason, to be connected to each other. Religion without reason, brings fundamental fanaticism, which is evident among Islamic radicals, but also true of fundamental Christians.

Even the Roman Catholic Church had to grow through fundamentalist periods and the Pope credits the Enlightenment Movement, for re-establishing the link to reason. The Pope firmly addresses the need for reason to be linked with faith, and that reason alone, can also be disastrous, as we saw in Marxism and Nazi-socialism.

Jim


#6

Bingo !

Do you see a similar situation between the Old and New Testaments of the Bible?

Old Testament…God…Reward and Punishment.

New Testament…Jesus…Compassion and Mercy.


#7

Yes indeed !

However, we need to keep in mind the cultural context of the people of the Old Testament and not be judgmental. The ancient Hebrew theology was on a tribal level, rather than a Church level, as Jesus established. Survival was a day to day event for them, and much depended on the alliance of tribes. Similar to what we see in the Middle East, among the Islamic tribes.

For the Jews of the OT, there was no evangelizing of the gentiles and pagans. You where either born Jewish, or you were not, if not, you were not chosen by God and therefore, any ill treatment was justified. See Jesus references to the Samaritans to see how He presented an entirely different message from this.

But then when we look at the Catholic Church of the Dark Ages, we again see a theology of reward and punishment, over compassion and mercy.

Of course God in his mercy, gave us the saints like St. Francis, who were the messengers for turning the Church back to the gospel message of compassion and mercy.

Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa were the messengers for our time, but it seems their message was quickly ignored over the past 8 years.

I think if Jesus were to come today, instead of parables about good Samaritans, He’d be telling us stories about the good Muslim, in order to make the same point.

Jim


#8

hi… Pls. Post the Ten Commandments of Old Testaments and The New Testaments of Jesus Christ with the Verses before we examine the difference and we know the proper way of understanding of this Topic.

I just want you to Understand that Jesus Christ did not contradict the Ten Commandments, He make it Simple and Clarify the Scope of The Ten Commandment. He gave The New First Commandment for the 1st to 4th of Ten Commandments and He gave the Second for 5th to 10th commandments.

Now try to View the 2nd of Ten Commandments, As a Catholic we did not follow it. and that is true.

Now can I ask the Catholic Priest or Any one that have an Authority to Explain. Why we did not follow the 2nd of The Ten Commandments.

Thanks…


#9

I in no way tried to claim the Jesus contradicted the Ten Commandments. Sorry if it came out that way.

Clearly the first of Jesus’ Commandments covered 1 thru 3, and the second 4-10.

My point was, that the TEN Commandments were rather well laid out and easily interpreted. Not much wiggle room in any of them.

However, with Jesus’ TWO Commandments, there is much room for interpretation. Interpretation that with the deeper one’s faith, the MORE responsibility comes with them. They aren’t as cut-and-dried as the prior rendition of Commandments. But in reality, for persons of deep faith, they are much more difficult to follow.


#10

how about the 2nd of Ten Commandments from God Given to Moses.

Thou Shalt not Have Any Graven Images or Likeness of any thing that is in Heaven and In Earth, Thou shalt not bow down thy self to them nor serve them Im a jealous God

why catholic did not follow this commandment?


#11

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