"Reconciling" the Old Testament

Hey, I guess my general concern is how does one reconcile the, at times, seemingly contradictory claims of the old testament with the modern Catholic faith. For instance, in the old testament, God is portrayed as vengeful, emotional, one who sends “evil spirits” to torment people, capable of changing His mind, regretful, and orders the killing of innocents. (when Saul was ordered to kill men, women, children, and infants in 1st Samuel 15:3). The Jews seem to see God in a different way than Christians as well as the lack of belief in a hell like the Christian hell and the devil like Christians see the devil. I guess I’m wondering how we got from the Jewish beliefs to the current Catholic beliefs. Also, it seems that having multiple wives is seen as acceptable in the old testament.

To the best of my ability, I can reconcile some of the language such as God sending “evil spirits” to mean simply that someone is sick or has a psychological disorder. I can also say that possibly the Jews were only semi informed of the truth and we came to know the “full” truth after Christ and the Holy Spirt was sent which may explain the change in beliefs. I also know it takes some understanding of the language and Jewish belief which to some degree I’ve studied and am studying so maybe the answers will come in time.

Nevertheless, if someone were to bring up some of these points about the Old Testament, I may be at a loss for a good explanation. I know we aren’t under the old law anymore. Yet, there seems to be a lot of things about God’s nature that doesn’t fit with the Catholic understanding. It seems hard to imagine God ordering someone to kill infants with our current view of God and the objective nature of killing innocents. (of course, God is above our morals)

I guess it would be easier if the Catholic faith was more in line with the Jewish faith. Any opinions or good resources to help with this? Thanks.

Hi :slight_smile:

The apparent discrepancies between basic Jewish tenets and Christian theology have bothered many believers so far as well as they have instigated many people to reject faith altogether. Actually, some Christians in the past found some parts of the Old Testament so bothering and incompatible with the New Testament that their aversion to Judaic faith gave birth to a heresy called Gnosticism, which defined the God of the Old Testament as the God of the Law and Evil (flesh), attributing to Him violence, death, and malevolence.

This bears testimony to the fact that it is not at all easy to reconcile most of the notions and designations in Judaism with those in Christianity. Apart from major contrasts in rituals, various fundamental doctrines seem to be at war! For instance, Judaism portrays even Paradise as a terrestrial garden where God walked with Adam & Eve. Likewise, neither Satan nor Hell is precisely defined in the Jewish scripture until the time of the prophets. Accordingly, every single tenet appears to be confined to this world without the least hope of bodily resurrection and the relevant immortality of human soul. Consider these: after the first sin Adam & Eve are condemned to death, for the primary aim of the Jewish scripture is to teach and warn that sin results in death. In the days of the flood only believers and righteous ones survive in a world cleansed from sinful human nature, which once more shows that salvation is equated with a long life in this world. Again, in the days of the Kingdom sinful leaders are murdered as well as the idolatrous nations that confront Israelites.

All these puzzle most Christians since the New Testament gives priority to Spirit rather than body. To make an audacious claim, Christianity brings about a drastic transition from the purely materialistic approach to the highly spiritual one. This is why John the evangelist deems it necessary to make a comparison between Moses and Jesus as well as between the nature of things they brought: “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came about through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). The Law refers to concrete things as most of the rituals and observations in it are concerned with the human body whilst grace and truth are celestial and abstract notions manifested through Jesus’ incarnation. Similarly, Jesus lays emphasis on spirituality of His message when He says: “The Spirit is the one who gives life; human nature is of no help! The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. (John 6: 63)

There are many more examples in Paul’s epistles. For instance, the marvelous comparison between the Adam of the Old Testament and of the New. Note that Paul deliberately uses the word earth and heaven to highlight the major distinction between the two Testaments: So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living person”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, made of dust; the second man is from heaven. Like the one made of dust, so too are those made of dust, and like the one from heaven, so too those who are heavenly. And just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, let us also bear the image of the man of heaven (1 Corinthians 15: 45-49).

In short, Jesus of the New Testament is the life breathed into humanity. As God breathes life into human body at the beginning of Creation, Jesus gives life to the Old Testament (the Law of the body). It is also necessary to see that the Old Testament is the promise whereas the New is the fulfillment. The idea of a savior promised to the first parents of the human race is accomplished through Jesus’ birth and death. In this respect, the Old Testament accomplishes the duty of punishing humanity for their sins whereas the New replaces punishment with mercy and salvation until the day of the final judgment.

I shall continue discussing the related issues later. (there’s another post entitled “the God of the Old Testament)

Good response Angelos, I had questions about the same subject.

e.g. you read in the psalms where the writer wished that God would crush his enemies whereas Jesus said we should pray for our enemies. So presumably God is now showing us far more mercy because of Our Lord’s Passion.

God bless,

Hi nkelly, :thumbsup:

I certainly agree with you. As every law is full of commandments and is devised for the primary purpose of punishment, the Old Testament was devised to express “wrath” as the prevalent attribute of God so as to teach that the holy and righteous Creator would not tolerate wickedness and sinfulness. In addition, from the days of the Flood until the days of our Lord, God dealt with sinfulness solely on a national level. Only after the Lord’s passion and resurrection and the subsequent proclamation of the Gospel did the world become aware of the sinfulness of human nature and the need for a Savior. Thus, the law of wrath and death was replaced with the law of love and mercy, and believers focused on divine graciousness that meant forgiveness rather than divine justice that meant the murder of evildoers.

Gospels are full of stories that reflect the significance of this drastic change as Jesus of Nazareth is proclaimed as the Lord of mercy and salvation. This is why He says to the religious leaders that criticize Him for sitting with sinners: “When the experts in the law and the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard this he said to them, “Those who are healthy don’t need a physician, but those who are sick do. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2: 16-17).

In the same way, Jesus teaches His disciples that judgment and condemnation of evil people must be suspended until the end of times: “So the slaves of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from?’ He said, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the slaves replied, ‘Do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, since in gathering the weeds you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time I will tell the reapers, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned, but then gather the wheat into my barn.”’” (Matthew 13: 27-30).

More than the other evangelists, Luke deliberately highlights Jesus’ denunciation of the apostles John and James, who attempt to prove their prophetic authority by cursing and killing Jesus’ adversaries in Samaria, which is an apparent allusion to what Elijah did to his enemies in the Old Testament (2 Kings 1: 10-14): “He sent messengers on ahead of him. As they went along, they entered a Samaritan village to make things ready in advance for him, but the villagers refused to welcome him, because he was determined to go to Jerusalem. Now when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to call fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went on to another village. (Luke 9: 52-56).

Even the first martyrdom in the Acts of the Apostles is recorded to distinguish the vindictive attitude of the Old Testament prophets and martyrs from the forgiving one of the New Testament prophets: “When they heard these things, they became furious and ground their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked intently toward heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look!” he said. “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” But they covered their ears, shouting out with a loud voice, and rushed at him with one intent. When they had driven him out of the city, they began to stone him, and the witnesses laid their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. They continued to stone Stephen while he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” Then he fell to his knees and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” When he had said this, he died. (Acts 7: 54-60). (Compare this with 2 Chronicles 24: 20-22).

Blessings :slight_smile:

I think this is a very misguided and dangerous interpretation.
Do you mean that we as Christians are supposed to suit back and be passive in the face of evil or evil persons?
Do you mean that we are not to use are judgement in discerning who is good and who are evil?
The value of the Old Testament stories of God’s judgement show us that we too are to combat evil and revere God’s tremendous might.
Many Christians choose a pacifistic non-judgmental approach to modern evils and they justify it by pointing to a few verses in the New Testament without seeing the Bible as a whole. They fail to see the full picture of God as both completely just and completely merciful, full of power and full of love.
This I think is an obstacle in evangelizing Jews and others who have a keen sense of justice.

Hi Franciscan,

You seem to misunderstand my point in quoting that parable in Matthew, and your post itself is a misinterpretation of my remarks. First, you fail to distinguish the notion of justice from that of judgment. Pay attention to my statement: My purpose in bringing up that particular parable was by no means to claim that Jesus abolished justice until the end of times. Actually, Lord’s parable in question has nothing to do with justice in the world. What Jesus says is clear: He allows the weeds to grow with the wheat until the time of harvest. Thus, Jesus, as the Lord of mercy and the sole fountain of divine authority, does not ask His followers to exercise **divine judgment **upon the evildoers.

I certainly agree with you that the Lord commands us to defend and promote justice, which has nothing to do with punishing the men of darkness and cleansing them from this world. We, believers, are invited to serve the Lord and praise His holy name through our acts of justice and righteousness: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things about you falsely on account of me. Rejoice and be glad because your reward is great in heaven, for they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way.You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people. You are the light of the world. … let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5: 10-16)

Jesus asks us and gives us power to establish the Kingdom of God, which is fundamentally different from the idea of a mundane kingdom established by God but administered by human instruments that express God’s wrath through the use of swords against unbelievers and evildoers: “Let the godly rejoice because of their vindication! Let them shout for joy upon their beds! May they praise God while they hold a two-edged sword in their hand, in order to **take revenge **on the nations, and punish foreigners. They bind their kings in chains, and their nobles in iron shackles, and **execute the judgment **to which their enemies have been sentenced. (Psalm 149: 5-9). For the Lord of mercy and salvation this world belongs to Satan, for He says, “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them, because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but that you keep them safe from the evil one. (John 17: 14-15). For the same Lord no human is empowered to punish and take revenge: “When they persisted in asking him, he stood up straight and replied, “Whoever among you is guiltless may be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8: 7) More, Jesus’ kingdom is not from this world: “Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my servants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish authorities. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” (John 18: 36) Despite the Psalmist that brags about using swords to punish nations, Jesus says: “Put your sword back in its place! For all who take hold of the sword will die by the sword” (Matthew 26: 52).

I hope my points are clearer to you now. If not, I would like to hear YOUR interpretation of that parable and many other New Testament verses that support my view.
Blessings to you :slight_smile:

Thanks for your reply Angelos. It did clarify some things. I’m struggling with this issue. So this is helpful…

But I don’t see why you said that defending and promoting justice does not have anything to do with punishing “the men of darkness”.

I think you might be thinking of Justice as merely feeding the poor and caring for those in need (Social Justice etc.) Which is certainly a demand of both mercy and justice.

But I think that justice also means stopping people who we judge as being evil or a partner to evil(sometimes by using violence ourselves- as a last resort) from killing innocence, abusing children, genocide and other crimes.etc.(Criminal Justice).

Please consider D. Prager’s article titled: Thank heaven for moral violence.
Where does he(Prager) go wrong. Or maybe you will have no problem with his argument…

Thank Heaven for
moral violence

jewishworldreview.com |

Let us make war on the phrase “violence doesn’t solve anything.” It is a lie, and anyone who utters it cannot be taken morally seriously.
Take, for example, the American use of violence against the Taliban. Thanks to it, Afghani women may get an education, attend public events without a male escort, and otherwise ascend above their prior status as captive animals.
Thanks to American violence in Afghanistan, Islamic terror has started to decline in prestige among many Muslims who had previously romanticized it. Though many Muslims still glorify Muslims who blow themselves up in order to murder Jews and Americans, the glamour of terror is dwindling. In Pakistan, for example, there are almost no Osama T-shirts on sale, and no more demonstrations on his behalf.
Even more significantly, a handful of Muslims and Arabs are beginning to ask what is wrong in their cultures, rather than continuing to blame America, Christianity and Israel for their lack of human rights, political democracy and economic progress.
Once again, violence properly used has led to major moral gains for humanity.
You have to wonder how anyone can utter, let alone believe, something so demonstrably wrong as “violence doesn’t solve anything” or “an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind,” or any other pacifist platitudes. These are the moral and intellectual equivalents of “the earth is flat.” In fact, it is easier to show that violence solves many evils than it is to show that the earth is round.
It was violence that destroyed Adolf Hitler and Nazism. Only violence. Not talk. Not negotiations. Not good will.
It is violence used by police that stops violent criminals from murdering or otherwise hurting innocent people. There are many innocent men and women alive today solely because some policeman used violence to save their lives.
It was violence that ended slavery in America. Had violence not been used against the Confederacy, the United States would have been cut in half, and millions of black men and women would have remained slaves.
The list of moral good achieved by violence is endless.
How, then, can anyone possibly say something as demonstrably false as “violence doesn’t solve anything”?
The answer is difficult to arrive at. Given how obviously moral much violence has been, one is tempted to respond by asking how people can believe any absurdity – whether it is that Elvis Presley is still living, or that race determines a person’s behavior, or that 72 women in heaven await mass murderers.
Vast numbers of people believe what they want to believe or what they have been brainwashed to believe, not what is true or good. For vast numbers of people, it is simply dogma that all violence is wrong. It is a position arrived at with little thought but with a plethora of naive passion.
It is also often the position of the morally confused. People who believe in moral relativism, who therefore cannot ever determine which side in a conflict is morally right, understandably feel incapable of determining when violence may be moral.
Those who say violence never solves anything have confused themselves in other ways as well. They have elevated peace above goodness. Therefore, in these people’s views, it is better for evil to prevail than to use violence to end that evil – since the very use of violence renders the user of it evil.
For those people whose moral compasses are intact, the issue is as clear as where North and South are. There is immoral violence and there is moral violence.
That is why it is so morally wrong and so pedagogically foolish to prohibit young boys from watching any violence or from playing violent games like “Cops and Robbers.” Just as with sex and ambition and all other instincts, what must be taught about violence is when it is right to use it.
For if we never engage in moral violence, it is as certain as anything in life can be that immoral violence will rule the world.

Hi Franciscan,

I have read that doctor’s article on the issue of violence, and I agree with him to a certain extent. Nevertheless, we should approach violence carefully lest we fail to discern “wise” violence from the “vice” one. If we again handle the notion of judgment from the Evangelical perspective, we see that our Lord stresses the need for the separation of divine authority from earthly powers of administration: “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to **God **the things that are God’s. (Mark 12: 17).

It is definite that the Church established by Christ has absolute authority to interpret the Holy Scripture, to teach the message of God to His people, to give sacraments, to absolve repentant sinners from their sins through the sacrament of reconciliation. The earthly kingdoms, on the other hand, are empowered by the same God to serve the welfare of humanity by defending the rights of innocents and all the members of a community against criminals that violate laws and commit crimes to destroy the social order as well as oppress the weak through violence. Thus, it is a government’s duty to punish criminals and vindicate the oppressed civilians, but it is only in God’s hands to punish sinners in the separate sphere of divine judgment. In short, the powers of this earth take care of criminals in this world whereas God himself deals with sinners when this world comes to an end.

Still, it is right to say that all earthly administrations receive their authority to govern from God, who is the sole fountain of every power that works for the good of mankind. This is why Paul says: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God’s appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God. So the person who resists such authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will incur judgment” (Romans 13: 1-2). Likewise, Peter says: “Be subject to every human institution for the Lord’s sake, whether to a king as supreme or to governors as those he commissions to punish wrongdoers and praise those who do good. (1 Peter 2: 13-14).

Interestingly, the fact that God is the only sovereign Lord and earthly kingdoms are based upon the requests of people is highlighted in the Old Testament: “So all the elders of Israel gathered together and approached Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons don’t follow your ways. So now appoint over us a king to lead us, just like all the other nations have.” But this request displeased Samuel, for they said, “Give us a king to lead us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. The Lord said to Samuel, “Do everything the people request of you. For it is not you that they have rejected, but it is me that they have rejected as their king. (1 Samuel 8: 4-7).

Again, the co-existence of a king with a prophet and a priest alludes to the separation of powers despite the unity of authority: “King David said, “Summon Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” They came before the king, and he told them, “Take your master’s servants with you, put my son Solomon on my mule, and lead him down to Gihon. There **Zadok the priest **and **Nathan the prophet **will anoint him king over Israel; then blow the trumpet and declare, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ (1 Kings 1: 32-34).

Finally, God, who empowers David to fight all the enemies of the nation and gives him triumph, does not allow him to build a temple certainly because of the bloodshed. The temple for the God of peace is to be built in the peaceful reign of David’s son Solomon. This is why David says: “But the Lord said to me: ‘You have spilled a great deal of blood and fought many battles. You must not build a temple to honor me, for you have spilled a great deal of blood on the ground before me’; “But God said to me, ‘You must not build a temple to honor me, for you are a warrior and have spilled blood.’” (1 Chronicles 22:8; 28:3)

Blessings to all :slight_smile:

** ** Angelos,theres room enough fore just about all views in the Catholic church, for an ezample i do not beleive in “free choice” yet many in my family do…

You said you agree to some extent. With what? And where do you differ?

Do you agree that we are to use judgement to discern good from evil in every day life.In spite of Christ’s command thou shall not judge lest ye be judged etc.(for example a father’s decision to ban heavy Metal music from his house because he sees it as an evil influence)?

Do you agree that we on earth have a duty to confront and defeat evil when it threatens good?

Here’s the problem that i have with your response. You seem to say that Christ wants us to leave justice and judgement to the government. This is America. ‘We the people’ are the ones who through the electoral process apppoint those who govern over us.
Are you suggesting that we become indifferent apathetic in the face of evil? or are you just talking about the actual punishment of prisoners?Those who act out in a criminal way are hurting Americans not just the government. So i have a problem with the ides that we can separate Americans from the American government. It was was easier to make that separation in occupied Judea in the first century.

Are you sayiing the only type of justice that we are called to is social justice and not criminal justice?
Do you believe evil exists?Do you believe there are evil people? Do you believe the devil is real?
If you answer yes to any of these last few questions than I cant see how you could hold the position that you do.

Dear Franciscan, :slight_smile:

I cannot understand why you are so obsessed with the idea of judgment although I can guess your being an American has a great deal of influence on your religious views as well as political ones. Let me remind you in the first place that I am no American and have never been abroad since I was born in a Middle East country (majority Muslim).

Interestingly, it is not me but you that refers to Jesus’ commandment “not to judge”. Jesus asks people not to exert divine judgment upon believers since such an act could result in unintentional slander. We profess every Sunday “He will come again to judge the living and the dead” in accordance with the verse: “Furthermore, the Father does not judge anyone, but has assigned all judgment to the Son, so that all people will honor the Son just as they honor the Father. The one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him” (John 5: 22-23). Nonetheless, the same Lord rebukes a man that asks Him to settle the matter concerning his inheritance: “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator between you two?” (Luke 12: 14). I hope the contrast between these two verses will explain what Jesus means when He calls Himself a judge.

The examples of yours (about heavy metal music, etc) are related to the different types of authority on earth. Thus, parents have parental authority to discipline and judge their children whilst teachers have another kind of authority to teach and admonish pupils. Likewise, the police have coercive authority to fight evil and prevent criminals from harming the other members of the society. Judges and attorneys have judiciary authority, parliaments have legislative authority, presidents have executive authority, etc. All these wielders of a certain kind of authority are expected to carry out their tasks with responsibility to serve the mankind.

As for the article written by that Jewish doctor, I would disagree with him primarily because he categorizes violence as moral and immoral. I would rather object to the presumption that violence could be handy since I consider the concept of violence a major produce of the original sin. Besides, it is impossible to get a precise and standard definition of violence or manipulate the moral violence while hating the immoral one. I am sure everyone in the world claim to practice violence for beneficiary purposes. For instance, Turks say they forced thousands of Armenians out of Anatolia because they had to protect their boundaries in the first place by dismissing the probability of an Armenian insurrection. If this is violence, Turks call it a just and moral violence despite Armenians, majority of whom call that incident a genocide. Serbia, a nation bombed by NATO forces upon Clinton’s persistent demands, still says that the atrocities performed in Bosnia were actually good measures taken against the rise of a fundamentalist Islamic state in the Balkans. For Israel, the Hamas militants blowing themselves up give paramount examples of immoral and unjust violence whereas Palestinians blame Israeli government for practicing immoral violence as soon as the Israeli army enters Gaza for a military operation. Here’s my question to you: How would you decide whose violence was moral?

Blessings to all

Any violence that meets the Just War Doctrine of the Church is Moral Violence. It’s in the CCC.

The war against the Nazis in ww2 was moral. Not to say that all allies are moral and all Germans were immoral. Thw world is not black and white. But the net result of defeating the Nazis was a moral good.
Also you recognize the legitimacy of police excercising their authority as valid. Sometimes they use violence to achieve justice. This is moral (in most cases) because they are working for the common good which is morally good. So, if you agree then you must also agree that some violence is moral.

The Church has this doctrine (Just War) because it sees that sometimes violence is a valid option.

I noticed that you did not answer the questions at the end of my last post. It would be helpful to me if you would.

Thanks Angelos.

Hi again :slight_smile:

Sorry it has taken me this long to write a response to your latest message questioning my faith in regard to Satan & evil. (Honestly, the first time I read your questions related to my view on evil and devil, I thought for a second that you were just kidding me).

Here’s my purely Biblical response to your interesting question:
(I believe what the Lord Himself teaches me about evil and Satan)

And he said to them: I saw Satan like lightning falling from heaven (Luke 10: 18).

You are of your father the devil: and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning: and he stood not in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof (John 8: 44).

Now is the judgment of the world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out (John 12: 31).

And after the morsel, Satan entered into him. And Jesus said to him: That which thou dost, do quickly (John 13: 27).

I will not now speak many things with you. For the prince of this world cometh: and in me he hath not any thing (John 14: 30).

I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from evil (John 17: 15)

Blessings to you and all believers

Now YOUR turn to answer my questions:

How would you reconcile the Old Testament with the New?

My first response would be to ask, “What is there to reconcile?” In other words, the Bible is one story, one book written ulitimately by one Author. The God of the Old is the same God of the New. “I Am Who Am”. He hasn’t changed -we have.

But I know that answer is not sufficient. So here goes…

In CCC 121 it says the Old Covenant has never been revoked. Though “imperfect and provisional” the Old Test. transmits “sound widsdom”.CCC122. I think imperfect and provisional means incomplete without the full revelation of Christ.

I agree with your statement that suggested Israel of the Flesh in the Old Test. gave way to the Israel of the Spirit (the Church). But we cant deny we have a physical existance in a fallen world.

The Old is revealed in the New and the New is hidden in the Old. Through both typology and prophecy, the Old prepares for the fullness of revelation in Christ.

But I disagree with those that say Jesus’ Law of love completely abolishes or replaces the Old Testament Law. Look for instance at the Ten Commandments. These were not done away with just changed from negative laws telling us what not to do(Y=Thou shalt not) to positive laws telling us what to do (Love God and neighbor).In the end, Jesus merely simplifies the old law by reducing it to two commands but in doing this he elevates the demands on us to Love.

To be able to love requires grace. This deposit of grace is passed on to the Apostles by Christ and the Holy Spirit and through the sacraments etc. but Not to everyone in the world automatically, and evil is not erradicated all at once.

The Old Testament law was for a fallen world without the incarnated Christ, sacraments etc. The New Testament law of love is for those who live in the grace of Christ and who are sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Those who are “in Christ”. Christ penetrated the barrier of sin so that,unlike those in the Old Test. who experienced the power and might of God in a way that often led to their destruction, we can not only dare to stand in His presence in the Holy of Holies(Lv.16) we can become one with Him in communion and be transformed in grace.

But God is no less holy, no less powerful and we should have no less fear(awe). God hasn’t changed he has changed us.(Those who accept His grace).

But we still live in a fallen world. (This is why you are right to say violence is a product of original sin). We still have fallen natures especially those outside of God’s grace. Evil still abounds. There are wicked people who engage in a spiritual battle against the Church and the good people of the world.

So(Like the arch angel Micheal) we are called to be vigilant- to guard the good from those that seek to do evil deeds. This is why you can’t say that we should leave punishment and judgement to God and just let the govt. or whoever fight the good fight.

Judgement and justice go hand in hand. Jesus is the ulitimate judge, the Just Judge but we are called to be Christlike and judge right from wrong and judge evil as it is without fear and without reservations.

Doing the right thing in life (in a fallen world) requires this good judgement.

That’s why I have a problem with your statement, and I quote, “Jesus teaches his disciples that judgment and condemnation of evil people must be suspended until the end of time”. This is dangerous because all it takes for evil to rule this world is for good men to do nothing.

I say what Prager says, “Thank Heaven for Moral violence”.

This is an excellent explanation, I enjoyed your interpretation, and agree completely - this last part here that I have quoted is especially evident to me in reading the Scriptures.

Peace be with you

Jesus also said he did not come to change the Law, but to fulfill it, so in essence the 10 commandments are still the Law we are to follow - it was only condensed to 2 commands in the case of one particular situation.

I sort of relate the relationship between the OT and NT like this:

When a child is born, the parents raise the child with a close eye, they are careful to correct and teach their child, and sometimes this means laying down hard rules and enforcing them with punishments when they are broken - this is to build moral character and discipline in the child - but eventually the time comes where the parents let go, the child goes out into the world to live their own life, and they have the free will to make their own choices, but if they did not learn the lessons from their parents when they were with them, and follow them with the discipline they were brought up with, there are consequences in making bad choices. The OT is the close eye, the law and discipline, the NT is the actual living out of that upbringing in our lives.

Hopefully that makes sense, I think thats the easiest way to explain the difference I see.


 I said those things because of the lessons life teaches do you underestand?  Why dont I.....well lets just say i'vr'

been there and back…for one thing you dont tell a person "Its’either my way or the Highway"which God does and then label that as free choice…I mean who in their right mind would chose hell over heavan? i know i know what your going to say but think before you speak…think,think,think, does it make any sense?

I like this thread, so I am just pulling it up again.

I thought you might like this too, cazayoux!!!

Hi people :slight_smile:

I would like you to focus on several parables in the Gospels in order to compare and contrast the God of the Old and New Testament :slight_smile:

The first parable is in Matthew 20: 1-34 newadvent.org/bible/mat020.htm

Waiting for your interesting comments before presenting mine :wink:

Peace and blessings to those seeking the truth to embrace it

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