Why is the God of NT so different to God of OT?


#1

There are many instances in the Old Testament where God instructs people to kill others and/or straight up kills them himself. The final plague in Exodus, the great flood, instruction for stoning in Deuteronomy 22:20/21 etc.

While comparatively Jesus claimed that God didn’t have chosen people, he didn’t want to slaughter us en masse and he didn’t want us to stone defenceless women to death.

I have so many questions regarding this, but I guess it all boils down to:

If God is omnipotent, why did he change his mind so drastically on some of his most important teachings?


#2

Possible answers include:
G-d mellowed with age.
One of the depictions of G-d is incorrect.
G-d did not really change at all.

I opt for the third possibility. However, this one requires some study on your part, both of the teachings of the Torah and those of the Gospels.


#3

My theory is that God now looks at us through the eyes of Jesus. I’ve always wondered if God, being an omnipotent, eternal being, did not full appreciate what our lives are really like. How our lives are a difficult struggle against whims and urges and fantasies. How we have to scratch for survival. Our fears of illness and death.

When He incarnated Himself, He then truly understood, not just intellectually, but emotionally, what our lives are like. So now He cuts us a little slack, you might say.

St. Faustina, in her Divine Mercy diary, had a vision of the Father looking at us through the three nail holes in a giant cross in the sky. Rays of light passed through the holes and struck the earth, and it is through the those holes that God views us.

He looks at us through the holes in the cross now, but in OT times it seems He looked at us through the holes in a fly-swatter. :stuck_out_tongue:


#4
  • There were accurate prophecies of Christ in the OT.

  • There were divinely inspired poems, stories, real life accounts, hymns etc… in the OT, which worshipped the same God as in the NT whom Christ revealed to us.

  • There were so-called ‘dark passages’ which you have referred to that are ‘awkward’:slight_smile: However, good news is that if one approaches the OT in the knowledge that the OT is a peoples’ growing awareness of, understanding of, and relationship with the real one God, then these dark passages pose no problem what-so-ever. I get people wrong, sometimes I get God wrong, or misunderstand God - not because they are evil, not because God changes, or because I am evil (which we can all be), but because I am growing and learning and trying to understand Him who IS.

  • If you follow the name given to God, or rather, who God has introduced Himself as, throughout the Bible, the name of God becomes more personal as it gets nearer to the time of Christ born as man - their understanding is growing and therefore becoming more intimate. The Psalms are very personal for every generation. The prophets lived as guides to shepherd the people constantly under persecution towards the promised land, which *we know *is in Christ. And which He tried to tell them! The prophets were always close to God and were interpreters for God speaking to His people and interceding much of the time between God and people to sort awful complications out! And any misunderstanding that has occurred.


#5

I don’t think the OT is quite as simple as this sentence makes out but it was quite entertaining reading the post never-the-less! :popcorn:

I love the profound ‘through the holes in the cross’ example though!


#6

all of your question can be answered by L.A. Marzulli

Published on Jun 30, 2013
What you are about to watch is evidence of the Nephilim.

Who were the Nephilim?

L.A. Marzulli has long searched for physical evidence of the Nephilim,

the giants of the Bible. A significant cover-up over the years moved these hybrid humans to the dustbins of history. But now evidence has been found in Peru and the U.S.A.!

youtu.be/jkNm3jeCPaA


#7

Humans could not comprehend God as well as they could comprehend Jesus.


#8

God does not and cannot change. What changes is the covenant between Him and mankind. We are in a new and everlasting covenant now. Justice under the new covenant is obtained through His Son, and not through foreign nations exacting justice from those who transgress the covenant.


#9

I think I don’t get the question:

forums.catholic.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=20651&stc=1&d=1408830267


#10

In the Old Covenant, the Messiah was prophesied; He was promised, but had not yet appeared. As your attached image shows, all justice is now effected through that Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament, imperfect foreign armies were used to administer justice. Under the new and everlasting Covenant, the perfect Jesus administers all justice. As Saint Paul wrote: “When the perfect arrives, the imperfect passes away.” **1 Corinthians 13:10 **


#11

How about the killing of Ananias and Sapphira by the Holy Spirit in Acts 5, the killing of Herod by the Angel of the Lord in Acts 12, the killing of a quarter of the population of the planet in Rev 6? How about the fact that the very idea of Hell as a place of suffering is a NT idea?

On the other hand, what about “thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Lev 19:18), “what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8), “I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6)?

They are not different Gods.


#12

That is one interpretation of the old testament (the literal one - I can’t recall the Jewish term for that).

But you are assuming that the OT is a history book. That is NOT how it is interpreted by the Jewish people including Jesus. Instead those stories are the myths (meaning the collective consciousness) of the Jewish people. They convey meaning on many levels. To treat them as historical facts simply misses most of the point.

When we come to Christianity, the beauty of it is that Christ uses all of the meaning and context of the OT to explain things. Everything in scripture has depth and layers of meaning which is why it is fruitful to meditate on it.

And don’t forget that the time period of some of the examples you give is something like 1000 years before the NT. So writing style has changed. The NT tries to be somewhat more historical, but still never claims to be. The message is a spiritual one, not a factual one. And, it is put in context of the OT messages. Even things like the numbers for things in the OT and NT have meaning as to what they reference so we know that the writers play lose with the facts to convey the message they intend. Again, don’t fall into the fundamentalist’s trap of assuming it is a history book. The meaning is INTENTIONALLY cryptic. This makes you spend much time with it. And by then, the point is that you have spent time with it, which is how you learn it. And since you learned it, you can start to understand the meaning and how it applies to your own spiritual journey.

Struggling with the ‘facts’ is just the first step of learning what it says.

Some things in scripture are factual, some are metaphorical, some are parables, some are all at the same time. Can you tell the difference? Do you know the clues?

You are free sir to interpret these troubling OT passages in various ways. So I suggest you start by assuming they are NOT literal and see where that takes you. As Catholics, we are free to interpret them literally or not, which is in keeping withe intention of the Jewish authors.


#13

As an Anglican, you certainly know of God’s justice. For those who willfully choose to reject God, it is an injustice to permit them into heaven.


#14

I think the moral of the story is that God has not changed. We can look at the judgment of God in the OT but ignore His all Loving attributes, and do the same in reverse in the NT.

I the Lord you God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those WHO HATE ME, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those WHO LOVE ME and keep my commandments. Deuteronomy 5:9-10. (This is in the context of the ten commandments).

On the one hand, on the other. If we look only at the one side of God, in the OT, yes we will certainly see God in one way, even though He has defined Himself to us in an alternate context. That context did exist in the OT but you seem to not be aware of the evidence. And as Mystophilus has pointed out you seem to only be aware of the opposite evidence in the NT.

From where I sit nothing has changed. Both conditions are still true.


#15

The real life plight of the Jewish being summed up as a ‘myth’ is not what we’re taught in the CC. Jesus said he came to complete not *do away with *Holy Scripture. So saying ‘myth’ is as if we are saying Jesus completes a myth - a nothing. I don’t think this is what you were trying to say and possibly just used the wrong word because the rest of what you write seems to disagree with that statement:

When we come to Christianity, the beauty of it is that Christ uses all of the meaning and context of the OT to explain things. Everything in scripture has depth and layers of meaning which is why it is fruitful to meditate on it.

  • as you said here, Christ uses the OT to elucidate its foundations in Him. There is profound meaning, as you have said, in the various types of writing.

Some things in scripture are factual, some are metaphorical, some are parables, some are all at the same time. Can you tell the difference? Do you know the clues? /

You just said some parts *are factual *here. So if parts are factual then the whole cannot be summed up as a myth.

This is a history, but made up of various types of writing, which some it is said are not to be taken literally, which is why exegesis is a complicated affair. We do have Catholic commentaries to guide us through study of the OT. But we have to treat the OT with loving reverence and veneration because much of Holy Scripture is considered to be divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. And because it contains Christ Himself and holy prophets respectful care has to be taken not to just rubbish some areas.

I agree that I think there is a certain amount of leniency when it comes to interpreting the OT ourselves because God speaks to us personally through the OT too but it’s good to check on known references as well. And what you said here:

And since you learned it, you can start to understand the meaning and how it applies to your own spiritual journey

I think is true also. It is definitely a personal journey also but in many ways never separated from the pilgrimage of the Jews who also had their own pilgrimage of faith as a persecuted people (apart from the fact that we have the benefit to be able to find Jesus in those texts).

I want to reiterate for the other posters here that what you said about it not being a history book is not completely accurate. I would say that it is not just a history book - * it does contain history * - but this history is written in various forms.

You mentioned it being written cryptically and intended to be that way? Not sure what you mean? The priests did a pretty intense job of getting as accurate translations as they could when they put the Hebrew Scriptures together and also the scribes when they did the translations into the Greek Septuagint. The irregularities crept in when the Bible translations containing the OT and NT began to differ (I think?) hundreds and hundreds of years on. If you meant that it is hard to understand, then this will be because of cultural differences between us and them and their different forms of writing, which is why experts in the field of exegesis have interpreted the OT by at first analysing what the people who lived in those times were probably like and how and why they may have expressed themselves in such and such a way.:slight_smile:


#16

God hasn’t and God doesn’t change. Our perception changes with knowledge and through relationship.


#17

I would also note here that the Hebrew meaning of “jealous” is not sinful envy but rather impassioned love for us, G-d’s human creation. Then why the apparently collective guilt, punishing the children of the fathers who hate G-d unto the third or fourth generation, something which Judaism rejects? A closer analysis of the text and context reveals that it is not G-d who directly punishes the children of the wicked but instead the parents who teach and instill evil in their children from one generation to the next.


#18

The word myth in some circles has come to mean imaginary or made up. But that is not what it means at all. Myths capture the real events in a way that the culture as a whole can retain them and understand their meaning. Myths contain archetypes which are people that represent defining aspects of the story and are found to be repeated inhuman history. But the people are real, and the story real events. We are humans. We remember and internalize stories, not raw data. Real people and real events over time develop into myths. That does not mean that they are suddenly not real anymore.


#19

Silly error: the Jewish priests didn’t need to translate Hebrew into Hebrew when collating the Hebrew Scriptures!

[quote=meltzerboy]A closer analysis of the text and context reveals that it is not G-d who directly punishes the children of the wicked but instead the parents who teach and instill evil in their children from one generation to the next.
[/quote]

They did have the Babylonians and then the Persians to contend with so I’m not surprised they went astray or that both the Isaiahs felt obliged to rebuke their people so vehemently! They must have felt like banging their heads… :banghead:

Frankenfurter; so in other words, ‘myths’ are used in formal exegesis to mean what I would call ‘stories’? (danger being that stories can be interpreted as fiction similar to what I think of myth - I think of Greek Gods, which are really fiction stories). The problem with the word ‘myth’ used in this way is that there was a lot of Eastern Mythology in cultures around that time - Gilgamesh etc…so to me it seems odd that we’d use ‘myth’ to mean something that can contain real life events. But I will go check up too and take your word for it for until then.

Yet, even if this meaning of ‘myth’ is correct, I have to say that I did think ‘myth’ was one particular ‘form’ of writing categorised as such in Catholic exegesis and not a whole collection of different forms, writings, books etc…?


#20

I mean the original OT itself. It is a literary work written by God. It is a play, where reality is the stage. It is intended that you can spend much time with it to gain further insights. And since it is archetypical, those insights will be directly applicable to you personally, just as they were directly applicable to the people of the NT.


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