"But That's the Old Testament!"
I constantly get this phrase thrown at me. It seems that Christians are very quick to disown 90% of their "perfect" Word of God, as if they would cut out the Old Testament and use only the New Testament. Christians always use this excuse to distance themselves from the heartless brutality of the Old Testament, such as of the killing of women and children at the hands of Moses, Joshua, David, etc.
Yet they are sure quick to whip out Old Testament laws when it is convenient for them to do so. When the time comes for fire and brimstone, when they wish to heap upon us the 10 Commandments, the Creation Story in Genesis that they want to force into our schools, Noah and his Big Boat, or ask us to swallow Jonah and his fish, they will pull out their bibles and open up right to the appropriate Old Testament verse. But when we complain about the war criminal Moses, the infinite cruelty of the Plagues of Egypt and the Pharaoh who was intentionally hardened by God, the butcher Joshua, the criminal David and his murderous raids, Saul the terrible and the murder of the Amalekites and the hewing of the captured king, they say "Well, that's the Old Testament. Jesus came to bring the New Covenant."
Wait a minute... we are talking about THE Bible here. We are talking about the one and only God that the Christians worship, aren't we? Are there two bibles, and two gods? What these Christians are doing is arguing for something that they claim NOT to believe in... namely "moral relativism": they are saying that morality is not fixed, and changes as the times change.
Exactly how do they do this? How do they create two bibles from the one? They say things like: "Jesus said he came to fulfill the law-- the old law passed away." I think what has happened here is that some ministers have intentionally misunderstood the book of Hebrews. It says: "For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law." (Hebrews 7:12) The laws changed, not passed away. What changed was the need for a daily animal sacrifice (Hebrews 7:27-28). That is what the New Covenant was-- Jesus was a "human sacrifice" for the forgiveness sin, replacing the Old Covenant of sacrificing burnt offerings-- slaughtered animals-- for sins. (Hebrews 8:13). See also all of Chapter 9 of Hebrews, which describes the Old Covenant of burnt offerings, and Chapter 10 which describes how the New Covenant replaces the Old for the purging of sins. THAT is what the New Covenant is all about-- it means that Christians do not have to put on the butcher's apron and slaughter goats, because Jesus became the human sacrifice. That's what was changed. If the Christians are right about the "old laws passing away", then we could do away with the 10 Commandments, couldn't we? The "New Covenant" does not release followers of God from the killing of homosexuals, or witches, blasphemers and the worshippers of other gods either. The leaders of both the Catholic and Protestant Churches knew this when they murdered hundreds of thousands of people just a few hundred years ago.
When Christians throw up the excuse "But that's the Old Testament", I ask: "What do you mean, it's the Old Testament?" Christians say "Well, it was different in those days..." All right then-- how? How was it different, so that cruel wars of extermination and the slaughter of innocent children were perfectly acceptable? Did people value their lives less in those days? The 50,070 who were killed by God for looking into the Ark of the Covenant, the 70,000 innocent men whom God killed because Joseph chose 3 days of pestilence, the hundreds of innocent townspeople murdered by David during his thieving "raids" in Gath, the tens of thousands of children and babies butchered by Moses, Joshua and Saul... and of course, the 42 little children whom God killed for mocking one of his prophets. Did they value their lives less than we do today? In what way were things "different" in those days that made all this okay?
I can understand why Christians would want to divorce the New Testament from the bloody Old Testament. You would have to to be able to maintain any kind of moral rectitude. But honestly, it cannot be done.
The very first chapter of the very first book of the New Testament lists the genealogy of Jesus back to Abraham.
In Matthew Chapter 17, Jesus speaks to Old Testament figures Moses and Elijah, who's figures appeared before him. Moses... the monster who ordered a man's death for picking up sticks on the Sabbath, and who commanded Joshua to enter the Promised Land and leave no one breathing: men, women and children.
Matthew 24:37 is an undeniable link to the brutality of the Old Testament, where Jesus compares his second coming to the destruction of the Great Flood that killed the world's population.
In the New Testament Jesus makes constant references to "scripture". In Matthew 22:29 Jesus says: "You are in error, because you do not know the scriptures, or the power of God." Now, just what were these scriptures that Jesus was making reference to? The New Testament? At the time there was no such thing as a New Testament! There were only the scriptures of bloodthirsty villains like Moses and David. Every reference to "scripture" in the New Testament establishes one more link to the Old Testament. How many times does the New Testament refer to Old Testament "scriptures"? 52 times!
In the New Testament, Abraham is referred to 68 times, the ancient Israelites are mentioned 73 times, Jacob 26 times, Issac 20 times, Elijah 29 times, Isiah 22 times, Noah 8 times, King David is mentioned 58 times. How about this-- the name Mary (not just the Virgin Mary, but ALL Mary's) is mentioned 54 times in the New Testament. The name Moses, on the other hand, appears 80 times! You think these numbers don't establish an important connection? You don't think that Jesus held that the teachings of Moses were important?
How about this. Jesus gives an absolute endorsement of the teachings and laws of Moses. "If you believe Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?" John 5:45
Will any Christian deny that, according to the bible, Jesus is the one and only same personage as the God of the Old Testament? Did Jesus condemn ANY of his father's bloody massacres? No. In Matt 5:48 he says "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)
Do you think Jesus would have questioned any of his father's actions, like the many acts of genocide that litter the pages of the Old Testament? No. Remember what Jesus said when he gave the Lord's Prayer to his followers-- "Our Father who art in heaven... thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
Do you think Jesus would have ever disobeyed his father's commands, like when he ordered that his servants should "kill everyone that breathes" upon their entry to the Promised Land? No. In John chapter 10 verse 30, Jesus said: "I and the Father are one." Jesus would have been swinging a sword, hacking nonviolent men, women and children to death, right along side of Joshua and his armies of Israelites! Just picture that. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, splitting a small child in two with his blood-drenched sword.
In John 1:1, we read "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." In verse 14, we read: "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." We are told explicitly that Jesus Christ IS THE GOD OF THE OLD TESTAMENT! You probably already accept this. But, by logical extension, you must also accept therefore that it was Jesus Christ who ordered the Israelites to slaughter millions of defenseless men, women and children in the conquest of Canaan; it was Jesus Christ who killed every firstborn child in Egypt; it was Jesus Christ who ordered king Saul to butcher thousands of children and babies in the genocide of the Amalakites; it was Jesus Christ who ordered the Israelites to capture and mass-rape 32,000 young girls of the Midianite tribe after killing their families; it was Jesus Christ who struck dead 50,000 innocent people at Beshemish for merely looking into the ark of the covenant; it was Jesus Christ who caused the painful asphyxiation of every man, woman, child and animal on the face of the earth during the flood of Noah (with the exception of 8); and it was Jesus Christ who condemned every person ever born to a state of eternal suffering, all because 6000 years ago a curious and naive woman ate a piece of fruit. And, of course, it was Jesus Christ who sent 2 bears to chase down 42 little kids and disembowel them for just acting like kids (see What's So Bad About Killing Children?)