Unhitching the OT from the NT

If you go to Northpoint, your pastor is Andy Stanley, correct? In his view, Christians need to get unhitched from the Old Testament. What do you think about that?

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Andy is absolutely right.

What so you think about it?

Should we follow the Mosaic Law and allow slavery, with the masters allowed to beat slaves, as long as they don’t die?

Exodus 21: When a slaveowner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished. But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner’s property.

Or should people love one another?

I encourage you to read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and observe how many times Jesus refers to the OT and then says “But I tell you…”

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This was an enjoyable post on this topic a few months back Andy Stanley vs Jeff Durbin debate on "unbelievable"

I have attended Andy’s church about 13 years. He is a wonderful communicator and a great man of

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Andy caught a lot of flak for that , but when you listen to what he said and his reasoning, he makes a good point.
It is really about the same as Paul taught in Romans regarding the conflict between Jewish and gentile Christians.

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I feel the OT needs to be kept to show the evolution of the religion and how the Christian faith came to be. Also the early church saw use from the OT for teaching and inspiration. The early church took a lot of the OT in a spiritual sense in the light of Jesus Christ.

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“Unhinging” or “Unhitching” from the O.T. is probably a good idea. The O.T. is a surprisingly messy theological platform, but the “messiness” is probably what made it possible for so many denominations to cherry-pick what they like and what they don’t like.

Undeniable problems with the O.T.

Exodus attempts to show us that Moses was dramatically influenced by his growing up as an elite Egyptian. And even modern archaeology tempts us with this theme when we look at royal seals:


What’s fascinating about this case is the Egyptian motif represents an afterlife ! And yet any exhaustive search in Exodus reveals no special emphasis on an afterlife or a general resurrection. The Jewish Bible, as it turns out, is a heavily redacted document, which studiously avoids lots of ideas that would have been normal and expected in an ANE-context document!

It appears that it was contact with the robust and zealous Zoroastrianism, during the time of the Return to Judah, that seems to have unleashed the themes that became the bread and butter of the New Testament!

The OT has much to teach us, especially about God’s patience and mercy. We aren’t under the Law of Moses now though. Paul makes that abundantly clear in Galatians and elsewhere. :wink:

I fixed the title to be “unhitching.” I just have “unhinged” on the brain from reading too many political posts on Facebook.


Absolutely. I think a lot of the outrage over Stanley’s statement was from those who assumed “unhitching” was synonymous with “completely throwing out” (not unlike those who assume that interpreting the first chapter of Genesis differently than Ken Ham does is synonymous with "throwing out the entire Bible).


I was just talking with my parents about this because their small group is reading Stanley’s Irresisible: Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed for the World right now. (You can read the first two chapters at the North Point link I just gave.) My dad said that two people love it and it gives another two people heartburn that keeps them up all night, so the ensuing discussions are passionate and heated.

I would say rather that it should be understood that the Bible is not a manual or textbook giving the truth of something just for right now. It would be more like taking all the manuals and texts and linking them together showing a process of development.

I am reminded of parents who say of their children, “it is too bad they have to grow up.” That always infuriates me. They are not toys and growing up is the whole point. The Bible is the same. It tells the story of a changing relationship because it is all about growing up and our relationship with God changes as our needs change because of this.


The Torah is very important. It is very beneficial. As mentioned earlier the Torah points towards Jesus and it can help further explain righteousness.

Such as look at the definition of sexual immorality in the gospels. It’s very limited. It’s expanded on in the Torah. It also shows us the patterns used against in the new testaments. Even to understand the genealogy of Jesus the Torah is needed. To understand revelation it’s needed.
The Old Testament is just as important as the New Testament. You can’t lead a unbelieving Jewish person to Christ without the Torah. When sharing the gospel to Muslims they tend to need to be satisfied with the Old Testament being true first.


It would be of no surprise that Israel would have been affected by Egyptian culture and politics. They lived in the same cultural river as other ANE groups lived in. So it doesn’t surprise me that they would use images that Egypt would have used. Also in most parts of the Bible many of the prophets condemn Israel and Judah for trusting in an alliance with Egypt multiple times rather then trusting in Yahweh.

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Would depend on how drastic this is taken. Most Christians accept that the New Testament builds on the Old and Matthew would seem to indicate that The Old Testament points towards the New so to unhitch completely would seem to be impossible. If the notion is primarily to turn over much of Old Testament Theology? That would suggest that we cannot see how the New Testament has already changed that theology. IMHO we need to know what not to believe as much as what to believe, and the Old Testament has a great deal to say on that subject.

So perhaps the notion of unhitching needs a little more precision?



Yes, absolutely agreed. But now that you have seen the Egyptian motif used in connection with the Blessed King Hezekiah … aren’t you just a little AMAZED that Exodus, or at least Kings, would is completely devoid of themes on the afterlife ?!

From my understanding, until the exile and after it the Jews had a concept close to what we would call soul sleep, in that the dead die and the soul/breath is returned back to God. Later on after the exile Persian and Greek influence causes the idea of continued thinking after death and the idea of Sheol/Hades for the damned and the Bosom of Abraham for the faithful Jew. Some did understand that they might have gone to Paradise/Heaven.

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I just started The Ne Its World by Wright that I got for Christmas, and the intro talks about that


And how does anyone arrive at that opinion?

None of the Old Testament literature describes such a thing.

We don’t see anything along those lines until we start reading the Enochian literature! And these writings don’t really start to develop until the “estabslishment” Persian magi have been dispersed by Hellenism, and forced to make a living off of popular response to their ideas!

The older sections (mainly in the Book of the Watchers) of the text are estimated to date from about 300 BCE to 200 BCE, and the latest part (Book of Parables) probably to 100 BCE.[4]

The traditional place of the dead in Judaism is Sheol where all dead go. If you look it up you will find a general consensus that it does not delineate between good and evil and the occupants have no consciousness unless summoned which is strictly forbidden. The whole notion of Eternity seems to have started with Christ, where as the Soul appears to be of Greek origin incorporated into Christianity to allow an eternal existence. Those who promote Heaven on earth reject the notion of the soul. Personally I find the idea of eternally eating, drinking and expelling Hell regardless of any other circumstance, and with no chance of death it would be so, so, boring because there could be nothing to get the adrenaline going. Eternity without God? That is Hell.


“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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