Where does Christianity come from?

They ran a theocracy and even celebrating Christmas was not allowed. Ho ho ho.

Hmm, that’s odd. I’ve heard people call Jesus many things, but never an anti-Semite…

So what did Jesus think of the Law of Moses, according to you?

Jesus said he came to establish the New Covenant–in Himself-- and to make the old way of relating to God obsolete. (See Hebrews 8:13, NIV, “By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.”)

And, of course, there are those pointed words to the rigid keepers of the law about not to oppress the people which appeared earlier in this thread…

Oh, and then there’s the place where Jesus says to the Rabbis: in John 5:39-40 (NIV): " You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life."

Seems that Jesus thinks that following the scriptural text on a page, however diligently, is not what brings a person to spiritual life.

Sure, if you dismiss the rest of the Bible (and the Jews themselves). But let us ask James McGrath!

Hello @ReligionProf, hope you are well. Does the passage quoted above really mean that God’s ancient covenant with the Jews is obsolete?

I’m confused. We aren’t supposed to follow the scriptures?

Only in a penultimate sense–we read the scriptures in order to get to know Jesus, and then we follow Jesus. Jesus himself said the purpose of the scriptures was to point to himself. Jesus told his disciples to follow him and that all authority had been given to him (not any text on a page)…

Oh yeah, and do you recall what the Great Commission in Matthew says?

Huhhhhh…so Jesus inaugurated the New Covenent because he hated the OT scriptures and wanted to dismiss the Jews? That’s about as logical as claiming that a father who takes the training wheels off his child’s bike at some point wants his child to die and hates the inventor of training wheels…

It seems to me that the what Jesus said about the Mosaic Law is central to his message. In Matthew 5:17 Jesus says he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. Then, in Matthew 19, Jesus has a discussion with a man wherein Jesus summarizes the law. The man replied that he had done all those things. However, he was rich and Jesus said that this would be a barrier to him. As a consequence, in Matthew 19:25 Jesus’ disciples asked him how anyone could ever be saved and he replied that it was humanly impossible. He seems to be saying that the law alone doesn’t give us the ability to make us right with God.

Upon being baptized by John, Jesus received the Holy Spirit. We remember Jesus mostly for the things that he did after that happened. That Jesus fulfilled the law and consequently received the Holy Spirit seems logical. However, that doesn’t match what he said above. So, if Jesus said it was impossible, then how did He do it? I think that the answer to that question is that he followed the law as carefully as he could, guided by the Holy Spirit. Then at a some point, God decided to give him the Holy Spirit. Prior to that, he was not able to completely fulfill the law.

I think that we should look at what Jesus said within the context outlined above. So his remarks can be seen as documenting his own process of understanding the law. His experience was presented in contrasted to the way it was being presented by the religious leaders of that time.

Very true

Why did you leave off verse 26, which answers the question in verse 25
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. At his baptism he was anointed by the Holy Spirit

Yes, because that was when he began his public ministry, after facing temptation by the devil.

I disagree. Jesus led a sinless life. He kept the law perfectly.

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No. I’ve never even heard of the Great Commission.

Please stop twisting my words. That is not at all what I’ve been saying.

Is the covenant God made with Abraham and his descendants really obsolete? In Genesis 17
God says to Abraham,

And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.

It’s an everlasting covenant.

Google it if you want :wink:

And please stop twisting MY words. I never stated that you believed anything in particular, but just offered secondary commentary (i.e. my opinion) on why I thought the idea that you raised in your post (that people think Jesus is Anti-Semitic for ushering in the New Covenant) was illogical. And observing that you reacted so vehemently against being associated with that idea, shall we now assume that you agree and also think that point is basically illogical?

Anyways, I’m not interested in wasting time on such useless semantic word-games and accusations so will now bow out of this conversation.

Yes, “covenant” means a relationship. Genesis says that God is committing to an everlasting relationship with humanity. But it would be wrong here to conflate “covenant” with “the Mosaic Law”. If you recall, God also established covenants with Noah and with Abraham which predate the Mosaic Law. So the words can’t be equivalent.
So, for a past period in Israel’s history, God related to one people-group through the Mosaic Law. Now that Jesus has come and fulfilled the Old Covenant, we (both Jews and Gentiles) are to relate to God in the form of a New Covenant (i.e., in Jesus)…

There are multiple OT covenants – Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic and Davidic, but the Mosaic Covenant is the one most people think of and it is the most developed, and equating it with Mosaic Law is pretty much a given I think.

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Yes, when Jesus is disputing with the Pharisees he does indeed specifically refer to “The Law of Moses”, and this is what Paul refers to as the “Old Covenant”, the thing that Jesus surpasses. My point is that just because God tells Abraham that his “covenant” is everlasting this doesn’t equate to “Obeying the Law of Moses is the way that humanity will relate to me for all time”.

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“Do this and you will live, don’t and you will die” pretty much summarizes it, but encapsulated in it is also moral law, laws of love – to love God and love your neighbor, with some specific how to’s articulated that have not gone away. That speaks to all time.

Yes, Jesus summarized that all that was important to glean from the Law of Moses was “Love your God and love your neighbour”. And, as Christians, the fundamental difference is that we demonstrate such love as a result of what God has already done for us (through grace), not because ritualistically keeping a law is necessary to earn God’s favour.

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Absolutely. We still need to keep the laws of love though.

(We talked about it not too long ago. ; - )


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