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The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

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Whispers
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Hi,

I was wondering if anyone could explain the differences between the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Also I don't mean Vs as in against each other, I just like to know how they are different to each other and why?

Thank you.

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Divine Love
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

A quick response; its the difference between an old theology and a new theology as far as the laws are concerned.

The OT came from the old Jewish religion and the NT was born out of the new religion and the new convenant of love; brought by a man that was predicted in the OT. This new convenant is probably why the Jews would not embrace it, (the mighty e.g. priests in this case often dislike equality) although Jesus never spoke of setting up a religion. If we look at the Gospel of Thomas (which scholars say was in the first 2 versions of the bible) he is teaching people spiritual independence; in fact this is also echoed in the bible itself. Now the spiritual independence means no church etc but to find the God within. Luke "The Kingdom of God is within you". Hence why Jesus spoke about the end times and this all coming into the light of day, he warned of the false teachers and those that would build upon his foundation with wood, straw, silver etc e.g. the church.

One of the major problems with the bible and specifically the OT; is that its content includes myth, allegory and real stories like stoning women and children. So in essence it is not truly a wholy spiritual text, and this is why so many people get confused including the scholars when they are trying to make sense of it. My truth is that a spiritual eye can tell the difference between the different aspects of the bible and your heart can tell you what is the inspired word and what is not.

Also Whispers, Saint Jerome who compiled the 3rd version of the bible states in his letters that the only reason the OT is included is to give some history to the coming of Jesus; e.g. the prophecies, but the Jews did not accept Jesus because they said he did not comply with every single prophecy. Jews today still stick by this as their defence for not accedpting him all those years ago. So they still await their Messiah to save them supposedly the chosen race. I think some of them still believe that if and when he comes Israel will be handed over to them. I would add if and when he does come again they have a few shocks on the horizon.

So it begs the question? Is God for everyone without discrimination? I would say yes.
Is everyone equal in God's eyes? Yes again.
Does God have a chosen people? No all are equal in God's eyes it is only man that judges which race is chosen and who is not.
Does God love those that do good ? Yes very much
Would God's people stone a woman or a child? Only if they lived in duality of right and wrong and had not integrated the convenant of love.

Divine Love

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Whispers
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

Hi Divine Love,

So the Old Testament is the Jewish bible and the New Testament is the Christian bible. Thank you for explaining this. 😀

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Divine Love
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

Well one could not say it is the Jewish bible the Jewish scripture is the Torah but as I understand it the OT gospels came out of the Torah. However someone might be able to correct me as I am not familiar with the Torah.

Divine Love

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Principled
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

Dear Whispers,

Well, if you'd only wanted the short answer, you should have said so! [sm=rollaugh.gif] I thought that was a very good précis from Kim. I've got a bit of the breakdown on the Hebrew Bible (OT)

However, as you've brought the subject up, I'd also like to add to it. Most important - though the Old Testament contains many writings from the mental viewpoint of an anthropomorphic, wrathful, national tribal god, please don't dismiss the whole thing as there is deep spirituality and truth to be found in it. I have had many physical healings (or experiences of protection) when I have deeply pondered the spiritual meaning behind some of the OT verses.

The Bible is about the mental history of Israel (which means striver-with-God) Though most Hebrews were content with a state religion and a tribal god, throughout the Bible is a golden thread of the search towards finding a perfect relationship between God and man. This search, which challenged traditions, examines the radical thinking of the great prophets and how they were persecuted for it.

The Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible) can be broken down into three main divisions (then broken down again) Roughly, these are The Torah, (or Law) which is comprised of the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The next division is called the Nebhitm, (or the Prophets) and then is the Kethubhim (or the Writings) under which the Psalms of David come. David actually wasn’t a prophet – he was a great king of Israel. Again, he probably didn’t write all of the Psalms. In the English Bible, all of these comprise of 39 books, but the same books in the Hebrew Bible are combined to make just 24.

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew.

The New Testament, or Christian scriptures, came to us in Greek, although, some of the books may have originally been written in Aramaic.

If you are interested in studying the Bible, may I recommend reading a wonderful little book first, The Search for God by Marchette Chute ISBN: 0-933062-04-4 She introduces a vibrant, compelling and different way of looking at the Bible. (It is still available at a specialist shop in Kirkby Lonsdale if Amazon don't have it - just PM me)
From the book's preface:

There are two ways in which it is usual to interpret the Bible: the way of the theologian and the way of the scholar. Neither is wholly satisfactory. The theologian, whether Jewish or Christian, is handicapped by the fact that he must read his Scriptures by the light of a pre-conceived theory, so that anything in the text which is alien to his particular doctrine must either be omitted or forcibly re-interpreted. The scholar, on the other hand, is handicapped by the fact that he must read the Bible by no light at all. He has no exact selective principle to guide him through the mass of confused and frequently contradictory material that the book contains. He must select and reject according to the fragmentary historical evidence that is available to him, and the turn of an archaeologist’s spade can at any time overturn the whole of his carefully constructed theory. Moreover, historical evidence, even at its most trustworthy, does not offer an adequate basis for an interpretation of the Bible. The history of Israel is primarily the history not of events, but of ideas. (My emphasis)

The Bible at its highest is a book of the spirit, unfitted to be interpreted solely from the historical point of view. It is also a free book, and equally unfitted to be used as a series of texts in support of a theological proposition. It is the attempt of this interpretation to do neither, but to let the Bible illuminate itself.

Love and peace,

Judy

PS I just wanted to thank you too Whispers for bringing something to light. There were some shannanigans going on a few months ago and several of my threads were deleted. Thanks to this thread, I've realised that one I wrote on the potted history of the Bible has also disappeared.

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Whispers
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

Dear Judy, thank you for replying I did find your post very helpful.:D
The reason I wanted to ask is that I have become interested in the teachings of Kabblah and I did hear that the Old Testament was the Torah. I couldn't understand why there were two versions of the bible. I understand the difference now thanks to both you and Divine Love.

I had always wondered why there was a New Testament and an Old Testament. I think I shall get both 😉

Thank you again. [sm=hug.gif]

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Divine Love
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

Dear Whispers I read yestrerday that the OT includes five books form the Torah but the Torah has 22 books maybe Judy could confirm or correct us on this?

Judy?

Divine Love

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Principled
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

Hi Kim,

Sorry, but I'm no Bible scholar! 😉 I'll dig around in some of my reference books, but what I'm mainly interested in is understanding the Bible from its spiritual perpective. I can't find anything about other books in the Torah.

Hi Whispers,

Glad what I wrote was helpful. You don't have to get two books - The Bible (or Holy Bible) is both books. What you will need to decide though is which translation. I would recommend, for accuracy of translation, the new International Version, the New Revised Standard Version or the Amplified Bible which gives several differnt hues of meaning for each word. For instance,I'll show you the differences between some of the translations of Psalm 23 (that's in the Old Testament on
(the New Revised Standard is called The English Standard Version there)

First the old poetical English of the King James Version (my favourite)

PSALM 23
A Psalm of David

 1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

 3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

 4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

 5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

New International Version:
 1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
       he leads me beside quiet waters,

 3 he restores my soul.
       He guides me in paths of righteousness
       for his name's sake.

 4 Even though I walk
       through the valley of the shadow of death,
       I will fear no evil,
       for you are with me;
       your rod and your staff,
       they comfort me.

 5 You prepare a table before me
       in the presence of my enemies.
       You anoint my head with oil;
       my cup overflows.

 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
       all the days of my life,
       and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
       forever.

New Revised Standard Version:

 1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
 2He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
 3He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
   for his name's sake.

 4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
   I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
   your rod and your staff,
   they comfort me.

 5You prepare a table before me
   in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
   my cup overflows.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
   all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
   forever.

The Amplified Bible:

 1THE LORD is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.

    2He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.

    3He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him--not for my earning it, but] for His name's sake.

    4Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.

    5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over.

    6Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the

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Divine Love
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

Here is a link on the Torah 5 books

The Tanakh

24 books to include the Torah.

Divine Love

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oblivionlord
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

ORIGINAL: Divine Love

So it begs the question? Is God for everyone without discrimination? I would say yes.
Is everyone equal in God's eyes? Yes again.
Does God have a chosen people? No all are equal in God's eyes it is only man that judges which race is chosen and who is not.
Does God love those that do good ? Yes very much

-------------------

I'll have to argue on this. I'll start with this...

KJV Revelations 21:8
"But the fearfull, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremungers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burnith with fire and brimstone: which is second death"

Lets first talk about 1 thing. Each and every society in themselves determin what's good and evil as in right and wrong since each have their own set laws. Therefore what you consider to be bad in 1 society is not bad in another. How is it that the bible sets the rules for all men within every society without being discriminative? Clearly the bible forces you to follow its law or face eternal seperation from God aka Second death aka Hell. How is this any diffrent from Hitler to his own people and his vision of the world or any dictator in that manner?

This is the punishment from an omnicient being who also said...

"And the Lord was sorry that he made men on the Earth, and he was grieved in his heart" Genesis 6:6

Therefore the Lord is not Omniscient and not perfect because if he was then possibilities are not unknown when after all he simply made a mistake and felt sorry for creating man. You can't feel grief without remorse.

No Perfect being of good intentions with absolute power and knowledge would need to create lesser beings to serve him. Where is there justice in absolute control?

If you are clearly aware of every possibility throughout the time of any of your concieved creations, then why would any of your actions be considered a test?

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Principled
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

Dear oblivionlord

I see you are a new member to HP. Well, that was a very abrupt entry! Especially as you seem not have read the whole thread, but only picked up on what Divine Love said at the bottom of her first post!!

It was not really till I started writing on HP that I realised how much (understandable) antagonism there is to the Bible and therefore why so many people have rejected traditional Christianity and are turning to the new Age philosophies for their answers. I’ve been so cushioned from all hell and brimstone dogma all my life, that I really had failed to understand just how it has put people off. A lady came into the Christian Science Reading Room (where I now work ) and as we talked she said to me “Somehow I just know that what you are saying is the truth – how do I know that?” I replied that the truth was the core of her being, so she recognised it at a very deep level. In the same way, you, Oblivionlord, are objecting so forcefully because at your deepest level you recognise that God is Love itself and that Love does not, cannot, punish and send misery and suffering. Love does not create something and then punish its creation for doing what it created it to do! Everything in you screams out in protest! Good!! Keep on protesting!

The Bible is a collection of writings of dozens of men of different levels of spiritual understanding. More often than not, what is written was taken down by scribes who perhaps put their own human interpretation on what had been dictated to them. Much of it was written years after the events. The odd bit of wrong spelling here or there can lead to entirely the wrong word being continued for generations – all these things should be taken into consideration, but don’t reject all of it because of the mistakes. Find the higher, practical spiritual thread of the truth of the superiority of spiritual power over material which runs right through the Bible, not to mention all those wonderful, uplifting and powerful passages!

Take what instinctively feels right to you from the Bible, let God guide you. Just don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater! After all, Jesus overturned dozens of long-held Jewish traditions and laws, (not the 10 Commandments though, that form the basis for just about every legal system in the Western world and much of the rest). For instance: "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." (Matt 5:38&39)

Jesus was persecuted by the vested interest of his day for his new interpretation of the Scriptures, especially for daring to say “I and my Father are one.” It was that great liberating truth of the one-ness of God and man (as given in Genesis 1) which so incurred the wrath and hatred of the heavy material, literal religious thought of his day.

Did you realise that there are at least 2 gods in the Bible? The eternal omniscient Elohim of Genesis 1 and Jehovah, the Jewish anthropomorphic, wrathful, national tribal god who is often called “Lord God” in the OT? I have written a huge thread on the differences and contradictions between the spiritual account of creation (please don’t take it literally) in Genesis 1 and the Adam and Eve allegory. (It’s on the Christianity pages and will explain much of what you wrote.)

The Adam allegory has had far more influence on the mental state of the world than most people realise. Its material view of the man-like god and his dust-originated creation has permeated itself into the three monolithic religions and also many other philosophies and belief systems. In it can be traced the roots of all suffering and limitation that mankind experiences. It is SO SO important to utterly rebel against its unjust edicts.

I hope you’ll read the other posts on this thread above. What I’ve quoted from “The Search for God” by Marchette Chute is thought-provoking. But please don’t reject the whole thing just because of the passages that you in

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oblivionlord
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

Both these names are given to the same being. Some textual critics claim that there are 2 tottaly diffrent stories that have been glued together, but I find the evidence far from convincing.

If you follow Mary Baker Eddy's teachings then how can you consider yourself a true Christian? This is diametically opposed to core Christian teachings.

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Dino
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

If you follow Mary Baker Eddy's teachings then how can you consider yourself a true Christian? This is diametically opposed to core Christian teachings.

Absolutely right.

Dino

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Principled
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

ORIGINAL: oblivionlord

Both these names are given to the same being. Some textual critics claim that there are 2 tottaly diffrent stories that have been glued together, but I find the evidence far from convincing.

Hello again Oblivionlord,

The whole point of the Bible is that that there is only ONE God – rather than the thousands of deities and idols that had been worshipped before (and continued after) the time of Abraham. Yes, I agree that all the names for God (and name means nature in the Hebrew) are describing the author’s own particular viewpoint of what they considered the one God was. (Perhaps I should have said that there are many descriptions of God, rather than many gods). Make a list of all the differences between the God of Genesis 1-2:3 and Jehovah, or Lord God of Genesis 2&3 and you’ll see for yourself the contradictions. To my understanding, you can’t have two opposites which are both true.

The earth, described by our early forefathers would have been described as flat – they were quite right of course, because that is what they saw. The sun, described by our early forefathers moved around the static earth.

According to modern day Bible scholarship, Genesis 1- 2:3 was written by the priestly author they have named P and who they think lived in the 5th Century BC (although others believe he lived much earlier)

The dating of the P document is hotly debated among Documentary scholars. Some date P as late as Second Temple times (after 580 BC), but we find Friedman's argument compelling, that it appeared in response to JE.

There are also some who believe that he was the same author as the first Isaiah (Isa 1-11) as the style is so similar and the prophecy of harmony and perfection of Isaiah 11 is so close to the perfection and harmony of Genesis 1.

J, the author of the Jehovistic writings is believed to have lived in the 10th Century BC.

Genesis 2:4 is a sentence written by R, a redactor who welded the contributions of J, E and P together into the present Pentateuch.

Approximately 450 BC - This is perhaps the most remarkable part of the story, as the Redactor emerges on the scene. He sees the need for religious revival and renewal, for strengthening and centralization. So he combines the three documents (JE, P, and D) into one smooth flowing narrative--the five books of Moses.

The Redactor did lots of cutting and pasting. Genealogies that probably started all together in a P-text were interspersed throughout JE, acting as bridging material or section dividers. Materials that told the same story from pro-Aaron and anti-Aaron viewpoints (for example) were neatly woven together.

The Redactor was respectful of his sources and kept them largely intact. These were all sacred and ancient texts/traditions, so the Redactor presumably didn't drop material--duplication was preferable to omission. Sometimes he combined the different texts; sometimes he left the two stories side by side.

Love and peace,

Judy

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Venetian
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

ORIGINAL: oblivionlord

If you follow Mary Baker Eddy's teachings then how can you consider yourself a true Christian? This is diametically opposed to core Christian teachings.

I think that's a bit abrupt (without explanation too). [&:]IMHO Mary Baker Eddy (and I'm not in CS) expounds the Bible in such an illumined way as to be a better Christian than almost any I can think of. Her writings are certainly sometimes pretty different to fundamentalist Christianity of the Born Again variety - but even then not 'diametrically opposed even there. A bit of a hurried and rash statement IMO, sorry.

V

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oblivionlord
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

Maybe you can find some justification of how someone of modern day society can explain what people of the past could have meant but, by doing this you are altering it. For instance if you only look at the OT and get the jist of it then how exactly are you following it to the core if you don't believe that the Sun was made on the third day and how could time prior to that point been calculated in our solar days of 24 hours? Do you know for a fact that our sun wasn't made on the thrid day? Exactly What proof do you have to contradict anything within Genesis?

Don't allow coincidence to overwhelm reality or you'll just believe anything in that manner.

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Venetian
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

ORIGINAL: oblivionlord

Maybe you can find some justification of how someone of modern day society can explain what people of the past could have meant but, by doing this you are altering it.

I'd say you are explaining it or trying to understand it, and there are scholarly ways of doing this which are not literal. Biblical commentary and hermeneutics do this, so that one can have a better understanding of the Bible than one had before.

V

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oblivionlord
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

If we are looking for a better understand, then how can we not take it litteraly? For if we interpret/alter the Bible and it's teachings into modern times, then we can not fully understand their view of the situation.

For example: When a WW2 veteran speaks of their experiences in the war, they can best help us understand the weight and importance of their situation because they're telling it matter of factly; However if they alter the scenerio then the listener can not grasp the true meaning of their war.

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Venetian
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

Because the Bible, mainly thinking of the OT, isn't all literal. Same with Revelation. There's an enormous amount of sheer symbology and allegory in it. Scholarly debate and discussion helps to understand this. To take it all literally is the opposite of understanding it - in many places it'd be quite to misunderstand it.

V

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Principled
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

Hello again,

Interesting points you've both raised.

The Bible is on three levels- the historical, the moral and the spiritual. It can be interpreted literally or spiritually – which interpretation is nearer the true meaning ?

Think about a majestic oak tree standing in the grounds of a large house. A biologist looked at it and said "A superb specimen of Quercus ---"; a little boy looks at it and says "Wow! What a great tree for a tree-house!"; a landscape gardener would say "That oak will make the perfect focal point for the whole garden" a lumberjack would say "That's X square metres of wood”; an artist would say "dappled shade, beauty, grandeur, majesty"; a poet may wax lyrical about the spreading branches, the protection, the shade, the peace; a squirrel might think "Food!" and a pair of birds "Home, sweet home!"

The same tree, but viewed in totally different ways. It doesn't mean that one person's perception is wrong just because it's different - each person appreciates the tree in different ways and from different views and that's how I think of studying the Bible from different perspectives – in my case, from a spiritual perspective, rather than a material one.

As you’ve brought her into this thread, these words of Mary Baker Eddy’s illustrate what I’m trying to say:

The author became a member of the orthodox Congregational Church in early years. Later she learned that her own prayers failed to heal her as did the prayers of her devout parents and the church; but when the spiritual sense of the creed was discerned in the Science of Christianity, this spiritual sense was a present help[]/i. It was the living, palpitating presence of Christ, Truth, which healed the sick. (Science and Health p 351)

Words are meaningless without demonstration. It’s the works that prove that the words are true. At the back of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures are 100 pages of testimonies of healings that the early readers sent in – physical healings of all sorts of conditions deemed incurable and terminal in many cases, healed through simply reading the book on their own. Here is an example:

For five years I suffered with that dreaded disease, eczema, all over my body. Five doctors said there was no help for me. The suffering seemed as terrible as the hell fire that I had been taught to believe in…………….
I had been a Bible student for twenty-eight years, but when I commenced reading Science and Health with the Bible I was healed in less than a week…………….--Mrs. M. B. G., Vermilion, Ohio. (Science and Health p 665)

Love and peace,

Judy

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oblivionlord
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

Dispite whether the tree is 'food'...dispite whether the tree is 'home'...dispite whether the tree is 'a perfect focal point'...these attributes do not change the tree. The tree is all of these things, regardless of the descriptions by the individuals who see it. The tree remains unchanged.

The Bible, however, changes immediatly whether you interpret it literaly as opposed to spiritualy. Because of this, we're left with the difficulty of determining what is historical...what is moral...and what is spiritual. Since we can not prove nor disprove what is what, we're led to look back at the time when the Bible was written. Stories, such as this, were typically written in a grandious style and were created to evoke ideas and morals within the listener whether the characters within the story were gods, monsters or humans. These stories have metamorphosized into the literal translation which causes these debates. So how are we to look at the teachings of the Bible: How they were intended to be read? Or how we've changed them?

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Venetian
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

ORIGINAL: oblivionlord

we're left with the difficulty of determining what is historical

Precisely. Welcome to the club. That's exactly right, and it makes it no easier at all to say "don't interpret". In the philosophy of hermaneutics, that's what we're doing all the time. As you read my words now, you are interpreting them and exactly what I mean, in your way. It's inevitable.

V

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Principled
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

Aha Oblivionlord – you are getting there!

A literal interpretation of parts of the sacred texts of probably all religions has led to heinous crimes being committed and justified in that religion’s name, while the spiritual interpretation would lead to just the opposite. It is so important that we search for the truth that is behind the words. All through the Bible runs the golden thread of the superiority of spiritual power over material. The OT prophets, especially Elijah and Elisha caught awesome glimpses of the Christ – the power of the presence of God and the presence of the power of God - and were able to perform what people call miracles (although I don’t call them that!)

The Bible is the story of the search for God. It is a journey of discovery. It reaches its fulfilment in the life and works of Jesus Christ who came to give men the message that the Kingdom of God was not a physical place, but a state of consciousness within us all, that it is HERE and NOW. Further more, he gave us the understanding that “I and my Father are ONE.” Jesus didn’t come to establish a new religion, with more rituals and dogma, he came to show men the Way – the way of salvation from sin, from suffering, from limitation, from fear. He came to show a way of living and thinking that would give us our inheritance of dominion and authority over all material limitation.

Now, substitute the word ‘God’ for ‘Bible’ in my analogy of the tree and that is what I was getting at:

“Dispite whether God is 'food'...dispite whether God is 'home'...dispite whether God is 'a perfect focal point'...these attributes do not change God. God is all of these things, regardless of the descriptions by the individuals who see it. God remains unchanged.”

To our ancient forefathers, the earth was flat and they wrote about it being flat and were limited by their subsequent fears. But what they believed and how they described it, didn’t change the actual fact that the world was round.

This is why I say, look for the inspired Word of the Bible – the Word of God. It’s right there, alongside the words of men. That Word uplifts, comforts, heals. That’s how I judge what is true and what isn’t – by healing.

Even someone like St Paul had what we call his occasional “bad hair day” when he felt separated from God, from Love itself. He wrote:

..five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. (II Cor 99)

Now, that is a historical perspective in the Bible. I very much doubt you could ever be healed reading such depressing words! But look at this, from the very same author, on fire with inspiration and spiritual revelation:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8)

Now, the truth behind that passage has wonderful power to uplift, comfort, protect and heal!

Mary Baker Eddy wrote:

The Scriptures are very sacred. Our aim must be to have them understood spiritually, for only by this understanding can truth be gaine

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Principled
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament


'Cor Oblivionlord, here I am for the second time in one morning!

I’ve just popped back here to share some words about the Bible that sum up exactly what I’m trying to get across. They are by Elaine Follis, a Bible scholar and professor. She talks about scepticism towards the Bible, especially from academics:

For example, the work of a group of New Testament scholars calls into question the authenticity of many of Christ Jesus’ sayings recorded in the canonical Gospels. Some archaeologists claim evidence to prove King David was, at best, a local chieftain, far from the heroic monarch of Biblical narrative.

Other skeptical views are prompted by popular fiction. The Da Vinci Code, for example, posits a conspiracy to misrepresent the New Testament’s historical account of the life of Christ Jesus and his followers. And indeed, some skepticism is based directly on the teachings of the Bible itself, which in certain passages reinforces patriarchal attitudes toward women, reflects an economy based on slavery, and even advocates the practice of genocide.

There’s no point in denying that some of these issues exist or in trying to explain them away through linguistic or historical casuistry. What’s important is that they are clearly out of step with the overall witness of the Bible to a God who has created us in His own image, who loves us, who seeks fellowship with us, and who calls us to do the same with one another.

That message comes through loud and clear in Hebrew Scripture, which Christians call the Old Testament, as well in the New Testament.........

http://tinyurl.com/kw34z


Then, after describing how a young man was about to use a gun to kill himself, but had picked up a Bible before he did so, she writes:

that experience reveals the heart of the Bible. Its true value to mankind is not found in archaeology, in theological debate or in rigid doctrine. It is found, simply, in salvation. Spiritual transformation and salvation that happens one life at a time.

[link= http://tinyurl.com/kw34z] http://tinyurl.com/kw34z /span>[/link]

I really hope you’ll read the whole article Oblivionlord:

The heart of the Bible
from the November 2005 issue of The Christian Science Journal.

[link= http://tinyurl.com/kw34z]http://tinyurl.com/kw34z[/link]

Love and peace,
Judy

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oblivionlord
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

To only see the Bible as a story "The Search For God" is ignoring the fact of all the crimes, killings, murders, rapes, deaths etc etc of all that actually happened in the past. The Bible does hold some historic grounds and to only see the statements of God within the OT as it was interpreted by man to be just part of a story and not to see these words as what was actually said but, written by man is not Christian like. How exactly can you consider yourself to be a Christian if you do not believe that God did infact say and perform harsh things to man and forsaken them at the same time? Do you have conclusive evidence that God did not speak directly to the ones who worded him in they way it was said to them or performed the actions as was said in the OT?

Sounds like you are only looking at the Bible in the way that You want to see it for your own salvation.

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Principled
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

No Oblivionlord,

Not for my own salvation, but for all mankind's.

Love and peace,

Judy

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oblivionlord
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

You unknowingly are agreeing with what I've said, but not wishing to repeat it; however are you looking at the big picture for all mankind? If you simply take a look at one of the Christian doctrines "Thou shall not Kill" and apply it to our own history, what would happen to mankind if we removed intentional killings from our own background? We would be left with an excessive overpopulation of the Earth leading mankind into a downward spiral from lack of resources to which there is no control.

If we play God for a moment and put primitive humans onto a lush and bountiful planet with no predators, no natural enemies then, those humans wouldn't fear anything because there would be nothing to fear. They would crave nothing more than food and shelter from the rains. These desires are presently easy to come by, and so they have no reason to war on each other. Paradise is it not? They've nothing to do but, laze and multiply. If no actions are taken to stop the consistancy then their population will rise to a level far greater than what the planet can support. Famine will set in followed by criminal warfare and cannibalism.

It is within the nature of our being to do this so that we can continue to exist. These are not interpretations...these are part of the core. You may ask yourself, "Is this the search for God"? Then we must search for him through his own teachings, through our own analysis of the bible. We find that his teachings, which we live by, have fallacies if you bend the rules to take our own interpretations of his word. But which do we accept: his word or our own?

Not everyone gets joy from looking at a flower.

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songstress
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

oblivionlord,

Please forgive me if I have interpreted your words wrongly, but you seem to be confused about the Old Testament and Christianity. The Old Testament was written by the ancient Hebrews, not by Christians. The Christians wrote the New Testament. The OT includes some books from the Torah, some from ancient Egyptian writings and hymns and from other sources. Some Judaic tenets have found their way into Christianity e.g. the Ten Commandments, worship of false idols, etc.

To return to the original question: the difference between the OT and NT is that the OT is based on Judaic teachings, the NT is partly, but mostly talks about Jesus, the Apostles, the travelling and spreading of the Gospel and the Revelation at the end.

We cannot put new thoughts into the heads of the ancients. It is how they viewed the world and set good social boundaries.

Patsy.
P.S. Mary Baker Eddy was perhaps the most enlightened woman of recent times. Christian Science is an illumined form of Christian teaching.

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oblivionlord
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

[color="#000000"][color="#000000"]First of all the Old Testament lays the foundation for the teachings and events found in the New Testament. The Bible is a progressive revelation. If you skip the first half of any good book and try to finish it; you will have a hard time understanding the characters, the plot, and the ending. Even so, the New Testament is only completely understood when it is seen as being built upon the foundation of the events, characters, laws, sacrificial system, covenants, and promises of the Old Testament.

[color="#000000"]If we only had the New Testament, we would come to the gospels and not know why the Jews were looking for a Messiah (a Savior King). Without the Old Testament, we would not understand why this Messiah was coming (see Isaiah 53); we would not have been able to identify Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah through the many detailed prophecies that were given concerning Him (e.g.., His birth place (Micah 5:2); His manner of death (Psalm 22, especially vv. 1,7-8, 14-18; Psalm 69:21, etc.), His resurrection (Psalm 16:10), and many more details of His ministry (Isaiah 52:19f.; 9:2, etc.)).

[color="#000000"]Without the Old Testament, we would not understand the Jewish customs that are mentioned in passing in the New Testament. We would not understand the perversions that the Pharisees had made to God's law as they added their tradition to it. We would not understand why He was so upset as He cleansed the temple courtyard. We would not understand that we can make use of the same wisdom that Christ used in His many replies to His adversaries (both human and demonic);(when I first read through the Old Testament, having already read the gospels a couple of times, I was repeatedly surprised that saying that I thought were new with Jesus, were actually Him quoting God's previous revelation in Old Testament verses).

[color="#000000"]In a similar fashion, the New Testament Gospels and Acts of the Apostles record many of the fulfillments of prophecies that were recorded hundreds of years earlier in the Old Testament. Many of these relate to first coming of the Messiah. In the circumstances of Jesus' birth, life, miracles, death, and resurrection as found in the Gospels we find the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies that relate to the Messiah's first coming. It is these details that validate Jesus' claim to be the promised Christ. And even the prophecies in the New Testament (many of which are in the Book of Revelation) are built upon earlier prophecies found in Old Testament books. These New Testament prophecies relate to events surrounding the second coming of Christ. Roughly two out of three verses in Revelation are based on Old Testament verses.

If you try to interpret the Bible in your own image, then let me remind you of these 2 passages:

Revelations
22:18I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if anyone adds to them, may God add to him the plagues which are written in this book.

22:19If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, may God take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.

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Venetian
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RE: The Old Testament Vs The New Testament

ORIGINAL: oblivionlord

Revelations
22:18I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if anyone adds to them, may God add to him the plagues which are written in this book.

22:19If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, may God take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.

I really cannot say whether it's a valid concept or not, but whereas these words from Revelation on the face of it seem to be a holy writ saying "Don't change these truths", there's quite a large body of scholars who believe Revelation was tampered with early, or may not even have been through St. John, and that the "seven churches" of Revelation are literally seven of the Christian communities of the time. This view has it that the warning on not changing the words was itself humanly-written for political ends. I have no opinion either way.

What I certainly do have an opinion on is:

"If you try to interpret the Bible in your own image, then let me remind you of these 2 passages:"

... I can see that you don't understand the philosophy of hermaneutics? (The word is derived from Hermes, the messenger-god.) Philosophers point out that nobody ever receives a message or communication in the same way, or precisely as intended. Everyone, by human nature, interprets and colours any wording according to their own character. Thus hermanutics or hermes, the messenger, is the "thing" that comes between the original message and our understanding of it - such as our own personality, beliefs, and preconceptions.

For example, you may say, "Take this particular passage - it is obvious what it means." But it "obviously" means different things to different people. Not to understand that is to be egocentric, in the belief that one's own perception is 'correct', that of others incorrect.

Therefore you yourself do interpret the Bible in your own image, so do I, and so has any reader or commentator on it. Look up "hermaneutics" (not Biblical but philosophical) and follow the idea from there if you like.

V

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