Knowledge – BT3
The knowledge of God was prophesied to radically change in the New Covenant
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Hebrews 8:11 cites Jeremiah 31:34 because it radically distinguishes the completely different-in-kind chadash, kainos New Covenant from the old covenant, for the definitions of the Hebrew chadash and Greek kainos mean “fresh, completely different-in-kind, unprecedented, sharing nothing with its predecessors, unique, and superior.” In Jeremiah 31:31-32 God drives this home: “I will make a New Covenant . . . absolutely in fact not like the covenant that I had made . . . My [previous] covenant they (b) broke” – the Jews the Lord led out of Egypt had indeed broken it, so how was it any longer useful?
One radical difference is that the Torah “Law” of God will no longer be commandments written on stone or paper for God’s people to learn from human teachers, read, study, debate, or memorize in order “to experientially, relationally yada/ginosko know the Lord.” This time, according to Jeremiah 31:33-34, God says: “I will put My Law (a) within them – I will write it on their hearts, . . . and/coupled absolutely in fact and in possibility no (b) longer/again shall each person teach his neighbor (c) and/coupled each person his brother (d) to ‘experientially, relationally yada/ginosko know the Lord,’ for My people shall all eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know (e) Me – from the least of them to the greatest.” You can’t use any stronger language to say that the New Covenant Ways are completely different-in-kind from the old covenant ways! It’s very upsetting to hear Christians and churches say the NT is a continuation of the OT, but albiet better, and that we should continue the same hierarchy of teacher-leaders in the Church! That’s just crazy! <Notes> a) torah, nomos: principles or instruction, b) ou me: the strongest absolute negative possible – like bolding, all caps, and underlining for emphasis, c) fellow Jews, d) family members, e) eido is prophetic vision.
That’s another radical difference between the old and the New – the old was taught from the top-down through a hierarchy of authoritative teachers, from Moses all the way down to the uneducated children and slaves. Jesus destroys this hierarchy! In fact the NT explains that the kingdom of God comes to the so-called “the least or last” first, and the so-called “greatest or first” last (a) – see Coaches and Facilitators, Body-of-Christ Ministry, Teach One Another, and Least Among You pages. <Notes> a) Matthew 20:8, 16; Mark 9:35, 10:31; Luke 13:30.
As Christian musicians, are we even aware of the radically different way to knowing God between the Old and New Testaments? Are we still telling people to read about God and His principles, ways, and instruction like the Jews were told? Are we still relying on a hierarchy of teachers to disseminate the knowledge of God? Are keeping the uneducated on the bottom of the stack because of this old paradigm?