Logos Word of God – BT5a
At least 97.4% of the Old Testament graphe scripture actually is the old covenant or Law
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According to Wikipedia, Law or Torah has a range of meanings: 1) It can most specifically mean the first 5 books, Pentateuch, or Books of Moses of the 24 books that make up the Tanakh or Mikra text of the OT, or 2) It can mean this plus the rabbinic commentaries called Perushim on the Tanakh, also known as the Oral Torah or “Traditions of the Fathers or Elders,” or 3) It can mean the continued narrative of the entire Tanakh text of the OT, thus all gramma writings that make up graphe scripture. See also Logos Word of God – BT4 and – BT5, or 4) It can even mean the totality of Jewish teaching and practice.” Definition #3 for the entire OT graphe scripture is supported by many other sources, including “The Bible Background Commentary of the New Testament” by Craig S. Keener. According to Strong’s Lexicon, Torah can also include the “body of prophetic teaching” called “The Prophets,” thus “The Law and The Prophets” being a typical division of the OT scripture. The Free Dictionary explains how inclusive the Torah really can viewed as an: “Entire body of religious law and learning, including not just sacred literature but also oral tradition.” It really is bewildering that so many Gentile-Christians don’t see how “Jewish” it is for them to be reading, studying, memorizing, and trying to do the OT scriptures!
That’s why in actual Jewish usage ALL of the 2 ‘portions of’ (The Law and The Prophets) or 3 ‘portions of’ (The Law, The Prophets, and The Writings) or 4 ‘portions of’ (The Law, The Prophets, The Psalms, and The Writings) of sacred gramma writings collected together into graphe scripture are often referred to by Jesus, the NT writers, and ALL Jews to this day, collectively as “the Law.” The NT speakers often quote from the Prophets and Psalms, yet refer to these citations as “the Law or old covenant.” For example, Paul cites the prophecy of Isaiah 28:11-12 from 1 Corinthians 14:21 but then calls this “Law!” Jesus also equates “the Law and the Prophets” with “the Law” (a). Jesus quotes Psalms but refers to it as “the Law” (b). Jesus quotes Prophets but calls them “the Law” (c). The chief priests and Pharisees in John 7:40-49 cites Psalms 89:3-4 but refers to this as “the Law” the crowds didn’t know. <Notes> a) Matthew 5:17-19, cf. Luke 16:16-17, Matthew 22:40, b) John 10:34 citing Psalms 82:6; John 12:34 citing Psalms 18:4, 110:4; John 15:25 citing Psalms 35:19 or 69:4, c) John 12:34 citing Isaiah 9:7 and Ezekiel 37:25.
The conditions for God’s blessing, favor, and love through man’s “works of righteousness” dependent solely on man’s obedience of 613 commandments are strewn out throughout every book of the OT, and much of the historical narrative and personal dialogues are based on it, making it often very difficult to distinguish the prophetic portions of the Messiah, the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant, the righteousness and salvation that is instead through Christ’s unconditional-love based on unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace depend instead on man’s obedience of trusting-relying-faith. The OT is full of Law “land mines” waiting to blow your arms and legs off! It’s “the Law of sin and death” (a), a “ministry of death” (b). Gentile-Christians just don’t see how dangerous it is to be involved with the most of the OT, despite so many warning by the NT writers! It’s like playing with hand-grenades after the pins have been pulled. <Notes> a) Romans 8:2, b) 2 Corinthians 3:7.
Paul equates the whole of scripture to the Law: “The [whole of] scripture (a) imprisoned ALL under sin, so that “The Promise” by trusting-relying-faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who have trusting-relying-faith. Now before trusting-relying-faith came, we were held captive under the Law, imprisoned UNTIL the coming trusting-relying-faith would be revealed” (b). <Notes> a) singular with article: the whole of: cf. John 10:35, 19:28-30; Romans 11:2 – see Logos Word of God – BT5. Nevertheless, in context it appears the Paul is speaking of The Law ‘portion of’ scripture, but remember that can be quite large, b) Galatians 3:22-23.
The sacred gramma writings of graphe scripture are sometimes equated to the Law, based on the context: “He who is physically uncircumcised but keep the Law will condemn you who are circumcised and have the [singular] gramma Writing, but then break the Law . . . but a Jew is one inwardly and circumcision a matter of the heart – by the Spirit, not by the [singular] gramma Writing” (a). The “completely-different-in-kind New (b) Covenant [is] absolutely in fact not of/belonging-to the gramma Writing but of/belonging-to the Spirit, for the gramma Writing kills, but the Spirit gives zoe genuine-life” (c). When God’s will was written down, it instantly condemned mankind. Paul says “Now we are released from the Law, having died to that which held us captive, so that now we serve in the completely-different-in-kind New (b) Way of the Spirit and absolutely not in the palios ‘old, antiquated, worn-out, useless’ way of the gramma Writing” (d)? Can you see that the “completely-different-in-kind NEW Way of the Spirit” is being pitted against the ‘old, antiquated, worn-out, useless’ “Way of the gramma Writing” or “the Law” or “old covenant?” One is written, the other isn’t! <Notes> a) Romans 2:27, 29, b) chadash, kainos: fresh, completely-different-in-kind, unprecedented, sharing nothing with its predecessors, unique, and superior, c) 2 Corinthians 3:6, d) Romans 7:6.
The sign of the old covenant was circumcision, so you couldn’t be a Jew to be “right with God” without it. Yet Paul says it’s absolutely pointless whether you obey the Law that is much of the OT if not ALL, as represented by circumcision, or not: “For in Christ, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts (a) for absolutely in fact anything, except trusting-relying-faith thru-the-realizing-channel-of unconditional-love routinely, actively, energetically, and effectively being worked.” That’s the work that counts! It seems that “trusting-relying-faith in Christ and unconditionally-loving one another” have over-ruled the entire OT or at least 97.4% of it. The first 5 books of the bible, the Torah Law of conditional-favor, makes up 97.4% of the essence of the entire OT, because only 600 verses of 23,145 refer to New Testament (NT) realities! But remember that most Jews view the entire OT as The Law! <Notes> a) is strong, forceful, robust, sound, able, serviceable.
As Christian musicians, do we really want to involve any of the Law, which is the basis of 97.4% of the OT scripture, in our ministry? Aren’t we playing with ticking time-bombs? If the scripture imprisoned the Jews, why are we locking Gentiles up in it? It was only written UNTIL Christ could come.
Lord, keep us from playing around with fire as little children because it can kill us. We choose to NOW put all our focus on Christ and the completely-different-in-kind NEW Spirit and not on the ministry of gramma writings that kill.