Author Topic: Old Testament and New Testament Laws  (Read 1538 times)

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Offline yochanan

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Old Testament and New Testament Laws
« on: April 05, 2010, 10:20:02 AM »
In the Old Testament, God appeared as a war-God -- He would encourage religious wars and genocide; He encouraged stoning; He encouraged several violent things.

In the New Testament, God appeared in human flesh as a peace-God -- He encouraged non-violence even to the extent of self-sacrifice.

Why is this? Why didn't God directly show and teach the Beatitudes and the Our Father and unconditional love as such?

Forgive me.. I'm just curious -- this is usually what atheists punch Orthodoxy with.

 :police:
"It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us..." (Acts 15: 28)

Online ialmisry

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Re: Old Testament and New Testament Laws
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2010, 10:23:32 AM »
In the Old Testament, God appeared as a war-God -- He would encourage religious wars and genocide; He encouraged stoning; He encouraged several violent things.

In the New Testament, God appeared in human flesh as a peace-God -- He encouraged non-violence even to the extent of self-sacrifice.

Why is this? Why didn't God directly show and teach the Beatitudes and the Our Father and unconditional love as such?

Because unfortunately, since the Fall, humans have to learn things the hard way.  As a consequence the Way had to be prepared first for the fullness of time.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline yochanan

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Re: Old Testament and New Testament Laws
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2010, 10:27:54 AM »
In the Old Testament, God appeared as a war-God -- He would encourage religious wars and genocide; He encouraged stoning; He encouraged several violent things.

In the New Testament, God appeared in human flesh as a peace-God -- He encouraged non-violence even to the extent of self-sacrifice.

Why is this? Why didn't God directly show and teach the Beatitudes and the Our Father and unconditional love as such?

Because unfortunately, since the Fall, humans have to learn things the hard way.  As a consequence the Way had to be prepared first for the fullness of time.

Any Bible quotes? Fathers? Thanks!  :)
"It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us..." (Acts 15: 28)

Online ialmisry

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Re: Old Testament and New Testament Laws
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2010, 11:05:11 AM »
Christ is risen!
In the Old Testament, God appeared as a war-God -- He would encourage religious wars and genocide; He encouraged stoning; He encouraged several violent things.

In the New Testament, God appeared in human flesh as a peace-God -- He encouraged non-violence even to the extent of self-sacrifice.

Why is this? Why didn't God directly show and teach the Beatitudes and the Our Father and unconditional love as such?

Because unfortunately, since the Fall, humans have to learn things the hard way.  As a consequence the Way had to be prepared first for the fullness of time.

Any Bible quotes? Fathers? Thanks!  :)
Does Lossky count?

http://books.google.com/books?id=xL1Vn_LLJ3sC&pg=PA83&dq=Orthodox+Old+Testament&cd=5#v=onepage&q=&f=false
Orthodox theology: an introduction By Vladimir Lossky, p. 83 ff.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 11:06:24 AM by ialmisry »
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline yochanan

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Re: Old Testament and New Testament Laws
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2010, 11:31:49 AM »
Christ is risen!
In the Old Testament, God appeared as a war-God -- He would encourage religious wars and genocide; He encouraged stoning; He encouraged several violent things.

In the New Testament, God appeared in human flesh as a peace-God -- He encouraged non-violence even to the extent of self-sacrifice.

Why is this? Why didn't God directly show and teach the Beatitudes and the Our Father and unconditional love as such?

Because unfortunately, since the Fall, humans have to learn things the hard way.  As a consequence the Way had to be prepared first for the fullness of time.

Any Bible quotes? Fathers? Thanks!  :)
Does Lossky count?

http://books.google.com/books?id=xL1Vn_LLJ3sC&pg=PA83&dq=Orthodox+Old+Testament&cd=5#v=onepage&q=&f=false
Orthodox theology: an introduction By Vladimir Lossky, p. 83 ff.

Well if he's Orthodox then I think he does! ;)
"It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us..." (Acts 15: 28)

Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Old Testament and New Testament Laws
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2010, 11:48:42 AM »
Any Bible quotes? Fathers? Thanks!  :)

St. Matthew's Gospel is basically one big explanation of how Jesus relates to and perfectly fulfills what God asked of all the venerable Jewish heroes (especially Moses and Joshua), with particular attention to violence and conquering of gentiles.

Also, St. Paul addresses the issue at length in Romans.

As for the Fathers: In general, the early church Fathers looked at violence in the OT as typological and/or allegorical. You can find many little quotes to that effect by looking at that series published by InterVarsity called Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, specifically the volumes that cover Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. I used to own the series but sold it. Perhaps someone else can look it up for you.

Other than that, if you don't mind reading a whole, complex sermon, here's one example from St. John Chrysostom: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf109.xix.xvi.html
But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)

Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Old Testament and New Testament Laws
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2010, 02:14:45 PM »
I guess it will not be wrong to apply St. Paul's typology about two distinct Adams to the Old and New Testament.

First Adam = Old Testament Law
Second Adam = New Testament Law

The spiritual one came later. The Old Testament Law was mundane in that it was related to this world and to "body" more than the soul whereas the New Testament is celestial and eternal because it is affiliated with the Kingdom of Heaven and the salvation/sanctification of human soul.

Any ideas?
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Offline JLatimer

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Re: Old Testament and New Testament Laws
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2010, 05:26:46 PM »
In the Old Testament, God appeared as a war-God -- He would encourage religious wars and genocide; He encouraged stoning; He encouraged several violent things.

In the New Testament, God appeared in human flesh as a peace-God -- He encouraged non-violence even to the extent of self-sacrifice.

Why is this? Why didn't God directly show and teach the Beatitudes and the Our Father and unconditional love as such?

Forgive me.. I'm just curious -- this is usually what atheists punch Orthodoxy with.

 :police:

Actually, in the New Testament, God appeared very much as a war-God. But to paraphrase St. Paul, Christ's battle was not against flesh and blood, but against Satan and death. The Orthodox Church has always placed a heavy emphasis on Christ's Crucifixion and Resurrection, for example, as the glorious acts of a victorious warrior King, who vanquishes His foes and smashes their heads against the rocks. On the topic of self-sacrifice, the Desert Father's (and even Friedrich Nietzsche) agree that asceticism is warfare to the last breath.

Basically the battlefield has just moved from the outside to the inside. But our God is still the Lord of Hosts (armies)!

Think of the Paschal troparion itself: it's hard to "trample" someone peacefully! But of course, Jesus doesn't encourage His followers to take up the sword, but to take up their cross, as He did, because as he says to Pilate, His Kingdom is not of this world.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 05:31:27 PM by JLatimer »
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.