Our Readers' Opinions
November 8, 2011

Give quotations from the New Testament to support the Old Testament’s view

Tue, Nov 8. 2011

Editor: I write in response to the “theological view” of murder in the Nov. 1 edition. Upon analysis, the writer fails to give quotations from the New Testament to support the Old Testament view – specifically the Mosaic view. I will say to him that Jesus had a hard time undoing much of the damage done by Moses to those who inherited the faith of Abraham.{{more}} The god of Abraham, and of Ishmael and Isaac, and of their descendants, was not a god of murder but of care. It was thus until Moses came on the scene, and the influence of Moses was so profound that his view prevailed throughout many of the books of the OT. It is not until you get to the NT that Jesus gives back to us the God that Abraham knew.

The crime, if I may be so bold to say so, was that he had God declare – through him Moses, of course – that: “I will take you for my people and I will be your god (Exodus 6 v 7),” making the universal god known to Abraham into a tribal god of and for the children of Israel. As far as Moses was concerned, other nations, other ethnic groups, could have their own god – nay, not could have, but should have – their own god or gods, because Jehovah, Yahweh, El – call him what you like, was strictly for Israelites.

It was the great 13th century Jewish philosopher and theologian, Moses ben-Maimon or Maimonides, who condemned Jesus for aiming the most deadly attacks ever against the traditions of Moses. He said that: “Jesus interpreted the Torah and its precepts in such a fashion as to lead to their total annulment, to the abolition of all its commandments and to the violation of its prohibitions.”

The books of Moses, in particular Exodus and Deuteronomy, are not credible sources upon which to justify anything. He produces, directs, and stars in them, and is the only person to talk to god. There is no independent verification from any source whatever that supports major events recorded – the exodus from Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea, the tablets of stone on Mount Sinai, etc. In Deuteronomy, he even records his death.

Note very carefully, that Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, never once alluded to Chosen People or Promised Land. He was – as his father in heaven was – God who belonged universally to everyone – equally.

On the specific question of judicial execution, we have one of the finest examples of the teachings of Jesus. See John 8. The priests and Pharisees, in an attempt to entrap him, brought before Jesus a woman caught in adultery. According to the law of Moses (Leviticus 20 v 10), the punishment was death. Jesus, in effect, asked each man to justify his right to take the life of another. When they could not, they dropped their stones and walked away, leaving her unpunished. Jesus admonished her and told her to “go and sin no more.”

Would your letter writer, Mr. Charles, have dropped his stone? Or would he have stood alone in front of Jesus and carried out the writ of Moses?

Cedric B Harold