The Old and the New

Accordance, the Bible software I use, recently outlined the four main views of different Christian and Jewish groups of how the testaments relate to each other.

  • Traditional Jewish Interpretation: The Hebrew Bible, together with the oral law later codified in the Mishna, are sacred. The New Testament springs from a sect of Judaism which accepted Jesus as Messiah and later split off from Judaism.
  • Traditional Christian Interpretation (including Reformed): The New Testament is the fulfillment of all the Old, and the Church supplants Israel as the people of God. Laws and promises given to Israel in the Old Testament now apply to the Church in spiritual ways.
  • More recent Christian Interpretation (including Dispensational): The New Testament springs out of the Old, but God works in different ways in each period and what is true of one period does not necessarily apply to another. Laws and promises given to Israel in the Old Testament may not apply to the Church and may still await fulfillment.
  • Messianic Jewish Interpretation: The New Testament reveals the fulfillment of God’s promises in the Old, particularly in the Messiah Jesus. The Old Testament laws and promises still apply to Jewish believers, and many Jewish practices are observed as they were by the first Jewish believers.

Pentecostal Christians generally place themselves in the third category, More Recent Christian Interpretation. A friend of mine, for instance, preaches on "End Times," saying that the Church will be caught up in the Rapture and the world will revert to the old covenant with a reconstituted Temple for seven years before the Lord's return. 

My views don't fit neatly in any of the categories. 

OpinionPeter Smythe