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  • Can someone clarify the OT for me?

    Whenever I read the OT, I become more confused as I don't know what to take as something to actually live by, or just read it to understand the laws back then.

    For example, there was a passage (can't remember where) that stated what animals not to eat. Of course, that doesn't effect us now because (as far as I understand) the new testament freed us from most of the restrictions of the OT. Also, right before David died, he told Solomon to basically avenge a couple of people for him.

    Now my question is, how do I know what to believe and teach in the Old Testament. I mean there surely are good things in the OT to live and learn about, but there are other things that are archaic and not very "christianly" (such as killing homosexuals)

    I am really confused and would be very grateful if someone clarify this, show me some scripture and just explain the OT.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by Romber View Post
    Whenever I read the OT, I become more confused as I don't know what to take as something to actually live by, or just read it to understand the laws back then.

    For example, there was a passage (can't remember where) that stated what animals not to eat. Of course, that doesn't effect us now because (as far as I understand) the new testament freed us from most of the restrictions of the OT. Also, right before David died, he told Solomon to basically avenge a couple of people for him.

    Now my question is, how do I know what to believe and teach in the Old Testament. I mean there surely are good things in the OT to live and learn about, but there are other things that are archaic and not very "christianly" (such as killing homosexuals)

    I am really confused and would be very grateful if someone clarify this, show me some scripture and just explain the OT.

    Thanks
    Romber...you are asking a question that will get many answers. Many Christians believe that the NT trumps the OT and thus, something like the food laws are not applicable. Others believe the NT and OT work hand in hand, and that the Laws are still applicable to today. I fall into the later...but understand, out of the 613 laws, probably about 150 actually apply under today's conditions.

    All I would say to you is to keep an open mind. While there are convincing arguements on both sides, and scripture to boot...your BEST tool is prayer and meditation. Ask God to guide you, ask him to make it clear to you...never take ANY man's opinion over what is written in black and white, and you'll find your way.

    You are going to have to answer some hard questions. Are the "everlasting" laws everlasting...or did they exist in an everlasting state until certain things happened. It isn't easy....but that is why we are called to "study to show ourselves approved." God blesses us with answers when we diligently seek with questions.

    Isa 28:9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

    With great effort comes great blessings.

    Peace and blessing in your journey.
    Ken

    Comment


    • #3
      Explain the OT? Big job, that. Here's some advice. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your understanding, and, look beneath the surface.
      Here's a starting point for you:
      Luke 24:27
      27
      And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
      Moses=the first five books of OT
      Prophets=all the major and minor prophets of the OT
      All the scriptures = all the rests of the books of the OT
      In other words, every book of the OT speaks about Jesus Christ, in one way or another.
      Start in Genesis One, and look for hints, pictures, shadows that point to Christ.
      Here's a sample for you:
      Genesis 1:3-4
      3
      And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
      4 And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
      Where do you see Christ here?
      Where does this light come from, since the sun is not created until the fourth day?
      What is this light?
      Compare this:
      Revelation 21:23
      23
      And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light thereof.

      God's Word has many layers. The deeper you dig, the more stuff you find.
      It is, except for the prophetical stuff, literal history, but at the same time, it is allegory and metaphor. It has both a natural and a spiritual application.
      Look at the meaning of place names and people names, for those meanings have allegorial significance. For example, the list of Adam's children, from Adam to Noah, when you look at the name meanings, tell a story, a story about the fall of man, and the son of God coming down bringing truth and salvation, and rest.

      Attitude makes a difference. If you are looking for reasons to discredit the Word, and God, then you will see only contradiction and bad stuff. If you are determined to learn the truth, though, you will find it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Romber View Post
        Whenever I read the OT, I become more confused as I don't know what to take as something to actually live by, or just read it to understand the laws back then.

        For example, there was a passage (can't remember where) that stated what animals not to eat. Of course, that doesn't effect us now because (as far as I understand) the new testament freed us from most of the restrictions of the OT. Also, right before David died, he told Solomon to basically avenge a couple of people for him.

        Now my question is, how do I know what to believe and teach in the Old Testament. I mean there surely are good things in the OT to live and learn about, but there are other things that are archaic and not very "christianly" (such as killing homosexuals)

        I am really confused and would be very grateful if someone clarify this, show me some scripture and just explain the OT.

        Thanks
        Hi Romber. Look for the spiritual meaning of the OT. Just as Jesus taught in parables, so God too uses the OT like a parable. That's why the NT calls it types and shadows. It all points to Jesus. Look for Jesus in the OT and you will enjoy it immensely. As both posters above mentioned, go into it with an open heart and ask God to illuminate your understanding.

        Blessings,

        Mark
        Matt 9:13
        13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
        NASU

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Romber View Post
          Whenever I read the OT, I become more confused as I don't know what to take as something to actually live by, or just read it to understand the laws back then.
          Hi, and might I say a very sober asking on your part (to clarify) but from all the answers you will get (mine including) it will seem as if we are all drunk - you know like they on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2)

          Now my question is, how do I know what to believe and teach in the Old Testament. I mean there surely are good things in the OT to live and learn about, but there are other things that are archaic and not very "christianly" (such as killing homosexuals)
          Just a plain simple answer to this would be just teach what you understand and not what you do not understand, that will suffice you until!!! As for killing the above might not be wise in the day we live in, could get you in a lot of trouble.

          I am really confused and would be very grateful if someone clarify this, show me some scripture and just explain the OT.
          Since I've read all the advice given so far allow me to point you to just one passage and you tell me what you think it means:

          Psalms 119:130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
          After you can accept this then I can say welcome to the club of 'not yet arrived'.

          God bless,

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Romber View Post
            Whenever I read the OT, I become more confused as I don't know what to take as something to actually live by, or just read it to understand the laws back then.

            For example, there was a passage (can't remember where) that stated what animals not to eat. Of course, that doesn't effect us now because (as far as I understand) the new testament freed us from most of the restrictions of the OT.
            The unclean animas do affect us today, the food laws are for man's benefit, Messiah didn't change our digestive tracts or the make up of the garbage disposals(pigs... they still don't have sweat glands so all the toxins they consume build up in their tissue which you in turn consume and they are still parasite incubators, shrimp,tuna, etc) that people eat. Here's an interesting article that talks about how science today is now discovering the toxic effects eating unclean animals has on our health... http://www.lcg.org/cgi-bin/lcg/study...tem=1116549049


            Also, right before David died, he told Solomon to basically avenge a couple of people for him.
            I'm not familiar wth that, I know that David wasn't allowed to be the one to build the Temple b/c of the blood he shed but Solomon was b/c he was a man of peace.

            Now my question is, how do I know what to believe and teach in the Old Testament. I mean there surely are good things in the OT to live and learn about, but there are other things that are archaic and not very "christianly" (such as killing homosexuals)
            Well there are a couple of things here... first, according to the law, you had to have two or more witnesses to the act to put someone to death which is extremely hard to do, which is probably the reason we don't have any examples in Scriptures of any man putting another man to death for being homosexual. Secondly, as Ken pointed out, b/c of circumstances not all of the laws can apply today(like Temple sacrifices and priestly duties and tithes, b/c there is no Levitical priesthood today, etc), we no longer live in a theocratic society so we can't just kill homosexuals. Thirdly, Messiah didn't nail the laws to the cross, He still doesn't want people practicing homosexuality, what He nailed to the cross was the ordinance against that act which was the death penalty and man-made ordinances.
            Thus says YHWH, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls.
            -Jeremiah 6:16

            Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. - Matthew 11:29

            Comment


            • #7
              The main thing to remember when reading the OT is that it prophesies both the first and Second Comings of Christ. I recommend that you study the book of Hebrews in the NT before reading the OT. It will show you how the OT points to Jesus and establish an understanding of the 'types' and 'shadows' that illustrate that relationship. That should make your OT studies more profitable. When reading the OT, remember that Christ is the central figure to which ALL of it alludes. Again, it's central feature is Jesus, not rituals, the Law, or anything else. While those other aspects are important, they're merely window dressing. In John 5:39, Jesus Christ himself said that the Scriptures testify of him. In the context of the passage, he's referring to the OT. After his resurrection, Luke 24:27 and Luke 24:44-45 indicate that Jesus reemphasized God's revelation of him in the OT. Luke 24:27 particularly stresses that ALL of the OT speaks of him. The phrase, 'Moses and the Prophets' means from Genesis through Malachi. Only by recognizing that fact will the OT become meaningful to you as a Christian.

              Comment


              • #8
                Ok thanks for the many replies. It has helped a lot to clarify. I knew what I asked was quite a large task, but you guys seem to have nailed it pretty well. The only thing that is still nagging me pretty bad is how do I treat the laws of the OT. I know you already answered it but, for example:homosexuals, what how do I treat the verse that says to kill them (I can't think of the exact verse right now, but I'm sure you know which one I am talking about). Is there some definitive historicity that defines what we believe in the OT? Gah, I feel like I'm rambling, but what I am trying to convey is that is there any rock solid history/evidence/proof of what OT laws we still follow, or are all the OT laws fall under an ambiguous cover that needs to be interpreted specifically by the reader for todays life. Back when they were written, they were in fact laws and people abided by them, but for today they are a bit different.

                I don't mean to sound so whiny about an answer, but this is really confusing for me.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The spirit of the law says to love your neighbor. You don't treat a homosexual any differently than you would anyone else. As for the unsaved, we cannot expect them to abide by God's rules.
                  One who is saved, but still follows the flesh, be it by homosexuality or any other sin, love says to gently and with love show them the way of escape.
                  As for OT laws, the Holy Spirit writes the law upon our hearts, thus, do those things which you know in your heart are right to do, and conversely, don't do the things you know are wrong to do. Don't worry about the rest until the Holy Spirit brings it to you to deal with.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Romber View Post
                    Ok thanks for the many replies. It has helped a lot to clarify. I knew what I asked was quite a large task, but you guys seem to have nailed it pretty well. The only thing that is still nagging me pretty bad is how do I treat the laws of the OT. I know you already answered it but, for example:homosexuals, what how do I treat the verse that says to kill them (I can't think of the exact verse right now, but I'm sure you know which one I am talking about). Is there some definitive historicity that defines what we believe in the OT? Gah, I feel like I'm rambling, but what I am trying to convey is that is there any rock solid history/evidence/proof of what OT laws we still follow, or are all the OT laws fall under an ambiguous cover that needs to be interpreted specifically by the reader for todays life. Back when they were written, they were in fact laws and people abided by them, but for today they are a bit different.

                    I don't mean to sound so whiny about an answer, but this is really confusing for me.
                    God was showing Israel that he ment business so to speak, His laws were to be obayed and if the sin was deemed to be bad enough death was the punishment to be given. This may seem harsh now but God had just Choosen a people and had to give them rules to abide by because there neighbours were pagan and Israel kept being influensed by them.

                    Those commandment to stone and kill were for a certain time and place in history and were needed, this was for the protection of Israel and the blessing of the whole world as the Messiah would come from Israel and they had to be protected and they had to obide by Gods rules.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nobunaga View Post
                      God was showing Israel that he ment business so to speak, His laws were to be obayed and if the sin was deemed to be bad enough death was the punishment to be given. This may seem harsh now but God had just Choosen a people and had to give them rules to abide by because there neighbours were pagan and Israel kept being influensed by them.

                      Those commandment to stone and kill were for a certain time and place in history and were needed, this was for the protection of Israel and the blessing of the whole world as the Messiah would come from Israel and they had to be protected and they had to obide by Gods rules.
                      Thanks a lot! This is what I was looking for in terms of answers as to WHY there were such strict laws

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Romber View Post
                        Thanks a lot! This is what I was looking for in terms of answers as to WHY there were such strict laws
                        And they were pointing to Jesus. Look at the Jubilee year, it was fulfilled in Christ. Yet, when Israel did not keep the Jubilee year or the Sabbath years, they went into bondage for 70 years, one for each sabbath year.

                        The types were very important to God. The law leads us to Christ.
                        Matt 9:13
                        13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
                        NASU

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Romber View Post
                          Ok thanks for the many replies. It has helped a lot to clarify. I knew what I asked was quite a large task, but you guys seem to have nailed it pretty well. The only thing that is still nagging me pretty bad is how do I treat the laws of the OT. I know you already answered it but, for example:homosexuals, what how do I treat the verse that says to kill them (I can't think of the exact verse right now, but I'm sure you know which one I am talking about). Is there some definitive historicity that defines what we believe in the OT? Gah, I feel like I'm rambling, but what I am trying to convey is that is there any rock solid history/evidence/proof of what OT laws we still follow, or are all the OT laws fall under an ambiguous cover that needs to be interpreted specifically by the reader for todays life. Back when they were written, they were in fact laws and people abided by them, but for today they are a bit different.

                          I don't mean to sound so whiny about an answer, but this is really confusing for me.
                          Just thought I would throw this in for consideration Romber. The Law of God was not given at Sinai as many teach. God's Laws were well know before Moses came down off the mountain. In fact, in Gen 26:5, we see Abraham as having kept God's laws, commandments, statutes, and charge.

                          At Sinai, Israel was about to become a nation. The Law's put in writing to act as the nation's judicial system. In others words, prior to Sinai, sin was defined, but there was no prosecution of law breaking because Israel was not a nation yet. But when they became a nation, all the law was written out and it was agreed upon (covenant) that Israel would follow the Laws. They were to live under the jurisdiction and authority of God.

                          We live outside of Israel today, and even the nation of Israel is NOT governed by the authority or under the jurisdication of God. It is a secularly ruled nation. So the prosecution aspects of the law are not applicable now. There will be no killing of a homo-sexual, or any other act of sin. There is no authority for that today. It is still sin, but it is not prosecutable.

                          In addition, there is clearly a "spirit of the law" that is inferred in Torah, but not outright spoken. Nevertheless, we see Paul and Messiah both speaking from this aspect. What that spirit was, is something like homosexuality is a sin...and is punishable by death. (Again, only when living under the jurisdication and authority of God...which we don't currently) But, an effort is to be made to get the law breaker, the sinner, to repent and turn away from his ways. Death is the last resort! It wasn't like somebody got caught in an act and was killed. Judges were set in place, multiple witnesses needed...in a lot of ways, it is like the judicial system of the US...just not as liberal. But again, just to be clear, one should have been given an opportunity to repent. Remember the story of Messiah and the prostitute. Jews with stones in hand ready to stone her. He convicted THEM with his words...and gave her the opportunity to repent. Maybe if she didn't the story turns out different...but the point it, she did and was not stoned.

                          I hope that helps in understanding that aspect of the law.

                          Peace.
                          Ken

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yes, that helped out a great deal too Ken. Tonight I will read Hebrews, then it's time to dive into the OT as I am getting tired of NT reading non stop

                            Thanks to all who helped.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Romber View Post
                              Yes, that helped out a great deal too Ken. Tonight I will read Hebrews, then it's time to dive into the OT as I am getting tired of NT reading non stop

                              Thanks to all who helped.
                              Hi again Romber, I can't help but wonder what's bothering you about 'killing homos' - are you wanting to kill one or do you think they should be killed or??? Please don't missunderstand me but your prior statements and then this one above which I have underlined - tell me your reading is like reading a newspaper.

                              For instance, Paul tells young Timothy to study so he can rightly divide the word of truth. Truth doesn't come by reading but by revelation of the Spirit since He is the 'Spirit of truth'.

                              To be tired of the NT and to go backwards will never satisfy you. Even reading Hebrews as you say above will not. Allow me to challenge you to do this;...

                              1.Start at Romans and when you come to Jesus (used 935 times in the NT) stop and ask yourself "What is Paul saying about Jesus"?

                              After you do this the 38 times His name is used and your instrests are bored/dulled/tired of study about Him then you have a problem seeing as He (Jesus) is the NT.

                              God bless,
                              Sam

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