Summary: What did Jesus and the Apostles say about the Hebrew Scriptures?

What did Jesus and the Apostles say about the Hebrew Scriptures?

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19 NIV)

Is this contradicted in Luke?

The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it. (Luke 16:16 NIV)

The law pointed to Jesus. The principles or spirit of the law have not changed. Paul used the Old Testament to explain about Jesus.

He explained and testified about the Kingdom of God and tried to persuade them about Jesus from the Scriptures. Using the law of Moses and the books of the prophets, he spoke to them from morning until evening. (Acts 28:23 NLT)

Are there lesser laws and weightier matters?

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. (Matthew 23:23 NASB)

Is there a difference between essentials and man-made traditions?

Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12 NLT)

Do we nullify the Old Testament by New Testament faith?

Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law. (Romans 3:31 NIV)

Was the law evil as some moderns insist? Paul wrote:

Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. (Romans 7:12 KJV)

Book of the Law

Would Moses’ law profit society?

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Joshua 1:8 KJV)

The Book of Moses

Moses was chief editor, compiler or redactor of the first five books. They are the book of the law of the Lord which was given through Moses.

While they were bringing out the money that had been taken into the temple of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord that had been given through Moses. (2 Chronicles 34:14 NIV)

Clearly the phrase “law of Moses” refers to him as the inspired writer or editor, not the originator of the law.

Moses and the Prophets

When moderns disparage the Hebrew scriptures, they also disparage those who quoted and believed them, including Jesus, the Apostles and Paul.

But God has helped me to this very day; so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen — that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles. (Acts 26:22-23 NIV)

The Law and the Prophets

The law contains some things that even moderns would agree with.

“...what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’” (Zechariah 7:9-10 NIV)

The golden rule is based upon the Hebrew Scriptures:

Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12 NLT)

Law, Prophets and Psalms

Jesus affirmed the Hebrew Scriptures.

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” (Luke 24:44 NIV)

Paul admitted something that many moderns could not confess.

But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets … (Acts 24:14-15 KJV)

The Command of God

God warned Israel through Moses, not to add or subtract from His commands.

Do not add to or subtract from these commands I am giving you. Just obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you. (Deuteronomy 4:2 NLT)

Faulty human traditions may neglect the commandment of God.

"Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition." (Mark 7:9 NASB)

Are God’s commandments negative? What would John say?

Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. (1 John 5:3 NLT)

Christians keep His commandments in the spirit.

… our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:4-6 NKJV)

Nobody wants to live in a society of fear, under the law of the jungle, where the strong oppress and kill the weak at will. If we are just cosmic accidents, then moral codes are irrelevant. All the evidence plainly points to a designer, and He laid down a moral code based on eternal principles that still benefit us today.