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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A New Look at the Old Testament

I am reading the book A New Look at the Old Testament  by Derek Leman. I discovered him at his website, which I recommend.

He is a Messianic Jew and I am enjoying his insights. Many of the things he says re-inforces my own beliefs. One of those ideas is that the OT is full of grace. In a bible study on Deuternomy some years ago that fact really hit me. As Derek says on page 70 "It is in the Torah that we see faith or trust in God as the crucial means of being in God's favor." (refering to Genesis 15:6, a favorite of Paul)

The word Torah means instruction. Too often we equate the OT with law and NT with love. There is lots of  love in the OT and many commands in the NT as well! Perhaps it's more helpful to see the laws as instruction to guide us in life. Many of the instructions are not helpful today. Much of it is not applicable to Gentile followers of Jesus. Even so, the summary of the Torah, our ten commandments, certainly serve as a foundation stone for much of our moral discourse. Love God with all you are and love your neighbor as yourself. That is the kingdom ethic of those who have faith in response to God's gracious offer of salvation. Believe it and live it!

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