Biblical Cut and Paste

I got into a discussion today about how we all, if we are honest before God, cut and paste which parts of the Bible with which we agree or disagree. Some excuse it away, etc.

Some may disagree with me about this, but certain parts of Scripture were intended for certain people at certain times. What was directed specifically toward Israel is what is specifically directed toward Israel. This is what is called context. We must understand the culture, the author, the original audience, etc.

In recent days, I have seen a rise of those who seek to embrace the Old Testament. There is nothing wrong with that. I believe that these people sincerely want to honor the whole of Scripture. These individuals want to honor the feasts and celebrations of that culture. I don’t see anything wrong with that. I do have a few questions, and maybe those who embrace this Hebrew Roots movement can answer this.

How much of the Pentateuch do we obey? I was reading all the laws about a menstruating woman. Should I stay away from my wife until she is finished? Do we still stone adulterers and adulteresses as well as disobedient children? How far do we go with this?

I want to encourage each reader to prayerfully search the Scriptures and study the original context. Know the culture of that day. Understand the covenants and their implications. Most importantly, display grace and love to those who interpret differently. Ultimately, there is only one interpretation (2 Peter 1:20). We don’t get to make the call. If we truly want to know God’s heart, the Holy Spirit will reveal truth to us. It’s time to put the scissors away and seek God’s face and know God’s heart.

10 thoughts on “Biblical Cut and Paste

  1. Very good topic to address, and well done. I’ve been to a Hebrew Roots fellowship before and have grown up as a grafted in-Messianic Jew. Ergo, I have a great deal of experience with celebrating the OT festivals. I understand the dilemma of following all or done of the rules, and I have this answer about the High Holy Days: God laid out His instructions very carefully and specifically instructed us to observe HIS holy convocations perpetually throughout all generations. He knew that times would change, but His days wouldn’t. Thoughts?

    1. @Squid

      Hello Squid, my thoughts about the Old Testament festivals are based on Colossians 2:16-17 which says, Therefore, don’t let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of what was to come; the substance is the Messiah.

      The ceremonials and sacrifices were but a foreshadow of Jesus Christ. We as Christians shouldn’t surround our walk with the Lord based on fulfilled Old Testament laws except for the one that’s always active, the moral law or as the New Testament calls it, the law of the Spirit. Our walk in this life is solely based on Jesus Christ and the teachings of the New Testament. Saying that we can apply the Old Testament teachings in principle, meaning that we should understand the O.T. based on the N.T., not the other way around. You can apply the principle behind the literal meaning but we must understand that those laws have been fulfilled in Christ and to go back to them is to reject Christs’ sacrifice and His imputation of keeping the law for you.

      You have to be very careful with the “Hebrew Roots Movement” because they are trying to imprison Christians back into the law. The church in Galatia was headed back into the law and Paul wrote to them that they were following another gospel Galatians 1:9 and that they were abandoning the grace provided by Jesus.

      Galatians 5:1-4
      Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery. 2 Take note! I, Paul, tell you that if you get yourselves circumcised, Christ will not benefit you at all. 3 Again I testify to every man who gets himself circumcised that he is obligated to keep the entire law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by the law are alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace.

      If a person wanted to follow part of the law in this case circumcision he/she was obligated to keep the rest of the law and if a person would go back to the law they would be rejecting Jesus Christ and also would be rejecting His righteousness. Meaning that He kept the law for you.

      In regards to what you said “HIS holy convocations perpetually throughout all generations”

      In Genesis 17:13-14 it says, 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

      As you can see, circumcision was an everlasting covenant but in the New Testament, that covenant was fulfilled by the promised Holy Spirit after Jesus death, resurrection and ascension into heaven that you get circumcise in your heart by the Spirit of God when you put your trust in Jesus. This is seen in Romans 2:29 which says, 29 On the contrary, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart—by the Spirit, not the letter. That man’s praise is not from men but from God.

      1. Your points are very sound and I agree with you heartily!
        As a believer, I delight in following the parts of God’s law that He has laid on my heart. The festivals are not something I base my salvation on by any means, but I love the richness that they bring to my understanding of the gospel.
        However, I would never force anyone to observe them if they didn’t feel led to by the Holy Spirit and certainly wouldn’t judge them for their lack of participation.

        The laws have been fulfilled in Jesus but not abolished.
        “Don’t think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill. For most certainly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the Torah, until all things are accomplished. Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
        Matthew 5:17‭-‬19 WMB
        Yes, the HRM does fall into legalism when it comes to following the Torah to the letter. There is certianly a balance to it.
        Those who chose to be circumcised in Galatians 5:1-4 were “trying to be justified by the law” and that has never been my intention when I have chosen to follow the Torah’s commands that God has laid on my heart. I wear a tzitzit bracelet on my wrist because of Deut. 6:8. I want a reminder that I should love the Lord with all of myself, and this is a practical way. I don’t think that it is necessary to do, but it is something that brings me closer to God.

        I suppose, in other words, God knows what our heart attitude is, and that’s what’s important. 🙂

  2. You hit the nail on the head with your last statement. In all of scripture, old and new, we should be seeking God and seeing his character. He is the same yesterday today and forever.

  3. Biblical interpretation has two aspects when t comes to context and application.
    1. Context-meaning of words and verses are understood by reading it as a paragraph (verses above and below the verse you are focusing on).
    2. Application-Every Word of God is applicable for today or else we would tread on the side of liberal Christianity which, to be honest, it is an oxymoron, to say the least. For an example, we both know that the Law or the sacrificial system was fulfilled in Christ but we can apply it to day. For examples
    1. The Sabbath, we can take any day which we choose to reflect on the Lord and take extra time to read scripture and pray for family and friends.
    2. The animal sacrifice shows us the love of Jesus who was our sacrifice and also tells us that we must always confess our sins to Him. Another aspect that we can learn and apply animal sacrifice is that we can sacrifice our time to help someone or spend time with a widow, youth, family (doing things for the Lord together), and etc.

    We must understand that the Bible is relevant for today and also understand what Jesus fulfilled. Not to get too much into details, the Law has three parts, Civil, Moral, Ceremonial.
    1. Civil-Was for the Israelites in the time of the wilderness and when kings reign.
    2. Moral-Simple means God’s character which was before the Law and is still must be followed today, to be like Christ.
    3. Ceremonial- Jesus fulfilled it through His death on the cross and His resurrection. Jesus was our sacrifice for the sins of the world.

  4. Hermeneutics & Exegesis is something that the average lay Christian has no foundation in, which is a pity. The Bible is not subject to our individual interpretation either. Every scripture must be examined in its historical, literary, theological, and contextual lights. I wish more churches taught hermeneutics and Exegesis.

      1. I took Hermeneutics and Exegesis and it really opened my eyes to how much people butcher the Bible. I kinda shutter when I see scriptures shared out of context, and it’s not done maliciously, it’s just done out of ignorance.

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