We at “Living Love with Jesus” do not use Old or New Testament because that sends a false message. I am going to use an older version of the dictionary for my definitions, as it is more close to the original English meaning of the words we are discussing. Today words can change meanings in an instant, but, in the past, life did not change very quickly, nor did the meanings of words, until late in the 20th Century. A testament [or will] according to Noah Webster’s, American Dictionary of the English Language,1 1828, states:
A solemn authentic instrument in writing, by which a person declared his will as to the disposal of his estate and effects after his death. This is otherwise called a will. A testament, to be valid, must be made when the testator is of sound mind, and it must be subscribed, witnessed and published in such manner as the law prescribes. [note: will can be interchanged with testament, but the definition is the same as testament. This would make the old and new God’s will, which it is, in one sense [today], but at the time these were written, both testament and will were interchangeable, and will not fit with the truth as it was when it was first God breathed].
Now this can be done by the person writing it, but not God [He is the author of Scripture], He is not going to die or He could not be called “the Eternal God” in the verse below and there are many other verses which say the same thing:
Genesis 21:33 (NIV)2
Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the name of the LORD, the Eternal God.
Eternal, wonder what the Webster’s 1828 says here: “Without beginning or end of existence.” This rules out God, if it is called will or testament, because He is not ever going to die. He will never have to dispose of His estate or effects after His death. Also one person can write a testament, but the Bible is God’s plan and an agreement between God and man that is why many people refer to them as Old and New Covenants. Let us look a Webster’s 1828 again: Covenant, “A mutual consent or agreement of two or more persons.” This sounds much closer than testament, because God has time after time made agreements with people throughout the Bible. God asked people to do things and in return God says what He will do for those people, this can be found throughout the Bible. So then why not call it Old and New Covenant. Simple! There are many covenants throughout the Hebrew Text.
Let us look at the ones in the book of Genesis. God made a covenant with Noah before the flood [Gen. 6:18]. God made more with Noah after the flood [no more floods and the rainbow as proof, Gen. 9:9–17]. God made another covenant with Abram, to give his descendants what would be called the Promised Land, Genesis 15:18–21, and 17:2–8. After God had changed Abram’s name to Abraham, He made another Covenant, that of circumcision, with Abraham and all male descendants [Gen. 17:9–14]. God established another covenant with Isaac, and God told Abraham before Isaac was born, look at this section of Genesis 17:
Genesis 17:18–22 (NIV)
18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!” 19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.
God told Abraham that He was going to establish a covenant with Isaac “…as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him,” and this was before Isaac was even born! Laban and Jacob made a covenant [with each other], in Genesis 31:44.
As we have seen and we are only in Genesis there are many covenants in what some call the Old Covenant, so it appears that calling it the Old Covenant would be wrong, especially since there are covenants in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, and other places. In other words, covenants of all kinds were made throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. With that said, Hebrew Scriptures are the most accurate term to use; since testament, will, and covenant are out [I would at this time like to thank a brother Bob Wassung for teaching me this]. You cannot say Old Covenant because there are many covenants, and Old Covenants, + places emphasis where it should not be. By saying Hebrew Scriptures we are covering what needs to be emphasized, the fact that Hebrew prophets wrote, by revelation, all the 39 books therein. Hey! We never even talked about the “ark of the covenant.”
Now we will discuss the so called New Testament or New Covenant. You may want to know why we place the Gospels in this section. We Christians know that the Gospels complete the Hebrew Scriptures, fulfilling the prophecies about the coming Messiah. The reason this causes a problem is that Israel and the Jews do not believe that. Why? They do not believe Jesus was the Messiah, and because the Gospels were written by revelation to Christian prophets, they want nothing to do with them. To them this makes the Gospels part of the so called New Testament or New Covenant. I could stop here by saying that the same reasons used for not saying Old Testament or Old Covenant applies to the so called New Testament or New Covenant. So we will cut to the point, we refer to them as the Christian Scriptures, but let us look at them just a little.
Since we covered Testament and will earlier, we feel we do not need to waste our time since God cannot die, so we will look at New Covenant. What we will find is there are many covenants here as well, making calling this section of Scripture the New Covenant erroneous. We will look at a few. In Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; and Luke 22:20, Jesus says: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” some versions say new before covenant, the word new, is not in the Greek text. The KJV reads: new testament, which also is not how the Greek text reads. Covenant is the correct word in these verses.
In Luke 1:72, Jesus is referring to God’s covenant with Abraham, this is the same covenant in Act 3:25. When we get to Acts 7:8, the context shows this is a different covenant, this is referring to the “covenant of circumcision,” not the same covenant with Abraham of Luke 1, or Acts 3 above. In Romans we have another covenant, in chapter 11, we see in the context of the verses before and after 11:26 and 27, this is referring to a covenant I did not mention before in the Hebrew Scriptures [see Isa. 59:20 and 21; Jer. 31:33 and 34].
Romans 11:26 and 27 (NIV)
26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27 And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
This is talking about Israel, and to Christians, as he did take away our sin too! As we see it is another covenant. We find another covenant in 1 Corinthians 11:25, but it is the same as the ones in Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; and Luke 22:20.
Some will argue that 2 Corinthians 3, compares the old covenant with the new, and it does, but then we find many argue that the old is the promise to Abraham, but which one? Others say circumcision, and many say the covenant with Israel to take away their sins [Isa. 59:20 and 21; Jer. 31:33 and 34]. This section of the article is on covenants and again we see there is many discussed, making it hard to call the last part of the Bible, the New Covenant.
Many Christians think they have to live by every word in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Scriptures, but that is impossible as much of what is in the Hebrew Scriptures is for your learning [Rom. 15:4], but they are not written to you. The pronouns they, them, etc. are Israel and the Jews, not Christians. What new covenant is 2 Corinthians 3 talking about? There are more covenants mentioned in this new section, in the Bible! There are two listed in Galatian 3 and 4. Hebrews mentions covenant 16 times, and reading shows those to be four different covenants. One in Hebrews 7:22, says: “Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.” Yes a work needs to be done on covenants, but this to on what the Old and New parts of the Bible should be called.
After looking through the so called New Testament or New Covenant, there are again many covenants, making New Covenant not work either. We refer to it as the Christian Scriptures. By reading the beginning of all 27 books, we will see that Christian prophets wrote them by revelation, making them distinctly Christian, not Hebrew. We close with this; we of “Living Love with Jesus” refer to the old writings as Hebrew Scriptures and the new writings as Christian Scriptures. We can never understand the Truth of God’s Word without understanding, to whom any section of Scripture is written. The Hebrew Scriptures are full of things we do not do today, such as animal sacrifice, but the same can be said for the Christian Scriptures for Israel. As you read our materials, now you will understand our meaning when we say: Hebrew Scriptures and Christian Scriptures.