Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Judaizer and the New Covenant

Against Judaizing: New Covenant or Renewed?

Recently, a messianic Judaizer in the paltalk chatrooms going under the name of benyonah insisted that the Scriptures teach that Jeremiah 31:31 is speaking of a "REnewED" covenant, not a "new" covenant.  His argument was solely based on the Hebrew text.  He insisted brith chodesh means h"renewed covenant," and not new Covenant, however, this is not necessarily true.

Although this person rejected the Greek of Hebrews, I will still present how it does not teach a Renewed covenant. Hebrews 8 is incompatible with a “renewed” covenant claim:

But Jesus has now obtained a more excellent ministry, and to that degree he is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted through better promises.  For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need to look for a second one. God finds fault with them when he says: "The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors, on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue in my covenant, and so I had no concern for them, says the Lord. This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach one another or say to each other, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more." In speaking of "a new covenant," he has made the first one obsolete. And what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear.—Hebrews 8:6-13
My question is how can anyone take from Hebrews 8 that there is not a completely new covenant, how do you get it’s only a renewed covenant when the Sacred Writer states the second was “better” than the first, that the first was not “faultless,” why does he contrast the 2 covenants? Why does he say the first one is obsolete? Some claim that Jeremiah 31 is actually when it says “new covenant” even here means “renewed.”  However, Hebrews 8:8 simply says “new” in the Greek.  Here is the English and Greek of the verse:

I will establish a new covenant [διαθήκην καινήν] with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah

συντελέσω ἐπὶ τὸν οἶκον ἰσραὴλ καὶ ἐπὶ τὸν οἶκον ἰούδα διαθήκην καινήν
The word for new in Hebrews 8:8 is “καινήν” which simply means new.  It is not the Greek word for renewed however, for it to say renewed it simply needed the prefix “ana.”  Some may argue that was intended by the author of Hebrews, however, if the author intended this he would have simply used the word for renewed in Hebrew 8:8 since he did so previously in Hebrews 6:6
 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put [him] to an open shame. (KJV)

If they shall fall away, to renew [ἀνακαινίζειν] them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put [him] to an open shame.—Hebrews 6:6

 καὶ παραπεσόντας, πάλιν ἀνακαινίζειν εἰς μετάνοιαν, ἀνασταυροῦντας ἑαυτοῖς τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ παραδειγματίζοντας.
So if the word was used here, why couldn’t the sacred author use it 2 chapters later for talking about the “renewed covenant”?

Anyway, this messianic believer insisted we have to go to the original language to know if it refers to an new or renewed covenant or not.  He insisted the Hebrew said renewed covenant.  The Hebrew for new covenant, or “renewed covenant” as he claims is ‘brith chodesh’.

הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים, נְאֻם-יְהוָה; וְכָרַתִּי, אֶת-בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֶת-בֵּית יְהוּדָה--בְּרִית חֲדָשָׁה.

Here are translations from non Christian Jewish sources:

Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, and I will form a covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, a new covenant.—

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah;-

See, a time is coming—declares the LORD—when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah.—The Jewish Study Bible*

*This bible thought not stating it means “renewed” covenant seems to suggest it in the footnotes. Except it states it was renewed after the Babylonian exile.

But does chedesh mean simply “renew” as the messianic insisted?

חֲדָשָׁה, chodesh, in this exact spelling is found 17 times In the Hebrew Bible in 16 verses.  Here are the verses(all according to the KJV), notice, many of these cannot refer to “renewing” or “restoring”:

AV Lv 23:16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.
AV Num 28:26 Also in the day of the firstfruits, when ye bring a new meat offering unto the LORD, after your weeks [be out], ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work:
 For these two verses, does a “renewed” meat offering make any sense?
AV Dt 24:5 . When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: [but] he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.

Does a man take a renewed wife??
AV 1Sa 6:7 Now therefore make a new cart, and take two milch kine, on which there hath come no yoke, and tie the kine to the cart, and bring their calves home from them:
AV 2Sa 6:3 And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that [was] in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart.
AV 1Ch 13:7 And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart.

 Did they just slap a new coat of paint on the cart and call it new? Don’t think so.
AV 2Sa 21:16 And Ishbibenob, which [was] of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear [weighed] three hundred [shekels] of brass in weight, he being girded with a new [sword], thought to have slain David.
Did he just get his sword refurbished? Not likely.
AV 1Ki 11:29 And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two [were] alone in the field:
Does a “renewed” garment/cloak here sound reasonable?
AV 2Ki 2:20 And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought [it] to him.
Cruse is an archaic KJV word for pan or pot, again it seems unlikely that it was a “renewed” cruse.
AV Isa 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, [and] rivers in the desert.
Did God mean “I will make a renewed thing”?
AV Isa 65:17 . For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
Is God saying He created a renewed heaven and earth even though the old ones will be forgotten?
AV Jer 31:22 How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.
Something else that is created “renewed”?
AV Ezk 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:
AV Ezk 18:31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
AV Ezk 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
The heart is NEW, since God explicitly says the old heart of stone is taken out.  Does this mean people only get a refurbished spirit?
Despite all these verses the word Chodesh simply means new most of the time, not renewed, the messianic insisted on using Isaiah 66:23 where it states from “new moon to new moon” and insisted that its not a NEW moon, but the same moon.  It is not a new moon or a renewed moon really, it’s the same old moon. Regardless, the Hebrew actually says the following in the verse:

וְהָיָה, מִדֵּי-חֹדֶשׁ בְּחָדְשׁוֹ, וּמִדֵּי שַׁבָּת, בְּשַׁבַּתּוֹ; יָבוֹא כָל-בָּשָׂר לְהִשְׁתַּחֲוֹνת לְפָנַי, אָמַר יְהוָה.

Vehayah midey-chodesh bechodsho umidey shabat beshabato yavo chol-basar lehishtachavot lefanay amar Adonay.

AV Isa 66:23 And it shall come to pass, [that] from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.
The problem is that the word moon is never even used in the Hebrew. The word moon in used about 26 times in the Hebrew Masoretic text and the word is יָרֵחַ and its not used at all in Isaiah 66.  חֹדֶשׁ in the Hebrew scriptures in instances like this means “month” as in

אֶת-חַג הַמַּצּוֹת, תִּשְׁמֹר--שִׁבְעַת יָמִים תֹּאכַל מַצּוֹת כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִךָ לְמוֹעֵד חֹדֶשׁ הָאָבִיב, כִּי-בוֹ יָצָאתָ מִמִּצְרָיִם; וְלֹא-יֵרָאוּ פָנַי, רֵיקָם.

Et-chag hamatsot tishmor shiv'at yamim tochal matsot ka'asher tsiviticha lemo'ed chodesh ha'aviv ki-vo yatsata miMitsrayim velo-yera'u fanay reykam

AV Ex 23:15 Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:)
Notice the same word found in Isaiah 66:23 translated as “moon” is in the KJV translated here as “month.” 
 For Isaiah 66:23 the King James and older bibles do say “new moon to new moon”, whereas other translations like the Youngs Literal translate it as month:

And it hath been from month to month, And from sabbath to sabbath, Come do all flesh to bow themselves before Me, Said Jehovah.—Youngs Literal
It may be implied that it is a new moon, but it would only be saying "new" with the moon part implied.
Whether or not it is refering to a new moon, the moon is not "renewed."

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