So many people see a division in the scriptures, which is actually a logical division, but the name of each side of that division is very misleading. “Old Testament,” and “New Testament” are the names of the sides of the book.
This name was given first to the perceived “two covenants”, the Covenant that God made with Israel, and then a covenant that He is purported to have made with the ‘rest of the world’, or the Gentiles.
The problem is, when Yeshua enacted the Renewed Covenant, which is what the scriptures actually called it, He ratified the covenant in His own blood, with twelve Jewish men.
He renewed the covenant with Israel on that night of Passover, when He blessed the cup after the meal. He was referring to the prophecy of Jeremiah in regard to renewing the covenant with Israel:
“Behold, the days come, says יהוה , that I will make a Renewed Covenant [Brit Khadashah] with The House of Yisra’el, and with The House of Yehudah; not according to the Brit that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt [Mitzrayim]; forasmuch as they broke My Brit, although I was a husband to them, says יהוה . But this is the Brit that I will make with The House of Yisra’el after those days, says יהוה , I will put My Torah in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people; and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know יהוה ‘; for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says יהוה ; for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more’.
That act was complete, that promise of the forgiveness of sin, when Yeshua shed His Blood on the tree the next day. There was no more to do in regard to establishing that covenant. He Himself said, while hanging on the tree when He breathed His last breath, “It is finished”. There was no more work to be done to enact, ratify, set in motion the effect of that renewed ‘covenant’. Most of us agree.
However, there is some tampering with the meaning of the texts that actually contradict that fact. It was Marcion and Tertullian that gave the world the notion that the covenant with Israel was completely separate from the covenant He made with the rest of the world. Marcion preached that God had sent Jesus as an entirely new, strange god, distinct from the “vengeful” God who had created the world. Tertullian insisted that God had made ‘old and obsolete’ the first version of the covenant. He did so in 208 A.D. And ever since, the world has insisted that there are two distinct covenants, and NOT a former covenant RENEWED verbally with Israel that Passover night, and ratified with the signature of His own blood the next day. [He invited gentiles into that covenant some 30 years later].
This misleading idea even influenced translators 1,400 years later. King James, and most every translator since, when translating the scriptures into English, wrote INTO the text words that are NOT there in the original and early languages [Aramaic AND Greek], In order to support Tertullian’s notion. They tell us they are doing so, at least, by italicizing the inserted words in the English rendering. One of the most used passages in asserting that there was an ‘old’ covenant, and that it was replaced by a ‘new’ covenant, is Hebrews 8:6-13. Twice the translators had to insert a word to make the reading fit the twisted narrative:
“But now Yeshua the Messiah [HaMashi’akh] has received a ministry which is higher than that; just as the covenant in which He was made a mediator is lifted up, so are the promises better than those given in it. For if the first [ministry] had been faultless, then there would have been no need for the second. For He found fault with them and said, “‘Behold, the day is coming’, says יהוה , ‘when I will cut a renewed covenant with The House of Yisra’el and with The House of Yehudah….. [Paul quotes Jeremiah 31:30-33 almost word for word here, and finishes:] For He has spoken of a renewal [of ministry]; the first has become old, and that which is old and obsolete is near passing away.”
In most versions, where you see the bracketed word [ministry] above, you would instead see “covenant”. But, most readers are unaware that the italicized word is actually inserted into the English text, when it is not there in the original and early languages. Few ever endeavor to read the front of their Bibles to find out why words are in italics. A good Bible tells you: ‘word inserted for “clarity” ‘. No, word inserted to support human doctrine. If one looks at context, one can clearly see that ministry is the only word that should be implied there, looking in verse six:
“But now Yeshua the Messiah [HaMashi’akh] has received a ministry which is higher than that…”
Yes, the word covenant is in the next phrase; however, the rest of the context clears up that it is in fact the ‘ministry’ Paul is expounding here.
Verse 7 calls whatever the implied noun is faulty, by saying if [it] had been faultless, implying the noun was not faultless. And one could think maybe it is the covenant that had fault, as most of the world does, but, further reading shows us it was not the covenant that was at fault:
“For He found fault with them and said….”
“Them” is the people of Israel: they were the ministers, put in charge of the ministry: The Levitical Priesthood. Israel, the nation, was the minister of the covenant in its original form.
Further, whatever the implied noun is, it, as per Paul’s words here, had not yet gone away! If Yeshua ratified the covenant some 30-35 years before this book [Hebrews] was written, then the covenant was done; complete, finished. Just like Yeshua had said: “It is finished”. But, Paul says of this noun, “ [it] has become old, and that which is old and obsolete is near passing away.” Meaning, whatever he is writing about, it is still around! If Yeshua had not finished the covenant on the Tree, then NO ONE saved during those 30-40 years since was actually saved!
But it was finished. But, the ministry, the Levitical Priesthood, continued to operate until 70 A.D. And Messianic Jews still participated in the Sacrificial system, that Ministry, until such time that the ministry ended when Rome destroyed the Temple. We see Paul and four other Jews offering sacrifices in that Temple years after Paul’s salvation, to prove he was saved! [Acts 21:20-26] This letter, the Book of Hebrews, was written to Jewish believers in anticipation of that Temple’s destruction, and thus the final ‘passing away’ of that ministry. The book of Hebrews is NOT about a new ‘covenant’, but a renewed covenant being ratified under a new High Priest: Yeshua the Messiah, who had received a different and better Priesthood. [Heb 8:6]
The notion that the Covenant that God made with Israel went away is absurd, and is PROFANITY in the ears of God:
“What, then? Do we nullify the Torah through faith? What profanity! On the contrary, we firmly establish the Torah!” [through faith] Rom 3:31
Yeshua renewed the covenant with Israel, the twelve Jewish men we call apostles. That covenant was based on the righteous requirements of the Torah. Those requirements are met in us who trust in Yeshua’s blood, perfectly, so that we do not have to fear punishment if we falter; and every one of us will falter. But, He did not ‘undo’ the covenant with Abraham; instead, He affirmed it, and opened that same covenant to all nations, just like He promised Abraham that He would. [Gal 3:6-9 ; Eph 2:11-22 ; Rom 11:13-24] The scriptures are one book, telling one story, and built upon the Torah and the Prophets [what most people call ‘old testament’], as the very foundation of faith. [Eph 2:11-22] Either we use all scripture for doctrine and correction, or none. Most use only the latter half of the book, and they miss the whole picture. Yeshua is the King of Israel first, not of the Gentiles only. You serve the Jewish King, if you truly serve Messiah Yeshua.