In this post I will argue: 1.The biblical depiction of Jesus is contradictory when it concerns the Law. In many passages of the bible, Jesus is depicted as being irreverent towards the Old Testament laws and the prophets, and at other times he appears reverent towards the law. As a result of this contradiction, nothing can be said as to whether Christians are supposed to follow the Old Testament laws, or whether they are not supposed to follow the Old Testament laws.--Jesus is inconsistent and contradicts himself in reference to the laws, and: 2. The Bible's conception of salvation is contradictory, and as a result of this contradiction, nothing can be said as to how Christians can gain salvation.
1. The bible depicts Jesus as being irreverent towards the law when he taught the crowd to stop stoning a woman for adultery,(John 8:1-11) and when he stated it is not what goes in your mouth which defiles you, but what comes out, (Matt 15:11) and picking corn on the Sabbath (Matt 2:23), etc. However, on other occasions, the bible depicts Jesus as being very reverent towards the Old Testament laws and the prophets. According to Jesus as stated in the Fulfillment Passages of Matthew 5:17-20, everyone is supposed to follow all the laws and the prophets of the Old Testament:
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven."Matt 5:17-20
In the fulfillment passages, Jesus said to NOTHING WILL DISAPPEAR FROM THE LAW UNTIL HEAVEN AND EARTH DISAPPEAR. This means all of the 613 laws and the prophets HAVE to be obeyed.
But, in their attempt to make words mean whatever they want them to mean via "Humpty Dumpty Semantics, many Christians claim the word fulfill actually means to abolish, as in to do away with. They claim that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament laws, and that they are under a "New Covenant" and therefore the old laws do not apply to them. If it is the case that "fulfill" means to "abolish," then it would read "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to ABOLISH them--and make the fulfillment passages completely contradictory.
Christians sometimes try to substitute the word 'complete' for 'fulfill':
Definition for the word 'complete' - finished; ended; concluded: a complete orbit.
Definition of 'abolish' - to do away with; put an end to; annul.
Lets take the definition of 'fulfill' - to bring to an end; finish or complete, as a period of time.
Lets do the substitution: "Do not think that I have come to "bring to an end" to the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to "put them to an end" but to "put an end to" them.
This too is totally contradictory and makes no sense. Clearly christians are supposed to follow all the laws and all the prophets until heaven and earth disappear. So, according to the fulfillment passages, everyone is supposed to obey all of the Old Testament laws and the prophets, and everyone is NOT supposed to obey the Old Testament laws and prophets. This is a contradiction. Therefore, nothing can be said as to whether Christians are supposed to follow the Old Testament laws, or whether they are no supposed to follow the Old Testament laws.--Jesus is inconsistent and contradicts himself in reference to the laws.
Let us consider objections.
Objection 1. Some claim Jesus "clarifies" the law, and sets out which laws are to be followed by everyone, and which ones were only meant for the Jews. This is founded on the claim that we are to "interpret Scripture in light of Scripture." Let's look at one example of this move offered by JW Wartick. He claims that the statements made by Jesus in the fulfillment passages:
"... must be taken in light of the rest of Scripture. The ceremonial laws set in Leviticus were for the Hebrew people in the Covenant of the Law. We are not bound by these laws, as stated in other passages (Acts 10:15, Colossians 2:16, Galatians 5:6, and elsewhere). To argue otherwise is to argue against Scripture. It is to argue by selective observation (a logical fallacy)." *
Actually, this is NOT how logic works. It would be a logical fallacy if one only accepted the fulfillment passages and totally ruled out any other passages that made reference to the law. In this case, I am not ignoring the other passages, as I have already pointed them out. I am arguing that the other passages in which Jesus seems irreverent towards the law, illustrates a contradiction. For in the fulfillment passages, Jesus said "ANYONE"--which is a universal term. He did not single out Jews or Gentiles, or anyone else--he said "ANYONE." He did not say "any Jews" or "any Gentiles." Thus, we have a passage where Jesus said, "Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven," and we have passages where Jesus implies that some may break the least of the laws, which would mean not "anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven."
When a text has statements that contradict each other, as in this case with reference to the law, then any results obtained from that point further are also contradictions and faulty. A contradiction contaminates anything it touches. The law of exclusion is directly violated by the presumed condition, and the entire result is null. Therefore, nothing is entailed from the Bible as to who should and should not follow the law since we have a contradiction!
Objection 2. Some claim that Jesus was only making reference to the first 10 commandments. But this use of Humpty Dumpty semantics does not work, as Jesus said NOTHING WILL DISAPPEAR FROM THE LAW, AND ALL THE PROPHETS ARE TO BE OBEYED UNTIL HEAVEN AND EARTH DISAPPEAR. He did NOT say "Hey, lets get rid of the laws except the 10 commandments." He said, "nothing will disappear from the law until heaven and earth disappear," which encompasses every law, and every prophet. Not some of them, or a few of them, or the ones Christians choose to cherry pick--but ALL of them.
Objection 3. Some claim that Jesus was only making reference to Jews in the fulfillment passages, and not Gentiles. However, this does not work either, as Jesus says ANYONE. He does not distinguish between Jews and Gentiles. But if this objection was correct, then almost nothing Jesus said would be making reference to Christians or anybody else, other than Jews. But clearly, the passage says ANYONE and does not distinguish between different groups of people.
Objection 4. Some claim that Jesus "reinterpreted" them in their truth. But this is a direct contradiction to what Jesus said when he said to follow all the laws, "...until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law." So, according to Jesus.
Objection 5. Some Christians claim that they are under a "New Covenant." The definition of a covenant is the agreement between God and the ancient Israelites, in which God promised to protect them if they kept His law and were faithful to Him.
Below is the passage often cited for the "New Covenant" and it is argued that Jesus fulfilled the law, so christians believe they no longer have to follow the old law, and are under a "New Covenant."
"In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. " Luke 22:20
Nowhere in Luke does it say that Christians are no longer required to follow the laws set out by god. If they interpret such new covenant passages as to state that they are no longer required to follow the old law, that is a contradiction because in Matthew it says ALL the laws must be followed until heaven and earth pass away.
I repeat, if you read the passages from Matthew, Jesus clearly states that all the laws and all the prophets must be obeyed until heaven and earth pass away. ie. until the end of time.
Christians in the NT often argue that god's love is unconditional, and this mistake is a result of following this so-called "New Covenant" teaching. However, as illustrated below in part 2 of this post, Deuteronomy clearly states that god's love is based on keeping his commandments. This reveals that god's love is conditional and based on keeping all of his commandments. When Jesus implied that the laws equal love, this means that if you love god, you will keep his commandments. I challenge anybody to show how all of the 613 laws, each one of them in particular equals love in some other manner than I stated above---if you love god, then you will keep his commandments. For instance, how does stoning a woman to death if she commits adultery equal "love"? How does selling another person into slavery equal "love"? How does stoning a homosexual to death equal "love"?--other than selling others into slavery, and stoning people to death who break the law, and because you love God, you will obey his laws and carry out his judgements.
Objection 6. Jesus said "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone." Many Christians take this to mean that according to Christianity they are all sinners and are not to be judged, as they are incapable of following the laws, thus, they receive "grace" because of their filthy nature.
2. The bible is inconsistent and contradictory with regards to salvation. Paul contradicts Jesus when he claimed salvation only comes through god's grace, as according to Jesus, one is supposed to follow all the laws and all the prophets until heaven and earth disappear. What Jesus said is corroborated by the Old Testament as Yahweh made his love for his people CONDITIONAL to following his laws and commandments.
In the original Hebrew translation of Deuteronomy we find:
Deuteronomy 7:11 Hebrew Study Bible (Apostolic / Interlinear)
וְשָׁמַרְתָּ֨ אֶת־ הַמִּצְוָ֜ה וְאֶת־ הַֽחֻקִּ֣ים וְאֶת־ הַמִּשְׁפָּטִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֨ר אָנֹכִ֧י מְצַוְּךָ֛ הַיֹּ֖ום לַעֲשֹׂותָֽם׃ פ
KJV with Strong's
Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments and the statutes and the judgments which I command thee this day to do them.
Deuteronomy 7:12 Hebrew Study Bible (Apostolic / Interlinear)
וְהָיָ֣ה עֵ֣קֶב תִּשְׁמְע֗וּן אֵ֤ת הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים֙ הָאֵ֔לֶּה וּשְׁמַרְתֶּ֥ם וַעֲשִׂיתֶ֖ם אֹתָ֑ם וְשָׁמַר֩ יְהוָ֨ה אֱלֹהֶ֜יךָ לְךָ֗ אֶֽת־ הַבְּרִית֙ וְאֶת־ הַחֶ֔סֶד אֲשֶׁ֥ר נִשְׁבַּ֖ע לַאֲבֹתֶֽיךָ׃
KJV with Strong's
Wherefore it shall come to pass if ye hearken to these judgments and keep and do them that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers.
Deuteronomy 7:13 Hebrew Study Bible (Apostolic / Interlinear)
וַאֲהֵ֣בְךָ֔ וּבֵרַכְךָ֖ וְהִרְבֶּ֑ךָ ו־ בִטְנְךָ֣ וּפְרִֽי־ אַ֠דְמָתֶךָ דְּגָ֨נְךָ֜ וְתִֽירֹשְׁךָ֣ וְיִצְהָרֶ֗ךָ שְׁגַר־ אֲלָפֶ֙יךָ֙ וְעַשְׁתְּרֹ֣ת צֹאנֶ֔ךָ עַ֚ל הָֽאֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־ נִשְׁבַּ֥ע לַאֲבֹתֶ֖יךָ לָ֥תֶת לָֽךְ׃
KJV with Strong's
And he will love thee and bless thee and multiply thee he will also bless the fruit of thy womb and the fruit of thy land thy corn and thy wine and thine oil the increase of thy kine and the flocks of thy sheep in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee.
A conditional statement, if...P, then Q, is made up of an antecedent, P and a consequent, Q. In the Hebrew version the consequent consists of a conjunction where Q is (covenant and mercy and love).
Thus, we have the New International Version below, which summarizes the above as:
New International Version
"If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the LORD your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your forefathers."
Therefore, Yahweh's love is CONDITIONAL to following all of his laws and commandments, and according to Hebrews 10:26-27, if believers have these laws written on their hearts, and they willfully sin, then they go to hell, as salvation is a ONE TIME only offer, and if believers continue to sin willfully after being saved--they go to hell. And no, this does not just apply to "apostates" as many Evangelicals like to claim, but to ANYONE that has the "law" written on their hearts. This means there is no such "condition" which allows believers to continue to sin, repent, sin, repent.....and repeat when necessary. This passage is telling believers that once they have accepted Jesus' ONE TIME sacrifice for their sins, they must follow those laws "written on their heart" or face the "raging fire that will consume the enemies of God."
"If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God." Hebrews 10:26-27
Therefore, in the NT, since Jesus said to follow ALL the laws and ALL the prophets until heaven and earth disappear, and in the OT Yahweh makes it clear that his love is conditional to following ALL of his commandments--the christian god Yahweh's love is conditional to following ALL of his laws!--and if you do not, you end up in Hell.
So we have some passages that state Yahweh's love is conditional and salvation is based on following all of the laws and all of the prophets, and others passages that state his love is not conditional, and that salvation is not based on following all the laws and all the prophets.
Furthermore, some passages in the bible state that redemption can ONLY come from god and it is NOT of themselves--which means they have no free will to believe or not to believe, and therefore they have no say in their "salvation":
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—" Ephesians 2:8
While other passages in the Bible allude to the notion that the will of humanity is free to choose whether he/she accepts God or not, and thus play a part in their own salvation.(Acts 3:19) Thus, we have a contradiction where salvation is due solely to God, and that salvation is not due solely to God.
When a text has statements that contradict each other, as in this case with reference to salvation, then any results obtained from that point further are also contradictions and faulty. A contradiction contaminates anything it touches. The law of exclusion is directly violated by the presumed condition, and the entire result is null. Therefore, nothing is entailed from the Bible as to how to gain salvation.
Therefore, as a result of contradictions, nothing is entailed from the Bible as to who should or who should not follow the law, or as to how to gain salvation.