Verse 6 (Changing Rules)
Patheos' Bob Seidensticker claims there is a contradiction here and makes the following comments (italicized):
|“||God's rules keep changing
God made an “everlasting covenant” with Abraham, but then he tore that one up and made another one with Moses. The New Testament continues the confusion. It can’t decide whether to look backwards and honor existing law or to tear it up yet again, because it says both. First, Jesus commits to existing law:
Matthew 5:17-18 ¶ Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
But then the book of Hebrews weaves a legal case that argues that Jesus is a priest in the line of Melchizedek, which ought to take priority over the existing priesthood in the line of Aaron. Here it quotes an Old Testament declaration of God to justify a new covenant.
Hebrews 8:6-13 ¶ But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
Jesus is a dramatic change to Judaism, and there must be some logic to justify Christians changing their worship day, dropping the sacrifices, worshiping a new guy in addition to Yahweh, and so on. That rationalizes away one problem, but the overall problem—the various substories don’t fit together in the overall plot—remains. (More: “The Bible Story Reboots. Have You Noticed?”)
First of all, God never nullified His covenant with Abraham when making a covenant with Moses, that is a blatant mischaracterization by the critic. God's covenant with Abraham was that Abraham's descendants would have the land of Israel, while circumcising their male children and worshiping God. (Genesis 17:7-21; 15:17-21) This commandment was continued under Moses. (Leviticus 12:3). It was certainly not inconsistent or discontinued under the Mosaic Law, indeed Jews today continue to practice circumcision.
Secondly, the new covenant under Jesus that the critic refers to in Hebrews 8 was foretold centuries earlier by the prophet Jeremiah; indeed Hebrews 8 is quoting exactly what Jeremiah said. (Jeremiah 31:31-34) Moses himself told the Israelites that God would raise them up a Prophet to bring them new commandments, and that the Israelites would be punished if not listening to that Prophet. (Deuteronomy 18:15-19) The New Testament repeatedly states that Jesus is that Prophet. (John 1:45; Acts 3:22-23; 7:37)
Thirdly, nothing in the New Testament requires that Christians meet on Sunday rather than Saturday. According to John Calvin in 'Instruction in Faith' the change from Saturday to Sunday was made to avoid legalism by Jewish Christians. To quote Calvin, "As our human weakness does not allow such assemblies to meet every day, the day observed by the Jews has been taken away (as a good device for eliminating superstition) and another day has been destined to this use. This was necessary for securing order and peace in the Church." However, such a practice is not based upon any explicit New Testament teaching.
Fourthly, Israel has long since stopped the sacrifices regardless. This occurred, as prophesied in Daniel 9:25-27, following the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 70 by Nero. God said, long before Jesus arrived, that He disapproved of the Jewish sacrifices and sabbaths, taking no pleasure in them. (Isaiah 1:11-15; 66:3; Hosea 6:6; Jeremiah 7:22-23; Psalms 51:16-19; 40:6; 50:8-15; 1 Samuel 15:22) Daniel's prophecy, by the way, perfectly predicted that the Messiah would arrive 483 years (69 weeks of years) after the rebuilding of Jerusalem (444/445 B.C.; cp. Nehemiah 2:1) so the Messiah should have arrived around 38/39 A.D. For more on this, see Scientific Evidence.
Fifthly, the one the Israelites were worshiping was always Jesus. What many people don't realize is that when God spoke to Moses originally in the burning bush, to Abraham even earlier, and to Jacob, it was not God the Father speaking, but the 'Angel of the Lord' who spoke. (Exodus 3:2-4; Genesis 22:15-18; 31:11-13; 32:28-30; 48:16) Jesus Himself said He was the original God of the Israelites. (John 8:56-58) For that reason it is written that Jesus came to His own and they did not receive Him. (John 1:11; cp. Isaiah 53:3-4) For more on Jesus as the Angel of the Lord, see Christophanies.
- ↑ Seidensticker, P. (2018, October 20). "Top 20 Most Damning Bible Contradictions." Patheos.
- ↑ Calvin, J. (1537). "Instruction in Faith." pp. 31-32. Westminster/John Knox Press.
- ↑ Lohnes, K. (2018, August 29). "Siege of Jerusalem." Encyclopedia Britannica.