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originally posted by: FlyInTheOintment
Jesus allegedly wrote nothing during his life....
In your opinion, if Jesus actually authored the OT, what would be the purpose in depicting God in two drastically different ( and ) conflicting ways
originally posted by: FlyInTheOintment
I think he was being respectful of the source documents, and to be honest, his ways are not our ways - perhaps the whole purpose of a contradictory (in a surface reading) Bible is to promote debate & discussion on the nature of God, His attributes, and so on...?
originally posted by: FlyInTheOintment
An Easter thread which concerns the possibility that Jesus, as the Living Word of God, perhaps applied His divine hand in writing the Bible we have today, also known as the Word of God by many believers - both Jew & Christian alike.
originally posted by: AgarthaSeed
a reply to: FlyInTheOintment
How do you explain the difference in the overall depiction of God between the Old Testament and Jesus' teachings? If taken in a literary sense, the tone and character of God is drastically different. If looked at from an ideological view, YHWH from the Old Testament was a jealous, spiteful, and murdering God who only chose to speak to a select few people. From what we know, Jesus taught quite the opposite.
The Bible’s Viewpoint
Does God Change?
ANTHROPOLOGIST George Dorsey described the God of the “Old Testament” as “a savage God.” He added: “Yahweh is . . . utterly unlovely. He is the God of plunderers, of torturers, of warriors, of conquest.” Others have reached similar conclusions regarding the God of the “Old Testament”—Yahweh, or Jehovah. Thus, some today wonder whether Jehovah was in fact a cruel God who eventually changed his character to become the loving and merciful God of the “New Testament.”
Such an idea about the God of the Bible is not new. It was first propounded by Marcion, a semi-Gnostic of the second century C.E. Marcion repudiated the God of the “Old Testament.” He considered that God to be violent and vindictive, a tyrant who offered material rewards to those worshiping him. On the other hand, Marcion described the “New Testament” God—as revealed through Jesus Christ—as a perfect God, a God of pure love and mercy, of graciousness and forgiveness.
Jehovah Meets the Challenge of Changing Conditions
God’s very name, Jehovah, means “He Causes to Become.” This implies that Jehovah causes himself to become the Fulfiller of all his promises. When Moses asked God his name, Jehovah elaborated on its meaning in this way: “I shall prove to be what I shall prove to be.” (Exodus 3:14) Rotherham’s translation puts it this way: “I Will Become whatsoever I please.”
So Jehovah chooses to become, or proves to be, whatever is needed to fulfill his righteous purposes and promises. An evidence of this is the fact that he bears a wide array of titles and descriptive terms: Jehovah of armies, Judge, Sovereign, Jealous, Sovereign Lord, Creator, Father, Grand Instructor, Shepherd, Hearer of prayer, Repurchaser, happy God, and many others. He has chosen to become all of these—and much more—in order to carry out his loving purposes.—Exodus 34:14; Judges 11:27; Psalm 23:1; 65:2; 73:28; 89:26; Isaiah 8:13; 30:20; 40:28; 41:14; 1 Timothy 1:11.
Does this mean, then, that God’s personality or standards change? No. Regarding God, James 1:17 says: “With him there is not a variation of the turning of the shadow.” How could God meet the challenge of varying circumstances while remaining unchanging himself?
The example of caring parents who shift roles for the sake of their children illustrates how this is possible. In the course of a single day, a parent may be a cook, a housekeeper, an electrician, a nurse, a friend, a counselor, a teacher, a disciplinarian, and much more. The parent does not change personality when assuming these roles; he or she simply adapts to needs as they arise. The same is true of Jehovah but on a far grander scale. There is no limit to what he can cause himself to become in order to fulfill his purpose and to benefit his creatures.—Romans 11:33.
For example, Jehovah is revealed as a God of love and mercy in both the Hebrew and the Christian Greek Scriptures. The prophet Micah of the eighth century B.C.E. asked about Jehovah: “Who is a God like you, one pardoning error and passing over transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? He will certainly not hold onto his anger forever, for he is delighting in loving-kindness.” (Micah 7:18) Similarly, the apostle John wrote the famous words: “God is love.”—1 John 4:8.
On the other hand, in both parts of the Bible, Jehovah is presented as the righteous Judge of those who repeatedly, grossly, and unrepentantly violate his laws and harm others. “All the wicked ones [Jehovah] will annihilate,” said the psalmist. (Psalm 145:20) In a similar vein, John 3:36 states: “He that exercises faith in the Son has everlasting life; he that disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.”
Unchanging in Qualities
Jehovah’s personality and cardinal qualities—love, wisdom, justice, and power—have not changed. He told the people of Israel: “I am Jehovah; I have not changed.” (Malachi 3:6) This was some 3,500 years after God’s creation of mankind. True to that divine statement, a close examination of the Bible as a whole reveals a God who is unchanging in his standards and qualities. There has been no mellowing of Jehovah God’s personality during the centuries, since no such mellowing was needed.
God’s firmness for righteousness, as revealed throughout the Bible, is no less nor his love any greater than it was at the beginning of his dealings with humans in Eden. The differences in his personality seemingly demonstrated in various parts of the Bible are in reality different aspects of the same unchanging personality. These result from the differing circumstances and persons dealt with, which called for different attitudes or relationships.
Hence, the Scriptures show clearly that God’s personality has not changed over the centuries and will not change in the future. Jehovah is the supreme embodiment of constancy and consistency. At all times he is dependable and trustworthy. We can always rely on him.
The same God who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah . . .
. . . will bring about a righteous new world
Many feel the same way about the so-called Old Testament. They appreciate its account of Israel’s history and admire its beautiful poetry. Yet, they doubt that it is reasonable to follow guidance that is more than 2,400 years old. Scientific knowledge, commerce, and even family life are very different today from what they were when the Bible was written. Philip Yancey, a former editor of Christianity Today, writes in his book The Bible Jesus Read: “It doesn’t always make sense, and what sense it does make offends modern ears. For these and other reasons the Old Testament, three-fourths of the Bible, often goes unread.” That thinking is not new.
Less than 50 years after the apostle John’s death in about 100 C.E., a rich young man named Marcion publicly asserted that the Old Testament should be rejected by Christians. According to English historian Robin Lane Fox, Marcion argued that “‘God’ in the Old Testament was a ‘committed barbarian’ who favoured bandits and such terrorists as Israel’s King David. Christ, by contrast, was the new and separate revelation of an altogether higher God.” Fox writes that these beliefs “became ‘Marcionism’ and continued to attract followers, especially in the Syriac-speaking East, far into the fourth century.” Some of these ideas persist. As a result, over 1,600 years later, writes Philip Yancey, “knowledge of the Old Testament is fading fast among Christians and has virtually vanished in popular culture.”
Has the Old Testament been replaced? How can we reconcile “Jehovah of armies” in the Old Testament with “the God of love and of peace” in the New Testament? (Isaiah 13:13; 2 Corinthians 13:11) Can the Old Testament benefit you today?
“TO THE making of many books there is no end.” (Ecclesiastes 12:12) The glut of printed matter available today makes those words as true today as when they were written. How, then, can a discerning reader decide what deserves his attention?
When contemplating a book that they might read, many readers want to know something about the author. . . The identity of a writer is important, . . .
Sadly, as noted in the preceding article, some ignore the Hebrew Scriptures because they believe that the God portrayed therein is a cruel deity who destroyed his enemies without mercy.
Why, then, does it seem to some that the God revealed in the Hebrew Scriptures is different from the God of the Christian Greek Scriptures?
The answer is that different aspects of God’s personality are revealed in different parts of the Bible. In the book of Genesis alone, he is described as feeling “hurt at his heart,” as the “Producer of heaven and earth,” and as “the Judge of all the earth.” (Genesis 6:6; 14:22; 18:25) Do these differing descriptions refer to the same God? They certainly do.
To illustrate: . . . It is just that various aspects of his personality become apparent under different circumstances.
Similarly, the Hebrew Scriptures describe Jehovah as “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth.” Yet, we also learn that “by no means will he give exemption from punishment.” (Exodus 34:6, 7) Those two aspects reflect the meaning of God’s name.
Have the Hebrew Scriptures Been Replaced?
Jesus used the Hebrew Scriptures throughout his ministry