“…Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen for Myself to put My Name.” (Yahweh speaking, 1 Kings 11: 36)
Upsetting the Applecart—The New Testament is Commentary not Scripture, Part 2
I created a stir when I wrote an editorial titled “The New Testament is Commentary, not Scripture”. Within minutes of posting it, I got an angry email from a person on the SnyderTalk distribution list. She told me that she would not read SnyderTalk again, and worst of all according to her, she said that she would have to contact several of her friends to whom she had recommended SnyderTalk and tell them to stop reading it.
A day or so later, I got an email from a friend who advised me that I was creating a potential problem. The thrust of his comment was that I was confusing the elect and possibly causing some of them to lose faith. If they can’t rely on the New Testament, what can they believe in?
In another SnyderTalk editorial titled “Yahweh wants our attention. Will we give it to Him?”, I talked about a time in my life when I was wandering away from Yahweh. He wanted my attention and He got it.
A short while after the incident that I talked about in that editorial, I decided that it was time for me to get serious. I started studying the Bible. That was something I had never done before. Until then, I had read it casually at best.
I also started attending church regularly. That’s something I had never done before, either. As Yahweh would have it, there was a small group in the church that was as hungry for truth as I was. We had our own Sunday School class, and we delved deeply into the meaning of Yahweh’s word.
I did something else that changed my life in ways that I couldn’t have imagined. I started to take the literal meaning of the Bible seriously. I mean the entire Bible, not just the New Testament as most Christians are prone to do.
One day, a well-meaning member of our church who was not in our Sunday School class came up to me and offered me this bit of advice. He said, “Neil, I think a person shouldn’t be allowed to read the Old Testament until he has studied the New Testament for at least 2 years.”
The man I’m talking about was a university professor and a pillar of the church. People took him seriously. His fatherly advice struck me as peculiar, because by then I had understood what the Messiah meant when He said,
“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” (Matthew 5: 18)
He also said,
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5: 17)
The Messiah was referring to the Old Testament. If it’s so important, why would a respected member of my church tell me that I was on the wrong path? Eventually, I would understand why, and when I did, I had to confront a problem that plagues Christians all over the world. We have ignored Yahweh’s word and substituted commentary in its place.
I’m referring to the New Testament. I don’t have a problem with it. I’m simply pointing out that we need to understand what it is, and it’s not Scripture. I think Paul, the person responsible for most of the New Testament, is probably disheartened because of what so many believers have done with letters that he wrote.
It seems strange to me that so many Christians are critical of religious Jews for studying the Talmud, the Mishnah, and other commentaries while they ignore the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings. That’s the Old Testament or the Tanach.
Christians do the same thing. The Messiah had something to say about that:
“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7: 3)
It should be obvious that most of the New Testament is commentary. For example, take a look at 1 Corinthians 7: 25-38:
25 Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy. 26 I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you. 29 But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; 30 and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; 31 and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.
32 But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; 33 but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 35 This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.
36 But if any man thinks that he is acting unbecomingly toward his virgin daughter, if she is past her youth, and if it must be so, let him do what he wishes, he does not sin; let her marry. 37 But he who stands firm in his heart, being under no constraint, but has authority over his own will, and has decided this in his own heart, to keep his own virgin daughter, he will do well. 38 So then both he who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better.
Paul began by saying “I give an opinion”. Next, he said “I think”.
Paul’s opinion matters and it’s worth considering, but it’s not Scripture. That’s what he was saying. Since Paul didn’t elevate himself, why should we give him a place in our thinking that is reserved for Yahweh alone? Paul is not Yahweh, and Yahweh has spoken already.
Paul didn’t study his letters. He studied the Tanach. Daniel was reading Jeremiah’s prophecy when Yahweh showed him that the Babylonian captivity was coming to an end and that it was time to return to Jerusalem.
Daniel’s prophecy is part of the Tanach. He didn’t say “this is my opinion” and “I think”. He got the word straight from Yahweh. That’s evident. If Paul had gotten the passage from the New Testament that I quoted above directly from Yahweh, he would have said so.
Again, I’m not saying that the New Testament isn’t important. I’m simply trying to put it in its proper place. It’s commentary.
I realize that many believers will be offended by this editorial, too. They shouldn’t, but they will be. That’s Yahweh’s problem, not mine. My job is to tell people what I know.
The whole notion of church has become something that Yahweh never intended. I have a lot more to say about that subject, but I’ll save it for another day.
I want to conclude with these questions:
- Why would we put anyone in a position that Yahweh has reserved for Himself?
- Why does the pope wear a big hat and carry a scepter?
To see videos that explain the importance of God’s Name, click here.
“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17: 22-24)
See “His Name is Yahweh”.