No, Jesus Did Not Soften the Old Testament – In Fact He Did the Opposite

By Daniel Miessler | 21 June 2010
danielmiessler.com

Moderate Christians love to talk about how Jesus fixed the Old Testament, or, in other words, obsoleted the horribly offensive parts about slavery, keeping women in their place, killing gays, etc. In fact, he did no such thing.

I’ll be doing two things here:

  1. Show you that Jesus fully supported everything in the Old Testament
  2. Show you exactly how horrible that is.

So first, here is Jesus speaking specifically on the topic of Old Testament teachings:

The Law Stands

“For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 5:18-19

“It is easier for Heaven and Earth to pass away than for the smallest part of the letter of the law to become invalid.” — Luke 16:17

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest part or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.” — Matthew 5:17

“Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law” — John 7:19

Keep in mind, this is Jesus Christ saying this — in the Bible that all Christians own and cherish. Don’t take my word for it; look it up — it’s all there.

So now that we understand that he fully supported what’s in the Old Testament, let’s take a look at what he actually just commanded us to uphold.

The Law That Stands

Blasphemy is Punishable by Death

One who blasphemes the name of the LORD shall be put to death; the whole congregation shall stone the blasphemer. Aliens as well as citizens, when they blaspheme the Name, shall be put to death. (NRSV) — Leviticus 24:16

Cheaters Must Die

If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife — with the wife of his neighbor — both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death. (NIV) — Leviticus 20:10

Dishonoring Your Mother or Father is Punishable by Death

Anyone who dishonors father or mother must be put to death. Such a person is guilty of a capital offense. (NLT) — Leviticus 20:9

People Who Work on Sunday Should be Killed

You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day must be a Sabbath day of complete rest, a holy day dedicated to the LORD. Anyone who works on that day must be put to death. (NLT) — Exodus 35:2

If a Woman is Not a Virgin When She Gets Married, She Has to Die

“If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, and detests her, and charges her with shameful conduct, and brings a bad name on her, and says, ‘I took this woman, and when I came to her I found she was not a virgin,’ … and evidences of virginity are not found for the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones … (NKJV) — Deuteronomy 22:13-14,20-21

There’s Nothing Wrong With Slavery

Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. (NIV) — Leviticus 25:44

Gays Should be Put to Death

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them. (NRSV) — Leviticus 20:13

Women Should Shut the Hell Up and Do as They’re Told

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. (NIV) — Timothy 2:11-12

Keep in mind, these aren’t suggestions. They’re not optional. Remember what Jesus said, “Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven …” He also said they’re not open to any personal interpretation. It’s all very clear to anyone willing to actually read their Bible.

But don’t listen to an atheist, we’re the last people you should trust. Read your own Bible. All the references are there for you. It is you who must reconcile this evil.

But luckily there’s an easy solution: Ask yourself which is more likely:

  1. God and Jesus really are evil (which the Bible’s own text proves, if you open yours and look)
    or …
  2. It’s actually all made up, so there’s nothing to worry about.

The answer is #2. God is not evil, and neither is Jesus. Man made them up in order to control other men. Few things offer better proof of this than the actual teachings in the Bible. You, my kind and thoughtful Christian friends, do not need this. You are above it.

References

[1] Thanks to christianitydisproved.com for the list of Old Testament commands.

Daniel Miessler is an information security professional and writer born, raised, and living in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can find him on Twitter, on GitHub, or reach him at daniel@danielmiessler.com.

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55 COMMENTS

  1. haha all these christians defending an interpretation of the bible with their own interpretation. hilarious to read.

  2. You are quite right in your prposition that Jesus din not soften the Old-testament teachings – He fulfilled them.

    Moderate christians and even a range of other more liberal christians talk about fixing the Old-testament by making obsolete the horribly offensive parts concerning slavery,women,homosexuals,and the like.

    Jesus-of-Nazareth did say;

    “…not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

    And;

    “It is easier for Heaven and Earth to pass away than for the smallest part of the letter of the law to become invalid.”
    And;
    “Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law”.

    So therefore,
    let us look at the passages Daniel Miessler cites to prove 'The Law That Stands':

    BLASPHEMY IS PUNISHABLE BY DEATH;[Leviticus,c.XXIV:v.16]
    "One who blasphemes the name of the LORD shall be put to death,…"
    The Sanhedrin,Hebrew ruling council accused Jesus of this – that He equated Himself with God. To which Jesus replied,'it is as you say.' They put Him to death by proxy through the Roman magistrate of Jerusalem. In fact Jesus said,there are many things I said and done,for which do you charge Me with.

    CHEATERS MUST DIE;[Leviticus,c.XX:v.10]
    "If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife — with the wife of his neighbor — both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death."
    The people brought an adulteress to Jesus to judge and condemn according to the law. To which Jesus said,'He that is without sin among you,let him first cast a stone at her.'
    Non cast a stone. Until Jesus and the woman were left. To which,He said,'Where are your accusers,has no one condemned thee?'
    The woman said,no man,LORD. To which Jesus,the one without sin said,'…neither do I condemn thee;go,and sin no more.'

    DISHONORING YOUR MOTHER OR FATHER IS PUNISHABLE BY DEATH;[Leviticus,c.XX:v.9]
    "Anyone who dishonors father or mother must be put to death. Such a person is guilty of a capital offense."
    Since Jesus honoured His earthly father and mother until He became an adult to do His work,He had no reason to be put to death. Even while dying,He gave His mother into the care of John Zebedee,His best friend forever,[a.k.a.,'the disciple Jesus loved'].

    PEOPLE WHO WORK ON SUNDAY SHOULD BE KILLED;[Exodus,c.XXXV:v.2]
    "You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day must be a Sabbath day of complete rest, a holy day dedicated to the LORD. Anyone who works on that day must be put to death."
    The priest and leaders persecuted Jesus of doing work on the sabbath. To which Jesus said,'My Father worketh hitherto,and I work.' This led the Jews to kill Him all the more,not only for breaking the sabbath,but also that God was His Father.
    The sabbath traditionally was observed since the time of Jesus was on Saturday,Sunday was never the sabbath until the catholic-church,which grew out of the military-industrial complex,Roman-empire military-class incorporated pagan beliefs into the christian practices. Emperor Constantine preferred to celebrate feasting on Sunday to the sun-god Apollo/ Helios,[circa,c.e.,325].

  3. How come the selections used as “proof” are OT. Leviticus…OT. Where is what Jesus said that agreed? IF all the abominations of leviticus were valid, how come so many christians eat pork and shellfish, work on sunday, wear blends and all the other abominations that they are OK with now? The 10 commandments, OK………but most christians don’t FOLLOW THEM EITHER!

  4. I am a seeker of truth and light. I don’t label myself as an atheist, Christian or anything else. We are our own gods with the christ inside.. we are the trinity.. products of positive manifestation thru an intelligent force. Wake up people.. quit arguing and find the real answers.. they are right in front of your face.

  5. Everything said in the Bible is true, the part of Jesus fulfilling the law is correct, but Jesus didn’t come here to fulfill “the law” he came here to remove the curse God placed on man. And also, if Jesus really harden “the law” then why did forgive the adulterous woman and Barabbas the murderer and the theif on the cross. And in all the verses that you wrote were evidence that Jesus hardened the old law, none of them was Jesus’s words and many were in the old testament, so how can you say he made the law worse
    In addition Matthew 5:38-39(a few verses after matt5:18-19) state You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[a] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. This verse clearly contradict the old law. Your “evidence” has more holes than a broken basket. Please next time do a full research before constructing your article.

    • Because the bible is a freakish mess of contradictions. The adulteress nonsense was added. And the gospels contradict each other on what the thieves did and what JC did at the cross. Matthew just mentions them. Mark has the theives making fun of JC. Luke has the one thief asking for forgivness. John just mentions the theives. and there appears to be no forgiveness by JC to Barabbas (I could be just missing it).

      So, esther, you should read the bible before you go after someone about it.

  6. The rules of evidence are so weird for religious people. They change to whatever they feel like, and then they accuse atheists of having changeable morality!

    The worst cruelty in society comes from religious people. Secular morals outlaw slavery and racism, give rights to women and children and animals, and attempt to bring about a compassionate society. Throughout history all those things have been opposed by religion. Some religious people have adopted secular morality and become good people, but only by discarding the morality of the Bible.

  7. I always thought Jesus brought a more loving view to the Ten Commandments with the sermon on the mount. Less hypocritical approach and way more about forgiveness instead of harsh punishment. That why I love him even though I’m not a Christian as I love the message of many other great men and women

  8. Christians have desperately tried to tell me that that bit about the OT laws being in force doesn't exist, doesn't "really" mean what it literally says, etc.

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