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

    By Daniel Miessler | 21 June 2010

    (Credit: Renata Sedmakova /

    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.


    [1] Thanks to 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

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    1. 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.

    2. 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

    3. 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.

    4. All I know is that if God wanted me to believe in him, he would have given me a clearer way to understand his existence. Not some jumbled up, misrepresented, not really meaning what it says, Book. If I was God I'd be furious by what they did to my story, I would have to prove it either right or wrong, what is the point of trying to have followers if they have no true teachings to follow. (Yes, I know, he's God, he doesn't have to prove anything, crap!)


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