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Where did the terms “Old Testament” and “New Testament” come from?

May 31, 2009

The first recorded time this kind of designation was used was by Melito of Sardis in the late second century (recorded in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 4.26.14; available online at [accessed on 5/29/09]). In his listing of the books of the Hebrew Scriptures, the first such list among the extant Christian writings, he called the group of writings the “Old Covenant” (Greek: palaia diatheke). The Greek word for “covenant” (diatheke) was translated by Jerome in the fifth century into the Latin Vulgate as testamentum. Since the Latin Vulgate was widely used throughout the Middle Ages, it greatly influenced later translations into vernacular languages. Thus, for example, one of the first English translations of the Bible, made by John Wyclif in the fourteenth century (1382), translated diatheke as “testament,” following the Latin testamentum. William Tyndale’s sixteenth-century English translation followed suit (1524), along with the Geneva Bible (1557), as did the translators of the 1611 King James Bible. Thus, today the two divisions of the English Bible are known as the Old and New Testaments, although in the English text diatheke is usually translated as “covenant.” The two words are therefore regarded as basically synonymous.

Now a question about these designations . . . Recently I had a conversation with a theologically-minded friend who objected to calling the Hebrew Scriptures the “Old Testament.” His concern seemed to be that using that appellation implicitly conveys a sense that the Hebrew Scriptures were not relevant to the Christian Church. Issues of nomenclature are by no means irrelevant, but instead communicate our most basic assumptions about a given reality. Thus, calling the 39 books of the Hebrew Scriptures the “Old Testament” has vast theological import. What do you think? Should we not call that body of writings the “Old Testament”? If not, then what is a better description?

128 Comments leave one →
  1. Matthew Crawford permalink
    June 1, 2009 10:16 pm

    Here’s another part of the perceived problem. If we assume that “Old Testament” refers to the Mosaic Covenant (which I think most would agree to), then the phrase “Old Testament” misses a lot of the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures. What about everything that preceded the Mosaic Covenant? For example, is it correct also to call the material from Genesis 1 through the first half of Exodus the “Old Testament”?

    • Richard Aragon permalink
      January 1, 2019 7:50 pm

      I, personally, have no problem including the Pentateuch as part of the Old Testament/Mosaic Covenant designation since it was Moses who wrote those first books. The Mosaic Covenant characterizes all that follows in the Biblical history. Moses appears to be the key to understanding the “Old Testament.” Stephen’s sermon in Acts 7 and the book of Hebrews would support this.

  2. June 3, 2009 11:36 am

    Matt –

    You say, “…John Wyclif in the fourteenth century (1382), translated diatheke as “testament,” following the Latin testamentum.”

    Is this right? I thought Wyclif translated the Vulgate into English, not the Greek into English. I’m pretty sure Tyndale was the first to translate the Greek text into English. Perhaps I’m mistaken?

  3. Matthew Crawford permalink
    June 3, 2009 11:42 am

    Yep. That’s right, John. Thanks for catching it. Wyclif was translating from the Vulgate anyway, so it’s not surprising that he went with “Testament” for “testamentum.” Maybe in the English language at that time “testament” was widely understood as a basic synonym for “covenant” anyway. I have no idea. At any rate, “testament” seems to have widely lost the sense of “covenant” in modern English usage.

    • January 28, 2011 9:11 pm

      and it is a ‘damnable heresey to deliberatly throw the people off that somehow Elohim change his mind ps.89:34…jer.31:31…..heb.8:10

  4. June 3, 2009 12:18 pm

    Matt et al. –

    Are you all aware of the NIV’s translation of Hebrews 9:15ff: 15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance–now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. 16 In the case of a will [διαθηκη], it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, 17 because a will [διαθηκη] is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living.

    The NIV has actually used the primary Greek meaning of the word diatheke, “will” or “testament.” [see;query=entry%3D%2324802;layout=;loc=diaqhkhmiai%3Dos%5D. Although there is some evidence of this meaning in Greek, the reason we translate διαθηκη as covenant is because the LXX translated berith “covenant” with διαθηκη.

    I think the NIV is wrong in this text to translate διαθηκη as will or testament, since the author is describing the ancient covenant initiation ceremony, but the fact that διαθηκη is primarily a testament, may indicate why Jerome translated it the way he did.

    • January 28, 2011 9:24 pm

      the greek culture ie; translations,reasoning,dileberation was abhorrent to the hebrew culture their views and renditions of the hebrew thought was heathen and revamped by what the emperors handed down and vested with pagan overtone the messiah was hebrew walked in a hebrew culture kept the feasts kept the sabbath and even went against established temple rule because of changes that were implemented by mens opinion and agenda the torah will be kept in the kingdom we will never have another the only law the was abolished was the law of sin and death( the transgression of the torah-instructions which the greeks erroneously translate LAW!!!

      • Mark Resner permalink
        November 22, 2011 3:54 pm

        Galatians 3:19. Τι ουν ο νομος? των παραβασεων χαριν προσετεθη, αχρις ου ελθη το σπερμα ω επηγγελται…ωστε ο νομος παιδαγωγος ημων γεγονεν εις Χριστον, ινα εκ πιστεως δικαιωθωμεν. ελθουσης δε της πιστεως ουκετι υπο παιδαγωγον εσμεν
        Then why the Torah? It was added as a gift because the transgressions until whenever the seed which was promised would come…so then, the Torah had become our pedagogue unto Messiah, that we could be justified from faith, but after the Faith came, we are no longer under the Pedagogue.

        Shut your mouth. Go into your closet. Pray. Your zealousness for the Torah has made you a mouthpiece of Satan. Remember that Messiah has died for you. He fell on your neck with a kiss in baptism. Prefer not your place of the older brother. Do not refuse to enter the feast. Eat the Messiah. Drink His blood of the new covenant. Pinch yourself, for you are still in the flesh. You seem to be a Hebrew according to the flesh, but you contradict the Hebrew Messiah as well as Saul, the Hebrew of Hebrews. Take hold of the perfect repentance of Messiah in the wilderness, lest you continue as you are, for you are inches from cutting yourself out of the New Covenant.

      • Anonymous permalink
        July 12, 2016 2:50 pm

        excellent !

      • Chris.jones permalink
        July 27, 2017 4:54 pm


        What does the Bible say the New Covenant is? According to Jeremiah 31:33 YHWH says “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says YHWH: I will put My Torah in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.”

        Per YHWH’s own words the New Covenant will include the ENTIRE Torah being written on our hearts…none of it will disappear.

        Yahshua (Jesus) also said in Matthew 5:17-19 that “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Torah till all is fulfilled”. We don’t see heaven and Earth pass away until Revelation 21:1 which is AFTER the 1000 year reign of Yahshua. So, per Yashua’s own words and since Yahshua hasn’t returned yet, the Torah is not done away with right now.

        Thirdly, many are quick to quote Paul’s epistles as defense for the belief that Torah has been done away with after Yahshua’s death and resurrection. However, Peter gives us a warning about this is of Paul’s letters in 2 Peter 3:15-17. Peter essentially says that Paul is difficult to understand and those that are unlearned and unstable misunderstand him to be preaching Torahlessness (that the Torah is done away with). Obviously we should not be reading Paul until we are learned and stable. But what is learning and stability according to the Bible? Well that is Torah….see Deuteronomy 4:5-6, 1 Samuel 25:3, 1 Kings 3:9-12, 1 Kings 4:29 for what learning/understanding/wisdom is and 1Chroniclea 28:7, Psalm 78:37, Proverbs 5:6, and 1 Corinthians 7:37 for what stability is.

        Lastly, to believe in a Messiah that changed/did away with the Torah is an oxymoron. It is impossible. Consider that you to change the Torah is a sin (Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32) and changing the Torah is a sign of the Antichrist (Daniel 7:25).

        Clearly, Torah is not done away with and we should be keeping the Torah out of love for Yahshua (John 14:21). Not because it saves us…only Yahshua does that…but because our obedience/works shows our faith in Yahshua (James 2:18).

    • May 6, 2017 2:23 pm

      the answer is in the book of Hebrew, we now have a high priest in heaven; ministering in the temple not made by hands of man. Then sanctuary was where god dwelt, now we are the temple of God where he dwells. Who ever came up wth the dea of old and new dd a diservice to the gospel. because christian are saying the old is done away with when its not the case.

  5. June 25, 2009 4:36 pm

    Great post! informative.

  6. June 25, 2009 7:29 pm

    Perhaps it was Erasmus who helped popularize the term “Testament.” His first edition of the “Greek New Testament” published in 1516 was titled “Novum instrumentum” (containing a purified Greek text with notes together with a Latin translation altering sections of the Vulgate). But by the time his second edition was published, it was entitled “Novum Testamentum.”

    I don’t have any reservations about using the term “testament,” but this is an interesting discussion.

    • January 28, 2011 9:26 pm

      Matt.5:17 destroy(teach incorrectly)..fulfill(teach correctly)…..Hebrew!

      • JohnB3rd permalink
        August 27, 2012 5:22 pm

        Yes, teach correctly or consecrate…..not to end.

  7. June 26, 2009 6:34 am


    That is insightful. Thanks for bringing up that reference.

    • Anonymous permalink
      February 10, 2018 8:17 am

      John, i appreciate your reply to these replies, without attack,,
      Yeshua, aka Jesus said for us to beware of false prophets coming to deceive in the last days.. Just like mentioned, Matt. 5:17 is undeniable, and I believe it trumps Pauls words, that get twisted. Peter says in 2 Peter 3:15 that Pauls words can be difficult to understand, and, Paul himself says In Romans 7:1, that he is speaking to those who know the Torah, so then, he was saying, if you dont understand the Torah, you can’t understand him, Jesus said, if you love me keep my commandments.
      Revelation 12:17 which no Christian can dispute is talking about the end, when Jesus will return, says the dragon came to destroy those who keep the commands of God(YHWH) and the testimony of Jesus Christ. So at the end, the devil is making war with those who keep the commandments of the ‘Old’ Testament?
      And then we have Isaiah 66:15-17, says,”For behold, the Lord will come with fire
      And with His chariots, like a whirlwind,
      To render His anger with fury,
      And His rebuke with flames of fire.
      For by fire and by His sword
      The Lord will judge all flesh;
      And the slain of the Lord shall be shall be many who sanctify themselves and purify themselves,
      To go to the gardens
      After an idol in the midst,
      Eating swine’s flesh and the abomination and the mouse,
      Shall be consumed together,” says the Lord.
      Wow, so when Jesus comes back, whoever is eating swines flesh is an abomination? Thats clearly what is says, and we know is says He will come as a thief in the night. Wow, thats going to be a wake up call & sad for MANY,many ‘Christians’.
      Matthew 22:29-Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.”

    • Anonymous permalink
      May 18, 2021 4:36 pm

      John you are a very intelligent man, thanks for your input.

  8. August 27, 2009 7:35 pm

    I also don’t like the words “Old” & “New” in reference to the two segiments of the Bible.

    I like the labels “Hebrew Scriptures” & “Greek Scriptures.” The problem with this is the fact that we also have a Greek O.T. called The Septuagint.

    So, the best I have seen is what Joseph Gould (above) labelled them. Torah, Prophets, Writings, and New Covenant. By the way, this would be less offensive to the Jewish people, of who Jesus was. The Jews already use the terms “Torah, Prophets, Writings.” Don’t forget the Apocrypha – what is a better label for them? I can give you a good agrument as to why they should be included. By the way, did you know that they were included in the KJV from 1611 all the way up to 1877? They were and are now beginning to be included in a lot of the new translations again.

    John (above) is correct in saying the Wycliffee did his translation from the Latin and that Tyndale was the first to do a translation from the Greek.

    • January 28, 2011 9:32 pm

      THEM is who the gentiles were grafted into they didn’t replace Israel they joined! and they must continue in the way ELOHIM gave Israel num. 15:16…rom.11:22 so it would be a good deal if maybe you gave this some thought

      • June 25, 2017 3:24 pm

        Just a point of clarification (Ihope it will be taken as such) : the Gentiles were not grafted into the Jewish nation but to t Root and the Vine – the Lord Himself. Romans 11:18

      • Chris.jones permalink
        July 28, 2017 6:31 pm

        Good point M’chael! We indeed are grafted into Israel. For those who say they are not grafted into Israel but are part of the New/Renewed Covenant (renewed is better because the original covenant in Genesis 17 is called an everlasting covenant and so can’t be done away with) know that YHWH says He makes His Renwer Covenant with Israel (Jeremiah 31:33) and He says that He will write the Torah on our hearts (in Hebrew our hearts are our minds) – all of the Torah…there is no mention of it being only part of Torah.

        Therefore, you cannot claim to be part of the Renewed Covenant and not part of Israel…it contradicts YHWH’s own words on what the Renewed Covenant is.

    • November 28, 2017 2:54 am

      Hello William.
      To use the expressions “Hebrew scriptures and Greek scriptures” would be infinitely worse IMO than the present very unhelpful arrangement.

      This is because the entire Bible is Hebrew, regardless of the language in which it was originally penned. This is especially true of Luke’s contributions- the Gospel of Luke and Acts.

      When we look closely at the two opening chapters of Luke’s gospel, we see how intensely Jewish they are as he firmly paints Yeshua’s birth as the CONFIRMATION of all the former Covenants of Israel.

      It is because Luke, though a Gentile, thoroughly understood the Jewish framework of the Gospel message, that he was entrusted by the LORD to pen his records. He is a most excellent example of the One New Man- a Gentile who fully honours the Jewish roots of his faith in Yeshua’s work on his and our behalf.

      He knew nothing, nothing whatsoever of a “Greek” gospel message in any shape or form, did he?

      God bless you. Chris

    • Darren Sargent permalink
      May 22, 2022 12:51 pm

      I use “The Testament of Promise” and the “Testament of Fulfilment”

  9. October 25, 2009 9:18 am

    There is no question in my mind that the titles “Old Testament” and “New Testament” have caused great harm to the unity of the body – and to the message of the Gospel.It has caused us to divide the story of Israel into two separate ecclesias, instead of seeing that God only has one people, one nation, one “church” – one Israel. The titles should just be eliminated. They create an unnecessary barrier to seeing the Bible is one continuous story of God’s plan of redempton through the family of Abraham and his “seed” – Jesus. It was that same family of Abraham who was waiting for Messiah when He appeared in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The entire New Testament is simply the story of how Israel struggled in transitioning from serving God under the Mosaic Law (Old Covenant) to the New. It was the addition of the Gentiles which complicated things to make us think God now had a new people and a new ecclesia. Even a new, gentler, kinder God. We miss that we who are not Jewish have been grafted into their tree (Romans 11) – which is the ecclesia of Abraham. Again – it’s one ecclesia (congregation) of chosen offspring in Messiah from Genesis to Revelation. We are all one family heading for a great big reunion.

    • January 28, 2011 9:34 pm

      Great Understanding!

    • January 23, 2014 3:39 pm

      Perhaps it might be easier to accept the division (which I think is justified) if we remember that Paul used the idea of two covenants and two covenant heads. He, however, made the distinction between the First Adam and the Second. If we remember that God made a covenant with Adam after the fall (I will set enmity between your seed and the woman’s seed – he will crush your head and you will crush his heel) which Christ fulfilled then it is right to see the first covenant as fulfilled in the second. Later in the same book he contrasts the Law and the Promise (Hagar and Sarah) in the same way as we are wont to use Old and New Testament in colloquial speech.

      This leaves us with the fact that Paul used the same concept (of an old covenant and a new one) as contrasting two different (falsely perceived) ways of salvation. That under the Law (which is passing away) and that under Christ which provides that which the other promised but could not fulfill. Again the nomenclature does not contrast old and new as much as old (obsolete because it pointed forward) and present (the fulfillment referred to).

      Traditionally we have understood either approach to the terms to speak of promise and fulfillment rather than one completely replacing another. I consider it hazardous to set aside (without very good reason) traditional terms since they indicate the unity of the Church through history.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 23, 2014 11:43 pm

        this was a manmade coinage(melito of sardis) the only thing that was different about the brit(covenant) and chadasha(renewed) is the cutting of animals Gal3:19 it’s blasphemy to call the covenant ‘old” HE said he would put HIS Laws what Laws the ones that were given at sinai in our inward parts-heart-mind that word law is erronneous the word is TORAH=instructions by these fleshly backward church father whose father was constantine who held a counsel of a bunch of cronies everyone but a hebrew was invited because he knew what the truth wasn’t and that his decrees and ordinances were in direct violation of the ELOHIM of the Hebrews of which all the disciples (talmidim) and the Messiah were and The bible was written in 2 Tim.4:3-4.. wake up!!!

      • Chris.jones permalink
        July 28, 2017 7:30 pm

        Be careful when you quote Paul. Peter had a warning about Paul – he said in 2 Peter 3:15-17 that Paul is difficult to understand and those who are unlearned and unstable misunderstand him to be teaching Torahlessness (that the Torah is to some degree done away with). Learning/wisdom/understanding/knowledge is the Torah per Deuteronomy 4:1-9 (pay attention especially to verse). Therefore we should not think ourselves ready to quote or teach (maybe not even read) Paul until we have a good understanding of the Torah.

        If we did have a good understanding of Torah then we would know that anyone who adds to or takes away from the Torah is sinning (Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32) and even if they perform miracles and then tell us to obey commands other than Torah then they are a false prophet and should be killed (Deuteronomy 13:1-5).

        Lastly, many people like to say we’re in the New Covenant and say that we are not under the Torah as part of the New Covenant. But such beliefs show how little (if anything) they know about what YHWH says the New Covenant is. YHWH lays out specifically what the New Covenant is in Jeremiah 31and in verse 33 He says “this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the YHWH: I will put My Torah in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people”. Notice how YHWH is referring to ALL the Torah – there’s no mention of any of it being done away with. Yahshua(Jesus) also says that the Torah will not be done away with until heaven and Earth pass away (Matthew 5:17) and we don’t see heaven and Earth passing away until Revelation 21:1, which is AFTER the 1000 year reign of Yahshua.

    • Anonymous permalink
      May 24, 2015 7:03 pm


    • Anonymous permalink
      July 6, 2016 12:25 am

      Amen and Amen. This is the truth. These titles “old” and “new” have caused tremendous harm to the truth. Jesus revealed to the 2 disciples on the road to Emmaus ALL the things written of Him in ALL the Scriptures. To call it “old” implies it is less important or outdated. As a result many believers never even read the scriptures which are able to make us wise unto salvation. Master move on Satan’s part. Something SO seemingly innocuous that has caused so much damage. My people die for lack of knowledge. Hebrews Chapter 11. These ALL died in FAITH. Salvation has always been by FAITH ALONE in CHRIST ALONE. The Law was our tutor to bring us to CHRIST. Paul wrote the Letter to the Romans to make the point that salvation has always? been by FAITH IN CHRIST. And used Abraham and David to drive it home. To equate the so called “old testament” with the Law is beyond ignorant. The Law is a tiny fraction of the scriptures. The GOSPEL or MESSAGE has always been the SAME. But as Isaiah said “Who has believed our Report or Message. And to whom has the arm of the LORD been REVEALED? Apparently not to many because this is still so misunderstood.

      • John Chace permalink
        July 6, 2016 12:28 am

        Amen and Amen. This is the truth. These titles “old” and “new” have caused tremendous harm to the truth. Jesus revealed to the 2 disciples on the road to Emmaus ALL the things written of Him in ALL the Scriptures. To call it “old” implies it is less important or outdated. As a result many believers never even read the scriptures which are able to make us wise unto salvation. Master move on Satan’s part. Something SO seemingly innocuous that has caused so much damage. My people die for lack of knowledge. Hebrews Chapter 11. These ALL died in FAITH. Salvation has always been by FAITH ALONE in CHRIST ALONE. The Law was our tutor to bring us to CHRIST. Paul wrote the Letter to the Romans to make the point that salvation has always? been by FAITH IN CHRIST. And used Abraham and David to drive it home. To equate the so called “old testament” with the Law is beyond ignorant. The Law is a tiny fraction of the scriptures. The GOSPEL or MESSAGE has always been the SAME. But as Isaiah said “Who has believed our Report or Message. And to whom has the arm of the LORD been REVEALED? Apparently not to many because this is still so misunderstood.

  10. January 14, 2010 3:46 pm

    Many thanks to all of you for this helpful discussion. I spent quite a lot of time this afternoon trying to track down the answer to this question in printed sources (having read it somewhere, I knew), but you brought me back to the answer very promptly (and with additional information, as well, such as Erasmus’ use of “instrumentum”). Thanks again.

    • December 17, 2012 1:30 am

      all baptized Christians who blvieee in Jesus as Lord and Savior are to partake. It was pretty perplexing at the time because we have both been through mikveh into Yeshua, but we weren’t baptized into the Christian church! We decided to go anyhow, recognizing that it wasn’t even in their realm of thought that we might be there, nor that we even exist, so they hadn’t left room for Jews to be a part of the body. So to connect to my Christian Brothers and Sisters in the body we partook, Yamaka off,(only so as not to take the focus off the Bride and Groom) In this case I felt Love Trumped theology. But this is a very important issue. Especially when we start practically weaving through the delicate balance of Jew and Gentile. Nathan

  11. Curt permalink
    February 2, 2010 4:17 pm

    When you go to the store and see the “New and Improved” Tide or the “Old Tide” which do you buy? What do you do with the troubling words of Jesus when he said, I came not to destroy the law…not one Word will pass away. The suggestion above is that no one could have been saved before Christ. That is totally and completely bogus. “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob…” Do we really want to suggest that the Old has no relevance for us any longer? People in both the Old and New Testaments received salvation in the same way, “BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH.” Paul declares that about Abraham. I think we would be better served to call the first 39 books, “The Promise” and the following 27 “The Fulfillment.” The covenant that was going to disappear was the first God a covenant with Israel then he made a covenant with the rest of the world. If you dismiss “The Promise” you are altering and changing the Word of God and Revelation has a stern word to those who would dismiss the parts of the Word they don’t like or think are irrelevant. The Word of God is not open to vote. If we voted on what we want in the Word of God I move with dispense with “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” Telling the truth is so painful and has such consequences and by the way its in the Old Par t of the Book so we don’t have to obey it anyway. Ok boys and girls IT AIN’T ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK, IT’S ABOUT WHAT GOD THINKS. You childish wisdom is like God’s foolishness and when you dismiss even one verse you are showing your foolishness.

    • January 28, 2011 9:40 pm

      I agree ‘what if some did not believe’ the instigation of satan and what he has done (to interpret the hebrew scriptures for the cong. of old, new…. law, grace was simply a way to further divide and conquer… he has done quite a good job he even has the ministers saying we don’t have to keep the torah when The Savior was the torah personified Matt.5:17 was just like saying ‘think not that i’ve come to destroy myself’………

    • John Chace permalink
      July 6, 2016 12:47 am


    • Chris.jones permalink
      July 28, 2017 7:47 pm


      I agree with much of what you said. But I would like to point this out:

      You said:
      “The covenant that was going to disappear was the first God a covenant with Israel then he made a covenant with the rest of the world.”

      YHWH says in Jeremiah 32:33 when speaking about the New Covenant:
      “…this is the covenant that I will make with the HOISE OF ISRAEL after those days, says the YHWH: I will put My Torah in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.”

      We gentiles are grafted I to Israel and so can share in the covenant but being able to be grafted into Israel is nothing new….a mixed multitude left Egypt with the native Israelites (Exodus 12:38) and we see Uriah THE HITTITE (Bathsheba’s husband that David killed) being part of Israel.

      Just something to keep in mind. Always remember to ask the biblical definition of certain words or terms…we misinterpret Paul, the Bible in general, and even Yahshua (Jesus) to be saying that the Torah is done away with to some degree of we aren’t learned/wise and stable (2 Peter 3:15-17)…how do we become wise and learned? That would be by studying the Torah per Deuteronomy 4:1-9 (pay close attention to verse 6).

      Just thought I’d mention that! Shabbat Shalom!!

  12. July 22, 2010 10:19 am

    First of all, the terms new and old are misleading and creates a lot of confusion. These terms were used after the second century to create a barrier of separation between Israel and the gentiles that promoted a new religion known today as Christianity.
    Second, the terms used in Hebrews refers to the priesthood not the Mosaic law. (Heb 8:13)
    Third, the new covenant consists in writing the Mosaic law in man’s heart so he can obey it. The new covenant is not to make disappear the Mosaic law. (Jer 31:33)
    Fourth, the covenant was made only with Israel. Gentiles are grafted in. (Rom 11:24)
    Fifth, the Mosaic Law will be taught to the nations in the messianic age. (Isa. 2-2)

    • January 28, 2011 9:43 pm

      Good insight! but the law was called the torah(instructions) this is a greek/english translation the torah was never ever called this..

    • John Chace permalink
      July 6, 2016 12:51 am

      AMEN. AMEN. I am not alone. Thank you brothers for this exhortation. The ignorance in these times is so dreadfully abysmal.

  13. ShaliachShalom permalink
    January 3, 2011 8:19 am

    Shalom! Thanks for the post – it had just the info I was looking for. I’m late to the party here but you asked a question and didn’t seem to get an answer, so I thought I’d give you what I
    ve learned along with my thoughts on the subject, if you’re still interested.

    What is commonly called the “old testament” is actually referred to as the Tenakh (pronounced ten-ock with the ck being a gutteral sound). Each letter represents, Torah-Neviim-Khetuvim or Instructions-prophets-writings. It is comprised of so much more that what the christians have been taught is “the old covenant”. This makes “old testament” and entirely inaccurate title…if accuracy is what you’re looking for anyway.
    As with the term “old testament”, “new testament” is not an accurate title. Though the writings of the first century men do share the good news of the New Covenant, certainly not all of it is in direct reference to it! You also have much instruction on Torah living through the Spirit as well as prophecy. It is more accurately titled Netzarim Writings, or Kketuvim Netzarim. (who are the netzarim? –

    When we call one the old testament and the other the new testament we feed centuries old false teachings. The confusion comes because of false teaching that G-d’s instructions (Torah) is the “old covenatn” and they are “nailed to the cross”. This is false. Without Torah there would be no sin and no need for salvation. What was actually nailed to the cross was the unpayable debt that we owed due to the Covenant. It was not G-d’s perfect instructions for Holy living that was nailed to a cross or cast aside. The debt was paid by Yeshua and that accusation against us was abolished – wiped clean. We were given a new term of the covenant. One where we could receive cleansing by faith and His Spirit which enables us to walk out His perfect instructions (Torah).

    Indeed, anyone claiming to be in covenant with G-d under the New covenant has had the Torah written on their hearts and minds (Jeremiah 31:31-33)! We cannot accept Torah being written on our heart and mind while summarily rejecting Torah as old & nailed to a cross. this flase teaching must cease.

    Jews know what that the New Covenant will entail the Torah being written on their heart & mind, not cast aside to be burned up. Little wonder when a christian says that Torah is nailed to a cross, that Jews are repulsed! Gentiles are grafted in to the tree of Yisrael to provoke Jews to jealousy…that will never be the case until christians properly understand the new covenant. May He lead us in to all truth.

    Again, in short –
    “old testament” is accurately called the Tenakh
    “New testament” is actually Ketuvim Netzarim

    Shavua tov!

    • January 28, 2011 9:49 pm

      A Thousand times Ken!!!!

    • John Chace permalink
      July 6, 2016 12:58 am

      AWESOME! Thank you so much brother for taking the time to further clarify this. I am teaching a Bible Study tomorrow night and this is going to be a main theme in my exposition of the Gospel as given to us in Romans. If any man teach this other Gospel let him be ANATHEMA.

  14. M'chael Ben Daniel permalink
    January 21, 2011 11:34 pm

    The terms(old/new) were made up by men who didn’t have a clue who Elohim was, or The savior, who was the torah personified. The torah is eternal, thats why the master(YAHUSHUA) said ‘not one jot or tittle’ will change before heaven and earth will! the only law that was abolished was the law of sin and death. The punishment for transgressing the torah! in the first place the word law! for instructions(torah) was perpetrated by satan and those inspired by him, you can’t translate hebrew into greek without losing the vernacular, you can mistranslate hebrew without a hebrew understanding you, and you can’t lie without reproof!! ..marcion,melito, jerome, diocletian,constantine,the church fathers the king james translaters( for whom a book of the brit chadasha was named ya-akob not the book of james) and others, I could go on, do pernicious harm to people who should live Eze.13:19

  15. January 28, 2011 8:35 pm

    theres no such thing as an old or new testament! study melio of sardis,marcion and others who misunderstand and misappropriate terms that are damning to the believer who would take the yoke of the savior and learn of him he was the word(torah) personified it was never called law but torah (instructions)The Savior spoke hebrew not greek / english it is this tongue we should seek tutelage not for the sake of reading but the understanding of terms jer.31:31 heb.8:10 the same scripture is brought over because it has always been the same!

    • Mark Resner permalink
      November 22, 2011 3:29 pm

      Dude, seriously? Get yourself to Jerusalem! When Messiah spoke by the Holy Spirit through the Apostles at Pentecost, they spoke in many languages beside Hebrew. Messiah was not the Torah personified. The Torah was a representation of Messiah’s eternal person. There is absolutely such a thing as an old and a new testament. How can you quote the Epistle to the Hebrews without knowing this? That is one of the primary points made in that Epistle. You reject the clear testimony, not only of that Scripture, but of the Epistles to the Galatians and Colossians as well. Paul taught the Colossians not to keep the feasts nor the Sabbath. He said that the written laws of the Torah were taken away. You also contradict the Epistles to the Corinthians by denying two. 1 Cor. 11:25: new testament/covenant, whichever you prefer in an English Interpretation. 2 Cor. 3 uses New Covenant/Testament in contrast to the Old Testament/Covenant. Galatians 4 says in no uncertain terms that there are two covenants/testaments. Get a different job because you should not be teaching theology. You are in gross error. The teachers who were sent directly from Messiah wrote for us that we do not keep the laws of the Torah. Paul says bluntly that anyone who is circumcised to keep the Torah has cut himself off from Messiah. The Torah died on the cross. You despise the sign of the wedding at Cana, that the Old will cease when the New, which is better, is brought forth miraculously by Messiah. Stop talking. Sit down. You need to pray for repentance because you are grossly blaspheming.

      • November 22, 2011 5:59 pm

        Why is it that people has to say that you are blaspheming and need to repent when you have a view and bible’s perspective different from others or traditional Christianity? In the first place Jesus was never a Christian he was a Jew and second place your Lord should be Jesus not Paul. Please read carefully Mathew 5:17-20 “Whoever, then, breaks one of the least of these commands, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the reign of the heavens; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the reign of the heavens.” He is talking about the Torah.

      • David permalink
        August 10, 2012 11:28 am

        yeah mark, you have not studied your Bible…if you read english scriptures and dont take the time to look at translation or know the “old testament” then of course you come to your conclusion…but when one actually seeks G-d through his word and trust in him that he cannot sin then you see the scripture illuminated. as for your condeming statements to should be ashamed of yourself…do you have a nazi flag next to your Jesus poster!?

      • David permalink
        August 10, 2012 11:29 am

        you truely do not have any idea of what the context of scripture is that you are reading…many many do not either

      • John Chace permalink
        July 6, 2016 1:01 am

        DUDE – you need to cut WAY BACK. Put down the BONG and get some coffee

  16. January 28, 2011 8:49 pm

    the whole of the bible was written in hebrew throughout the centuries and occupations of ISRAEL the deities of the conquerers brought their own systems of worship, for example diocletian was noted for burning scriptures, so what was it replaced with? the melding of different systems, and modes of mindset crept in, and the ensueing generations made up things, and repeated them, and repeated them, until they became staples of a gentile of perception of a hebrew savior, with barrowed customs which became a mishmash of foreign
    origins and not what the savior commanded ‘take my yoke’> the word he was the word(torah)=instructions

  17. January 28, 2011 9:06 pm

    And this is exactly why we should seek him, he told us in Isa.8:20 of the teachers who belong to him and who should be doing the teaching old and new testaments was a made up term by meliot of sardis, marcion and others who parroted the same lie which was transposed into the word law of which the hebrew scriptures was never associated the word torah means instructions the greek to english translation is not without merit but the wording of the scriptures in order to be taught correctly is the hebraic mindset per berea this was all they had.. so we must discover where the impasse between biblical and secular history took place there are prophecies in the hebrew scriptures that haven’t even taken place yet when this connotation of the old is perpetrated on the instructions given at sinai it gives a label of antiquity but these are the very words the savior spoke of Matt’5:17

  18. January 23, 2014 3:42 pm

    Incidentally, I found this a useful explanation of the origin of the terms Old testament and New Testament. Thank you for posting it.

    • Anonymous permalink
      January 23, 2014 11:50 pm

      who is melito of sardis to make such a designation!!! this is worse than adding or diminishing from the word a sun worshipper taking upon himself the right to define the one true ELOHIM of YISRAEL Blasphemy!!!!!!!!!

      • John Chace permalink
        July 6, 2016 1:08 am

        MORON of Sardis – Let him be ANATHEMA.

  19. Anonymous permalink
    September 4, 2014 7:46 pm

    I believe a better understanding of the word covenant as defined by God through His Word needs to be address also why is it we refuse to recognize the Tenakh for what it is. It was written in a specific order for one thing also it is the Word of God (Jesus John 1:1)

  20. Barnabas permalink
    March 16, 2015 2:47 am

    Thank you for this post and interesting commentary from others. I really am coming very late, and am not sure if anyone is still linked to the thread but here is my contribution for a starter: The questions were asked “Should we not call that body of writings the “Old Testament”? If not, then what is a better description?”

    In Luke 24:44 Jesus said “all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and Prophets and Psalms concerning Me”. Jesus spoke of three divisions of Holy Scripture: “the Law of Moses” [Torah], “Prophets” [Nevi’im] and “Psalms” [Writings – Ketuvim]. From this we have the Acronym: TaNaKh = Tanakh = Genesis to Malachi. So let’s follow the teaching and practice of Jesus, if we would be his disciples.

    I found myself in deep-water this morning in suggesting that the term “Old Testament” has anti-Semitic origins and should be discarded in favor of Jesus own Scripture honoring terms above. As for its connection to anti-Semitism (i.e. anti = against, opposed to. But if anyone takes time to find out about Melito of Sardis (who coined this term “Old Testament”, see and how he precipitated the view that the Jews (alone) were responsible for the death of Jesus, the link with Anti-Semitism is not difficult to see. Let’s remember that Jesus said “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” (John 10:18)

    • John Chace permalink
      July 6, 2016 1:21 am

      AMEN. The Spirit revealed to me recently the TOTAL ABSURDITY of this ARBITRARY division of the Word of God and the HORRIFIC harm it has caused and I am astounded at the resistance I have encountered with believers that I am now pointing out this error to. Thank you all for further clarification on the source of this heresy. I found this discussion after googling the origin of the phrases “new testament” and “old testament” as the Spirit of God had made it clear to me that not only were these phrases made up and employed by men but actually heresy. I don’t know if anyone is even reading this thread anymore but I am grateful for your help and for clarifying this nonsense.

  21. Anonymous permalink
    May 24, 2015 7:50 pm

    The bible is the Word Of G-d. Great discussion

  22. Stuart Wallis permalink
    June 9, 2015 1:35 pm

    Why not use the Hebrew distinctions of, “The Law”, “The Writings”, and “The Prophets”?

  23. David G. permalink
    December 29, 2015 11:05 pm

    Christ, in St. John, said a New Commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have loved you. But later, in 1 John, the apostle informs us that it wasn’t a “new” covenant, but an old one, yet also new. Meaning, it seems, that Christ “renewed” the covenant of Love, that we love God and also that we love our neighbors. Covenants are promises, agreements, stipulations or conditions on a will. And the Old testament is filled with promises that if certain behaviors were adhered to, that God would pour out promised blessings. The New Testament seems to be a “renewal” of promises or covenants. If the children of God follow the path that prepares them for Eternal life (i.e. The Kingdom of Heaven mentioned by Christ in his parables means the path that will prepare us for the eternal worlds), then the New Testament is a collection of promises outlined by God, which if his children promise to follow, then God will promise to pour out those blessings on his children. Hence the old or first collection of promises, and the second, new, or renewal of promises.

    • John Chace permalink
      July 6, 2016 1:23 am

      BEAUTIFUL. The one is not without the other. Like husband and wife. AMEN

  24. Anthony permalink
    March 3, 2016 8:50 am

    Jer. 31:31 foretold the new covenant we have in Messiah today as believers. He (Yahshua) wrote the Torah on our hearts. Same Torah!!!! But now on our hearts!!!!! 80% of new testament is direct quotes from what we call the old testament. If the old is done away then the new is too! We take mistranslation of Scripture and lack of knowledge of culture, and hard to understand writings Paul and make it doctrine. MESSIAH SAID HE DID NOT COME TO DESTROY THE LAW!!!!! I think I’ll follow Him……..

    • John Chace permalink
      July 6, 2016 1:24 am

      Me too brother. AMEN

  25. Anonymous permalink
    March 13, 2016 3:09 pm

    The old Testament is not appropriate really since it supports WAR and death by stoning for example to adulters and other sinners who may be witchhunted by the self appointed pompous zealots, instead the New Testament preaches PEACE NOT WAR , IE JESUS is King of Peace, now you know why so FEW indeed get to go to heaven (doesn’t it say 144,000 in this dispensation?)…
    It really hurts the work of JESUS when so many use the OT as if it were the NT… its not !!

    So many misguided out there : today a fool tried to tell me that the word “testament” comes from the word genital word Testes?? Crazy… it comes from greek word for covenant, but they make up these things and put them in print and fools rush in and embrace it to justify their own personal lifestyles.
    Beware of those who are so far gone that they do the bidding of the devil without even thinking about it.

    • John Chace permalink
      July 6, 2016 12:33 am

      DUDE – what are you smoking?!!??!!

    • Anonymous permalink
      February 10, 2018 8:45 am

      Have you read the entire Bible, & what you call the ‘new testament’?
      Matthew 10: 34 in the ‘new testament’ says, & my friend these are Jesus’ words:
      Matthew 10:34-“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”

    • Anonymous permalink
      February 10, 2018 8:46 am

      Have you read the entire Bible, & what you call the ‘new testament’?
      Matthew 10: 34 in the ‘new testament’ says, & my friend these are Jesus’ words:
      Matthew 10:34-“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”

    • Shoshana permalink
      August 13, 2018 10:35 pm

      The Tanach (“OT”) are the only books that Yeshua (“Jesus”) and his disciples used. The writings of the disciples came later on little by little as letters to the various congregations. They never formed part of the Scriptures Yeshua and his Jewish disciples used. It was much later the Roman system made them into one book.designating the only Scriptures Yeshua used as “old”. Sad and typically very, very misleading and divisive.

  26. John Chace permalink
    July 6, 2016 12:31 am

    Amen and Amen. This is the truth. These titles “old” and “new” have caused tremendous harm to the truth. Jesus revealed to the 2 disciples on the road to Emmaus ALL the things written of Him in ALL the Scriptures. To call it “old” implies it is less important or outdated. As a result many believers never even read the scriptures which are able to make us wise unto salvation. Master move on Satan’s part. Something SO seemingly innocuous that has caused so much damage. My people die for lack of knowledge. Hebrews Chapter 11. These ALL died in FAITH. Salvation has always been by FAITH ALONE in CHRIST ALONE. The Law was our tutor to bring us to CHRIST. Paul wrote the Letter to the Romans to make the point that salvation has always? been by FAITH IN CHRIST. And used Abraham and David to drive it home. To equate the so called “old testament” with the Law is beyond ignorant. The Law is a tiny fraction of the scriptures. The GOSPEL or MESSAGE has always been the SAME. But as Isaiah said “Who has believed our Report or Message. And to whom has the arm of the LORD been REVEALED? Apparently not to many because this is still so misunderstood.

    • Y'shua Obadiah permalink
      January 21, 2017 7:58 am

      I totally agree with your assessment sir!

  27. August 29, 2016 4:43 pm

    The Jews call the “Old Testament” the Tanakh, which I prefer and the “New Testament” many people call the “Messianic Writings”. Both are my preference!

    • Shoshana permalink
      August 13, 2018 10:29 pm

      I tore all the designating pages in my Scriptures that read Old and New, after all they were added much later on… My JPS Hebrew/English Tanach though is as it should be.

  28. Yaakov Ben Frank permalink
    December 6, 2016 11:39 am

    The word of Yahowa is, in it’s entirety , His word. Not to be devided, but used in its entirety. By dividing the Tanach, (what the Christian church refers to as the “Old Testement”) from the Brit Hadesh, (which the Christian church calls the “New Testament) allows the Christian church to leave out the commands that Yahowa put forth for His children, (of which we were all made children of Israel) to follow. The apostle Paul writes in the Brit Hadesha, (the renewed covenant) that as a new believer, they are not kept to the whole Tenach right away or we would crush them. But he says later, “why do you continually require milk when you should be eating meat!” Meaning, when when you are an infant you require milk cause your “system” can’t digest anything else, but as you grow you start eating “meat”. Meat is doing what Yahowa commanded, not just hearing about it, i.e. Just reading about it. The book of James says it best, “be doers of the word and not just hearers!”

    • Shoshana permalink
      August 13, 2018 10:24 pm

      Correct it is all one book with subdivisions (Torah, Prophets, etc). The label ‘old’ brings to mind done away with, which of course is what the Roman system peddled as in their Empire there could only be one law, theirs.

  29. Y'shua Obadiah permalink
    January 21, 2017 7:56 am

    I’d say a better name would be “The Book of The Covenant” since that’s primarily what the book is in my opinion.

  30. Zakar permalink
    June 6, 2017 4:07 am

    Better description is The word or scripture.

  31. June 25, 2017 2:56 pm

    It is an absolute joy to discover this page. I have finished reading the whole of all of the postings which I found very informative. Let me share a little of my journey and what has lead me here today. I am not a theologian, but a few years ago the Lord dealt with me over the labels: Old and New Testament. I remember it clearly sitting on my sofa with the light streaming in through the back door. It was such a happy day and I simply asked the Lord what was on His heart. I didn’t expect what would happen next: this heavy pain in my heart and the tears came in great big blubs and gouts, I couldn’t control it. I knew instantly what it was all about. His Spirit was earnest in my ear about the labels themselves and what they represented to Him – an attempt to render God’s word obsolete and to get out from underneath their conviction. I was heartbroken; I felt the Lord was too. The Church has suffered greatly from this. And while both books require some handle as there is 400 years between them, it should be such a label that the Lord gives and reflects a reverence for His Word and His People. I asked and I was given the following two references, and when I discovered a post above that used the exact same references I was overjoyed burst in tears and fell to the ground in joy, for this has been years in the making for me. I am thoroughly convinced the present weakness in the western church does at least in part derive from a low view of The Tanakh, from which come many other errors and heresies and abuses.

    I no longer call the ‘old testament’ by this term; I call it “Testament of Promise”.
    The messianic writings I call “Testament of Fulfilment”.

    Blessings to All in Christ our Messiah

    • June 25, 2017 3:35 pm

      Some notes I wrote in the margin of my copy of Karl Barth’s “The Epistle to the Romans”, page 28, Introduction, Chapter 1:

      The Singularity of eternity is met in Jesus as the bok spine around which the two leaves of the Testament of Promise and the Testament of Fulfilment fold, face each other and are enclosed within all time to face each other and are One, together made perfect.

  32. October 11, 2017 3:22 pm

    As an adult, I’ve always referred to them the first and second testaments. Then I call the Quran the third, and The Book of Mormon the fourth. They’re all part of the same thing to me.

    • November 28, 2017 3:05 am

      I could not agree with your more, dear Brian!
      Beautifully expressed!
      Thank you so much. Chris

  33. November 28, 2017 2:39 am

    The Old Testament should simply be referred to using the same language that the Jews use. They refer to it as the Tanakh, which is an acronym for the three main divisions of the Scripture, already established in Jesus’ day.
    (T)orah -the five books of Moses
    (N)eviim -the Prophets
    (K)tuvim -the Writings

    The New Testament thus becomes the completion of the Tanakh, rather than its replacement.

    David Stern tackles this issue brilliantly in his Complete Jewish Bible. Written primarily for Jews, but most helpful for Gentiles too, it fully integrates the two Testaments.

    When you open the CJB, the contents are presented as a continuous whole in the CONTENTS list at the front.
    How I wish that every Bible was presented in this way! Do have a look for yourself, it is truly revolutionary!

    It would make a profound difference to every Christian, if all Bibles were indexed in this way, for it would remove the subliminal anti Semitism that the “Christian” manner of indexing automatically induces in the heart and mind of a young believer.

    It is right that most people are introduced to the Bible through the Gospels and Yeshua’s ministry. But Yeshua was not born into a vacuum, he was born into a covenant people, whose scriptures he strongly affirmed in every detail. You will NEVER find anything in the NT, especially in the Gospels, that speaks against the Tanakh! David Stern discusses these matters in a very helpful way in his introductory notes.

    We should never forget Jesus’ words in Mt5:17,
    “Until heaven and earth pass away, not the least stroke of the pen will be removed from the Torah.”

    This is extremely important, since an abundance of the writings of the prophets still await their future fulfillment!
    Even worse, we discard the moral teaching of the Tanakh, when we speak of it as “old.” We easily forget that what God loves and hates within its pages, he still loves and hates in the NT! Jesus and Paul always assumed the absolute authority of the Tanakh in all their teachings. So should we!

    To conclude, the division of the Bible into 2 sections has done untold harm to the New Covenant community. It is high time that we discarded it! Six years ago, I removed the OT and NT title pages from my Bible. I have never regretted it!!

    Chris Moyler

    • Andrew Russell permalink
      May 17, 2018 12:50 pm

      Your Christian scriptures are not a completion of The Torah. That’s sickening. Since Jesus contradicted himself, he is not a part of G_d. It is impossible for G_d to contradict Himself, for then he would not be perfect. Besides, there is no proof at all that this so-called Jesus even existed. As far as historians and scholars can tell, Christianity was a creation of the Roman Flavian dynasty.

    • Shoshana permalink
      August 13, 2018 10:21 pm

      Agree, the page designating the ONLY Scriptures Yeshua and his disciples used as old is very misleading, and basically inaccurate. TANAK is a good designation, as that is what it is. Another way would be to break it down: Torah, Prophets, Writings… then add Talmidim for the Christian Scripture. If I could I would make a new translation of the Writings of the Talmidim removing all the inherit antisemitism that is actually built in by translators. It makes the reader think Jews were a separate group from Yeshua and his disciples or talmidim when in reality they were all Jews with different ways of applying Torah. They all went to synagogue on Shabbat and to Temple at least on the feasts as they were all Jews. Later on the Roman political machinery used elements of all that and came up with its own amalgamated state religion which it labeled church and used it as yet another tool to persecute Jews.

  34. Andrew Russell permalink
    May 17, 2018 12:38 pm

    To Jews, the phrase, “old testament” can be taken as insulting because, this phrase indicates that the content and validity of these scriptures and G_d’s covenant with the people Israel is null and void.

  35. Robert Williams permalink
    July 3, 2018 12:48 am

    Use the same designation that the Bible itself gives that portion of the scriptures, simply “the law and the prophets”. Mt 5:17; 7:12

  36. Colin permalink
    July 10, 2018 2:11 pm

    My vote would go to the term “new covenant” from modern day translations of Jeremiah 31:31, and “old covenant” by contrast.

    • Shoshana permalink
      August 13, 2018 10:10 pm

      Yeah but Jeremiah 31, just as Heb 8 cites it, speaks of the New Covenant as that written in the hearts and minds of Judah and Israel. Since that is still in the process of taking place then… Besides, in ancient times a Covenant or brit was different, like the blood covenant Yeshua and the Father did with Abraham while they put Abraham to sleep… How about doing away with the designations of old and new since Yah’s word never changes and instead follow the Hebrew practice of grouping the books according to type? Torah, Prophets, Writings, and Talmidim or Disciples (or Writings of the Disciples)?

  37. Shoshana permalink
    August 13, 2018 10:04 pm

    I find it misleading to label the first half of Scriptures “old” and the second “new”. There is nothing old about the word of the Creator. I tear those two pages from all my Bibles for that very reason. How about leaving the Torah as Torah, The Prophets, The Writings then the Writings of the Disciples could be labeled either that or more accurately and to reflect what they actually were, The Writings of the Talmidim, or just the Talmidim.

  38. Jon A Ciotti permalink
    October 26, 2018 3:15 am

    Every time “MAN” decides to place his signature on something that was never his to do that in the first place, it gets messed up, so to speak. John 1:1 says that, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (vs-2) “He was in the beginning with God.” If you read on in verses 10 – 14 and pull them all together it’s crystal clear the “WORD & WITH” God is speaking about Jesus, the Word that became flesh and walked among us but He even went to the Hebrew people and they rejected Him. Think about it, everybody talks about the big bang theory or this bible story or that bible story and don’t misunderstand me, they are all important in their own place in our Christian history, but before even time existed. To me this is the Greatest Love Story that’s NEVER BEEN TOLD BEFORE. Some people will read this and see two words, “Our History.” Yes, everything that has happened one second after you read this is history. The word we have today in our hands is not what the Father intended. He wanted to give us a total picture that would come to life as we read it from the beginning to the end. I believe the Father wrote the word in Chronological order because without Chronological Order you can’t have “Cause & Effect.” His Word was already established “In The Beginning” and if God Almighty HIMSELF in all His Glory and Holy sitting on His Throne opened the windows of Heaven and was surrounded by legions of His angels and they had in their hands the original written Word and ALMIGHTY God as He descends from Heaven all eyes on earth could see Him, He lands on earth and in a second His legion of angels gathered up from every corner of the globe, every document, bibles, all Christian Hebrew and Greek literature, dead sea scrolls, I mean everything that man has seen, studied hidden away and brought it all to Almighty God and I’m a nano second God places both sides by side, His original written Word from Heaven and what’s here on earth, do you possibly think there could have been a little manipulation or changing of things? I know that in the Torah (5 books of Moses) Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. They are hand written on a scroll of parchment copied from another such scroll by a trained scribe, which is all written in Hebrew, which contains no vowels nor any punctuation marks in the Torah scroll. Now I am not saying they are right or wrong but vowels are [A E U I U] and we have 14 different punctuation marks in our English language alone. Let me end with this. I think most all reading my posted comment would agree I wrote okay. Would it surprise you to hear that I am 64-years old and over the past 2 1/2 – years I’ve had multiple Ischemic Lacunar and Thrombosis Strokes, diagnosed with Complex and Simple Partial Seizure Disorders, White Brain Matter disease, CSVD [Cerebral Small Vessel Disease], Cerebrovascular Disease, I have Chronic dizziness likened to falling in a dream but I’m awake, balance issues, falling down and running into walls and objects because of balance issues, and severe headaches, now they have identified eleven [11] new Neurological Symptoms and I’m being treated for dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease. My memory loss, communication, Roaming all hours of the night and all hours after midnight and sleep disorders/insomnia are getting worse, but through it all there is a reason the Father has not healed me, given me any supernatural abilities or any special gifts of the Holy Spirit but what I find fascinating is He uses my symptoms for His benefit and glory. My sleep disorders/insomnia and Roaming all hours of the night and all hours after midnight and memory loss, it’s during those quite times, you know, when even the slightest breeze in the air outside is quiet, I roam and have a couple special places I will sit on my walker, I have no agenda, no preconceived notions, my mind is a complete clean slate, those are the times the Father speaks and I do a whole lot of listening, been doing that 4+ months now. You would be absolutely shocked, amazed at what the Father has shown and taught me. He’s the one who told me about chronological order and cause and effect, before that I didn’t even know what the term meant or even cared. But the Father said as it was during the time Jesus walked on the ground, every generation has their Pharasies, but there will be some who’s heart will jump and those are the ones He’s chasing after. Be blessed.

    • David permalink
      January 24, 2021 8:00 am

      You sound like a man who loves the Lord God. It is thru love for Him we come to understand His height and breathe and depth and width. Eph 3:11-. Amen brother.

  39. January 5, 2019 12:43 am

    I don’t understand how Melito could do this – as he uses the phrase the Law and the Prophets over and over in his material….

  40. January 11, 2019 7:00 pm

    Reblogged this on Justin The Bible Teacher.

  41. February 20, 2019 1:12 pm

    Base on the information given in the article the proper term should be the First covenant and the Second covenant.

  42. Rev. Lumembo Tshiswaka permalink
    May 9, 2019 1:53 pm

    It would be nice and relevant to call that part of the Christian Bible as “Hebrew Scriptures” or ” First Covenant”
    The words Old Testament convey a negative image as though what is old is useless.
    Yet, there are more than 600 citations of the Hebrew Bible in the New Testament. Also without the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament will have no sense

  43. Robert permalink
    June 19, 2019 5:37 pm

    The Hebrew ”Tanakh” is better than “Old Testament.” Particularly when you know what “Tanakh” represents.

    Since the “New Testament” should actually be called the “New Covenant,” the “Old Testament” could rightly be called the “First Covenant” or “Original Covenant.”

  44. Robert permalink
    June 19, 2019 5:37 pm

    The Hebrew ”Tanakh” is better than “Old Testament.” Particularly when you know what “Tanakh” represents.

    Since the “New Testament” should actually be called the “New Covenant,” the “Old Testament” could rightly be called the “First Covenant” or “Original Covenant.”

  45. S. Hauser permalink
    September 8, 2019 2:54 am

    As a Messianic Jew, I think the terms “First Covenant” and “Renewed Covenant” would be better suited, especially since the latter can correctly be translated as “Renewed Covenant,” and there is nothing “new” in the so-called “New Covenant.” Every teaching in the Renewed Covenant can be found in the First Covenant. In fact, there are 343 direct quotes of the First Covenant in the Renewed Covenant. That is an average of 1.3 quotes per chapter. Then in addition, there are approximately three times as many references to the First Covenant in the Renewed Covenant. This brings the total number of references and quotes in the Renewed Covenant to about 1,500, which is an average of four quotes and references per chapter and 55 quotes and references per book. The remaining portions of the Renewed Covenant are teachings based on these quotes and references.

    Thus, the Renewed Covenant is not a “new” teaching for a new “church,” (and the word “church” itself is another mistranslated English word which does not exist anywhere in the Scriptures; the word in the Greek text is ἐκκλησία “ecclesia,” which simply means “assembly”). Rather, the Renewed Covenant is a continuation of the teachings of the First Covenant for the sons of God, both Jew and Gentile alike, who are both part of the same “green or leafy olive tree” that is Israel (in Jeremiah 11 in the First Covenant by Yirimiyahu, of course, and also written about in the Renewed Covenant in Romans 11 by Rav Shaul, more widely known as “Paul”). Actually, the only teaching you will not find in the First Covenant is one phrase used by Messiah Yeshua (or “Jesus,” another word mistranslated in English from the Greek Ἰησοῦς Iesous, and has only been in use for approximately the last 400 years; Iesous is Greek for the Hebrew name Joshua, which is Yehoshua, of which Yeshua is the short form). This is the phrase the “Kingdom of Heaven.” You will not find it in the First Covenant (Tanakh), nor will you find in it in the Septuagint, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Pseudepigrapha, or even in any of the Hellenistic writings (of Judaism). The only place you will find the phrase the “Kingdom of Heaven” is in the rabbinic writings. I could say more, but I will leave it at that. Selah, everyone.

  46. Mark permalink
    September 22, 2019 10:03 am

    The old testament is really the old priesthood that offered animal blood for atonement, it was written on a scroll and placed BESIDE the Ark. (Deut 31:26) and is now obsolete. The everlasting Covenant was placed INSIDE the Ark. If we know Him it is now written on our heart and mind by the indwelling spirit of Messiah Yahusha. The TaNaK is the Torah, Prophets and the Writings and is His everlasting Covenant. Torah means instructions in Hebrew not law. Only the instructions for sacrificial offerings was made obsolete not the entire Torah. The moral laws that define sin are everlasting. Furthermore, the Messiah is the mediator of the Covenant. What we call the new testament is actually the memoirs and a compiled list of letters of the first century followers, known as the Natsarim. In which Paul was charged as being the ring leader of the sect of Natsarim (Acts 24:5). Not enough room for details here but, simply put, The Old and New testament is Latin. The TaNaK consists of 3 sections and they are eternal, The Torah teaches us how to love Yahuah and our neighbor. What is labeled New Testament is better translated as “Renewed Covenant” and we have a new priesthood and a new High priest from the line of Melkizedek, His name is Yahusha and means (I am your Deliverer) and His precious blood was shed once and permanently for atonement. Acts would be better translated as: the Acts of the Ruach ha’Qodesh (Holy Spirit). Seek truth and find Love. Anyone interested in finding truth should google: YAHUSHA

  47. December 17, 2019 10:31 am

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Thank you for providing this information.

  48. April 28, 2020 1:12 pm

    Excellent post, excellent discussion. Chris.Jones comments are spot on, in full agreement.

    I personally detest the designations “Old Testament” and “New Testament” because it’s terribly misleading. It gives rise to false doctrines and antichrist theology that is at enmity with YAH, being at enmity with His Word. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God (Yah) (John 1:1). The Word was made flesh in our Messiah (John 1:14). This means it is 100% impossibility for Him to break covenant or disobey the commandments or do away with the commandments because he was the living, breathing Torah (instruction) of YAH.

    Knowing this, when people are anti-Torah, discarding and despising the instruction of life from YAH Himself, they have made YAH their enemy.

    As far as more accurate designations of the Scriptures I’d either call them all just “Scriptures”. For breaking into sections I’d say:

    Torah, Prophets, Writings
    Restored Writings (for Apocrypha, etc.)
    Renewed Covenant

  49. July 28, 2020 8:31 am

    These designations are problematic for The Jewish Community. The first designation implies Obsolescence. Second, it’s an unauthorized leap from bundling Jewish writings calling it a (single) book.
    Third, covenants don’t end with Malachi and the Gospels inaugurating another “covenant.” Jesus (Yeshua) lived and died under the Mosaic Covenant. Thus, the sacrificial lamb.
    Likewise the Greek scriptures are a collection rather than a single book (in the traditional sense of the term).

  50. James permalink
    December 18, 2020 7:06 pm

    When Jesus was on earth He talked about a ‘narrow gate’ and a ‘cramped road leading to life. (Matthew 7:13,14)
    The context of his words that followed reveal that he was talking about true worship of God.
    Today there are many different religions that profess to be Christian. Do all of these lead to life? What does the Bible reveal?
    In Genesis Satan got Adam and Eve to sin by telling Eve that God had lied to them. Challenging God’s truthfulness, His love for humanity, and His right to rule mankind. How did God handle this situation?
    According to the scriptures God has allowed Satan a temporary control over the world, while God, in his vast humility, has allowed Himself to be put on trial.
    The Bible has 2 segments called ‘The Old Testament’ and ‘The New Testament’, and it is filled with testimonial statements and accounts recorded by God’s faithful servants.
    One of these is found at Deuteronomy 32:4. In referring to Jehovah God as ‘The Rock’ it states ‘Perfect is His activity, for all His ways are justice.’
    At Isaiah 43:10 God says of His servants, ‘You are My witnesses’
    Hebrews chapter 11 speaks about many of God’s servants throughout history and the great things God helped them to accomplish by means of their faith. Hebrews chapter ch. 12:1 calls them ‘a great cloud of witnesses’
    At Revelation 1:4,5 Jesus is called ‘The Faithful Witness’ and again at Revelation 3:14.
    When Jesus came to earth, he not only died for our sins but he also gave gave his testimony in defense of God’s reputation. One of these is found at John 17:17.
    There Jesus said of Jehovah, ‘Your word is truth.’
    No one knew Jehovah better than His son Jesus.
    Jesus lived his life in line with God’s moral standards, he preached about God’s kingdom and he showed what his Father’s kingdom would do for mankind.
    Jesus upheld:
    His Father’s sovereignty, (Matthew 4:10)
    His Father’s truthfulness, (John 17:17)
    His Father’s love for mankind, (John 3:16)
    In the same manner, these issues are most important to those who follow Jesus today.
    At John 12:31 Jesus stated that there will be a ‘judging of the world, and the ruler of the world, (Satan), will be cast out.
    What will this mean for humanity?
    For those who pattern their lives after Jesus?
    What could this mean for you?
    Jehovah’s witnesses would be happy to study the Bible with you. is the official website for Jehovah’s witnesses. It is all free. There is a free Bible study aid course to help you along in your studies.

  51. January 6, 2021 10:51 pm

    The biggest mistake that the Christian Church makes is thinking that Genesis – Malachi is “Old” and does not apply to them. This thinking is against the sermon on the mount, against the teachings of Jesus, against the apostles, and against the entire message of the Bible.

    It is something that is very difficult for people to understand today, not because it is actually difficult, but because it is not explained in an easy and fun way – that the way the Bible is outlined is as follows:

    a) Torah is given through Moses – Law is laid down, blessings and cursings outlined, promises are made, etc
    b) Kings and Prophets confirm the message of Torah (teachings of Moses)
    c) Christ comes, provides salvation, and confirms Torah
    d) The Apostles confirm the message of Christ

    I could go on, but basically, there is no teaching anywhere in the Bible which can be taken to mean when looked in context that Christians should not be following Torah, or that Torah is done away. This is an abomination in modern Christianity and a manifestation of “the man of sin” – not a teaching of Christ. Whoever breaks the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so also shall be called the least in the Kingdom of heaven.

    Fascinatingly enough, the Bible has one congruent message from beginning to end – and that is to follow Torah if you love God and love your fellow man and when you fall short, to change and turn your heart and mind back into alignment with God through repentance. Sins are outlined from Genesis to Deuteronomy and from that time in the Bible, there is zero new commandments given by anyone anywhere, except that there are higher and lower teachings of them that manifest (as example) in the teachings of Jesus. Most of the teachings of Jesus can be found directly in the Law and the Prophets.

    A more accurate term for the old testament would be “The Law and the Prophets” as that is what the New Testament actually calls it. Or “Torah and the Prophets” or “Torah, Kings, and Prophets and the New Covenant.”

    “Old Testament” is by far the worst name that we can give it.

    Hope that helps. 100% of everything in the Mosaic covenant is in equal force today as it was then and anyone that teaches anything other than that needs to repent, lest he be declared ‘least’ in the Kingdom.

  52. David Bishop permalink
    January 24, 2021 7:50 am

    The Abrahamic Coven at clearly finds it’s fulfillment, according to the letter to the Galatians, in the New Testament Church. I find continuity to the old and new testament in seeing the physical fulfillment in the old and the spiritual fulfillment in the new testament. One might keep in mind that the book of Hebrews states the old is done away with and the new initiated referring to living under law (old) versus living under grace thru Christ Jesus (new).

  53. David Bishop permalink
    January 24, 2021 8:14 am

    I tend to see the covenant being made with Abram(aham) by God and fulfilled in the God man Jesus Christ, New Testement, and the old Testament a pattern of that fulfillment. Certainly the law of God is established in our hearts by the indwelling spirit of God (that is, for the believer) but we do not live under the old Testament law we live under grace. The law, our atonement and redemption, and our reconciliation were all fulfilled and accomplished by Jesus Christ. He is our propitiation and He is the seed and gospel preached by God in His covenant with Abraham. Note Galatians 3.

  54. Jeff Rice permalink
    March 19, 2021 9:44 pm

    For many years I have thought and often shared my thoughts on this subject. I thought it a tool of Satan to obscure and minimize the Jews who might take offense to these terms and it would cause a rejection for the simple fact of calling it old and then new. I thought that the first testament and the second testament would be a much more appropriate term. And then we have our own testament. So I believe there’s three testaments the first the second testament and then the testimony of ourselves, how the Lord has come into, and affected our lives.

  55. Anonymous permalink
    September 6, 2021 4:01 pm

    Jesus Christ and the Apostles called Genesis to Malachi the Scriptures. The Old Testament refers to the covenant which God made with Israel. They broke the covenant. God promised a new covenant which was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The gospels describe how Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the covenant or testament. Acts and the epistles describe the propagation of the fulfillment of the testament or covenant in Christ Jesus. Calling the books of the Bible Old and New Testaments are designations. No inspiration behind it. The title Old and New Testament is just that. Neither does the title itself leads to salvation nor exclude anyone from being saved. Faith in the LORD Jesus Christ as the One who provides salvation by fulfilling the promised New Testament is all that matters.

    • DARREN SARGENT permalink
      September 9, 2021 7:35 am

      “Just designations”? As a general rule in discussion I am always wary of arguments that depend on downgrading a subject matter, to render it of less importance. Whether we use nomenclature, typology, classification or title, what it says on the tin ought to reflect not only what’s inside but also its value and our perception of said value. Now, we do have “old” and “new” covenants as confirmed by Jesus and Paul, but this is not the same as testament. The argument I made years ago on this thread still stands: to place the whole of scripture (at the time of Jesus) under the designation of “old” could easily render all the scriptures as optional – the very thing we find in Christianity today. I would go further: it possibly reveals a narcissistic and anti-Semitic streak, albeit historical, that, once we become aware of it, we are on the hook for. It will also bar the way for the restoration of the Jew, which must come. And if our designations are utilitarian and uninspired,… why? They ought to be.

  56. Cornelius permalink
    September 6, 2021 4:03 pm

    Jesus Christ and the Apostles called Genesis to Malachi the Scriptures. The Old Testament refers to the covenant which God made with Israel. They broke the covenant. God promised a new covenant which was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The gospels describe how Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the covenant or testament. Acts and the epistles describe the propagation of the fulfillment of the testament or covenant in Christ Jesus. Calling the books of the Bible Old and New Testaments are designations. No inspiration behind it. The title Old and New Testament is just that. Neither does the title itself leads to salvation nor exclude anyone from being saved. Faith in the LORD Jesus Christ as the One who provides salvation by fulfilling the promised New Testament is all that matters

    • ghpbx permalink
      May 19, 2022 6:15 pm

      Fulfill means to do or to carry out, but the way you describe it is as if Christ somehow abolished or removed the law, prophets and writings. That teaching isn’t biblical. Especially when Christ himself said He did not come to remove the law or the prophets in Matthew 5:17-20. He goes on to say that the law will remain until all has been fulfilled and heaven and earth are gone.

      Most Christians take their marching orders from Paul, with common misunderstandings of what he was writing about. As if grace and faith somehow removed the Lord’s instructions (law). Paul says in Romans 3:31 “Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.” He actual makes this kind of statement 2 more times in Romans 6:15 and Romans 6:2. But why would he say such a thing after saying that we are no longer under the law? Well, it’s somewhat simple. In Romans 7:14 through chapter 8, Paul explains the different aspects of the law: The laws of the Spirit and the law of sin. He then goes on to explain that this fight is ongoing within the believers of Jesus. When Paul says we are no longer under the law he’s simply saying that we have been released from bondage, much like Israel being freed from Egypt. Once freed from bondage or sin, we are now lead by the Spirit of God, just like Israel was through the wilderness. But even though Israel was freed from bondage, they had taken some of their old habits and things they’ve learned in Egypt with them. some of the Israelites even wanted to go back to Egypt because of the trials and tribulations they faced. This understanding aligns with what Paul describes in Romans 7 where their is a constant battle between good and evil within us. The Spirit of God vs our flesh/sin. Removing God’s law leaves us hopeless, without any way to attain righteousness.

      Most understand that when Jesus died on the torture stake that he nailed our “sins” to the cross, but for some reason folks have made that statement mean that the entire law was nailed to the cross; another reason why Jesus makes it very clear that he didn’t come to abolish but to fulfill (to do or carry out, the opposite of abolish).

      The easiest way to explain this is by looking at the laws in any nation where the penalty for violating or breaking said laws are actually written in the law itself. IE if you are speeding on the road your penalty is a fine or points on your license etc. When you go to court for that speeding ticket and you’ve paid that fine, the judge clears you from breaking that law and you are now free to go with no penalties. When you walk out of the courtroom, have the speed limits been removed also? No. The speed limits remain and you are still required to adhere to them. Now, will you violate the speed limit again? Probably not because you’ve learned your lesson and have been given grace by the judge. Same thing Jesus did for His people by nailing our sins to the torture stake.

      Last thing I’ll say is that what I described is biblical. It’s not based on a certain religion and I don’t claim a religion, because that’s why the world’s in the state it’s in now. Mankind has put a spin on God’s Word. In the law itself God says the laws were perpetual and everlasting; without end. Saying that the law is done away with is the same thing as saying that Jesus is done away with because He is the incarnate Word of God. The Alpha and Omega. Blessings to you.

  57. Kyle perry permalink
    October 24, 2021 11:48 am

    I agree we should not use old and new, but rather use first and last or Alfa and omega, since the scriptures are about Christ who is the Alf a and omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

  58. March 31, 2022 9:04 am

    First Covenant and Second Covenant

    • ghpbx permalink
      May 19, 2022 5:38 pm

      Simply that? What is the second covenant exactly?

  59. ghpbx permalink
    May 19, 2022 5:35 pm

    To call it OT/NT is wrong and stems from Marcion of Sinope who hated the Jews and soke against the “OT”. In scriptures, the terms used are the law (Torah), the Prophets, the Writings and the Testimony. The Torah/Prophets/Writings acronym is Tanakh and that’s the foundation of everything. How do we know that? Because Jesus (Yeshua) and all disciples/apostles taught and referenced it. But it all makes sense when you read in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 Paul addresses what he calls ‘the mystery of iniquity/lawlessness.” And that’s exactly what you get when you remove the rudiments and foundation of the faith: law-less-ness.

    Be on watch folks. The “The Lawless One” will soon be revealed.


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