The Renewed Covenant vs the New Covenant
We will see in the study The Renewed Covenant vs the New Covenant that there are no such things as “old” and “new” covenants for YHVH’s chosen people, but one everlasting Covenant.
These foreign for the Hebraic mindset terms were crafted by the Roman Catholic Church, with intent to divide the Word of YHVH and to divide the people.
They were divided to such an extent that today we have the so-called “new covenant bibles” and “new covenant churches”, meant for “the new covenant Christians”. They were divided to such an extent that the Christians do not even bother to read “The Old Testament” any longer. In their minds, the so-called “the new covenant” that has replaced “the old covenant” is better and the old one considered obsolete, archaic, superseded by the better one.
However, is there such thing as “old covenant” and “new covenant”? Or, there is something else: The Renewed Covenant of YHVH.
Uninspired pages in the Bible
There is a mean stream doctrine that Apostle Shaul (Paul) taught “the New Covenant” to the new Gentile converts (called “Christians”). Part of this doctrine is the creation of a new religious body apart of Israel (called “the Church”) and a new religion (called “Christianity”).
We should recall that none of the apostles called himself “Christian”, not even Shaul who allegedly preached “Christianity”. Yeshua the Messiah never said such a word, much less to preach it. We find the word “Christian” only in Acts 11:26 and Acts 26:28, and in its immediate context it is obvious that it was how the pagans labeled the former pagans who joined the new sect in Judaism called “The Way” (Acts 19:23, Acts 24:14, Acts 24:22), because the Master said, “I am the Way”. It is also obvious that the members of The Way called themselves “Nazarenes”, not “Christians” (see Acts 24:5), because it was written “He shall be called a Nazarene”.
Note: the Greek words hristianos “Christians” is a translation of the Hebrew word mashiach which means “anointed one”. The transliteration of mashiach in English would be “Messiah”. The new converts were such called by the pagans, because they became followers of Yeshua HaMashiach, the Anointed One of YHVH. But the apostles and new converts had never called themselves “Christians”.
There are two pages that had never been written by any of the prophets or the disciples: one is just before the beginning of the Hebrew text of the Bible and the other is before the beginning of the Apostolic Wittings.
The page before Gen 1:1 reads “The Old Testament” (aka The Old Covenant) and the page before Mat 1:1 reads “The New Testament” (aka The New Covenant). We know for a fact that Mosheh (Moses) had never written the page “The Old Testament” and Matityahu (Matthew) had never written the page “The New Testament”.
So, who inserted these uninspired pages in the Scripture and by what authority it was made, because at the time of their writings neither had Mosheh nor Matityahu known such words as “The Old Covenant” and “The New Covenant”?
The word “testament” occurs as the rendering of the Greek diatheke. The Vulgate (the Latin translation of the Bible) translates incorrectly diatheke as testamentum, hence the terms “Old Testament” and “New Testament”. They were inserted into the text and the Bible was divided into “old” and “new”.
In Latin, a will or testamentum is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage or to inherit his or her estate at death. Or, “testament” will be properly rendered “a final will”.
But the Scripture was not written in Latin and we should be more concerned with the question whether there is a Hebrew word that means “covenant”.
We should know that “covenant” is a legal term in use even today that means a contract or an agreement. And as in any contract, both sides of the contract have obligations and rights. This contract or agreement in Hebrew is called berit which literally means to cut meat in pieces.
The cutting of meat was used in the ancient world when making agreements, including agreements in daily business transactions. The signification of such a covenant was to remind both sides that whomever would break his obligations in the contract would be cut in pieces as the animal had been cut in pieces. Hence, berit: cutting of meat.
The literal meaning of berit can be best seen in the covenant YHVH made with Avraham, which is aka the Covenant of the Pieces. YHVH told Avraham to cut the animals in half and He Himself passed between the pieces to seal the Covenant, hence Covenant of the Pieces.
We should note here that blood is shed in berit and that is why it is also called Blood Covenant, as we find it in Exo 24:8 and Mat 26:28.
There is a Hebrew word that couples with berit and this is the word chadashah which is often translated as “new”. It is also translated as “moon” or “month”, but these are not its literal meanings, but applications.
That chadashah does not refer to the planet Moon is evident in Gen 37:9 where we find the Hebrew word yareach and levanan in Isa 24:23 for Earth’s satellite. And since the moon makes twelve cycles around the earth, we have twelve months in the Biblical year. Therefore, “moon” and “month” have one thing in common: they make cycles.
And since there is nothing new in a cycle and in a cycle, everything is renewed, we come to the literal meaning of the Hebrew word chadashah: “renewed”. And rightly so, since the moon that reappears every month is not “a new moon”, because it has been around for 6,000 years, but a renewed moon; from this we derive the applications of chadasha as “moon” or “month”.
The Renewed Covenant in the hearts
What is interesting to note is that we find both words berit and chadashah coupling in Jer 31:31 in the legal term berit chadashah, as we read,
Behold, the days are coming, declares Yehovah, when I shall make a renewed covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Yehudah not according to the covenant I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, declares Yehovah. For this is the covenant I shall make with the house of Israel after those days, declares Yehovah: I shall put My Torah in their inward parts, and write it on their hearts. And I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people. (Jer 31:31-33)
The covenant which YHVH will make with both houses of Israel in the future is called berit chadashah “Renewed Covenant” or more properly Covenant of Renewal, as contrasted with the covenant made with the fathers at Sinai. And since YHVH has never ever called it “the old covenant”, as many wish He had, there is no justification for “a new covenant”.
And because there is no defect found in the everlasting Covenant of Sinai (Lev 24:8, Eze 16:60), there is no reason of “a new covenant”. However, a defect was indeed found, but not in the Covenant but in the people, who broke it. And if a covenant is broken, it is not abolished to make a new one, but the guilty part is liable to legal charges.
Therefore, the proper reason why a renewed covenant will be made is that the people have broken the everlasting Covenant of YHVH and because of that it is necessary to renew it. Because of this it is wrong to say that YHVH in virtue of His unchangeable faithfulness, would alter the relation He Himself had established with Israel, but by simply renewing it He will do away with the sin of His people who broke it, when the nation repents.
The forgiveness of sin, accordingly, is promised in Jer 31:34 by the work of grace. Read more in the article “By Grace we are saved. But what is grace?“
In order to give sound security of the promise that the Renewed Covenant will be fulfilled, YHVH points in Jer 31:35 to the everlasting duration of the laws of nature by declaring that, if His laws of nature were to cease, then Israel would also cease to be His people.
This promise regarding the continuance of Israel as a nation of YHVH is reconfirmed a second time in Jer 31:37, which declares the impossibility of rejection. Even if the depths of the heavens and the earth could be measured, YHVH will not reject Israel.
In the context of Jeremiah 31 (see also Eze 16:60-62) we understand that the covenant, the contract, YHVH will make with His people is not a new, but renewed covenant in which He will put His Torah in the hearts and minds of Israel.
The Character of the Renewed Covenant
The writing of the Renewed covenant on the heart is the key moment to understand its character. This contrasts with the Christian Replacement Theology that since the writing on the tables of stone of “the old covenant” was external to the people, “a new one” was necessary to come with the cross that would be put in the hearts, as the “theologians” distort Shaul’s words in 2Co 3:3.
And if “a new covenant” is necessary, “a new people” will be necessary to replace “the old”. Now, this is the thin line of deception.
Even in the Covenant we find that we are urged to receive the Torah of YHVH into our inner parts as this will come through the circumcision of the heart (Deu 30:6), that we may love YHVH our Elohim with all our hearts and all our souls.
However, this circumcision of heart and the love for YHVH with the whole soul (see Deu 6:5, Deu 10:12, Deu 10:16), are impossible, unless the Torah be received into the heart.
Thus the bottom line is that the difference between “the old” and “the new covenants” that what was commanded and applied to the heart in the Covenant at Mount Sinai, renewed in the Covenant at Mount Nebo, renewed again at Mount of Olives, is given in the Covenant which YHVH will renew again with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah. Therefore, the Renewed Covenant is anything but a completion of Covenant at Sinai.
Put simply, in the Covenant at Sinai, we were urged to put the Torah of YHVH in our hearts, minds, and souls, but because we failed, YHVH says He will put it there.
Where do some “theologians” see the replacement of “the old” with “the new”?
This indeed is the true relation between YHVH, and His people is clearly shown in this study.
We should also note here that the Berit Chadashah is made with all Israel, the House of Israel and with the House of Judah, not with any Gentile nation. If the Gentiles wish to be in covenantal relations with the Creator, they must be grafted into the olive tree of Israel, as Apostle Shaul clearly and plainly says it in Romans 11. And once they become a part of Israel, they cease to be “Gentiles” as he also says, “once you were Gentiles”.
There is no other way around the words of YHVH. He says so!
In conclusion, the Renewed covenant is not about in its contents, but its location; in the hearts, in the minds, and in the souls. The Covenant of YHVH in unchangeable, everlasting, and as King David says in Psa 119, it is perfect, sweeter than honey in his mouth. And if something is perfect, it cannot be changed, abolished, it cannot even improved. The message “the Church” does not want to hear.
The fulfillment of the Renewed Covenant began with the onset of the Age of the Messiah, when the long-awaited prophet indeed came, according to the Redemption Plan of YHVH, and with His blood He ratified it for forgiveness of sins.
And the complete fulfillment of the Renewed Covenant will be done at His return, according to Jeremiah 31, when Israel will no longer be divided into the House Israel and the House of Judah, but it will be one nation to YHVH.
But, how should we understand Shaul’s teaching in Hebrews, because it seems that he speaks of “new” and “old” covenants? In other studies of Time of Reckoning Ministry (TORM), we talked about that there are some hard to understand teachings of Shaul, which those unlearned in the Scripture have twisted for their own destruction.
Actually, this is how Apostle Shimon (Peter) warned them in his second letter (see 2Pe 3:14-17). We just believed the apostle, because as the good Bereans we checked against the Scripture.
Meanwhile, those who seek to learn more about the truth, may read the article “You are not under the Law of God” Exposed.
May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days.