Yeshua Did Not Come to Contradict Scripture

About this article: This was originally going to be posted on The Christian Post (, but it fell through. This is somewhat redundant because of the Andy Stanley article I wrote. Nonetheless, I figured I might as well post this.

There is a new type of teaching that has become mainstream in the Christian Church.  Or maybe it has been around but was not as acceptable as it is now. New Covenant Theology teaches that the Old Testament laws have been canceled and replaced.  If you label all laws as canceled, you begin to teach a different gospel than what Yeshua (Jesus’ Hebrew name) taught.

The Law of Moses, or Torah, was never replaced by actions nor by anything Yeshua taught.  Yeshua clearly taught that things were changing, but He taught in Matthew 23:1-3, that you are to follow all that the leaders say to do.  Which means, the Pharisees taught to follow the law, and Yeshua taught to do what they say. But now, I see a movement in the church that is heightened by poor translations or to say the least, poor understanding of the Hebrew mindset.

We’ve all heard the joke of 10 Rabbi’s having 20 opinions on a solution, but the language too can lean in that direction.  The Hebrew language can have the same word but multiple meanings, and it is the translator’s job to do his best to translate the core of the message that the original author is trying to convey.  Of course, that applies pressure on the translator, but it also gives him the freedom to tweak the meaning towards his own preconceived ideas or bias.

As I was writing this article, a lady sitting at a table near me was going through a Bible study.  I asked her about it, and she said that it had been going on for two years and they were finally in the New Testament. To quote her, “It was brutal going through the Old Testament,” and at her church, they “only teach the Bible.”  Yes, they only teach the Bible, but it is through a New Testament lens.

As a teacher, you should always strive to teach the truth, but Jewish persecution was often executed by Christians reading the same original text.  A few words mistranslated can cause turmoil. Getting that translation right is critical; hence the constant updating of the Bible. There are 59 English translations of the Bible on alone. Which one is most accurate?  That is a question we can’t answer, but we can study to understand the Scripture as a whole.

I recently listened to a sermon by a well-known pastor in which he taught New Covenant Theology.  He said that Yeshua came to replace everything that came before Him, and everything associated with it.  Some of what was taught is based on a misunderstanding of rabbinical teaching styles. I wouldn’t say the teaching was as bad as some of Luther’s anti-semitic works, but if you start removing a Judaic thought from a Jewish religion, you can unintentionally take liberties in translations and without knowing, change the original intention.

In Matthew, we have the Greek word “δέ,” or transliterated “de.”  (Strong Concordance’s word G1161 –

In the King James Version (which is just a translation, one of many), the translators translate the word “de” in this manner:  but (1,237 times), and (934x), now (166x), then (132x), also (18x), yet (16x), yea (13x), so (13x), moreover (13x), nevertheless (11x), for (4x), even (3x), miscellaneous (10x), not translated (300x).

This means that the translators of the KJV most of the time think that “de” should be translated to “but.”  Here is an example, where “de” is translated as “and,’” and it obviously should be translated as “and”:

Matthew 1:2

Abraham begat Isaac; “de” Isaac begat Jacob; “de” Jacob begat Judas “de” his brethren;

Here is an example of where it could be translated as “and” or “but”:

Matthew 1:20

“De” while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

That isn’t that big of a deal.  Whether it is read as “But while he thought” or “And while he thought” does not matter.  The translators could have just translated it as “nevertheless while he thought,” and that would have added a little more emphasis on the importance of what was happening.

Choosing the correct word is most important when it can go against the original author’s intention.  In these verses, Yeshua’s original intent was to put emphasis on something, or to extend a previous thought, not to contradict:

Matthew 5:21-22

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and (“de”) whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But (“de”) I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and (“de”) whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but (“de”) whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

In a congregation where it is taught that the New Testament replaces everything, the phrase “But (‘de’) I say unto you…” is taught as if Yeshua is trying to go against what is traditionally understood.  This is strictly because that style of teaching is foreign to many a Western mindset. There is a common rabbinical teaching style that goes like this, “You have heard this, and that is true, and I say even more so this.”

Yeshua never came to contradict Scripture, and by using a Greek word like “de” you can twist Scripture to your liking.  It is important to try to look at the original text to make your own decision, even with a little word like “and” or “but.”

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