COVENANT vs. TESTAMENT
This post on covenant vs testament was shared on Facebook by a friend and brother in YaHuWaH, William Moore. It is an excellent writing, and teaches us to discern truth from many degrees away from the truth. I asked him if I could share it, here, and he allowed me to share it.
There are many misunderstandings of Scripture today which are a direct result of using Greek methods of interpretation in an attempt to understand a Hebrew document. Some of the early “church fathers” were converted Greek philosophers who used a system of interpreting which was designed for an entirely different purpose than to comprehend The Hebrew Scriptures.
Not only did these Greek minded men use an interpretation method which was inadequate for dealing with Scripture… These same men introduced words which were not in the original Hebrew text of The Tanakh (erroneously labeled Old Testament) and The B’rit Chadashah, or Renewed Covenant (erroneously labeled the New Testament).
Marcion (whom the talmud (or disciple) Yochanan (John) called “a child of the devil”) was the first to use the word “testament” in the place of the term “covenant,” and divided The Scriptures into two sections: “The Old Testament” and “The New Testament.”
A COVENANT IS NOT A TESTAMENT
Today, many so called “bible scholars” confuse the words “covenant” and “testament,” due to the fact they do not know the difference between the two terms. As was true of both The Greek and Roman cultures, some dictionaries today seem barely able to differentiate between covenant and testament. Yet, in ancient Hebrew Society (the culture in which The Scriptures were written), those two words NEVER meant the same thing.
A testament is a Greek legal document which defines the lawful rights of all to whom it applies. A Last Will and Testament, in which someone details their wishes for the disposition of their property after the person’s death, is a prime example. In such a case, the Greek practice of giving greatest weight to the most recent such testament makes null and void any previous (i.e., “old”) testament by the same party. A newer will always supersedes an older will.
By contrast, the word Covenant defines an ongoing relationship WITH NO APPOINTED END. Rather than being a legal document, a Covenant is a commitment to develop a certain kind of continuing relationship. By its very existence it implies a dynamic interaction between partners, a growing organic process.
So, there is really no legitimate way to use the words “new covenant” to imply that you are somehow trotting out a new one to replace and old one.
One can modify an existing Covenant by adding additional conditions; however, you cannot terminate it (declare it null and void) and replace it with a different (or “new”) one.
Replacing is exactly what so many misguided believers attempt to do when they claim “the new testament replaced the old testament”.
We must forget the “new” concept. The Hebrew name for The Gospels and the books which follow (from Matthew through Revelation) is titled the B’rit Chadashah (YermiYahu/Jeremiah 31:31-34).
The Hebrew word B’rit means “Covenant”, and can be defined in several ways: to cut, or to eat together, as in a banquet. What comes to mind is a picture of family and friends, interacting and sharing a meal together.
In Hebrew, Chadashah comes from the word meaning “to renew” as in “a cycle of restoration”, (i.e., “the “new” moon) or “to return to a previous state or condition” as when you “polish a sword”. The same is also used in reference to the lunar cycle… We do not receive a new moon every month; the selfsame moon is just restored to a previous condition.
Therefore, a more accurate term for “new testament” would be “Renewed Covenant” or “Renewed Relationship,” not “new covenant.”
The original Hebrew in YermiYahu/Jeremiah chapter 31 is commonly mistranslated, [but it iscorrectly translated as renewed covenant]:
“See, the days are coming,” declares יהוה, “when I shall renew the covenant with the house of Yisra’ĕl and with the house of Yehuḏah, not like the covenant I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Mitsrayim, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them,” declares יהוה.
“For this is the covenant I shall make new with the house of Yisra’ĕl after those days, declares יהוה: 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. And no longer shall they teach, each one his neighbour, and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know יהוה,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares יהוה. “For I shall forgive their crookedness, and remember their sin no more.” YermiYahu/Jeremiah 31:31-34
This means something completely different from what we imply when we call the last twenty-four books of Scripture by the Greek-based title, “the new testament.” Unlike a testament, in which the legal aspects of a contract are everything, a covenant’s contractual elements play only a small part.
The terms “old and new testament” were labels given to the Word of YAHUAH by early “church fathers,” who were Greek philosophers [and Roman Catholic-trained priests] with no Hebraic roots.
The terms “old and new testament” do not apply to The Scriptures; these labels distract from The Plan of Elohim.
These erroneous labels have created an ongoing misunderstanding which has now persevered for almost two-thousand years… They imply that the “old testament” became less important, or was even “cancelled” upon the creation of a “new testament”
Covenants are progressive: As we enter into each “renewed” covenant with YAHUAH we do not leave behind the responsibilities (or benefits) of the preceding covenant.
No “new or renewed” covenant replaces an “old” covenant…
Each renewal incorporates the provisions of the previous covenant and builds upon it accordingly, which is why Yahushua, the Messiah, told the woman in Matthew 15:24, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Yisra’ĕl.”
Messiah first had to seek out and restore those who had fallen away from the original covenant before the covenant could be confirmed, upheld or added to.
While a testament may give right of inheritance to anyone, a Covenant establishes and maintains a relationship, which, if followed, will lead those in Covenant with each other to greater intimacy. ~William Moore
*Lost in Translation by John Klein and Adam Spears
*The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon
*The Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of The Bible by Jeff Benner
*Covenants by Todd Bennett
For more information on the covenant people, I recommend this video: The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel | Where They Went, What They Are Now Called (Part 1 + 2):
And, please study through the reading of this book through this playlist, the reading of: Nazarene Israel, the Original Faith of the Apostles:
To look further at things we were taught in church, read here: https://12tribesibriy.com/taught-in-church-whole-truth/