T Nation

God of OT and God of NT


It has been commented upon by scholars and skeptics alike that the God of the OT bears absolutely no resemblance to the God of the NT. I'd like to hear arguments for and against.

A typical argument I find absolutely unconvincing:


It has been said that the God of the OT was concerned with the infancy of Israel. That's rather curious, for God to be concerned with one Nation above all others. It sounds to me that the Jews invented Judaism with a decidedly national slant and that Christianity was an awkward attempt to adopt the God of monotheism into their new doctrine.

For the believers, please reconcile the God of the OT and NT. For the skeptics, provide your evidence against.


The god of the OT was a god dealing with people who were un-saved and subject to the full judgment of God. The NT is god dealing with people with at least the opportunity to wash themselves of their sin. Itâ??s why the NT god isnâ??t as harsh and why people post Jesus arenâ??t bound by OT laws.

There is actually theories about god dealing with people in 3 different distinct ways. OT, during Jesus, and after Jesus.

These essentially correlate to the 3 different parts of god (the trinity).


so, you are saying that he is not only bi- but tri-polar.

Awesome, instills confidence


Here are my alternative theories:

Our God who managed Earth up to 2000 years ago was a total prick so upper management decided to replace him.

God does rule the universe but has found another anthill to fuck up so he is really busy right now and we should hope he does not remember us.


lol. kinda.

My mom has 3 sons. Each of us have very different personalities and had very different parenting needs growing up. She treated us differently (different punishments, amounts of praise, standards in school, est). A good parent treats their children according to their needs even if that means it isn't even handed and seems unfair to the kids. People in the different stages of history have had different needs, therefore god has treated them differently.




I liked the God of the OT better , I thought he dealt with man as they were animals , it seems some where in the NT the people thought they were above animal status


Holy Mole-y talk about heresy. I'll come back to this after I eat my lunch.


Me, or BG?


Sorry if this has been hashed out before, but can someone explain why this is? Does this mean that if something isn't explicitly forbidden in the New Testament that its fair game?


It's more like Jesus what the fulfillment of much of the OT.

For example: Jesus is the sacrifice for sins, therefore, Christians don't need to make all the sacrifices in the OT laws.


I'd say each is very much a product of the lives and times of its writers and editors. The oldest material in the OT probably dates from the 14th or 13th Century BCE, with most of the stories finding their way into the narrative around the 5th C BCE. Many sections could be even older--some are little more than recycled and refurbished versions of ancient Pagan myths (of which the flood myth is a prominent example).

The New Testament was written by different men in a different era. By 100 CE theories of jurisprudence, justice, and legality had been systematically developed by the Romans and spread throughout much of the Mediterranean world. The Romans had also indirectly kept at least certain aspects of Classical Greek Philosophy alive and well. You can argue about the extent to which Roman and Greek civilization influenced the Apostles, but the world was certainly a different place-- and the God men wrote about naturally became a different God.


Except G-d isn't different. You assume He is, which He is not.




Uh oh...


Agreed. So far this looks like me trying to discuss the current NASCAR standings. I have no idea, and I don't really like it so I'm not going to get anything accomplished. I'll be back after cleaning my back yard to rant more.


G-d isn't different. Sorry, don't know what happened there.


Your faith dictates that you must accept the OT and NT Gods as one and the same, so I won't argue that. But do you think that, even if they are the same God, different men affected by different cultural/historical influences would naturally see their world and therefore their God through different lenses?

Ten witnesses of one event usually produce at least two conflicting accounts.


Generally, the OT shows God much more jealous, vengeful, wrathful and angry.
The NT shows God more loving, generous, merciful.
Perhaps it's just the writers or the way I was taught----right, wrong or indifferent.
So, its probably a matter of perception. There is a verse that says God is the same today, yesterday, always.


Good post. You apply historical aspects to the process of religious foundation. Your last line is an exceptional target for any motivated Christian.

Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine - This short book served to focus upon and directly challenge many of the same principles of Christian fundamentals I found disturbing or in need of scrutiny.