When it comes to covenants, many people instantly think of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. Is the word New really the best translation for the Hebrew word chadasha that is used in the scriptures? If you’ve ever looked at Strong’s definition for this word you would have found Strong’s number 2319, and it means exactly what most of us see in our Bibles, NEW. Interestingly, Strong’s decided to give this word two reference numbers. The other, less known number is 2318, which means to be new, renew, or repair. Let’s take a look at some other places where the word chadasha is used in scripture.
“You chadash (renew) your witnesses against me, and increase your indignation upon me; changes and war are against me.” (Job 10:17)
“Create in me a clean heart, O YHWH; and chadash (renew) a right spirit within me.”(Psalm 51:10)
Who satisfies your mouth with good things; so that your youth is chadash (renewed) like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103: 5)
“Turn Thou us unto you, O YHWH, and we shall be turned; chadash (renew) our days as of old.” (Lam. 5:21)
It doesn’t make sense for chadash to mean new in these verses, just like it makes no sense for chadash to mean new in Jerimiah 31. In our resource titled “Are We Under a New Covenant?” we go into detail about how YHWH made many covenants with man and not once did He ever consider them new.
We can thank Marcion of Sinope for the popularity of dividing the Bible into Old and New Testaments. He believed and taught that the God of the Old Testament was a jealous tribal deity of the Jews. Marcion used the terms “Old and New Testament” in an attempt to create two gods essentially; YHWH whose law punished people for sinning through suffering and death as a way of legalistic reciprocal justice and the God that Y’shua spoke of, as a completely different god who was all about love and mercy.1http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/hcc2.v.xiii.xvi.html? We would all do ourselves a huge favor if we ripped out the pages in our Bibles that say Old Testament and New Testament and read it as ONE complete book.
With that said, it doesn’t really make a difference whether it’s a NEW or a RENEWED covenant. The important thing is that TORAH is still at the center of the covenant. The prophecy is that He will write His Torah “on our hearts” not that He will do away with it or only write the “moral” instructions on our hearts. Whether it’s New or Renewed, it’s still all about Torah!
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