The answer to the question above is no, it does not.
Many millions of people believe that the bible is God's Word to mankind and/or that the Old Testament - which accounts for about 75% of the bible - reveals God and what God is like just as much as what they call the New Testament. Many thousands of books have been written by religious scholars which attempt to reconcile or harmonize the god that is portrayed in the old testament with the God that is revealed by Joshua of Nazareth.
The most typical statements you will hear in that regard usually fall along the line of 'Well, the just nature of God is emphasized in the old testament while the loving nature of God is emphasized in the new testament'. Is this a legitimate argument? Well, God no doubt wants what is just, for He gave we his Created beings the ability to understand and want that which is just. In other words, justice is a very important concept that we human beings hold and care about. If someone does that which is wrong, we want that person to have an appropriate consequence for their wrong deed, for that is justice.
Unfortunately for those who believe God is just and who believe the Hebrew scripture (the 'Old Testament') accurately represents God's nature will need to put aside reason and logic in order to hold to that contradictory belief. There are many examples of gross injustice in the Hebrew scripture. Here is one example of many from 1 Sam. 15:
Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord.2 This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. 3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”
So, this passage has God supposedly commanding Saul, through Samuel to go kill thousands of "women, children and infants". IT IS NEVER JUST TO KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE AND THE CHILDREN AND INFANTS WERE CERTAINLY INNOCENT. I would suggest that many or most of the women might have been innocent as well from the perspective of not endorsing, agreeing with or supporting the wrong treatment the male Amalekites choose to manifest towards the people of Israel. It is also wrong to kill animals for no reason other than vengenance against people who are caring for them.
The simple truth is that the Hebrew scriptures portray a god who has no problem using people to kill other people, including women and children and babies.
In fact, the god of the Hebrew scripture kills little children directly himself as is given in the Moses exodus story.
"Moses said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘About midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt, and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the firstborn of the cattle as well." Exodus 11:4-5
The god of the Hebrew scripture is a god who requires sacrificing animals and doing stuff with their blood in order to appease his anger. He is a god that acts out of vengeance, spite and blood thirstiness. The god of the Hebrew scripture sends evil spirits to torment people and cause them to act treacherously towards others:
"Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech, so that the violence done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood might be laid on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to kill his brothers." Judges 9:23-24
'Scriptures' like the ones above, are the very reason why the Light of the world did NOT point people to them! His teaching of "love your enemies" is meant to transform the people of the earth, and it can in no way be reconciled with the actions attributed to god in much of the Hebrew scripture.
The simple truth is that the god of the "Old Testament" (in reality, the Hebrew scriptures) is essentially NO DIFFERENT than the god of the Muslim scriptures. Both religion's gods justify using violence to get their way. Thus, Christian, Jew and Muslim all have created and "believe in" a very similar god...
Most importantly, Joshua of Nazareth does not promote, encourage, teach, direct or otherwise tell people to look to the Hebrew scriptures to understand God, who he calls his Father. Yes, Joshua did say that some Hebrew scriptures (very few) pointed to him as Israel's Messiah, but the purpose of those scriptures that point to - or identify - him was to get people to listen to HIM, NOT to remain in the Hebrew scriptures as this saying makes clear...
What did Joshua of Nazareth plainly teach regarding the important of the Hebrew scripture and its teachings?
In the above quotes, the Light of the world boils down the entire moral teachings of the Hebrew scripture into a very simple principle, "treat others the way you want to be treated", for, he says, "that encompasses the entire "law and prophets". In other words, all the ethical truth in the hebrew scripture could be boiled down to that one principle.
Furthermore he says that the Jewish people were proclaiming the Hebrew law and prophets UNTIL Joshua came, and now something new and different is being proclaimed, "the Kingdom of God".
Finally, he says that a person cannot try and join or mix the two - the message of the law and prophets and the message of the Kingdom of God - and if one tries to join them or mix them, both will be "ruined".
In all of the teachings of Joshua of Nazareth, does he teach that his followers must keep/observe the old covenant, or even a part of the old covenant? This is a very important point, for we have many hundreds of teachings of Joshua of Nazareth in the four gospels. He addresses how his followers are to live our lives quite clearly and comprehensively in those four books. As far as this author knows, there is no situation regarding how we are to relate to, speak to, and act towards our Father that he does not address. In like manner, as far as this author knows, there is no situation regarding how we are to relate to, speak to, and act towards others that he does not address.
If this is true (and the reader should seek it out), then his NOT saying to his followers that they must keep the old covenant speaks quite loudly and clearly. And, as we shall see, he does in fact tell his followers that they are not bound by the OLD covenant which applies only to Jacob/Israel and his descendants. Nor does Joshua teach that his followers are to look to the Hebrew scripture to understand God and what God wants, AND he very clearly teaches we are to look to HIM to understand God and what God wants.
The good news is that the One whom the Jew's were looking forward to coming, came, and he invited all people - Jew and non-Jew - to become children of God. He calls all people to himself, not just Jews, and makes superior promises to those which exist in the Jewish scripture. Yes, the One who calls himself many things, like, 'the Light', 'the Way, Truth and Life', the 'Son of Man', the 'Son of God', the 'Good Shepherd', and several other things - was born to Jewish parents. But those who should have submitted to him as 'his people' - the Jews, the descendants of Jacob - instead rejected him. This saying of John is true and sums up well what Joshua taught and experienced, "He (Joshua) came to his own (the Jews), and those who were his own did not receive him. But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in his name"" (John 1:11-12)
If you, dear reader, claim to be a follower of Jesus or Joshua of Nazareth, does he teach that you must be like a Jew, Hebrew-like, or observe Moses' laws in order to please his Father? This author understands your confusion regarding 'the bible' and bible-based religion. You might be surprised to come to know that Joshua of Nazareth does not say you must be, act, or sound, Jewish-Hebrew in order to be pleasing to God. Nor does he teach that you must follow Moses in order to be received by his Father. In truth, he does not, for then he would be the 'Son of Israel' and not the 'Son of Man', his favorite title for himself.
The man who came through the Jewish people, transcended the flesh of that lineage and spoke as the Model for all mankind.
As such, he plainly pointed AWAY from the Jewish scripture and religion and instead pointed to himself in the most comprehensive way possible - "I am the Way, Truth and Life". Contrary to what most bible/scripture people believe, Joshua never taught that his followers were to look to the Jewish scriptures in order to understand his Father. In fact, he plainly taught what people ought to do to understand and know his Father:
"He who sees me sees the One who sent me." (John 12:45)
Joshua said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own initiative, but the Father abiding in me does His works." (John 14:9-10)
"So Joshua answered them and said, 'My teaching is not mine, but His who sent me'." (John 7:16)
"I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world." (John 8:26)
"And He who sent me is with me; He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him." (John 8:29)
"For I did not speak on my own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent me has given me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak." (John 12:49)
"He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me." (John 14:24)
Joshua of Nazareth plainly says that to know HIM is to know the One who sent him, and to know them is eternal life!
How much more clearly could he have said it? Eternal life is found only in knowing God through Joshua, NOT through Moses or Paul or anyone else!
Unfortunately, for most people caught up in the messianic versions of bible/scripture-anity, they twist Messiah's words here and have him saying...
'This is eternal life, that they may keep Moses' commands as well as admire and/or keep Messiah's'.
Joshua NEVER says that his followers ought to look to the Jewish scripture to know him or his Father's will. Joshua did refer to the Jewish scripture while he was with the Jews and talking to Jews, for the Jew's held their scripture very highly in terms of trying to understanding their God. But if you look at all of Joshua' references to the Jewish scripture, what you will find is he almost always used the Jewish scripture to first and foremost, point to himself as the Messiah of Israel so that the people would listen to HIM. The vast majority of the time that Joshua refers to the Jewish scripture is to either say he is fulfilling it as their Messiah, or rebuking the religious leaders for their lack of understanding their own scripture.
Don't believe me? Here are all of Joshua' sayings regarding the Jewish "scripture".
Joshua said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures, 'THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone; THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD, AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES'?" (Matthew 21:42)
But Joshua answered and said to them, "You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God." (Matthew 22:29)
"How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?" (Matthew 26:54)
"But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets." Then all the disciples left him and fled." (Matthew 26:56)
"Have you not even read this Scripture: 'THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone'" (Mark 12:10)
Joshua said to them, "Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God?" (Mark 12:24)
"Every day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me; but this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures." (Mark 14:49)
And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." (Luke 4:21)
"And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures." (Luke 24:25-27)
Joshua's most important statement regarding the Hebrew scripture is next, as it directly address the question of should his followers (or anyone for that matter) look to the Hebrew scriptures to enter into Eternal Life:
"You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal Life; it is these that testify about me; and yet you are unwilling to come to me so that you may have Life." (John 5:38-40)
"He who believes in me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" (John 7:38)
Joshua answered them, "Has it not been written in your Law*, 'I SAID, YOU ARE GODS'? "If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'? "If I do not do the works of my Father, do not believe me; but if I do them, though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." (John 10:34-38)
* Please note the phrase, 'your law' that messiah uses referring to a direct quote of the Jewish scripture. It is strange indeed for Messiah to refer to his Father's Words as 'your law' if they are his Father's words. See also John 8:17 for "your law".
"I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'HE WHO EATS MY BREAD HAS LIFTED UP HIS HEEL AGAINST ME.' (John 13:18)
"While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled." (John 17:12)
There you have it...all the statements Joshua of Nazareth makes about "the scripture" (of course meaning the Hebrew scripture).
As you can see, Joshua NEVER says anything to the effect of, 'Read and seek to understand the (Jewish) scripture in order to know and understand me or my Father'. In fact, in the last saying above (John 5:38-40) regarding the (Jewish) scripture, he says that their possessing and seeking to find eternal life through 'the scriptures' ("search the scriptures", and "in them [that is the scripture] you have eternal life") WAS A MISTAKE. He says the Jewish scriptures testified about him, yet they did not even listen to their 'sacred scripture', and thus they rejected the Messiah.
For those with eyes to see, Joshua of Nazareth tried to use the Jewish scripture to turn people to his Father by having them receive him as their Messiah, the Anointed one of God. He told the Jews that he was fulfilling the Messianic portions of their scripture, and he did this so that they might believe HIM. Again, Messiah himself NEVER said that his followers were to read, study, learn, or look to 'the scripture' as the source for knowing God or knowing His will. In contrast, he says that his followers are to look to HIM as the ONLY authority for knowing his Father and his Father's will.
Please, reader, understand the distinction between Joshua pointing out to the Jews he encountered during his first visit, that he was fulfilling the Messianic portions of their scripture VERSUS his telling his follower to look back at that OLD covenant scripture in order to understand and know his Father and himself.
The former (pointing out his fulfilling portions of their scripture) he did.
The latter (telling those who follow him to look to the Jewish scripture to understand and know himself and his Father), he most certainly did not.
And yet, so many who claim to be followers of 'Jesus' look to the Jewish scripture to understand God and even to understand the Light of the world! Sadly, people will almost always do ANYTHING but look to the LIGHT to understand and to get to know God. It is much easier to look to Moses or the prophets to try and find how to live one's life, than it is to look at the one who says...
Truly, it is easier to 'go to church' or 'preach the gospel' or 'be filled with the holy spirit' or abstain from eating pork, or to rest on Saturday, than it is to lose our life - the former will profit us nothing - the latter will gain us Life everlasting.
Not only does Messiah NOT teach that his followers are to look to the Jewish scripture to understand and know his Father and himself, but he also says that for his followers, the Jewish scripture SHOULD NOT BE LOOKED TO in order to understand or know his Father or himself. The following sayings of the Light, which are quoted above, will bear the latter truth above, out.
"The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it." (Luke 16:16)
Here, Joshua says that the law and the prophets have ceased to be proclaimed, and that something new is happening-that he is instead preaching "the kingdom of God". Thus, the law and prophets have been replaced by the message of the kingdom of God. John the Baptist was the last voice of the old covenant. The Messiah had come, and was preaching something new and different than the law and prophets-he was preaching that the kingdom of God had come, that he was the Appointed King, and he was the Way for a person to enter the kingdom of God. The heavenly Father's use of Moses' law and the prophets to try and bring people to himself was over, done, finished. It had to be finished since it was imperfect, as the Light plainly showed in Matthew chapters five through 7 (please see, "Follow Jesus, Not Moses")...the Perfect One came, and thus the end of the imperfect words of Moses.
If these things be so, then why, dear reader, would you reject Messiah's words on this matter, and instead still turn to that which has passed away, especially if you were never a recipient of the supposed promises in the first place???
"In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 7:12)
So, what does the new King want his subjects to do? He graciously refers to the old in order to help us understand the new. The King wants his subjects to love other people-to treat them the same way that WE want to be treated. In fact, that simple command - to "treat people the same way you want them to treat you", sums up, or is the heart of, what God was trying to get through to people by using Moses to write Moses' law.
No more thousands of words-rules in the Torah. Rather, and in contrast, simply, "treat people the same way you want them to treat you".
No religious rituals. Rather, and in contrast, simply, "treat people the same way you want them to treat you".
Dear reader, if we actually practiced treating others they way we want to be treated, the world would be a radically different place!
Messiah makes this simple truth plain in his teachings given in Matt. 5-7. Please do read those marvelous words and see if they will support Hebrew-OT religion. If you have eyes to see, you will see that they do not support all the old stuff in the Torah, but instead support a simple love of other people-how to live our lives to love others and thus please the King whom we are supposed to love supremely.
Please don't deceive yourself by saying, 'oh, but to obey Moses' teachings will lead to loving others'. That is certainly selective thinking and filtering out that which does not support your belief. Here are a few of Moses' laws:
"You are not to boil a young goat in the milk of its mother." (Exodus 23:19)
"You shall take the ram of ordination and boil its flesh in a holy place." (Exodus 29:31)
"Moses spoke to the people, saying, "Arm men from among you for the war, that they may go against Midian to execute the LORD'S vengeance on Midian." (Numbers 31:1-18)
"Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately. "But all the girls who have not known man intimately, spare for yourselves." (Numbers 31:1-18)
There are hundreds of other such rules, laws and ordinances of Moses - in truth, Mosaic religion. And for a person to argue that keeping Moses' teachings, like the examples above, lead to loving one another, is to be deluded.
"And in the same way he (Joshua) took the cup after they had eaten, saying, 'This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood'." (Luke 22:20)
Simply support of Luke 16:16. A new covenant was established by Joshua, and all his followers are bound only by the new covenant, not the old. New means, new! What is the NEW covenant? It is to trust in, and submit to, the new King and what HE SAYS only! Which brings us to the next truth:
And they said to him, "The disciples of John often fast and offer prayers, the disciples of the Jewish religious leaders also do the same, but yours eat and drink." And Joshua said to them, "You cannot make the attendants of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you? "But the days will come; and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days." And He was also telling them a parable: "No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old garment; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. "And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. "But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. "And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, 'The old is good enough.'" (Luke 5:33-39)
The context could not be clearer. The narrator, Luke, starts this passage with the Jewish religious leaders observing a contrast between two sets of people under the OLD covenant versus those people under the New - John the Baptist's followers and the main Hebrew religious sect's followers versus the disciples of Joshua. And the contrast was John the Baptist's followers as well as the religious leader's followers all fasting, while the disciples of Joshua were not fasting. Fasting was, and is, a main component of Jewish-Hebrew religion. Joshua' followers were not observing the Jewish fasts because the King was there and he was saying it was not necessary to keep the fasts in order to please his Father. And so, the question was asked, and the King answered. But lest they not understand the bride and bridegroom illustration, the King took a step back and addressed the question at a level deeper. He addressed the entire old covenant versus new covenant issue that his Father was doing with this teaching.
The two illustrations he gives are clothes and wine. He says that no one uses new cloth to patch an old cloth garment. Furthermore, he says if one tries to do that, both will be ruined. In like manner, so it is with wine and the wine container of that time. He says that no one puts new wine into an old wineskin for if one does, both the new wine will be ruined as well as the old wine skin. This teaching of the Light followed right on the heels of the religious leaders and their followers questioning why Joshua and his disciples did not keep the fasting ordinances of the old covenant like they and John's disciples did. Again, his answer is plain for those with ears to hear. He even finishes the teaching by saying that those people who have drank the old wine will not care for the new wine-they will reject the new for the old.
Thus, so it was at that time, and so it is today with the Jews. But how strange that those who are not Jews also reject the new for the old, for they were never actually partakers of the old! In other words, how foolish that non-Jews prefer the Jewish way of Moses and the prophets when they are not partakers of the promises of Moses and the prophets! Most messianic bible people will respond to that truth by saying that they BOTH follow Messiah as well as obey 'God's commands' in the old covenant. However, Messiah plainly says in the passage above that to try and do that "ruins" both.
What about the term "ruins" does the reader not understand?
Sadly, it is hard for all of us to overcome the things of the flesh-that is things that have no bearing on our faithfulness to the King except to serve as hindrances. There is one fruit of the flesh of the messianic-Moses-Hebrew religionists that should not go unmentioned in this article. That practice-belief is to think that pronouncing one's words - especially religious words - in a Hebrew way is somehow commendable to God. That practice is based on people who believe that being Hebrew-like is commendable towards God. For people who are supposed to be listening to Messiah, that is indeed strange, for Messiah never comes close to even suggesting such a thing.
All of the arguments that this author has heard for that practice have no basis in Messiah's teachings, but rather have their basis in the flesh ... 'Messiah spoke that way...', 'the Hebrew language...', 'We should talk like Messiah talked...". It is sad indeed that people - especially non-Jews! - think that that type of stuff somehow commends them to their heavenly Father. It is no different than any truly racist group thinking that their language or speech mannerisms are superior to others or are pleasing to God, while other people's language or speech customs are inferior or speech mannerisms are displeasing to God. To think that pronouncing one's words in a Hebrew-like manner is pleasing to the Father is to have a serious lack of knowing the Father in that area. What kind of God cares about how one pronounces a word if the person who utters it is sincerely trying their best with what they know? Sadly, the sacred name messianic thing is 'good' for another few hundred sects, as each disagree with each other's spellings and pronunciations! (Please see the article, "Another Foolish Reason to Divide" regarding Messiah's name)
Please, dear reader, turn away from thinking that you are to listen to Moses AND Messiah and yet still be able to have Messiah as your Master. You may deny that Moses is a master of your spiritual life, but in as much as you try to listen to both Messiah and Moses, you do in fact have at least two masters (and for most religious people, self is the one and only Master). And Messiah says that to have him as one's Master, is to have only ONE Master.
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth." (Matthew 6:24)
May we focus on the Light, and thus be set free!
"If you continue in MY word (NOT Moses' or any others!!!), then you are truly disciples of mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (John 8:31-32)
For more truth regarding this issue, see the artilces on the old web site here - Messianic Christian Stuff
Let's repeat it again, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." And then come, join the peaceful revolution!