Is this the smoking gun to prove the Old Law is done away with?

Many people who see this idea of some of the old covenant still being valid immediately jump to one of Paul's teachings as a defense. The most common of these is the book of Hebrews. So let's check these verses out!

Heb 7:12: For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.

Heb 7:18: The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless

Heb 7:19: (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.

Heb 8:7: For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.

Heb 8:13: By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

Clear right? The old covenant is obsolete? Let's investigate...

Question mark painted on a brick wall
Photo by Matt Walsh / Unsplash

So, what exactly did God accomplish by sending Jesus? Did He send Jesus to modify the Laws He had established, implying that these laws could be imperfect or no longer relevant, or did He utilize Jesus as a replacement for a portion of the Law? It's crucial to note that both stances cannot coexist; altering the Law and fulfilling the Law with Jesus represent distinct theological perspectives.

So, how can we differentiate between these two viewpoints? The Word of the Lord instructs us on how to navigate this situation: test everything against scripture, paying particular attention to context.

Context is Everything

Indeed, context is paramount. One valuable lesson I've learned in my journey with God is that lacking context can lead to numerous misinterpretations and erroneous decisions, and ultimately, it opens the door for the enemy to deceive you regarding the true meaning of Scripture's intent.

It's important to remember that the Book of Hebrews is a letter. All of Paul's letters have specific audiences and convey particular messages to those audiences, which may not always apply universally to all individuals. Therefore, let's delve into the book and examine its context. (I encourage you to pre-read this or follow along in your Bibles.)

Chapters 1 & 2 establish that Jesus is God's son and that He is superior to the angels.

Chapter 3 & 4 are powerful as it establishes that Jesus is our High Priest, and then speaks about how the previous priesthood (Moses, Aaron etc...) fell short and angered the Lord.

So far the context is that the old priesthood fell short of the requirements set by God, and ultimately needed to be changed. Jesus is put forth as the perfect high priest. This would then change the imperfect priesthood into a perfect priesthood.

Note in this context - God's Law therefore is not changed, the people of the priesthood are simply changed to fulfill the Law.

The next few chapters further establish these ideas. One point I would like to touch on is this as I see this passage referenced all the time:

Heb 5:12: In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!

Heb 5:13: Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.

Heb 5:14: But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

The author emphasizes the importance of grasping the foundational truths of God's Word, particularly the Law, since the New Testament had not been composed at that time. The author uses the analogy of milk to represent learning God's Law and suggests that we should progress beyond the basics (drinking milk) to solid food, which involves applying these truths daily through continual practice.

Returning to the Book of Hebrews, we come to realize that the priestly system outlined in the Old Testament has not been abolished but rather transferred to a new High Priest, Jesus Christ. Assuming that the old covenant has been annulled would consequently negate the priestly system within that covenant, leading to the rejection of the idea of having a high priest, which ultimately implies rejecting Jesus as one's high priest.

As we proceed to chapter 7, we encounter a verse that might initially appear to contradict the points made in this passage:

Heb 7:12: For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.

To delve into this topic, I'd like to introduce another subject that I plan to cover extensively in a dedicated teaching and podcast episode: English-translated Bibles. Without delving too deeply into this matter right now (as it will be thoroughly discussed in the future), it's important to note that English-translated Bibles have contributed to a multitude of misinterpretations of Scripture. As a result, I often resort to examining the original Greek and Hebrew languages to gain a more accurate understanding of the intended meanings of words.

The word used in the verse is "Changed". If we look at the original text, this word is:

metatithēmi - G3346 (Strongs) - Translate / Carry over

The word used in the original text actually means to translate something. This completely changes the meaning of this scripture and now when you look at the entire book and its context, says that the Law's that were once for the imperfect priests are now transferred to the new High Priest, Jesus.

We have another "problem" verse in verse 18, which I will also explain using the same method:

Heb 7:18: The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless

Looking at the "set aside" words in the original text we see this definition:

athetēsis - G115 (Strongs) - To refuse to recognize its validity / the complete removal of something

Taking this into account, the scripture again takes on new meaning. The commandment that the Levites would be in charge of the Priesthood has been "removed" and no longer recognized. Again, this links back to verse 12, where it has instead been transferred.

As you can see, it can be very easy to interpret that the Law has been abolished. People will claim the law was a problem and needed to be changed, but looking at the context and the true meaning of the words used in the original texts, we see that this is not the case.

If your spirit is stirring - that is great! I encourage you all to test this against the Word of God. Go grab a coffee or take a walk, because we are just getting started.

Too early for a Guinness
Photo by Clay Banks / Unsplash

So what have we established so far:

1) Jesus is worthy to be our High Priest

2) The old priesthood (Man) fell short of being our high priest

3) The commandment that the Levites were our high priest has been transferred to our new, perfect High Priest, Jesus.

Let's continue unpacking the chapter, as there are more points to clarify. Let's read some more:

Heb 8:7: For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.

Another problem verse. But this one is not as easy to explain. I have highlighted the word I want to discuss. The word "covenant" was inserted there by the authors to offer some clarity, however, this is in fact mistranslated. It is not the original Greek. If we read verse 8, the true subject is God finding fault with the people. This is the true root cause. It was not the first covenant that was the problem, but the people.

Heb 8:8: But God found fault with the people and said: “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.

This makes sense, as otherwise, we see lots of contradictions arise in the Bible. Things like

Pslam 19:7: The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

Where it is said the Law is perfect, but now God is changing His own Law?

What should have been inserted instead of the covenant, is High Priest Administration.

We see this insertion a few times in Hebrews:

Heb 8:13: By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

Heb 9:18: This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood.

That is why context is so important - inserting the word "covenant" in these sentences contradicts the letter of Hebrews and a lot of other places in the Bible.

How did such a big mistake happen?

Mistakes can happen, and one major issue lies in the translations from the original texts to English versions. This serves as a point to underscore why God had to transfer the High Priest administration to Jesus.

It becomes evident, upon careful examination of the letter's context, that the central theme of this letter is the high priest administration. It never deviates from this topic and doesn't interject midway through with a random declaration that the old covenant is no more. Such an interruption wouldn't make any sense within the context of the letter. The focus was always on the need for a replacement of the people, not the Law itself.

Forging a New Path Forward

I can mention many more things in this passage, but I think the main point has been made. So, where do we go now?

Firstly, if it wasn't clear from this teaching, it logically does not make sense to conclude that the old covenant has been abolished. Such a conclusion would create a paradigm where God's Law is considered imperfect, raising questions about whether God is truly perfect. Furthermore, it leads to confusion regarding which commandments to follow. If we are to adhere only to the two commandments set by Jesus, does that mean it's acceptable to steal, murder, or use God's name in vain? Why follow the Ten Commandments if one believes the old covenant has been nullified?

This confusion is not in alignment with God's intentions. His Word must harmonize perfectly, and when you identify these apparent discrepancies, it is imperative to question whether your understanding is correct.

Moreover, how would abolishing the Law resolve anything? Humans remain imperfect and unfaithful. They broke the covenant and the law, so eliminating the Law would essentially change nothing. The only viable solution was to replace humanity within the High Priesthood, namely, transferring the priesthood. The only aspect "fading away" is the commandment assigning them to the high priesthood.

Role of the Prophets

An often-overlooked fact is that if God were to change a law, He would have undoubtedly done so through His prophets, as indicated in Amos

Amos 3:7 Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.

God never foretold any alteration to His nature, His Word, or His Law.

In Jeremiah 31, it was prophesied that this issue would arise, and the solution would be found in Jesus.

The Word of God

Before I conclude, I leave you with this passage out of Matthew from Jesus:

Mat 5:17: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

Mat 5:18: For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

Mat 5:19: Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

It's crucial not to disregard the contradictions that arise when one assumes that the old covenant or Mosaic Law has been abolished. The covenant itself was never the root problem.


In conclusion, one can observe from the Book of Hebrews that taking things out of context can lead to contradictions and open the door for distortion of God's Word. The Book of Hebrews plainly states that humanity was unsuitable for the role of high priest as outlined in the old covenant, so God transferred this role to Jesus, effectively "renewing" the covenant with Jesus as our High Priest. The mistranslation of words has led many contemporary Christians to believe that God's Law no longer applies to us today.

Based on what has been outlined today, it becomes evident that such an interpretation doesn't align with the Bible's overall message. It would create contradictions within the Bible, suggesting that God's Law was never perfect, which raises questions about the perfection of God Himself. Such notions are not in line with God's character, as His Word is eternal, rejuvenating, and flawless.

In Part III, we will unpack the book of Romans, which is another book used to challenge the idea that we are free from the Law, and do not need to follow any of its commands.