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Misunderstood Verses of the New Testament - Week 4

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Continuing on this week with our blog series called "Misunderstood Verses of the New Testament" we will be picking out a few verses, briefly reviewing them by listing the perceived problem, the solution, and a few notes containing our thoughts on them.   Today we are going to tackle a couple of verses in Luke 16 about the law and prophets being proclaimed "until John", John 3:16-17, and John 13 about new commands from Christ.

Luke 16:16-17
Problem:  16 “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. 17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.
Many understand these verses to mean once John the Baptist came the law and the prophets no longer applied.  The problem lies in the translation of the word “until” and meaning that it ceased once John the Baptist arrived.

The Greek may be rendered this way as well: The law and the prophet up to John, since then the kingdom which God evangelizing and all into it forcefully urged.

The message of this passage appears to be saying you had the Law and the Prophets telling you how to live, act, and warn you about the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven.  Then there were no prophets for a time period until John the Baptist, then he arrived and began strongly proclaiming the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven again, the need for repentance and turning back to God and His ways, not man’s ways.  This will be covered in greater details in a future teaching.

John 3:16-17
Problem: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Many misunderstand what the word “believe” means.

John 3:20-21 - For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  But he who DOES THE TRUTH comes to the LIGHT, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” 
Walking as Yeshua walked means walking the same instructions that Yeshua walked (1 John 2:6). This is why ALL Scripture is instructions in righteousness (not just some of it) (1 Timothy 3:16).  From a Biblical standpoint, believers are to do what they believe and believe what they do.  For more on this topic, please see our teaching titled Believing.

John 13:34-35
Problem: “A new command I give you.  Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Many use this verse to show that Yeshua added to the Torah and what He commanded was different from what was in the Torah.

Leviticus 19:18 - “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.  I am the LORD”
Yeshua is simply expounding, further explaining the commandment already given in the Torah.  If Yeshua added to the Torah, then He sinned (Deuteronomy 4:2).  To review this, please see the teaching, A New Command.