Galatians 3:15 – Modern Textual Criticism’s Covenantal Obligation

Jewish Marriage Contract

If you live long enough you will most likely enter a contract with someone. Perhaps it will be in the purchase of your first home or a student loan. Maybe you will contract someone to remodel your bathroom or put in new kitchen cabinets. Whatever contract you enter into it will not be done alone. There are at least two parties. All parties involved have a responsibility to uphold their end of the contract. And those that do not hold up there end can find themselves in front of Judge Judy.

One element of a contract is that it is not subject to one-sided modification. That is, the person buying the house cannot modify the contracted price of the house without the sellers consent in writing. In other words, all parties engaged in the contract must agree to make said change.

“When negotiating a contract, or after a contract has been signed, you may want to modify, or change, the contract. For the most part, all parties to the contract have to agree to modifications.”

The Scriptures are a form of contract in that they are called the Old and New Testament or Covenant. Jesus as the testator of that Testament/Covenant says at the Last Supper,

“And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Matthew 26:27-28

Paul writes in Hebrews 9:15-16 concerning Christ and this New Testament,

“And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

Hebrews 9:15-16

In like manner the potency and efficacy of the canonical New Testament is made, enacted, and confirmed as a testament through the death of Jesus Christ, the Testator of a new and better covenant. And in being confirmed, the apostle Paul tells us via an illustration that

“…Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.”

Galatians 3:15

The New Testament is confirmed. That we have established. Men neither disannul nor add to a testament/covenant once it is confirmed and certainly not by themselves They must seek approval from the other parties before adding or subtracting from the covenant. Should their be a call to disannul or add to that Testament it seems all parties would have to agree to proceed with such a disannulment or addition.

We exist in an ecclesiastical climate where men, lost and saved alike, are at the ready to disannul or add but without agreement from the other parties, from Christ and the Holy Spirit through Christ’s bride. In fact, the religious and transcendent has been entirely, or quite near it, been omitted and/or ignored in the practice of modern textual criticism.

The New Testament is not merely a book, but a confirmed covenant between Christ and His bride. If some third party wishes to add or omit from that Testament properly so called they must necessarily in all and every circumstance receive the consent of all parties involved. Those parties being Christ and the Holy Spirit through Christ’s bride.

The continual insistence on the part of our Critical Text brothers to add or subtract every other year from the covenant of the New Testament confirmed in Christ’s blood for His bride can be none other than a violation of that covenant established in Christ in that such additions and/or omissions are done without the consent of Christ and His bride. In point of fact, modern evangelical textual critics readily and unashamedly admit that their Christian faith and thus the primacy of Christ and His bride must be and are set aside in the work of textual criticism in order to avoid undue Christian bias in the text-critical enterprise.

“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

Matthew 19:6b

God has joined man and woman in a marriage covenant, therefore no man, not even the greatness and power of government can divide or separate that covenantal bond. God has joined together Christ and His bride in the covenant of the New Testament sealed in Christ’s blood, therefore the work of the modern evangelical text-critic ought to include Christ and His bride as equal, indeed greater, parties in the text-critical enterprise.

To this very day, God has joined together a certain set of inspired words in the Hebrew and Greek, and these words comprise the Old and New Testaments of that same God. Let no man or group of editors divide them without the approval of Christ and His bride.

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