[b-hebrew] New or Renewed in Jeremiah 31:31?

Gary Hedrick garyh at cjfm.org
Fri Apr 13 03:53:07 EDT 2007

            Oh, my.  You can try to tap-dance around this all you want, and
you can quote encyclopedias until the cows come home, but it won't change
the fact that "renewed" is a bad translation in Jer. 31:31.  The adjectival
form for "renewed" would be mechudeshet, not chadashah ("new").  Just ask
anyone who speaks Hebrew.  And this new covenant is NOT ("lo") like the
Sinai Covenant.  It's emphatic.

            Yes, of course, many Jewish encyclopedias talk about the Torah
of Moshe as being something permanent and eternal.  Their editors are
understandably concerned about Christian teaching re: the NT being the New
Covenant, and about supersessionism.  Rambam, I think, was also adamant
about this (I'm not sure-I'd have to look it up).  But when you scratch a
bit beneath the surface, particularly in the mystical tradition of Judaism,
you find that there is a longstanding current of thought within the rich and
diverse heritage of Judaism re: a future New Torah.  I would recommend that
you consult THE MESSIAH TEXTS by Raphael Patai, who taught Hebrew at Hebrew
University in Jerusalem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raphael_Patai).
Chapter 26 is "New Worlds and a New Tora."  It's an excellent resource and
you can buy it on Amazon.com.  I think Klausner also talks about the Messiah
bringing a new understanding of Torah in some of his "messianic idea"

            But for our purposes here on B-Hebrew, from a purely grammatical
standpoint, it's a "new covenant," not a "renewed covenant."  Check the JPS
Tanakh at Jer. 31:31 and see how it translates it.


Gary Hedrick

San Antonio, Texas USA


From: davidfentonism at aim.com [mailto:davidfentonism at aim.com] 
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2007 11:34 PM
To: garyh at cjfm.org; b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Dying, you will die Gen 2:17


The New Covenant has never been a significant feature of Jewish eschatology,
other than the belief that eventually all Jews will know and follow the
Torah without the need to study (Jer 31:32-33). For example, the article
Jewish Encyclopedia: New Testament [1] states: "The idea of the new covenant
is based chiefly upon Jer. xxxi. 31-34 (comp. Heb. viii. 6-13, x. 16). That
the prophet's words do not imply an abrogation of the Law is evidenced by
his emphatic declaration of the immutability of the covenant with Israel
(Jer 31:35-36; comp. 33:25[2]); he obviously looked for a renewal of the Law
through a regeneration of the hearts of the people.

[1] http://jewishencycl <http://jewishencycl/>
[2] http://www.mechon- <http://www.mechon-/> mamre.org/p/pt/pt1133.htm#25

(berith chadhashah, Jeremiah 31:31; he diatheke kaine, Hebrews 8:8,13, etc.,
or nea, Hebrews 12:24: 

the former Greek adjective has the sense of the "new" primari1y in reference
to quality, the latter the sense of "young," the "new," primarily in
reference to time): 

1. Contrast of "New" and "Old"--The Term "Covenant" 

2. Christ's Use at the Last Supper 

3. Relation to Exodus 24 

4. Use in Epistle to the Hebrews 

5. The Mediator of the New Covenant 

6. "Inheritance" and "Testament" 

7. Relation to Jeremiah 31:31-34 

8. To Ezekiel 

9. Contrast of Old and New in 2 Corinthians 3 


Gal. 27-29: For as many as have had a tevilah into Moshiach have clothed
yourselves with Moshiach. There is not Yehudi nor Yevani (Greek), there is
not eved (servant) nor ben chorin (freedman), there is not zachar (male) nor
nekevah (female), for you are all echad in Moshiach Yehoshua/Yeshua. And, if
you belong to Moshiach (YESHAYAH 53:10), then you are of the ZERAH of
Avraham Avinu, you are yoreshim (heirs) according to the havtachah


-----Original Message-----
From: garyh at cjfm.org
To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Wed, 11 Apr 2007 9:36 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Dying, you will die Gen 2:17

    This nuance of meaning ("new" vs. "renewed") sounded interesting, so
I looked it up in Jer. 31:31 and it's berit chadashah--"new covenant."  The
Berit HaChadashah (the Heb. NT) has the same wording in Heb. 12:24.  So
where does "renewed" come from?  The Hebrew word for "renewed" is
Mechudeshet, not Chadashah.
    We have learned from experience that very often, a forced
translation like this is driven by some sort of ideological agenda.  Is that
true here?
Gary Hedrick
San Antonio, Texas USA
-----Original Message-----
Actually, the Jeremiah passage you cite does not say "new: but it says b'rit
chadashah (renewed covenant). If you want a concise explanation (excerpt
below) of the eternal covenant go to
http://www.revelations.org.za/Eternal_Life.htm and it quickly do that,
Harold. I know your questions/commentary is sincere and so I only hope to
respond true to my own understanding which is still developing.
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