We’ve been having some interesting discussions on Nick’s blog here.
steph, one of the commenters, made the comment, “But Jesus didn’t talk about a new covenant annulling the laws” intending it as an argument that the Christian teaching of freedom from the law is invalid if Jesus did not explicitly teach it.
This reminded me of a point made by Larry Hurtado in Lord Jesus Christ – Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity:
Thus for example, I do not think it is necessary for Jesus to have thought and spoken of himself in the same terms that his followers thought and spoke of him in the decades subsequent to his crucifixion in order for the convictions of these followers to be treated as valid for Christians today. A good many may disagree, both among those who assert and among those who oppose traditional Christian beliefs. Most Christians will likely think that some degree of continuity between what Jesus thought of himself and what early Christians claimed about him is at least desirable and perhaps necessary for these claims to have religious validity… (p. 9)
Though Hurtado is speaking here about the recognition of Jesus as proper recipient of worship by the church, I think the argument is proper here. The same argument is used to say that if Jesus did not say, “you are no longer under this law” that we still are. Any teaching or revelation offered by a subsequent follower is not valid.
Mentioning my intent to blog this post to a friend, he commented about having a similar discussion on a different topic, abortion. Apparently some people argue that since Jesus never spoke directly on the topic, we have nothing to base any theological understanding on.
What do you think? Does the fact that Jesus himself does not teach something (which is taught elsewhere in the New Testament) lessen its validity?