Mount Sinai and the Sermon on the Mount

come to start demolishing BUT TO FINISHED CONSTRUCTING the Old Testament canon41 by consummating even the NEW Testament canon alongside of the Pentateuch and the Prophets42 — to bring them to full measure43 and thus also TO                                                                                                                                                              (meaning their writings etc. And secondly, there is Jesus' infallible explanation to that effect — in the very next verse (Matt. 5:18), where the Saviour explains: "For..one jot or one tittle shall no way pass away from the Law." These were signs in Hebrew writing. The "jot" is somewhat akin to an apostrophe ('). In a consonant, the "tittle" is like the tail of an "m" (distinguishing that letter from an "n"); in a vowel, some regard it as a single dot (like that on an English "i"), thus distinguishing e.g. the Hebrew "short-e" or segol from the Hebrew "long-e" or tseere. On the latter hypothesis (developed by Dr. Ella), Jesus would here have meant that even the smallest Hebrew consonant (the "jot") and the smallest portion of a Hebrew vowel (the "tittle") — would never pass away from the Older Testament's "Law" nor become redundant for Christian behaviour until the very end of time (and even everlastingly beyond that!). In Matt. 5:17 & 5:18 the words "the Law" refer at the very least to the Pentateuch. In Matt. 5:18, the same words refer possibly also to the previously-mentioned "Prophets" of Matt. 5:17 (and hence collectively to all the writings in the Old Testament). Of course, that includes also the Moral Law -which is neither "demolished" (katalusai in Matt. 5:17) nor "dissolved" (luseei) in Matt. 5:19. See too the statement in the Westminster Confession 19:5 that Christ did not "dissolve" the Moral Law. Matt. 5:17a's ton Nomon thus means the whole written body of the Pentateuch alias Gen. 1:1 through Deut. 34:12). Cf. I Cor. 14:34 with Gen. 3:16 & Luke 24:27,44. It does not refer just to the (moral or judicial or ceremonial) Mosaic legislation therein (listed between Ex. 20 and Deut. 25). Still less does it refer merely to the Ten Commandments of the Decalogue (Ex. 20:3-17 & Deut. 5:7-21). For all of these various categories of laws only constitute a part of "the Law" or the written Pentateuch (of Genesis through Deuteronomy) presently being discussed here in Matt. 5:17a. Obviously, then, the reference here in Matt. 5:17a to both the Pentateuch and the Prophets is not ethic-al — but is clearly scriptur-al. Thus Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones's Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1961, I, p. 184; and W. Hendriksen's The Gospel of Matthew, Baker, Grand Rapids, 1973, p. 288f. For Christ is at this point here defending His full adherence to the Old Testament Scriptures especially against the Judaistic charge that He was one of the Samaritans (who accepted only the Pentateuch but not also the Prophets). Cf. John 8:48. See too note 41. 41 Here again, in Matt. 5:17b, implicitly, it is all the writings of the Old Testament which then still needed to finish being constructed or fulfilled (and which would not be destroyed). See the previously-mentioned Pentateuch and the Prophets in Mt. 5:17a. See too in Matt. 5:18 the subsequent mention there of "Law" (probably meaning all of the Old Testament writings. Cf. Ps. 1:2 & John 10:24 & I Cor. 14:21 & Isa. 28:11f. Accordingly, just like the explicit references to "the Law" and "the Prophets" in Mt. 5:17a (cf. note 40 above), the explicit reference to "the Law" and the implicit reference to the Prophets in Mt. 5:17b is also scriptur-al and not merely or even largely ethic-al. See D.A. Dunkerley: What is Theonomy?, McIlwain Presbyterian Church, Pensacola, Fla., 1978, p. 4. 42 Note that Christ "fulfilled" and upheld the writings of the Older Testament's Pentateuch and the Prophets (and, probably in that very same generation, also even of the New-er Testament Gospel and Epistles too). See at the end of note 43. Matt. 5:17b's pleeroosai is an aorist active telic infinitive, meaning: "to finish constructing." It is not the present continuous infinitive pleeroun, meaning "to continue constructing" alias "to keep on fulfilling." The word pleeroosai here follows the matching aorist infinitive katalusai, as well as the strong adversative alla. For this reason, here, pleeroosai can mean only the DIRECT OPPOSITE of katalusai. Now it is not just lusai (as in Matt. 5:19's luseei alias "dissolve" or "unbind" or "loosen") which here is contrasted to pleeroosai. Instead, Christ here rather uses the intensitive KATA-lusai. As we have seen in note 39 above, this means: "to start demolishing" or "to start pulling down" and hence "to start destroying." Its direct opposite, here required, is not merely "to (re)confirm" — but indeed "to finish constructing" or "to finish building up." Now Jesus did not come "to finish building up" the Older Testament's ethics nor its judicial laws nor even its Moral Law. For they were all essentially complete at the time the Decalogue was given at Sinai. But Christ did come "to finish constructing" the Old Testament writings — by adding to them the New Testament writings, and thus completing every "jot" and "tittle" of the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Matt. 5:17-19 cf. Luke 1:1-4 & 24:25-27,44-49 & John 5:39f,45f & 14:26 & 15:26 & 16:13f & Rom. 15:3f & 16:25f & Rev. 1:1 & 19:10 & 22:7,16,18f. For it was the Son of God Who started to build up the various books of the Bible, even in Old Testament times — by then giving His people every "jot" and "tittle" in "the Pentateuch" and "the

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