Matthew 5:17 – Why not let the text answer the question?

February 25, 2017


One of the most discussed passages in the Brit Chadasha (New Covenant) is Matthew 5:17. I have heard and read so many opinions on what Yeshua (Jesus) meant when He spoke those words over 2000 years ago. Looking at the words themselves seems reasonably straightforward. 


“Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.”


Clearly, the intent of the statement is to contrast the words “abolish” and “fulfill.” So, any reading of the text that would conclude with the understanding that Yeshua was doing away with the Torah and Prophets (another way of saying Tanakh or Old Testament) would be doing exactly the opposite of what the intent of the verse actually says. So, if Yeshua is not abolishing the Torah with this statement, what is He doing?


In order for us to understand this verse, we must first employ a primary rule of Biblical study and that is to keep the text in context. Anytime one removes text from the context it is within, we will always end up with a faulty understanding of the intention of the writer. 


In order to und