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HAGEE, OLD COVENANT, & JESUS’ CRUCIFIXION

Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. —  Leave a comment
Jews reject Christ

As I continue highlighting the numerous errors in best-selling evangelical author, John Hagee, we come now upon two more. These show he really does not understand biblical theology. And this demonstrates that many, many Christians who follow him are extremely deficient theologically. Postmillennialism builds its case from careful theological and exegetical analysis. But modern Christians tend to go with sensationalists such as Hagee.

Let me now move to my third major concern with his theological and biblical understanding.

3. The Old Covenant remains in effect

Hagee argues that “the Old Covenant is not dead” (p. 158). In fact, “Scripture plainly indicates that the church (spiritual Israel) and national Israel exist side by side, and neither replaces the other — ever!” (p. 146, emph. his). “Replacement theology advances the concept that the Old Covenant, or Old Testament, has been replaced by the New Testament” (p. 158).

These assertions require us to believe that Jews are saved today without express faith in Christ — in that they are under the God-ordained, continuing old covenant standards. But not even this helps the Jews much since they do not have a temple in order to carry out the requirements of the old covenant!


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Besides, Jeremiah’s revelation of the new covenant states that the new covenant will supplant the old (or else there would be no purpose in it): “‘Behold, days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,’ declares the Lord” (Jer 31:31-32). Can the Jews ignore the new covenant God has made? The new covenant which is established by the blood of Christ and is pictured in the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25)?

Paul declares that if one keeps the sign of the old covenant (circumcision) as a religious obligation “Christ will be of no benefit to you” (Gal 5:3). This is because “in Christ neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything” (Gal 5:6). He writes that the old covenant’s glory was fading even when given by Moses (2 Cor 3:7, 13). Therefore, the old covenant “has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it” in the new covenant (2 Cor 3:10). Thus, “when He said, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear” (Heb 8:13).

Indeed, Christ came to save us and to unite Jew and Gentile in one body “by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man” (Eph 2:15). To teach that the old covenant commandments remains in effect and are acceptable to God is to put asunder what God has joined together in Christ. And this directly contradicts Jesus’ statement that “an hour is coming when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall you worship the Father…. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers” (John 4:21, 23). Jerusalem will no longer be central; the temple system will no longer be in effect.

4. The Jews are not responsible for Jesus’ death

Hagee vigorously argues that “one of those deadly New Testament myths is that the Jews killed Jesus, yet no justification can be found in the New Testament to support this lie” (p. 125). He defines Anti-Semitism as “a poisonous stream of venom” wherein “Christian leaders [labeled] the Jews as ‘Christ killers” (p. 20). He announces that “the Jews are not Christ killers” (p. 122).

This is not only a mistaken belief on his part, but effectively calls the Apostles and writers of the New Testament liars filled with poisonous venom. Though it is true the Romans physically accomplished the crucifixion of Christ, the Gospel record clearly and repeatedly emphasizes that it was because of the Jews. Pilate even washed his hands of the death of the innocent Christ forced on him by the Jews (Matt 27:24; cp. John 18:28-31; 19:12, 15).


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Jesus prophesied that the Jews would kill him: “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death” (Matt 20:18; cp. Matt. 27:11-25; Mark 15:1). The Emmaus Road disciples even recognized this fact when they described “how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him up to the sentence of death, and crucified Him” (Luke 24:20).

While recognizing the obvious physical role of the Romans in Christ’s death, Peter, Stephen, and Paul repeatedly blame the Jews for his death. Speaking to a general religious gathering of Jews (Acts 2:5-11), Peter states: “Men of Israel, listen to these words: … this Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death” (Acts 2:22-23). Stephen denounces the Jewish crowd gathered at his trial, declaring that they were the “betrayers and murderers” of “the Righteous One” (Acts 7:52). Paul charges that “the Jews … both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets” (1 Thess 2:15). See also: Acts 2:36; 3:13-15a; 4:10; 5:28, 30; 10:39; 13:27-29; 26:10.

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Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

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Ken is a Presbyterian pastor and the author or co-author of over thirty books, most on eschatology. He has been married since 1971, and has three children and several grandchildren. He is a graduate of Tennessee Temple University (B.A., 1973), Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1977), and Whitefield Theological Seminary (Th.M., 1986; Th.D., 1988). He currently pastors Living Hope Presbyterian Church (affiliated with the RPCGA) in Greer, SC. Much of his writing is in the field of eschatology, including his 600 page book, He Shall Have Dominion: A Postmillennial Eschatology and his 400 page, Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation (his Th.D. dissertation). He contributed chapters to two Zondervan CounterPoints books on eschatological issues: Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond (edited by Darrell L. Bock) and Four Views on the Book of Revelation (edited by C. Marvin Pate). He also debated Thomas D. Ice in Kregel's The Great Tribulation: Past or Future? His books have been published by American Vision, Baker, Zondervan, Kregel, P & R, Greenhaven Press, Nordskog, Wipf & Stock, and several other publishers. He has published scores of articles in such publications as Tabletalk, Westminster Theological Journal, Evangelical Theological Society Journal, Banner of Truth, Christianity Today, Antithesis, Contra Mundum, and others. He has spoken at over 100 conferences in America, the Caribbean, and Australia. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and a Church Council Committee member of Coalition on Revival.

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