• Stephen

But... So Grace & Truth did not exist before Jesus came to Earth?


But...

John 1:17 (NKJV)

For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Notice how the New King James Version inserts a “but” in italics, thus linguistically pitting the first half of the sentence against the latter half. This would render the understanding...Moses gave us the law, but the law is done with, because now we have grace and truth.

First, let’s take care of the “but.” There is no “but” in the Greek. In the original Greek manuscripts, there is no “but”. That is why it is in italics. The New King James Version just inserts it. Other translations render it differently. They render it correctly.

John 1:17 (NASB) ...no “but”

John 1:17 (NIV) ...no “but”

John 1:17 (ESV) ...no “but”

So, straight from the Greek, without adding words to suit translator bias, it should be rendered as the NASB renders it, no “but” ....

John 1:17 (NASB)

For the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

So, is the law that came as written by Moses, contrary to grace and truth? Did truth exist before Yeshua? Yes. In fact, it is the same thing as the law.

Psalm 119:142

Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth.

Did grace exist before Yeshua? Yes, it most certainly did:

Genesis 6:8

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Exodus 33:12

Then Moses said to the LORD, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’

So, what did John really mean in John 1:17, because so far, scripturally speaking, it does not seem to make much sense. Grace and truth is not new. It most certainly existed before Yeshua. And we also clearly realize that “grace and truth” is not against the Law of God in any capacity. In Matthew 5:17, Yeshua said that He came to fulfill, or pleroo, the law of God. It literally means to fully preach the law of God, just as “pleroo” is also translated in Romans 15:19. Thus, we understand that Moses wrote down the law of God, but Yeshua fully preached, or fully taught, the correct interpretation of the Law of God. He revealed the full truth of the law, the same truth of the law that Psalm 119 already declared. Yeshua perfectly practiced it and modeled it as our example. He became our perfect example of truth - truth manifested in front of us as the Word made flesh. So, John’s statement is now a little more clear.

John 1:17 (NASB)

For the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Meaning this, Yeshua did not negate what Moses wrote, but the complete reality of the truth of what Moses wrote was fully taught by Yeshua. “But what about grace?” Again, clearly grace existed before Yeshua. Here is the difference, though. Grace existed before Yeshua, but the means of grace was Yeshua. The cross was the manifestation of Yahweh’s grace for man. Grace had already existed in plan, but the plan manifested into reality through Yeshua.

Thus, where Moses simply wrote the law down, and we were left to try to correctly understand and interpret it, Yeshua did two additional things. Yeshua took what Moses wrote and interpreted the law perfectly for us in practice as our example, and He also became our means to grace. Some try to have the law be against grace and truth, but clearly that understanding is not compatible with the Scriptures.

For more on the subject, we recommend the teaching Grace and Truth.

We hope that this teaching has blessed you, and remember, continue to test everything.

Shalom, and may Yahweh bless you in walking in the whole Word of God.

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