Twisted and Destroyed
If the Isaiah 8:20 test is to be applied to Christian faith we should have a consistent definition of law and testimony. What is the law? What is a testimony?
What is the Isaiah 8:20 test? It is a light test. It tests content for accord with the law and the testimony. Speech that lacks this solidarity with the law and the testimony is without light.
What is the law? All of the instruction given to the Hebrew people is law. Torah is the noun derived from yarah, he taught, ירה
More precisely, the law refers to Moses’ 5 books, commonly called the Pentateuch (from the Greek for five scroll, pente teuchos)
An even more restricted but contrived meaning of law is the covenant, the Ten Commandments, thought to be the eternal moral standard for all creation. It is contrived because there could not possibly be any such pre-human standard as the two tablets address. Property, relationships, and procedures that did not exist before the creation of man make such standards irrelevant.
The New Testament has its own precision about law. It tells us about the law of Christ as opposite the law of sin. Whatever the Jewish people called law is, by Christ’s intervention, ineffective for salvation and righteousness. Despite the terrifying, high and mighty claims of the psalmists and the Pharisees, the law is done: it has fulfilled its purpose.
There seems to be little precision in using “the law” as a test for light.
Christ’s testimony is all Holy Spirit business. His speech and work are his testimony and believers, by witnessing his glory and grace are part of that testimony.
In the earlier revelation testimony is grounded in the covenant. Yahweh’s witness, most spectacularly, comes in the fiery and cloudy pillar, the tabernacle, the mercyseat and the tablets of the covenant.
Elbert E Joseph, PhD
Salt that refuses to be trampled