Response Paper

Subject: Religion
Type: Exploratory Essay
Pages: 2
Word count: 526
Topics: Theology, Bible, Christianity, Morality

Moral living can be described as a way of living, which is guided by the rules of right and wrong set by the society. As such, it is fallacious to assert that the Old Testament is irrelevant when it comes to moral living.  Both the new and the Old Testament provide teachings that emphasize on moral living. A number of books in the old testaments maintain that Christian are required by God to lead a just and a fulfilling life (Milne, 2012). In addition, most books in both testaments are against oppression of any manner in the society. In addition, the assertion that the Old Testament emphasize on keeping God’s commandment while the New Testament is the opposite is a clear misconception. Therefore, it is within this backdrop that the paper will counter this misconception by making comparison between various readings in the New and Old Testament. 

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The first chapter of the book of Isaiah provides a vision of Isaiah concerning the nations of Judah and Jerusalem. Isaiah envisions the anger of God on the two nations for their sinful ways. He proclaims that the people in the two nations had forsaken God’s teachings and became rebellious (Groenewald, 2011). In his vision, Isaiah describes the nations as desolate and claims that they would have suffered the same wrath suffered by Sodom and Gomorrah. God only chose to spare it due to the few survivors left. In the book, it appears that God is not pleased by the offerings made by the people of Jerusalem and Judah since they were meaningless (Groenewald, 2011). This is because the people led an immoral life as they did little to help the poor and the oppressed. Isaiah also claims that God detested their prayer since their actions were not morally justifiable.

However, for the nations to receive God’s blessing they had to lead a moral life. As per the book of Isaiah 1: 17, if the people of the Judah and Jerusalem defended the oppressed (widow and the fatherless) and learn to act in a right manner, their sins would be forgiven. This reading goes to show that the Old Testament also emphasizes on moral living. As earlier mentioned, moral living is leading a fulfilling life guided by the rules of right and wrong. 

Moral living is also emphasized in the New Testament in the same manner as in the Old Testament. In the fourth chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes, those who do nothing to defend the oppressed do not please God. This is because in a just society, morally upright individuals are required to defend the oppressed (Longman, 1998). God considers those that are complacent with oppression as unfortunate. In the same book of Ecclesiastes, Christians are taught to be contented with the wealth that they have and using it to live a joyous life. God considers the insatiable need to accumulate more wealth by whatever means as a sickening tragedy.  As such, in both the book of Ecclesiastes and Isaiah, morally living is essentially defending and seeking justice for the oppressed and learning to do the right thing in order to live a fulfilling life.

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  1. Groenewald, A. (2011). Isaiah 1: 2-3, ethics and wisdom. Isaiah 1: 2-3 and the Song of Moses (Dt 32): Is Isaiah a prophet like Moses?. HTS Theological Studies67(1), 00-00.
  2. Longman, T. (1998). The book of Ecclesiastes (Vol. 23). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.
  3. Milne, B. (2012). Know the truth: A handbook of Christian belief. intervarsity press.
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