Old and New Testament – Continuity in Matthew

Dr. Bacchiocchi continues his arguments for the continuity between Judaism and Christianity by looking at some examples of continuity in the book of Matthew.

Christ Life and Teaching

Matthew presents many major events of Christ’s life as a fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies. In addition, Christ’s teachings are characterized as a continuation of the Old Testament. Bacchiocchi notes that in Matthew 7:12, the Golden rule is the essence of the Law and the Prophets. In addition, Matthew 22:40 states that the two great commandments are the basis of the Law and Prophets.

Fulfillment of the Law

Jesus said that he did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17-20). What does it mean to fulfill? In context, “fulfill” means to clarify or explain. Note how Jesus explains the law as in Matthew 5:27-28. Jesus states that the law of “Thou shalt not commit adultery” is “Thou shalt not look at a woman in lust.”


Bacchiocchi provides a compelling case that both Matthew and Luke describe a continuity between the Old Testament and the New Testament. This continuity argues against any claims for an abrogation of the Sabbath based on a radical discontinuity.

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