The Inspiration and Endurance of the Old Testament
The Inspiration and Endurance of the Old Testament by Chris Skinner
The words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 5:17-20:
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.This verse is often used by many to prove that the Mosaic Law is still in effect. Understood this way, it poses a problem for all believers. Covenant theologians maintain that the civil and ceremonial law has passed away and argue that the Lord was referring here exclusively to “the moral law”. This view is untenable because, as discussed earlier, there is no basis for this distinction. Furthermore, if this was the case, Jesus would have explained this clearly to his audience as it would have been a foreign concept to them. Jesus was a Rabbi and first century Judaism never made these distinctions.
Jesus lived under the dispensation of the Mosaic law which did not end until his death. What did he mean when he stated that no jot or tittle shall pass from the law? A jot is the smallest letter in the Hebrew language. He is referring to the Law in it's broader usage, the entire Old Testament. Jesus is not saying that Law of Moses is operational for all time, but affirming the inspiration, infallibility, inerrancy and preservation of the Hebrew Scriptures.
The word “fulfil” according to Strong's Dictionary means “to make replete...satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.: - accomplish, X after, (be)complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfil, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply”1.
All things in the Old Testament will be fulfilled. This is in contrast to “destroying the Law” which would meaning failing to fulfil the Scripture. Yeshua was saying that all the things in the Tanakh shall be fulfilled and his words in the Tanakh shall be preserved until eternity.
1 Strong's Hebrew-Greek Dictionary, emphasis added.