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Sorry for asking so broadly (no prior homework done on semiotics, say). I'm completely new to Biblical Hermeneutics!

Specifically, will accomplishment of the Law mean the Law starts to disappear letter by letter?

17 Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

Do let me know if there's any study I need to do to be able to ask this question with more specificity. Thanks!

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  • Welcome to BHSX. Many thanks for your question. Please remember to take the tour (link below) to understand how this site works. Recall that Biblical Hermeneutics takes the text as we find it to understand what it says; nothing more. – Dottard Feb 26 at 20:41
  • @Dottard Ah, got it. It's a study of Biblical text, nothing more. Thanks! – jhannwong Feb 26 at 20:46
  • @Dottard Thanks for pointing out Biblical Hermeneutics to me. It's fascinating! Your concise note made me look up Biblical Infallibility/Inerrancy. I didn't know people actually studied the Bible for what it is: texts written by human hands, wherever their inspirational sources may have been. – jhannwong Feb 26 at 22:00
  • Do the answers in this question help? hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/151/… – Lesley Mar 3 at 12:56
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What is the “Law” to be preserved? What is “everything” and how “accomplished”? In verse 17, The Law and the Prophets refer to the entire Old Testament. In verse 18, the Law likely refers to the entire Old Testament and not only the Torah. The idea is the Old Testament will endure and be revered for its prophesies until Heaven and Earth pass away.

What is “everything” and how “accomplished”? Everything is all the prophecies in the Old Testament required to be completed at least up until the point that Heaven and Earth pass away. They will be accomplished by the power of God over the course of history.

Specifically, will accomplishment of the Law mean the Law starts to disappear letter by letter? Not all. This says nothing about how the Law may disappear, but only that it must last at least until all that is prophesied in it leading up till the passing away of Heaven and Earth is accomplished.

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  • great answer. perhaps some biblical references that support your answer would be appropriate. In any case, its on the right track. upvoted +1 – Adam Feb 27 at 8:46
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Let's take a look at the passage again (Matt. 5:17-18 NIV):

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."

What has Jesus come to fulfill? Jesus said, "the Law". What else? Jesus said, "the Prophets".

What does it mean that Jesus will fulfill "the Law" and "the Prophets"? (Luke 24:44-45 NKJV)

"Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures."

What does it mean that Jesus will fulfill "the Law" and "the Prophets"? Jesus clarified, "all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me". Hence, the Law and the Prophets mentioned previously refer to the Books of Law and the Books of the Prophets found in the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament), that contain prophecies regarding Jesus.

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  • Thanks for the cross-reference! "Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms" does indeed seem to refer to the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament). – jhannwong Mar 9 at 14:23

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