“The new is in the old concealed; the old is in the new revealed,” said Augustine. This quotation’s main achievement is that it boldly opposes the general tendency among many Christian believers to contrapose two parts of the Holy Bible.

In the majority of translations statements such as “For the Law came through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17), seem to imply precisely that contraposition (contradiction). Even when the translation is more literal (“For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ”), such a contrast is automatically presumed by readers.

The word translated as Law (νόμος) should be translated as Torah/Pentateuch, because this was the primary meaning of the word when it was used by Jews in the first century. The “grace” and “truth” are far less problematic, but still do not fully bring out the force of the spoken Hebrew behind the written Greek. Therefore, we should read John 1:17 as follows: “The Torah came through Moses and unfailing love (חסד) and truthfulness (אמת) came through Jesus Christ.” The grace and truth of God can be clearly seen in the Torah of Moses, while in the Jewish Christ they are displayed to their utmost degree.

The opposite of law was never grace, but lawlessness. The opposite of grace was never law, but disgrace.



  1. Shalom. How well you explained this. I knew the Torah and commandments were not void. Yeshua told us that but this explains it so well. I will print this to share. Thank you.
  2. Excellent job! Thank you. The Hebrew Scriptures teach mankind what/how to sow to reap life. And the New Testament gives us the Passover Lamb when we "miss the mark" of the Torah, while the NT provides us a helper, teacher & power to press forward.
    • Hi Lorraine, this article and all other articles at weekly.israelbiblecenter.com are completely free and open to discussion by all. Now, our courses are at israelbiblecenter.com/courses/ and they are video/audio based; not just articles. Our courses are 5-8 hours long and are broken up into 5-20 minute lessons that can be completed at your convenience on virtually any device. Access to courses requires a membership and you can get one by visiting our sign up page.
  3. Juxtaposition of law and grace is not the primary issue of John 1:17 (IMO) But rather the excellence of Christ over Moses. Law was given through (as a conduit) Moses. Grace and truth originated with Christ. The English translations do not make this clear.
  4. the law was addition to the promise of Abraham, the law was given to conduct us to Christ, The law did not perfected nothing, the law revealed the sinfulness of men without helping him, So here is when the law accomplish its purpose, to take us to THE LORD
Load more comments


Please enter your name here
Words left: 50
Please enter your comment!