The Relationship of Jewish and Gentile Believers to the Law Between A.D. 30 and 70 in the Scripture

44 only their behavior but also their motives as well. While we have argued that the book of Hebrews clearly and completely closes the door on the Old Covenant, particularly in its administration of worship, we have also noted that the date of the letter is relatively late (A.D. 65). 3 Therefore, the actions of believers in Acts should not be informed by (what was to them) later revelation. While these believers may not have known the truths of Hebrews concerning the Old Covenant, they did in all likelihood understand the establishment of the New Covenant. Jesus' words to the Twelve at the Last Supper concerning the New Covenant are clear, and the promise of the Spirit (Acts 1; Ezek 36:26-27) was understood as the guarantee of New Covenant blessing. The question which this information rightly provokes concerns how the Jewish believers perceived their (Old vs. New) covenantal obligations in the critical, transitional period ~epresented by the book of Acts . It is often asserted the Jewish Christians of Acts _,. understood that the New Covenant had replaced the Old and that obedience to the Old covenant was purely optional depending upon the principle of expedience. This explanation seems to dull the historical understanding of the period however . If the revelation of the book of Hebrews was known to this generation then surely they could not have participated in Old Covenant worship for any reason. Additionally, theological statements within the book whi h are spoken to Gentiles are often misapplied to the situation of Jew re ulting in further confusion. The proposal of this chapter is that although Jewi h believer of the b k f t rejoiced in their New Covenant relation hip with God , they joyfully and con i t ntl pre ed their wor hip through the familiar mean of obedien e t the Mo , appar ntl the e o nant a th goal, rather than th end, f the La . 3 W h al ued th t th form of argum nt in H br th f th 1 u 1qu m the tament . . ab e on p