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Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks delivers this week’s Covenant & Conversation – Behukotai 5771

There is one aspect of Christianity that Jews, if we are to be honest, must reject, and that Christians, most notably Pope John XXIII, have begun to reject. It is the concept of rejection itself, the idea that Christianity represents G-d’s rejection of the Jewish people, the “old Israel”.

This is known technically as Supersession or Replacement Theology, and it is enshrined in such phrases as the Christian name for the Hebrew Bible, “The Old Testament.” The Old Testament means the testament, or covenant, once in force but no longer. On this view, G-d no longer wants us to serve Him the Jewish way, through the 613 commandments, but a new way, through a New Testament. His old chosen people were the physical descendants of Abraham. His new chosen people are the spiritual descendants of Abraham, in other words, not Jews but Christians.