No thoughtful reader of the Bible will deny that there is progression and development as God’s revelation unfolds. Sometimes, this means that the old has become redundant, in the light of the new. The good becomes the better, and the better becomes the best. Read the book of Hebrews if you have any doubt about this.
But this is a far cry from the teaching of Richard Rohr, who says:-
Rohr, Richard. The Divine Dance: The Trinity and your transformation (Kindle Locations 2583-2587). SPCK. Kindle Edition.
Far from representing a ‘Jesus hermeneutic’, such a claim can only be made by defying our Lord’s teaching. For Jesus repeatedly and decisively upheld the teaching of the Old Testament.
Rohr cites a few sayings of Jesus in which, on a superficial reading, appear to undermine the teaching of the Old Testament:-
In Luke 4:18–19, Jesus quotes from Isaiah 61:1f, but omits the reference to ‘the day of vengeance of our God’. Does this mean that Jesus denied that there would be a ‘day of vengeance’? No! It means that he, in his earthly ministry, did not bring God’s vengeance, but rather his mercy. (See John 3:17-18).
In Matthew 12:1-8 and John 5:1-23, our Lord is accused of breaking (or permitting his disciples to break) the Sabbath. But in answering his critics, he by no means denied the truth and validity of Scripture. In the first case, he actually appealed to Scripture to prove his point, and in the second, he appealed to the very character and activity of God.
Strangely (because it might have looked like a trump card), Rohr does not mention at this point the famous section in the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus says, “You have heard…but I say”. But our Lord’s argument was never with the text of the Old Testament itself, but with those who promoted the outward observance of the law without regard to heart-obedience.
(For more detailed comments on the passages mentioned, kindly see my Bible Study Notes)