For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
John 1:17 (KJV)
But – We’ve stumbled upon another word added by the translators. The word “but” is not in the original Greek text, but it sure does help those with the paradigm that the old law is separate from the new and improved grace, right?
And that’s exactly why this word is injected into the text. It causes division and leads one to believe there are two different gospels – one for the Jews and one for Christians. It’s a theological tragedy to teach that the law and grace are opposed to one another. Grace opens the door to us, and the law helps us all live together in usefulness to YHVH. But the translators don’t want you to come to that realization. They prefer you forsake the law and obedience to YHVH, and choose to fulfill what you think is the best way to live. It’s all under grace now, so don’t worry if you got it wrong.
Well I challenge you to desire truth. Dig deep into the text and don’t stop… ever. Learn the history of the times, learn the culture of Israel, and learn the languages of the people. It will only bring you closer to our Creator.
So let’s start by removing the word “but” from this verse and taking a look at the full sentence in Greek.
ὅτι ὁ νόμος διὰ Μωϋσέως ἐδόθη ἡ χάρις καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐγένετο
Literally, this sentence reads as, “For the law, through Moses was given, grace and truth through Jesus Christ, came into being.” If we have to add a word to make the sentence read better, let’s add the word “and” there instead. The law came through Moses, AND grace and truth were through Jesus. These concepts begin to go hand in hand once again. Think about what this chapter in John is relating to us. Just a few verses up we read that Yeshua was always in existence and everything was made by him. Why would the law be any different? Wouldn’t the law also have been made by Yeshua, and then given through Moses? So it’s not that one was created by one person and the other stuff was only by another individual. That’s not what’s being shared here. Moses, in this context, represents much more than just a man. He was Israel’s first Messiah and a great prophet. But there was going to be another like him that would come and do greater things – Yeshua, the Messiah of the world and the greatest prophet ever.
So when looking at this in proper context we see that through Moses came the law… but unfortunately by that same law, the house of Israel was divorced and could never return as long as their first husband remained alive. So grace through Yeshua came when He took on mortal flesh and became man to fulfill His role in dying for Israel so that they could marry once again the resurrected Messiah, Yeshua. And truth was fulfilled in this because it was completed according to the law which came through Moses. It all ties together perfectly.
Hopefully this helps us realize that studying the text in detail can shed valuable light upon our understanding. Let the Spirit guide you and become engulfed in the living Word – it will never disappoint you, but it will convict you and cause discomfort in your life until you align yourself with God’s will. Just as the law is found in the example of Yeshua, so too can grace be found in the law.