Often many folks have difficulty making the distinction between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Occasionally, some of our Bible translations muddy the issue. The original word rendered "destroy” (Matthew 5:17-18) is intensive, and describes the violent tearing down of something much like a heavy wrecking ball that is used to tear down an old building to make way for the new. From the RSV of 1946, nearly all the subsequent versions have translated the word "destroy” here to "abolish.” In fact the same newer translations say in Ephesians 2:15 that Jesus "abolished in his flesh” the law and identified it there by the phrase the "law of commandments” that separated the Gentiles of the O.T. from the Jewish people. Jesus said He came not to destroy, but to "fulfill” the law, He also took it out of the way, thus abolishing it (Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:14).
However, the Bible clearly teaches that the Old Testament is no longer in effect, that is, those living in the Christian age are not responsible for keeping it. Jesus said "All power [authority, ASV] is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18). The NT letter of Hebrews begins with the following; God "Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:2). In numerous other passages, the NT makes it very clear that although the O.T. is good to study (Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11), it is not that to which we are charged to obey. Galatians chapter 3 is especially clear and important. Notice: 

· Justified by the faith of Abraham (vs. 9). 
· If one takes any part of the O.T., he must take it all (vs. 10). 
· No man is justified by the law (vs. 11). 
· Jesus redeemed man from it (vs. 13). 
· Limited in duration til the seed should come (vs. 19). 
· The Law (O.T.) was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ (vs. 24). 
· After faith has come we are no longer under the schoolmaster (vs. 25). 
· Those who attempt to be justified by the law (O.T.) are "fallen away from grace” (Galatians 5:4).
In addition to all of these, elsewhere the New Testament also teaches that we are not under the Law of Moses today. For example, Jesus said, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my sayings, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48 italics mine, ER). Jesus said His words would judge us, not Moses’ or any other law except that which Jesus ushered in. When the apostle Paul preached that great sermon in Athens on Mars Hill he said, that "God hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he hath ordained” (Acts 17:31, italics mine, ER). That man in the text is Jesus! The facts on this subject are very clear. Jesus’ will or testament is expressed in the twenty-seven books of what we call the New Testament. God could not have two wills or testaments in effect at the same time, and Jesus’ will is our authority after His death, (Matthew 28:18; Hebrews 9:15-17). In this, God has given to mankind everything we need from the grace to be saved, to instructions as to how to be pleasing to Him, (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Ed Rodgers
Muskogee, OK.