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My first ever question here is:

What is the Biblical basis for believing that God is the same throughout the Old and New Testaments, especially when one might struggle to reconcile the apparent contradiction between God being love and God being a jealous God simultaneously?

Scriptural support for my question:

God is love. (1 John 4:16)

Love is not jealous or boastful. (1 Corinthians 13:4, RSV)

Then the Old Testament verses in apparent contrast to the two above from the New Testament:

For I the Lord your God am a jealous God. (Exodus 20:5)

For the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. (Exodus 34:14)

  • 1
    Welcome to Christianity.SE, and thanks for asking a question. Though it's a great (and classic) question, unfortunately it is much too broad and opinion-based to work on this site. There will be many different answers depending upon the particular denomination of Christians. For more on what this site is all about, and what questions work here, please see: How we are different than other sites and: What topics can I ask about here?. – Lee Woofenden Nov 3 '16 at 20:02
  • Good evening. That's a shame; Could you recommend me any sites which would allow such a question; would appreciate it. Thank you. – David Nov 3 '16 at 20:19
  • ...or, is there a way in which I might re-word the question here?...Thank you. :) – David Nov 3 '16 at 20:24
  • Hi David. The best questions either ask "What is the biblical basis for ...?" or "What does <denomination> or <group of Christians> teach about ...?" – Dick Harfield Nov 3 '16 at 20:29
  • Is that acceptable Dick/Lee? Thanks for your help. – David Nov 3 '16 at 20:38
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There is reference to God not changing in both the Old Testament and the New Testament:

 I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. (Malachi 3:6)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

While God has not changed, there are some things that have changed, such as God's dealing with mankind based on the death & resurrection of Jesus Christ.

As stated:  

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)

God has dealt with mankind based on covenants or testaments, so there is a distinction between Jew, Gentile, and the Church of God.  

Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God (1 Corinthians 10:32)

In the New Testament there is still reference to God being a jealous God:

Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he? (1 Corinthians 10:22)

Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? (James 4:5)

The apostle Paul refers to being jealous:

I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. (2 Corinthians 11:2)

But he states that it is a "godly jealousy".

This is a really big topic, which may raise more questions, but to wrap up what I'm saying, 1 John 2:2 talks about Jesus satisfying God's wrath against sin. That is the difference, we now have a better covenant/testament based on better promises.

But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises. (Hebrews 8:6)

  • Welcome to Christianity.SE. For a quick overview, please take the Site Tour. Thanks for offering a solid answer with references. I've edited it a bit for formatting and clarity. If anything isn't the way you want it, feel free to re-edit it yourself. For more on what this site is all about, please see: How we are different than other sites and: Types of questions that are within community guidelines. – Lee Woofenden Nov 4 '16 at 6:55
  • Thanks Nick! Great answer. I completely overlooked NT references to God's jealousy. Bravo sir and thank you. – David Nov 7 '16 at 20:07
  • Having read the answer a few times I am really pleased with such a satisfying answer to a theological qualm I have had. Thank you very much Nick. – David Nov 7 '16 at 20:15

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