This may be one of the biggest questions asked by Jewish people raised in the traditional Jewish traditions. It certainly was a question I asked.
What would make me believe that the New Testament is for Jewish people just as much as the Hebrew Bible is?
I found the answer directly in the Hebrew Bible. Jeremiah 31:30-33 in the Hebrew Bible (Jeremiah 31:31-34 in the Old Testament). “Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, and I will form a covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, a new covenant…”
Further Hebrew Bible scriptures to support this are: Jeremiah 32:37-40, Jeremiah 33:14-16, Ezekiel 16:58-63, Ezekiel 37:21-26, Isaiah 55:3-8. Please, click on these links and read them! They are awesome!
So, yes, the New Testament is for everyone, including Jewish people.
To analyze the Hebrew Bible for a moment:
Within the Jewish community, the Hebrew Bible is colloquially known as the Jewish Bible. It is also known as the Tanakh or Tanach. Tanakh is a Hebrew acronym that stands for “Torah [The Pentateuch] (Five books of Moses), Nevi’im (Prophets), and Khetuvim [K’tuvim] (Writings).”
The books of the Tanakh and Old Testament have the exact same content. However there is a slightly different order/arrangement between the two, and verse numbers in some instances are different.
Comparing the content side by side, you see that they are identical.
This brings us to a discussion of the Torah.
The word “Torah” in it’s most limited sense refers to the Five Books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. But the word “Torah” can also be used to refer to the entire Tanakh.
Rabbis may include the term “oral Torah” in the word Torah. That oral Torah, also known as the Talmud, they believe was given to Moses by God.
The “oral Torah” is a collection of Rabbinical interpretations of the written Torah. There is absolutely nothing in the written Torah that alludes to the fact that there was another Torah given to Moses. If you find such a scripture, please feel free to post it in the comments section! I am not being facetious, this is a genuine request from a person who fully enjoys learning.
There is an account in 2 Kings 22:8 and 2 Chronicles 34:15 of how the written Torah was both lost and completely forgotten for over 50 years, and then rediscovered by the Temple priests. It is difficult to believe that the Israelites could remember a non-recorded oral law while at the same time completely forgetting what was in the written law.
The words of the oral Torah have absent from them the familiar Biblical wording of “And the Lord spoke…” and “…thus says the Lord”.
If one reads the text of the Oral Torah, one sees the opinions of Rabbis who disagree with each other repeatedly. The Rabbis explain that whenever there are such disagreements, “both opinions are the words of God.”
According to the Hebrew Bible, God does not contradict Himself.
Malachi 3:6 “For I, the Lord, have not changed; and you, the sons of Jacob, have not reached the end.”
Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man that He should lie, nor is He a mortal that He should relent. Would He say and not do, speak and not fulfill?”
Isaiah 40:8 “The grass shall dry out, the blossom shall wilt, but the word of our God shall last forever.”
Habakkuk 3:6 “He stood and meted out to the earth; He saw and caused nations to wander. And the everlasting mountains were shattered; the everlasting hills were humbled. The procedures of the world are His.”
What about the extra books that are in the Catholic Bibles?
There is a cluster of about 14 books, known as the Apocryphal books, which were written some time between the close of the Old Testament (after 400 B.C.) and the beginning of the New Testament. They were never considered as part of the Hebrew Scriptures, and the Jewish people ruled them out by the confession that there was, throughout that period, no voice of the prophets in the land.
The Old Testament had been translated into Greek during the third century B.C., and this translation is known as the Septuagint, a word meaning 70, after the supposedly 70 men involved in the translation. It was the Greek Septuagint that the disciples of Jesus frequently used since Greek was the common language of the day.
Whether or not the Septuagint also contained the Apocrypha is impossible to say for sure, since although the earliest copies of the Septuagint available today do include the Apocrypha, notably placed at the end, these are dated in the fifth century so cannot be relied upon to tell us what was common half a millennium earlier.
Significantly, neither Jesus nor any of the apostles ever quoted from the Apocrypha, even though they were obviously using the Greek Septuagint. Therefore those 14 books are not in the Biblical Canon.
Although these 14 books are used in the Catholic bibles, and are not equal to Biblical Canon, this collection of books certainly can be useful historical content.