There is a need for people today to become familiar with the term “abrogation” insofar as how it relates to Scripture. The principle of abrogation states that earlier revelations are superseded or nullified by later revelations that contradict them. For example; if there were an early portion of Scripture which clearly stated that eating chocolate was forbidden, and a later portion of Scripture which clearly stated that eating chocolate was needed for salvation, under the principle of abrogation the appropriate doctrinal stance is that the eating chocolate is a requirement, and the earlier portion of Scripture can be ignored as it is no longer valid.
There are several major problems with such a concept. Should later “revelations” be held to replace earlier Scripture, there is no way to hold the speaker of such “new revelation” accountable; there is no way to prove the speaker’s words because they are against Scripture, and therefore no way to know if the speaker is truly speaking for the Lord. Under the principle of abrogation, literally anyone can come along, claim to have a “new revelation” from the Lord, and promote it as the truth, no matter how great the difference between what the Lord has said, and this “new revelation”.
For us of the Judeo-Christian faith, abrogation serves as a big “red flag” letting us know that something is wrong. Abrogation holds a host of unsavory implications. Returning to the earlier example, there are only a few possible conclusions that can be arrived at (were abrogation a valid Scriptural principle), all of which are unacceptable: the Lord got it wrong the first time; the Lord was lying when he made the first statement; or, should there be an accompanying statement about the earlier Scripture having been corrupted over the years, then the Lord is incompetent to maintain the integrity of his word. Taking this into account, it is easy to see why Scripture is built line upon line, verse upon verse, with later portions of Scripture being constrained by the earlier portions of Scripture. Were this scenario to have actually occurred, the correct Scriptural stance is that eating chocolate is forbidden, and whoever it was that said otherwise, later, was speaking against the Lord and this speaker’s words are recorded so that we will know this.
Scripture tells us that the Lord is unchanging; the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. His opinions do not change, his requirements for his people do not change, his purpose does not change. It does not matter who says a thing, a Rabbi, a Pastor, a “Prophet”, a Preacher, an Apostle, a Theologian, a Pope, or just a man on the street; if their words do not line up with what Scripture has to say, it is not a message from the Lord.
Truly, “there is nothing new under the sun”. The Messiah himself said that “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law, until all be fulfilled”…
…the earth was still here the last time I looked out my window.