If I could have a penny for the number of times I hear that the atrocities and moral proclamations of the Old Testament are superseded by a new covenant with God in the New Testament, well, I’d have £2.47. Or something.
It’s a get out of jail free card that allows Christians to think that they have got out of jail whilst, in reality, they remain incarcerated and locked up in chains of their own making.
As Robert Price states in his excellent book Blaming Jesus for Jehovah (p. 65):
I believe that many Christians, conservative as well as liberal, think (albeit vaguely) that the New Testament either exonerates the God of the Old or just plain renders him irrelevant. This is very strange if you profess to believe that both testaments are the inspired Word of God.
When it gets to the nitty gritty of the New Testament and how it is supposed to be harmonised, Paul is often invoked. As Price continues:
My considered guess is that they are thinking of the Pauline notion that Christ and his gospel have superseded the Torah, the Old Testament Law. But that is quite a different matter. Paul says that the ceremonial provisions of Judaism (circumcision, kosher laws, holy days, etc.) are no longer binding since their proper purpose has been fulfilled as of the coming of Christ (Col. 2:16-17; Gal. 2:15-21; Rom. 10:4). But that has nothing to do with genocide, as if something so morally repugnant could be proper in the Old Testament dispensation but not in the New.
But, hey, who wants to look too closely? If you’re looking for an excuse to seep Old Testament atrocities under the rug, any old broom will do.
In other words, the New Testament does not morally harmonise those truly atrocious acts in the Old Testament. They still need working on.