Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“An Oldie But Goodie”

Categories: NEW TESTAMENT, OLD TESTAMENT
    Why is the Old Testament put together with the New Testament?  Jesus was a Jew, not a Christian.  Jews did not or do not put the New Testament with their Torah, Tanakh, Halakha, etc.  Jews see Jesus as a great prophet, not the Messiah.  Christians only see Jesus as Messiah.  Different religions, different books.

Sincerely,
Apples And Oranges

Dear Apples And Oranges,

There is a great dispute in the religious world about what parts of the Bible to follow.  Some people follow just the New Testament, some the Old Testament, and the majority fit somewhere in-between those two positions.  The answer is in the word “testament”.  Testament means ‘covenant’ or ‘contract’.  There is the old contract that people followed before Christ came (Gal 3:24-25), and Christians are under the new law that Jesus set up (Rom 8:2).  If you are going to be a Christian, the New Testament (i.e. new contract) is your rulebook.

So what use is the Old Testament to Christians?  It is still a great teaching tool for several reasons:

  1. Examples of good and bad lifestyles (1 Cor 10:1-6, Heb 12:1)
  2. Prophecies about Jesus and His church (1 Pet 1:10-12)
  3. Explanations of where we came from (Gen 1:1)
  4. Knowledge of the world Jesus lived in
  5. God wrote it!

The Old Testament is not the place to go to find the specific standards you should live by, but it is a wonderful place to see God at work, interacting in the lives of men.  God’s character never changes, and how He valued His old contract should impress upon us how important the new one is (Heb 2:1-3).