Understanding the Old Testament

Next Spring I'll be teaching an Old Testament Survey class at the church. I'm looking forward to it, mostly because I love a challenge and am like most people: I don't know the Old Testament nearly as well as I know the New Testament.

But here's some food for thought: I don't believe you can understand the New Testament fully until you begin to understand the Old Testament. Although there are clear distinctions between the two with regard to how God is working (in the Old Testament through a nation, in the New Testament through a Body), the New Testament doesn't start from scratch. Sometimes I think we put too much discontinuity between the Old and New Testaments. Just a casual read shows you that the New Testament writers drew heavily from the Old Testament as they wrote their letters. You can't understand the New Testament fully until you begin to understand the Old Testament.

But, according to Jesus in John 5:39 and Luke 24:27, you don't fully understand the Old Testament until you understand what it says about Jesus. You can't fully understand the Old Testament until you see how it points to what the New Testament reveals.

Bible study is a spiral. You have to know what the Old Testament says so you can understand how the New Testament clarifies what the Old Testament reveals.


1 comments:

chloeadele said...

I loved going to a bible church AND a messianic congregation for this very reason. It really taught me a lot!