How Important is the Old Testament today?

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The rapid growth of contemporary churches with an emphasis on recovery and fellowship has led to a pietistic generation of theologically shallow Christians. Today’s theology lacks a solid chronological framework. The New Testament has become the ubiquitous tool for helping the lost find a relationship with God through faith in Christ and for developing their personal spiritual life by deepening their understanding of moral principles. The Old Testament has become a collection of inspirational Bible stories with little historical context. Is this not good enough for God?

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is the image of God, the Lord of lords, and our all in all. The name of Jesus is above all names and every knee will bow to Him some day. But which Jesus? The Old Testament defines Jesus by describing God. God created the heavens and the Earth by his spoken word, which is attributed to Jesus in John 1 and Hebrews 1. If there was no supernatural creation, then Jesus is not the Creator. The new Jesus did not judge the world through a global Flood or rescue Israel out of Egypt by crossing a deep Red Sea. By denial or avoidance, the events that define God are disappearing from history.

A good question would be, “Does God value the Old Testament?” The Apostles certainly did. Stephen (Acts 7), Peter (Acts 2), and Paul (Acts 13) all preached with arguments based on the history of the Jews and the words of the Prophets. God speaking to Job distinguished himself from humans by referring to his supernatural works. “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof? When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7)

The Old Testament is first and foremost a history book, written from God’s point of view. Its value lies in the reality of the events that define a supernatural God who interacts closely with all mankind. Take away the events and you are left with human religion. Who would want to trade the worship of the Creator God for the respect for a nebulous idea? I contend that our faith should be founded on archeologically verifying God’s miraculous presence in the world, as documented in the Old Testament. Faith should motivate us to believe ALL that is written in Scripture, to study to be familiar with it, and to research claims against it. All Christians are not Jews, but we share the same historical heritage. In fact, the Old Testament is the true history of all nations and of all mankind.

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