Want to Know Jesus More? Read the Old Testament
by Chad Bird
What we today call the “Old Testament” is what Jesus simply called “the Scriptures.” During his earthly life, there were no Gospels, no letters from Paul, no Revelation. The “New Testament” was yet to be written.
So also, for the first Christians, the Bible consisted only of the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings. In those earliest days of the church, as believers gathered for worship, when they heard the Bible read and preached, they heard only Moses or Isaiah or the Psalms or another OT prophet or sage.
And yet, what did these Scriptures proclaim to them? What did Genesis teach? What did 1 Samuel or Proverbs reveal to them? Whom did they see in the Psalms? Jesus the Messiah. If they wanted to know more about Jesus, they read the Old Testament.
But for us, it’s different, right? We can read Matthew’s gospel. We can pore over Paul’s epistle to the Romans. Or, we can study Hebrews. We have the New Testament, so the Old Testament is no longer relevant or instructive or enlightening to us.
In fact, some parts of it not only confuse us, but trouble us. Some parts even embarrass us. Better to stick with the New Testament. That’s our go-to part of the Bible for learning more about Jesus.
How Jesus Viewed the Old Testament
If that’s your view of the Old Testament, then it’s high time to rethink that stance. To the extent that we ignore or downplay the Old Testament, we denigrate the very Bible that Jesus himself read…