It’s sometimes questioned if the Old Testament applies to Christians today. Often it’s said that the Old Testament was for the Jews, or even that the Old Testament does not apply to so-called “New Testament” church.
The Old Testament – The Foundation of the New Testament
The Old Testament is the basis for the teachings and events in the New Testament. God’s truth is progressive. The Lord revealed Himself to His people through the prophecies, sacrificial system, covenants, and promises of the Old Testament. And He affirmed in the New Testament that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). The Word “all” includes both the Old and the New testaments.
There is not a word in the Old Testament that can be discarded. For “prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). Therefore, both the Old and New Testaments are inspired, written by men who were guided by the Holy Spirit. Hence, “The Scripture (both OT and NT) cannot be broken” (John 10:35).
Jesus and the Old Testament
Jesus our perfect example showed His confidence and belief in the Old Testament. For He quoted it as the authority for everything He was teaching. At the temptation, He said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone’ … It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ … For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10). And before His crucifixion, He prayed to the Father saying, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17). The truth that existed for the disciples at that time was the Old Testament.
The New Testament Fulfills Old Testament Prophecies
The Old Testament prophecies confirm its divine inspiration (Isaiah 42:8, 9; 46:9, 10). Some of these prophecies deal with successive world empires (Daniel chapters 2, 7, 8), the capture of Babylon (Isaiah 45:1-3), its destruction (Isaiah 13:19, 20 Jeremiah 51:37), and Egypt’s fall (Ezekiel 29:14, 15 30:12, 13)….etc.
Modern discoveries discredited Bible critics as it affirmed the existence of many biblical characters, places, and events. These discoveries affirmed the existence of Belshazzar (Daniel 5:1) Sargon (Isaiah 20:1) and the 39 kings of ancient Israel and Judah. Also, the discoveries proved the existence of Bible places and cities such as the Hittite nation (Deuteronomy 7:1), Nineveh (Jonah 1:1, 2) and Sodom (Genesis 19:1). Thus, evidence proved the validity of the Bible (Isaiah 45:19).
In addition, the Old Testament predictions of the coming Savior (more than 125) were so specific and so clearly fulfilled by Jesus Christ that He (Luke 24:27) and apostles (Acts 18:28) used them to prove that He was indeed the Messiah. Also, the OT end-time prophecies of Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Malachi line up with the signs of the end in the gospels (Matthew 24, Mark 13; Luke 21) and the book of Revelation.
The Unity of the Old and New Testaments
Interestingly, the unity of the two testaments is one of the greatest miracles of the Scriptures. Bible authors wrote the 66 books of the canon on three continents. 40 different authors wrote God’s messages in three languages. They did that over a period of about 1,500 years. The topics were on the most debated subjects. The authors were individuals who, in most cases, had never met. Their education and background varied greatly. Yet, though it seems completely unthinkable, the 66 books are in full agreement with one another.
Finally, the Old Testament reveals the truths about God’s character. Also, it essentially answers life’s most puzzling questions: (1) Where did I come from? God created man on His image (Genesis 1). (2) Why am I here? Life is an allotted period of time for man to know His Creator (Ecclesiastes 12:13,14). (3) What does the future hold for men? God’s Word proclaims the eternal kingdom of peace for the righteous and the final death of the unrighteous (Revelation 21:3-8).
In His service,