Why was the New written when the Old Testament already existed?

Author: BibleAsk Team


Automatic Transcript Generated:

Speaker 1

So Daniel is asking, why was the New Testament written whenever the Old Testament already existed? Does this mean the Bible was changed or updated? Did Jesus or God approve of the New Testament?

Speaker 2

So Daniel, this is a very excellent question, and I’m glad you asked, because I think a lot of people have a mis deception about what the New Testament is. What’s it trying to do? How does it fit into God’s plan? So let’s dive into that now. I think first, an important concept to understand this is big word for some people is this concept of progressive revelation. And at the heart of it is this idea that God didn’t give humanity everything all at one time. And I don’t believe God ever is. There’s so much to know, so much to learn. God is an infinite God, that this is something that we get to look forward to over the course of eternity. And think of this analogy too, where just go back in time 200 years, just go back to around 1820s, 1830s. Look for Abraham Lincoln. He’s a smart guy. And then try to explain to him everything he needs to know so he can make his own iPhone. You’re going to have to teach him modern physics, including electricity, magnetism, radio waves, photons, electrons, LEDs, touch screen sensors, cell phone technology, Wifi, Bluetooth, microprocessors, flash memory, refined earth metals, EUV lithography and other manufacturing processes.

Speaker 2

And then you have to get it to software, modern computing apps, the Internet. So are you going to be able to teach Abraham Lincoln these things in one think? Nope. It’s going to take you a very long time, and it may be that Abraham Lincoln will die before you would be able to teach him everything he would need to know to build his own iPhone? And why do we think it’s going to be different when it comes to. So we have God from the very beginning revealing certain things about know Adam and Eve, probably heard a bit, but they were still pretty brand new. Also just created beings. Who knows how many weeks or months went by before they sinned, but they were starting to learn about God. Then they sinned, and then God now is continuing to educate over time, over time, over time. Then you get to things like the flood. God starts over a bit with Noah, then we have the Tower of Babel. A lot of humanity is plunging, going back into sin. God calls out Abraham again, almost has to start over with religion, with Abraham, and then the Israelites end up going into Egypt and again now God almost has to start over because they’re surrounded by false religions, they’re losing touch with the real God.

Speaker 2

God calls them out, and now he gives them a lot of what we consider today the core part of the Old Testament, the Torah, the Pentateuch, Moses’Five, books. We have those things now given to the Israelites to help them better understand God. What’s he like? He’s like, and as part of this, God gives them these rituals, these festivals, these laws, all these things in place to help teach them about God, God’s law and God’s plan for the future. And God wanted them continue to carry these things out until they get to the point where these things will be fulfilled. And not all of these things get fulfilled. I mean, the Ten Commandments are an ongoing thing that we ongoing basis fulfill. The Sabbath is something that on an ongoing basis we keep. So it’s not pointing to anything in the future. In fact, it’s immemorial to creation because God is the Creator God. God can set times and laws and decide when we do things. So that’s kind of the context of what the Old Testament is. But there’s one other key component to the Old Testament, which is all these promises of the coming Messiah.

Speaker 2

So we have with Adam and Eve, God says in genesis three, telling Eve and the serpent that, hey, guess what? There’s going to be a man who comes from the woman, the seed of the woman, and he will take on the serpent. The serpent will bite his heel, but he will bruise the head of the serpent. And from that moment on, we knew there’s going to be someone special who’s going to be born in the human race. And we get to Moses, and Moses talks about how there’s going to be a prophet who’s going to be greater than him. And then with each succeeding prophet and David, the Psalms, we go down and we get more and more and more and more ideas of the coming MEssiah, the Savior, that’s to. So then we get to the New Testament Times now, and they have all the prophecies, right? They have the prophets, they have the law, the Books of Moses. So they’re waiting, where’s this Messiah God talked about? And when we read the New Testament, then we start seeing that all of the New Testament, or most of it, is really pointing back to the Old Testament.

Speaker 2

The New Testament writers are saying, look, this is how this prophecy got fulfilled. This is how this one applies to us today. It’s Just so connected to the New Testament. Then we get to the Book Revelation. And I talk about often that Revelation is the final exam. If I were to teach a class, I would have everybody study all the other Books of the Bible and learn them, including the Old Testament. And then I would say, now, interpret the Book of Revelation for me, and you would never be able to do it without the Old Testament helping you unlock it. This is how God’s working. And then this concept of progressive Revelation, this comes from AmoS 37. God says, surely the Lord God does nothing unless he reveals his secrets to his servants, the prophets. So who are the prophets? When did these things get revealed through his prophets? A lot of people might think, oh, the prophets stopped at the Old Testament. But if we jump to Revelation, chapter 22, verse nine, there’s a very interesting statement made here, says then he referring to the angel Speaking to John, the Apostle John says, then he said to me, see that you do not do that.

Speaker 2

Worship the angel, for I am your fellow servant. And of your brethren the prophets. And of those who keep the words of this book, Worship God. But we see here how he’s saying, your brethren the prophets, he’s putting the apostle John in the same category as the Prophets. And this is very much the case. You look at what were they doing, the apostles, like Peter, James, John, all these guys, they’re performing miracles just like the prophets of old. They’re writing Scripture just like the prophets of old, and they are preparing a way for Christ’s coming. They’re prophesying of the Messiah, this time his second coming, just like the prophets of old. So the prophet really is a spokesperson for God, and that is the same role that the apostles had. It means sort of the same thing. They were God’s spokesmen now in the New Testament Times. So if we go back to the Old Testament, then this concept of the canon, how did we get the Old Testament canon? The Jews obviously realized that certain books were more important than the others and said, okay, these are the ones that we’re going to set aside.

Speaker 2

We recognize these are scriptural, but this process didn’t stop there. Now, obviously, people who remain Jews refuse to become Christian are never going to accept what we call the New Testament. But the New Testament writers themselves did see that they were writing scripture, and it might not be necessarily in the heat of the moment that recognize they’re writing scripture. A lot of the New Testament is actually letters. We call them epistles. So you have Matthew, Mark, Luke, and are, we call those Gospels. And then the Book of Acts is kind of like a record, a chronology, but then everything else is pretty much written as a letter. Even the Book of Revelation kind of was written to be like a letter. To then be read by all the different Christian churches. So that especially is what these writers saw themselves as writing. But interestingly, interestingly, we do have people calling these writings scripture. And the best example of that is Peter referring to Paul’s writings. He says in two Peter 315 says, and consider that the long suffering of the Lord, blah blah blah, goes on. It talks about Paul. So also our beloved Paul, According to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in his epistles, his Letters, speaking in them of things in which are some things hard to understand, which is very much PAul hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction as they do the Rest of the Scriptures.

Speaker 2

So here Peter is saying, the writings of Paul are very important and they are scripture. Even if they’re hard to understand, they’re scripture. And even Paul, at times when he’s writing, he might make distinctions or indications, like sometimes he’s just speaking as himself. But he’s one who’s been informed by the Holy Spirit. And then by implication, he’s showing that there’s other times where he’s totally writing under the pen of inspiration. And like, for example, one Timothy Four One. Here’s Paul writing. He says, now, the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith. So he’s outright saying, I’m being inspired by the Spirit and I’m passing on what I’m getting directly from God. And this shouldn’t be a surprising thing. These writers weren’t making up some new concept. Jesus himself says in John 14, starting at verse 25, he says these things I’ve spoken to you while being Present with you. But the helper, the Holy Spirit, from whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I have said to you. You could call this sort of like the Spirit of prophecy.

Speaker 2

And these people had that Spirit. The Spirit is guiding them, teaching them. And what’s also interesting is a lot that they knew. They again got directly from Jesus. Jesus opened their eyes to how the Old Testament Was being Fulfilled during their New Testament times. And this is why they were like, we got to write these Gospels down. So you look at Luke 24 starting at verse five, we talk about the road to Emmaus, and Jesus is walking with two of the disciples. Verse 25 says, then he said to them, O foolish ones and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken. Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the Scriptures, the things concerning himself. So this is really critical. This is right after Jesus is resurrected, right after the cross. And now he’s walking alongside some of these disciples and just showing them verse after verse after verse from the Old Testament. So Moses and the prophets, that’s the Old Testament. And he’s showing them, this is about me, this is about me, this is about Jesus, this is about Christ, this is about me.

Speaker 2

And through that, now they’re suddenly realizing, oh, wow, these are being fulfilled in my lifetime. I have just witnessed these things coming to pass. And maybe Jesus showed them future things that would then have to be carried out as well. And so remember now, they spent many days together during leading up to the time of, oh, I’m blanking out on it, Pentecost. Before leading up to that, they’re spending a lot of time together, and they also continue to spend a lot of time together. And so what these disciples learned directly from Jesus would have been passed on to the others, and this would have found its way into the Gospels that we have too, because you can see, for example, Matthew one, starting at verse 22, it says, so all this was done, that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel. So this is just one of many examples where you go through the Bible and it keeps saying, and this was to fulfill this prophecy. So the New Testament is not looking to wipe out, it’s not looking to replace the Old Testament.

Speaker 2

It is like adding a layer on top of it. The Book of Moses, the Pentateuch, was one layer of a cake. And then we get the other prophets as an additional layer. And then you have the New Testament sitting on it as like a third layer, and it’s there to help us understand the layers below it. And at times it might seem like they’re totally different, like the GoD of the New Testament is totally different than the Old. But that’s not, because that’s really the case. God really was also a God of love. And when we look at verses like in Ezekiel, I forget the exact verse in Ezekiel, but there’s multiple in and, and the Psalms and these different books. We realize that God really was even deuteronomy and time of Moses, God was really a God of love. God really wanted them to learn to love. But these people at the time just didn’t know how to do it. They didn’t know how to build an iPhone. They’d never seen an iPhone before, so he had to start with the basics. And this is how it all comes to pass with the New Testament.

Speaker 2

Tina, any thoughts?

Speaker 3

Yeah, no, I think that was really good. And I appreciate your idea that the Bible is progressive in a sense. As humanity has progressed in its spiritual walk, God will give us more and more light as the human race is ready in a sense, and I think that’s really true. You see the example of that, like in Christ’s sermon on the Mount in Matthew, chapter five, verse 27 28, he says, you have heard it was said of them of old time, thou shalt not commit adultery. And so Jesus is quoting the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament, and he says, and Jesus says, but I say to you that whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in her heart. So he not only takes the Bible, he doesn’t say throw it away, he expounds upon it. He makes it more clear and more beautiful and more relevant. So I think that’s really what the New Testament is about, is taking what’s already there and just seeing new and beautiful things out of it. And Jesus says, study the Scripture, for in it you think you have eternal life.

Speaker 3

And these are they which testify of me. And the only Scripture he was talking about at that time know the Old Testament. So Jesus is in no way know we’re getting rid of the Old Testament, but rather he’s saying, my words now are cohesive with the Old Testament, and now it’s just a clearer picture of God’s character, which we will be studying forever and ever.

Speaker 2

Amen.

Speaker 3

Yeah. And then just as a verse like, Is that scriptural? I guess you always want to make sure things that I’m saying are scriptural. In two Timothy, chapter three, verse 16 says, all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof for correction, for instruction and righteousness. Verse 17 says that. So the man of God will be perfect and entire. So basically, yeah, no, the whole old and new is all good. We need it all, to be honest.

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BibleAsk Team

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