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Wordwise Insight, Issue #110
October 14, 2013


BIBLE INSIGHTS (and Reader Q & A): Do Christians need to read and study the Old Testament?

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Need Old Testament

(Do Christians Need the Old Testament?)

QUESTION: I have heard many in my church say that the Old Testament does not apply to us today. Is this the case or does it apply to our lives as Christians?

ANSWER: Thanks for your question Tim. It's an important one. I realize there are churches today where the Old Testament is rarely preached on or studied. How sad!

Perhaps they feel that since Pentecost, and the birth of the church, we're in a new era (or dispensation). True enough, I agree. But then a conclusion is drawn from that which is not valid. That as New Testament Christians we should stick to the New Testament, because the Old is past and done.

It's true that the Bible makes a distinction between Israel and the church, as well as between the Old Covenant (the Law) and the New Covenant. It's also true that the New Testament (particularly the epistles) provides teaching that is especially relevant for the church.

However, we need to ask ourselves: Has human nature changed since Pentecost? (No.) Has God changed? (Certainly not.) Has God's basic moral standard altered? (No again.)

Think of how much we'd miss if we had no Old Testament! Think of the dozens and dozens of times the Lord Jesus or the apostles quoted from the Old Testament, or alluded to the truths found there. The Old Testament was their Bible. How can we presume to abandon it?

When Paul wrote, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable" (II Tim. 3:16), what "Scripture" was he talking about? The New Testament had not all been written by that time, let alone assembled. Paul was referring to the Old Testament. He also said, "Whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope" (Rom. 15:4).

The Old Testament provides necessary background for...

(To read the remainder of the article, click on Need Old Testament.


Come and Pay Us a Visit!

I have developed a blog that is called Wordwise Hymns. As the title suggests, it is about hymns, and church music in general.

But as many of you will know, a blog is especially designed to facilitate a conversation on its particular subject. Readers can easily post comments about what they see, and I'm able to reply. I hope you will take part in the discussion!

Through 2010, almanac entries dealt with what happened in hymn history on each day of the year. Beginning in 2011, I hope to analyze hymns from a biblical standpoint, linking to the material that has come before.

My hope is that the blog will add to the value of the website and this newsletter, and promote some profitable exchanges on the subject of sacred music.

What happened on this day in hymnology? To find out, click Wordwise Hymns.

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