Today I am taking a break from James (because quite frankly we’ll be done with James in two days! ha) I think It will become a thing on Thursdays that I will talk about things that have come up in discussion on this site. I like to engage with the readers and talk about what is relevant to you guys. This was easy to decide this week since there were only two discussions: ancient languages, and reading the bible. Ha anyways here is my brief blurb on why you can’t skip the Old Testament.
Often times I will hear a Christian say to me things like “I already believe in Jesus so I don’t need to go to Church” (be ready for that post later) or “I believe in the New Testament not the Old” or “Why read the Old Testament when Jesus just fulfills it in the New?” So I wanted to rant a bit about that. By no means are these the only reasons to read the Old Testament and I am not the leading authority. These are merely things that I have gleaned from experience whilst studying the bible.
- The Bible is one volume- not two. If you look at your bible no matter which version you have (unless you have the message or the living bible) chances are that a whole committee worked to put your bible together. They made such decisions as how to translate the original Greek and Hebrew and whether or not to be literal or to make the English read fluently. No committee however has decided to publish the bible as a two part epic. Why is that? Because it is one big story: it may be put together with many books but the overall story is the big picture that the WHOLE Bible presents.
- Remember all those stories you learned in Sunday School? These stories are really great to reread as an adult and chances are that you will find new things to struggle with and question as you go along and it is through this wrestling that your faith deepens. For example who remembers learning all about Samson and Delilah as a child? Most of the time as a kid you learned about how evil Delilah was for cutting his hair but as an adult you can begin to play around with Samson’s pride and how that fits into the story. Who remembers David? How many times have you heard about him being the man after God’s heart yet have you read about the other side of David? There is a while new dimension to each bible story to read now that you are a little older and wiser!
- Chances are you have never read the Old Testament all the way through. Too many times I have talked to people and they have read some but not all of the Old Testament. Raise your hand if you have read Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy? What about Esther, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel. Alright now keep them up if you have read Hosea, Psalms, Song of Solomon, Job, Numbers?? I got most of you with Numbers didn’t I? While it is understandable that certain books of the Bible have the ability to carry your attention easier than others every book is worthwhile in reading and every book has something to teach us.
- The Law isn’t all bad. A lot of people think that the Law is this horrible thing and can be totally ignored because Jesus fulfilled the Law. What most people don’t think about is what is really meant when they talk about no longer being subject to the Law. Through Jesus’s death on the cross he paid atonement for each sin from breaking the Law. The people no longer had to strictly follow every little Law and then perform huge ceremonies of sacrifice and penance because Christ paid it all. The Law was never evil: it was peoples interpretation and following of the Law in which they made some more important on their own judgement which Christ changed when he came back and preached the Law of Love. Reading of the Law can be a good read not because you are strictly to follow them but because there is wisdom and good ideas to be gleaned.
- Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of the Old Testament. This is usually used as a statement as to why not to read the Old Testament but I want to flip it around and tell you that if you ever questioned whether or not the Old Testament and the New Testament belonged together take a read of Isaiah. The Prophecy telling of Christ is just amazing to then think that 1000 years later after the Jews had been calling for their Messiah he came to save the world. Truly amazing to match the prophecy up with the history.
Those are my reasons to why to read the Old Testament what are yours? I know there are many more reasons to read it let me know what I missed. 🙂 Also I might consider doing an Old Testament book after James to mix it up! If you are looking for a way to get started in reading the Old Testament might I suggest the way that I did it: I found that I usually got burned out from rereading Genesis and Exodus so I went straight to Leviticus and red through skipping Psalms and Proverbs and then at the end read Proverbs then Psalms. If you haven’t read Genesis or Exodus definitively don’t skip them!
May God Bless You This Week
(p.s. stay tuned for part 2)