A Christian said that I am too serious about the Old Testament and said that I should not be since we are living in the New Testament Era. Is he correct? Is the Old Testament as important as the New Testament?
Yes, the Old Testament is as important as the New Testament. The New Testament is not more important because it describes the birth, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ. Some Christians highly value the Old Testament because it describes the Mosaic feasts and Ten Commandments. This article will explain why the answer to the question, “Is the Old Testament as important as the New Testament?” is yes!
All Scripture Is Inspired By God
The answer to the question is given in 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness . . . 2 Timothy 3:16 (NASB)
It is important to know that the Old Testament was referred to as Scripture. Matthew 26:56 is one example where Christ referred to the Scriptures.
But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets.” Then all the disciples left Him and fled. Matthew 26:56 (NASB)
It is obvious that Jesus was referring to the Old Testament when He also referred to “the prophets.”
When the apostle Peter referred to the apostle Paul’s writings (Romans through Philemon) as Scripture in 2 Peter 3:15 -16, we learn that the Scriptures also include the New Testament books. For more information about the Scriptures or the canon of Scripture please visit, “Can we add new books to the Bible? – Is the canon of Scripture closed?”
The Greek word for “inspired” is theopneustos. It means “God breathed.” That is, the words of Scripture are from God’s mouth. Since 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that all Scripture (both Old and New Testaments) is inspired by God, we know that God wrote every verse, chapter and book. All of the books of the Bible are the words of God. 2 Peter 1:20-21 tells us that the Holy Spirit moved the men to write Scripture. They wrote what God wanted them to write. For more information visit, “What does it mean that the Bible is inspired? – Inspiration of Scripture.”
Therefore, it is not possible for the Old Testament to be more important than the New Testament or for the New Testament to be more important than the Old Testament. Why? The answer is God wrote all Scripture, every word and letter.
Profitable For Training In Righteousness
Those who value one testament more highly than the other have undervalued sections of the Bible that God wrote. The same is true if someone undervalues a book of the Bible. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that “all Scripture” helps us become righteous, adequate or “fully ready” and it equips us for every good work. This means all of Scripture is valuable.
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NASB)
The Old Testament gives us many historical accounts and illustrations that teach us a variety of important truths about God and other principles, including the truths that God hates sin and punishes sin. Two examples are revealed when He destroyed both the ancient world by flood and later Sodom and Gomorrah for their evil. We learn about God’s love when He sent Jonah to warn Nineveh to repent. The Minor and Major prophets are filled with warnings of pending punishment due to sin unless the people of Israel and Judah would repent. The same principle applies today. Galatians 6:7 teaches that we reap what we sow.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. Galatians 6:7 (NASB)
Old Testament Helps Us Understand The New Testament
Therefore, “Is the Old Testament as important as the New Testament?” The answer is that both of them are to be equally and highly valued because God wrote both of them by the Holy Spirit and both help the people of God to grow in their faith.
The opening verse of the Old Testament informs us that God exists. It does not argue for the existence of God. It assumes the existence of God. The opening chapter tells us how the universe came into existence and that God personally created us and everything around us. The first eleven chapters of Genesis help us understand how the world and our universe was created, the origin of marriage, roles of husbands and wives within marriage, how sin entered the world, the wickedness of Satan, the first murder and the first false religion. Without these eleven chapters, it would be difficult to understand many of the things taught in the New Testament. We learn that the Israelites are God’s chosen people and they were to be His spokesmen. Again, without this understanding, many of the New Testament passages would be difficult to understand.
The Old Testament points us to Christ and the New Testament teaches us about Christ. The Old Testament gives us prophesies about the future Messiah and the future of the world starting as early as Genesis 3:15. Genesis 49:10; Numbers 24:17 and Deuteronomy 18:18 are prophesies that point us to the future Messiah. 2 Samuel 7:16 echoes those prophecies as it reveals the coming Messiah will reign forever over the Davidic kingdom. Further, Psalm 2:6-7; Isaiah 9:6-7; Daniel 2:44-45; 7:1-28; Joel 3:1-21; Zechariah 14:1-21 prophesy of the coming of Messiah who rule as king. Isaiah 7:14 tells us that this king will be both God and man. Many Psalms describe His death and resurrection. Isaiah 53 graphically describes His death and that He came to rescue us from our sins (Isaiah 53:5-6). Zechariah 12:10 and 13:7 prophesy His death as well as His future as king (Zechariah 14:1-21). Daniel 9:24-27 gives us the timetable for His arrival in human form, in the person of Jesus Christ. Isaiah 65:17-25 and Ezekiel 40-48 describe His future kingdom. Without these passages we would not know that the Messiah would be coming. We would not know the Messiah would come to die for our sins. Without the Old Testament we would not have any information about Messiah. The New Testament is all about Him and what He wants us to know. He taught us Himself and through His apostles.
Both testaments are as valuable as the other. Both testaments are inspired by God and profitable for our spiritual growth. They are of equal value. God wrote them all! The goal of Scripture is to help us identify the coming Messiah and Savior and how to be saved. The New Testament teaches us more about Jesus, how to be saved and all the spiritual blessings Christians “have in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Are you a Christian? Are you going to heaven? If not, then visit “Searching For God.”
Suggested Links:Can we add new books to the Bible? – Is the canon of Scripture closed?
What does it mean that the Bible is inspired? – Inspiration of Scripture
How can the Bible be the Word of God?
Searching For God