Do We Really Need the Old Testament?

As someone who serves as an Instructor in Old Testament at one college (Providence University College and Theological Seminary) and an Assistant Professor whose primary focus is in Old Testament at another college (Trinity Bible College), this question has significant concern for me.

Yet, more significantly this question is of paramount concern for me as one who professes faith in Christ…that is, it is a thoroughly Christian question that must be answered in the affirmative. What do you think about John Oswalt’s “Seven Minute Seminary” answer to this question?

Recommended Reading

Seitz, Christopher R., The Character of Christian Scripture: The Significance of a Two-Testament Bible (Studies in Theological Interpretation; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011).

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5 thoughts on “Do We Really Need the Old Testament?

  1. I recently took a DMin class on preaching Christ from the Old Testament. The textbooks and their theories missed out on the critical component to doing so, and to me it is not wonder that pastors struggle in preaching from the Old Testament.

    In talking with the professor, I asked him why the focus of the theories wasn’t on the covenant relationship that is the nature of Old Testament Revelation, and on the wonderful word “cHesed” – the word describing God’s characteristic devotion, His mercy and love and provision for His people. The word that tells us that He binds Himself to assuring that we can be in relationship, in covenant with Him. His dismissed it, saying that it wasn’t that important in the New Testament.

    Each time God guarantees we are His people, each time He warns us to stay with Him, each time He promises to call us to life, to restore us, that love of God points us to the work of Christ that will make it all true.

    The OT is vital to understanding the character of God our Father, our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit who desires that we not perish but are transformed… and trust His promise that we are His, and He is ours.

    • I was asked about a year ago to answer the question, “Could you summarize the OT in one word?” My answer was, “Hesed.” That term, above others (IMO) is the single most important term for understanding the OT and seeing the faithful love of God in Christ and poured out by the Spirit in these last days. So I’m heartily with you on that.

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