Why read the Old Testament?
Is the Old Testament really relevant?
After all, it all happened before Jesus and it’s hefty and hard to understand.
Can’t we ditch it and just read the New Testament?
The New Testament is a great place to start your reading of the Bible, but if we never get to the Old Testament we would miss out on alot and be ignoring what Jesus said:
‘Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.’ Matthew 5:17
We can see the prophecies of the Old Testament fulfilled in Jesus, the particulars about when and where he was born.
Also, the New Testament was written in a short space of time with a sense of urgency, whereas the Old Testament spans more history and can spend more time on some themes. The New Testament writers all placed great store by the Scriptures and would not expect what they wrote to replace them.
The Old Testament gives us so much detail about so many people’s lives. We learn alot about some people in the New Testament, such as Peter and Paul, but mostly covering a few intense years of their lives. Apart from Jesus, we cannot find ‘cradle to the grave’ accounts of lives in the New Testament with a wealth of detail of the person’s struggles with faith and with God. But in the Old Testament accounts, we can read about successive generations of God's followers ‘warts and all’, from birth to death. Some of them have real problems grasping who their God is and really don’t seem like we’d expect patriarchs of the faith to be.
But they, of course, didn’t have a Bible to help them and we do! Let’s get reading to discover more of our amazing God!