the importance of the Old Testament

My brother returned from a family vacation to Italy and the British Isles with a book for me. In exchange, I took care of his alleged dog. The book made it worth it!

The book he brought home for me is Adolph Saphir’s Christ & The Scriptures. In the first chapter, I find this eloquent quote:

From the Jewish Scriptures we must learn what is meant by his being the Son of David and the Son of Abraham; what the words ‘Son of Man’ imply, and the word ‘Anointed,’ ‘Messiah,’of whom Moses and the prophets spake. For the history of Jesus does not begin with his birth in Bethlehem. The first verse of Matthew sums up the Old Testament history; nor can the sequel of the Gospels, Epistles, and Apocalypse be understood without it. His goings forth are from of old. He who understands not the election of Abram, the exodus of Israel, the Angel of Jehovah, the types of the Tabernacle, the High Priest, and the Sacrifice, the meaning of the shepherd-king, the son of Jesse, and of the sure mercies of David, must find insuperable difficulties in the life of Christ. All attempts to understand Jesus Christ, separate from the Old Testament, are most unphilosophical, and can tend to no satisfactory result. For Jesus Christ is the fulfilment of Moses and the prophets. He is not the Christ of history, but of a special history – the divine history of Israel. True, He is the Light of the World, He is the Desire of all Nations, He is the Centre and Life of Humanity; but He is all this because He is the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, for salvation is of the Jews. The Gospel narrative is like a high table land, but we cannot be spared the ascent from Genesis to Malachi.

How much value do you put on the Old Testament? If you are a preacher, how much of the Old Testament have you taught?

I would encourage you to make understanding the Old Testament with its promises, figures, and prophecies a matter of deepest concern. As Saphir says, ‘All attempts to understand Jesus Christ, separate from the Old Testament, are most unphilosophical, and can tend to no satisfactory result.’

don_sig2

Speak Your Mind

*