The Old Testament is a mystery document when it comes to its prophecies of Messiah. Oh, it’s very clear that a Messiah is promised. But the many promises and prophecies were impossible for the Jews to piece together into a single coherent picture. You can tell from reading the New Testament that there were different and conflicting ideas about the Messiah held among the Jewish population. Only in the actual life of Jesus Christ (actually in His life, death, and resurrection) could all the foretelling be seen coming together in a single person. Even today, Jews who don’t believe that Jesus was the Messiah can’t come together in a single view of who that Messiah is or would be.
Why then is the New Testament placed after the Old Testament in our Bibles instead of before? The current order implies that the Old Testament can be properly understood without first referring to the New Testament. This is demonstrably false. For one thing, without the New Testament the Old Testament is a document that is of little pertinence to any of us. The Old Testament was written to the citizens of ancient Israel. Since less than 1% of today’s world population is Jewish, that means that over 99% of us aren’t authorized to practice its dictates. And since modern Jews no longer have the means or will to practice animal sacrifice, they, too, are unable to obey many of its most prominent provisions.
What then is the solution? Read the New Testament first! The New Testament writers believed fully in the Old Testament and prescribed the ways in which the Old Testament can be understood and obeyed by all people of all nations. Therefore, if you have a heart to obey the Bible, read the Old Testament through the eyes of the New Testament…lest three-fourth’s of the Bible’s direction be deprived you.
The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.