A Closer Look at the Old Testament vs. the New Testament!
Written by Christi Given | January 16, 2014
PI Girls, as you know, I love reading God’s Word and I will be contributing a couple of articles a month on a “Bible study” topic for you. My prayer is that these pieces will deepen your faith, stir a hunger for more truth and spark an interest in other facets of your relationship with Christ.
As you girls know, in the Bible, there are two main sections, called the Old Testament and the New Testament. Some may wonder about the significance of the two. The archaic meaning of the word testament, according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, is “a covenant between God and the human race.” Testament can also be called covenant. The word covenant means “promise” or “law”:
“A formal and serious agreement or promise; a formal written agreement between two or more people, businesses, countries, etc.”
God has many promises for His people in the Bible, stemming all the way back to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the Israelites into the New Covenant with the followers of Christ. The Lord promised to bless Abraham’s descendants; there were promises pertaining to land and also about the nation of Israel. There were promises to the church in the Bible as well, especially in the New Testament regarding Jesus’s second coming and the inheritance of eternal life:
“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:2-3)
The Old Testament reveals the law, the Jewish and Hebrew traditions and stories in the Bible. The New Testament details the fulfillment of the scriptures, prophesies and the revealing of the Christ, “the Messiah.” Jesus’s birth was foretold hundreds and hundreds of years before He was born in the little town of Bethlehem. (Isaiah 9:6) There are many verses in the scriptures throughout the Bible that indicate the Bible is truth, because of the historical accuracy and relevancy within the text and the accounts we have through the “testaments” and “testimonies.”
Here’s part of the origin of the word testament:
“…From Latin, last will, from testari to be a witness, call to witness, make a will, from testis witness…”
In essence, the books throughout the Bible are different people’s eyewitness accounts; in the New Testament, in particular, there are “eyewitnesses” of Jesus and what happened while He was on earth. The books are named for the person whose account it is (for example, Matthew) or the names of Prophets, or words God gave them (“Revelation”) or even songs (“Psalms”). There is also historical genealogy in the books of the Bible that eventually leads to the coming of the Messiah Jesus. There is always a thread of the chosen people, which started with the Jewish people, from whom Christ came out of the bloodline.
God graphed in the Greeks and the Gentiles when Christ came as well. Anyone who calls on the name of Jesus and believes truly in his or her heart is saved. (Romans 10:13/John 3:16) Out of their heart, their mouth and their lifestyle shall speak. (Luke 6:45) It says that you will know the children of God by their fruit—basically, how they live. (Matthew 7:16)
Remember, it’s very simple: the Old Testament is the Old Covenant (Law) and the New Testament is the New Covenant (Jesus). Read Romans 11 regarding the remnant of Israel, ingrafted branches of those who weren’t Jewish but included in God’s promises and the New Covenant. In the New Covenant is the gospel, aka “the good news” of Jesus in that He paid for our sins by dying for us on the cross, and rose again on the third day and ascended back into heaven with the transfiguration. Jesus left the Holy Spirit for us and taught the disciples (followers of Christ), which was the beginning of Christianity. (The History of the Church started in the Bible.)
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—the gospel He PROMISED beforehand through the prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding His Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His RESURRECTION from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord…” (Romans 1:1-4 — Holy Bible)
Some may ask if there was a meaner God and now a nicer God, since there are two covenants, but God does not change. His character is the same; He does not change like man and His thoughts are higher than ours. Jesus confirmed the scriptures validated all that He was and all that He did in the Bible. His coming was spoken about multiple times in scripture and foreshadowed throughout the history of biblical times. There is a great article from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association about “Something Old, Something New,” and the contributor writes that Jesus said the scriptures confirmed He was who He proclaimed. (John 5:39) Jesus doesn’t just represent the New Testament, but is seen throughout even the Old Testament clearly.
Jesus said, “You diligently study the scriptures because you think that by THEM you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to ME to have life.” (John 5:39)
Remember, ALL parts of the Bible are important, valid and powerful! It says in the Bible that Scripture is “God-breathed,” even if man was the vessel used to write it. All of it comes from God, and is for His glory and to teach us more about our Father. Here is a beautiful scripture that supports this: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness….” (2 Timothy 3:16)
PI Girls, I LOVE the Bible, and LOVE learning more and more! How about you? Do you know any other details of significance between the Old and New Testaments? Comment below! We love you!