24. Why do we have the books of the Old Testament in our Bible, and not only those of the New Testament?




Because the books of the Old Testament also are part of the Holy Scripture, and ďall Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good workĒ (2 Timothy 3:16-17 Ė NKJV).

To understand what I am saying, you need only to read even superficially the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and to dwell upon the teachings of Jesus Christ. You will notice that Jesus often quoted from the books of the Old Testament to confirm His words. Even when Jesus was tempted by the devil, He quoted (three times) some words written in the Old Testament, precisely in the law (Matthew 4:1-11), and this confirms how much authoritative was the law of Moses to the Lord, and if it was authoritative to Him, who was the Son of God, how couldnít it be authoritative to us? Furthermore, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, quoted the writings of the Old Testament to explain certain things concerning the life and teaching of Jesus, especially when they had to explain why certain things happened to Jesus, for they said that they happened so that it might be fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, or the prophet Jeremiah and so on. If you read then the Acts of the apostles, Paulís epistles, Peterís epistles, Jamesí epistle and the epistle to the Hebrews, you will notice that in them are many passages taken from the Old Testament (or references to stories of the Old Testament) which confirm doctrines or concepts. In the whole New Testament are quoted hundreds of passages of the Scriptures of the Old Testament. Therefore, if the Writings of the Old Testament were not ignored by Jesus, nor by the apostles, rather they were considered by them Word of God, how could we exclude these Writings from the Bible? Obviously, they belong to the Old Testament, however you must keep in mind that you canít understand the New Testament unless you understand the Old Testament first. For instance, you canít understand why the New Testament is better than the Old one unless you know the Old Testament first. You canít understand why Jesus said or did certain things, or why the apostles said certain things, unless you know the Old Testament.

In addition to this, in reading the stories of the Old Testament such as the story of Joseph or the story of David, just to mention some of them, we are greatly comforted and encouraged; in reading the story of Israel in the wilderness we are admonished; and what shall we say about the Psalms and the books of the prophets? Is it not true that when we read them, our soul is strengthened and encouraged?

I read both the Old Testament and the New Testament, and I must say that no matter what part I read I am always encouraged, instructed in righteousness, comforted, taught and corrected. Obviously, I am fully convinced that many things of the Old Testament are no longer for us because they were fulfilled in the New Testament, yet the fact still remains that even in reading those things which have been abolished in Christ, I learn something useful to me.