Paul and the Importance of the Old Testament

Peter at Beauty of the Bible laments the fact that he went to a Christian book store and didn’t find any commentary on the Old Testament. Peter says, “I think this is evidence of the sad state of Christianity’s understanding and interest in the Old Testament. Unfortunately, Christians will never understand the New Testament as well as they want or need to without understanding the Old Testament.”

I always think of Romans 15:4 regarding how important Paul thought the OT is.

Romans 15:2-4
We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. 3For even Christ didn’t live to please himself. As the Scriptures say, “The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.” 4Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.

Obviously Paul was talking about what we call the Old Testament. Even the Gospels most likely weren’t written until after Romans. There’s no way we can know what he’s talking about or receive teaching, hope and encouragement from them if we don’t know the OT. If the OT wasn’t useful, it wouldn’t have been quoted so much by Jesus and the inspired NT writers.

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5 Responses to “Paul and the Importance of the Old Testament”

  1. 1 Stan McCullars

    An excellent book on the subject: Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament by Beale and Carson.

  2. 2 Scripture Zealot

    I was going to mention that but just didn’t have the energy this morning. Thanks for the link to it.


  3. 3 Joel (Polycarp)

    Excellent point, Jeff.

  4. 4 Peter M. Lopez

    Obviously, I agree. Thanks for the plug.

  5. 5 Scripture Zealot

    Thanks and you’re welcome. It’s sad that we need to try to promote the OT.

    In our small group Bible study I’ve been lobbying to do an OT book every 2-3 topics. We’re going to do Ecclesiastes which I’m looking forward to. Hopefully Genesis at some point.


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