Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

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old testament and New testament dichotomy?

8/15/12

 

The division of the Bible into the two familiar portions, Old and New Testaments, presents a challenge to any Bible student. What if anything in the Old Testament should be carried over and applied in the New. Many Christian teachers routinely refer to the Old Testament scriptures to support their current day theology and practice. Other such teachers seem to dismiss the Old Testament as out-dated and being superseded by the New Testament scriptures. All groups place great emphasis on certain passages and largely or completely ignore others, in both the Old and New Testament books.

 

I suspect that the man made division of the Bible into two such sections is vastly misleading to both groups above. One assumes a new context for the so called New Testament books but carry over selected Old Testament practices into their perception of newness, mixing old and new alike. The second group sees such a marked contrast between Old and New that they focus exclusively on what the NT says and base their theology on that alone.

 

In reality, I suspect that the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation is OT in nature. It is all about God working through Israel to bring about the promise of blessing on all humanity. Under this paradigm, what is taught in the NT is no more binding on men today than what is taught in Leviticus, for example. Everything in the Bible becomes a precursor to the spiritual situation which exists today, which is taught only in prospect in the Bible, not as a realized fact. The forward looking passages in the NT anticipated the final end of the OT arrangement of Judaism and the completion of God's intended purpose, which was imminent when the Bible was written but had not yet happened. In effect, nothing in the Bible is necessarily about today's point in time and certainly not about today's theology and practice. I believe that certain over riding principles as taught in both the OT and NT are principles for today too, but I don't think we even need to go to the Bible to find and know those. Just like in Hebrews 8, those principles are known from the inside out, not because we read them in a book. That is the only surefire way to know God anyway.