Episode 060: The Old Testament and the Church (Pt 1)

In this episode (part 1 of 2) we sit down to talk about the challenge of preaching and teaching Christ in and from the Old Testament.

When I first started reading the Bible I was drawn to the Old Testament because the stories seemed more colorful… but admittedly I read it more like Aesop’s fables…

For me the starting place is that the Old Testament is Christian Scripture… the Church has always regarded it that way… it is the story of the kingdom, which just doesn’t suddenly appear with Jesus… to understand that, you have to go back to the Old Testament…

You begin to learn to read the Bible with Jesus at the center… you see how much of the OT anticipates the Messiah, Jesus, who is and is to come… he is where the story was headed…

Ideas like kingdom, covenant, and temple are motifs that are summed up in Jesus… the OT is not just a preamble but a prelude, where the motifs of the “song” are first laid down… 

We can really only understand the Old Testament fully in light of Jesus… but we can also only understand Jesus fully in light of the Old Testament… 

One of the things that is sometimes lost on people is that the Early Church’s “Bible” WAS the Old Testament… the New Testament is really a running commentary on the Old Testament in light of the Christ event… 

Robert Jenson says “the Old Testament was there before the Church was; the question was never about whether the Church could accept the Old Testament but whether the Old Testament could accept the Church…”

Sometimes we “heroize” Old Testament characters… but really, guys like David aren’t the heroes… Yahweh is the hero… the God who is the Father of Jesus is the hero… 

The question is whether God changes or not… and God is always the Father of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit… he’s always the “Three in One…”

Augustine’s phrase was “vestigia trinitate”… that God had left signatures of himself in the created world, and the Old Testament supremely… if we read the Old Testament that way, we’ll see that the God revealed in Jesus is the deep reality of these texts… 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.