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The Old Testament (written in Hebrew and Aramaic) is so named from the Covenant that God made with the nation of Israel when he brought them out of Egypt by Moses about 1,500BC. The covenant, which included circumcision, was an extension of promises God had made to Abraham about 2000BC. Israel was composed of the families of the 12 sons of Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, whose name was changed by God from Jacob to Israel.
Moses put together the first five books of the Bible (known as the Pentateuch) of which the first is Genesis. Genesis begins with the creation and the fall of man and explains why we die. It ends with Israel in Egypt at the end of Joseph’s life. Joseph was the second youngest of Israel’s 12 sons.
The most important person in Genesis is Abraham who was promised a seed (descendant) in whom all nations would be blessed.
Genesis 22:18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
God promised King David (of the tribe of Judah) that the descendant promised to Abraham would come through David’s descendants; further, that God himself would be his father (his mother being a descendant of David).
1 Chronicles 17:11... I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever. 13 I will be his father, and he shall be my son...
This promised descendant would be the anointed one (Messiah or Christ) who would save his people from their sins. At the same time God would replace the National Covenant made through Moses with a New Covenant to be made with individuals of all nationalities; as many as would recognise the Messiah and believe and obey the gospel.
Jeremiah 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake...
There is approx. 400 years between the writings of the last prophet in the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament.
The New Testament (written in Greek) is the account of the life, teachings, death, resurrection and ascension to heaven of the descendant promised to Abraham and David.
Matthew 1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
The descendant in whom all nations will be blessed:
Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
The one who will save his people from their sins:
Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
He is destined to rule the earth from the restored throne of David in Jerusalem.
Luke 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
This will be the promised kingdom of God.
Mark 1:14... Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
The Old Covenant was ratified by the blood of animals, the New Covenant by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 9:6 But now hath he (Christ) obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Hebrews 10:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
The Old and New Testaments constitute the complete counsel of God. They are to be taken as a whole, as the numerous quotations from the Old in the New show.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God.
2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That Christ expects us to understand and believe the Old Testament is clear from what he says to his disciples:
Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
And to the Jews:
John 5:46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. 47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
The gospel or good news of the New Covenant, which gives access to eternal life in the kingdom of God through Jesus Christ, requires belief and baptism on the part of the hearer.
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (condemned).
The kingdom will be established when Christ returns from heaven.
Acts 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
Paul explains what is going to happen:
1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
This will be the fulfilment of God’s declared purpose.
Isaiah 45:18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.
Numbers 14:21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.
I hope you have found this helpful.
May God bless you,