Overview of the OT


“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

—Matthew 5:17-19

“Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’”

—John 1:45

“Now He said to them, ‘These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,”

—Luke 24:44-45

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

—2 Timothy 3:16-17

A typical overview of the Old Testament covers history, literature, and languages which are important items to be sure. Make sure to read this entry in your Bible dictionary. The discussion here will focus more on why we need to study the Old Testament and how it builds a foundation for the New Testament and God’s Word overall.

Sometimes we have studied the New Testament to the exclusion of the Old Testament. The theme of the entire Bible is God’s plan of salvation for man, which began with covenants God made with man in the Old Testament. Because of man’s failure to keep what God referred to as the “Old” Covenant, the Old Testament closes with His promise to put into effect a “New” Covenant to reconcile man to God. In other words, the goals of the Old Testament were yet to be achieved. But we can’t fully understand the New “Covenant” (the meaning of the word “testament”) until we understand the Old “Covenant”.

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