Does the Old Testament have something to say to today's church?

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As part of Biblefresh, Wycliffe Bible Translators have been holding a series of evening classes, helping people to interact more with the Bible.In this, the third in the series, Katy Barnwell, who works with Old Testament translations in Nigeria, talks about why it's important that the church today continues to engage with the Old Testament.

Text of Does the Old Testament have something to say to today's church?

  • 1.Does the Old Testament have something to say to Todays church?

2. Our goal

  • To review why we need the Old Testament today looking for a growing understanding and appreciation of Gods Word
  • To see how the Old Testament helps us to understand the New Testament especially key concepts and cultural background
  • To explore some ways to dig deeper into the Old Testament

3. Why we need the Old Testament

  • It is the first part of the story!
  • You dont start to read a novel three quarters of the way through the book
  • Or begin to watch a play at the next to last act
  • The New Testament is best understood when seen as the outcome, or completion, of the Old Testament

4. To understand the New Testament,we need to knowsome basic facts revealed in the Old Testament

  • How the world was created
  • How the world was spoiled, how human beings became flawed, sinful, separated
  • The nature of God his character, his values
  • Covenants and promises of God

5. Revelation of the character of God

  • Some have said:The Old Testament is a covenant of law and judgement. The New Testament is a message of love, forgiveness & liberty.
  • But the first covenant was also a covenant of love:

6.

  • 9Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavisheshis unfailing love(covenant love)on those who love him and obey his commands. . . .
  • 12If you listen to these regulations and faithfully obey them, the LORD your God will keephis covenant of unfailing lovewith you, as he promised with an oath to your ancestors.

Deuteronomy 7:9, 12 7. Revelation of the character of God

  • Other aspects of the character of God revealed through the Old Testament:
  • holiness & justice
  • YHWH, theGod of the Old Testament, is also the God of the New Testament his nature does not change.

8. God chose to reveal himself through encounters with individuals, through stepping into history.Only through gradual revelation andexperience could humankind begin to understand something of the holiness, power, and love of God and their own need of forgiveness and salvation.It is the Old Testament that records this preparation, and makes it available today. 9. How the Old Testament can help us understand the New Testament 10. Bruce Metzger,The New Testament, its Background,Growth and Content Let it be clear at the outset that of all the helps which assist the reader to understand the New Testament, the Old Testament is by far the most important.In the collection of thirty-nine books one finds the religious presuppositions and historical background without which the thinking and experiences of the New Testament writers cannot be understood. 11. Key concepts in the NT that were introduced in the OT The Lawthe Torah the instructions God gave to MosesSacrifice the principle that one life can substitute for another, one person can die for another Satan and evil spirits Satan is introduced in chapter 3Covenant a binding agreement between two parties 12. Even understanding the physical background of the Bible The tabernacle 13. More concepts from the Old Testament Expectancy of a Saviour-King, a great prophetIn the New Testament calledthe Christ or the Messiah You are the Christ.(Mark 8:29, also Matthew 16:20,Luke 9:20 ) (Unfortunately many readers miss the the.) 14. Other titles for Jesus often not understood or misunderstood Son of Man Son of David In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13, 14) 15. Old Testament people mentioned in the New Testament Because the story continues, characters arecarried over.Abraham Mentioned 73 times 16. Old Testament people mentioned in the New Testament Because the story continues, characters arecarried over: Abraham Mentioned 73 times Mentioned 80 times Moses 17. Old Testament people mentioned in the New Testament Because the story continues, characters arecarried over:Abraham Mentioned 59 times Mentioned 73 times Mentioned 80 times Moses David 18. The importance of prophecy The specific and detailed prophecies of theOld Testamentwere the evidence that Jesus ofNazareth was the Expected-one. Where he would be born-But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clansof Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel,(Micah 5:2) 19. The importance of prophecy How he would die How he would rise from death- because you will not abandon me to the grave nor will you let your Holy Onesee decay. they put gall in my food andgave me vinegar for my thirst. Psalm 69:21 Psalm 22 Psalm 16:10 20. The importance of prophecy The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good Newsto the poor. He has sent me to proclaimthat captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, 19and that the time of the LORD's favor has come. (Luke 4:18-19 NLT, quoting Isaiah 61:1-2) What he would do- 21. The importance of prophecy

  • Also prophecies
  • of future events
  • of what is happening today
  • of the return of the Lord, which we expect.

22. Understanding the Old Testament worldview 23. Ethiopia, 2004 24. 25. Nigeria, 2006 26. Ethiopia, 2004 27. Africa, 2005 28. Numbers 11:5 29. Mount of Beatitudes 30. Some ways to dig deeper

    • Character studies:
      • Women of the Old Testament
      • favourite characters (Joseph, Samuel, David . . . . )
    • Word studies- loving faithfulness
    • A challenge to study books we are not so familiar with perhaps, Ecclesiastes, Malachi
    • Looking at the minor prophets, studying them in the context of history, as part of the story

31. The minor prophets, grouped according tothe Exile andThe Kingdoms of Israel and Judah Group Book Approximate Dates Pre-Exilic Prophets of Israel Jonah (preached to Nineveh) AmosHosea 780-850 765-750 755-715 Prophets of Judah ObadiahJoel Micah Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah 840 835-796 740-690 630-612 606-604 625 Post-Exilic Prophets Prophets of the Returned Remnant Haggai Zechariah Malachi 520 515 430 32. Group Book Approximate Dates Pre-Exilic Prophets of Israel Jonah(fleeing from the will of God) Amos(Social justice, judgment for those who abuse privilege) Hosea(Love that perseveres)780-850 765-750 755-715 Prophets of Judah Obadiah(Divine justice, dont gloat) Joel(The coming of the day of YHWH) Micah(God is just, but he extends mercy) Nahum(Gods judgement ) Habakkuk(Trust God whatever happens) Zephaniah(Gods judgment and disciplinewill bring blessing) 840 835-796 740-690 630-612 606-604 625 Post-Exilic Prophets Prophets of the Returned Remnant Haggai(God blesses those who put him first) Zechariah(God is a jealous God) Malachi(Return to me an d I will return to you) 520 515 430 33. http://bible.org/seriespage/minor-prophets http://www.womeninthebible.net/ Gordon Fee:How we should read the Bible http://www.gci.org/yi/fee73 Don Carson:The worldview clash http://www.facingthechallenge.org/carson.php Don Carson:Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament http://www.euroleadershipresources.org/resource.php?ID=242&Tab=AudioDownload Websites you mightfind helpful 34. Digging deeper: Try translation or paraphrase The Psalms, and other passages in the OldTestament, are a rich aid to worship or to other spiritual activity such as confession (Psalm 51), or expressing grief or frustration(Psalm 6). 35. Psalm 1- paraphrased, adopted The one who enjoys the full joy of God's blessing is the person who soaks himself in Scripture constantly, thinking about God's words day and night.He does not put himself where he hears unhelpful values promoted, he does not read things which are unhelpful and pull standards down, he does not mix with people who mock Gods Word. Instead he finds joy in reading and meditating on God's word.Such a person is like a mango tree planted by a flowing stream, a tree which bears plentiful fruit when the harvest time comes, a tree that is always fresh and green. The Lord guides and cares for those who seek to do his will, but those who reject his help and guidance will be lost for ever. 36. Psalm 1 continued Those who pay no attention to God's word are not like that.They are like husks of wheat that the wind blows away.When it comes to the day when we all stand before God to give an account of our lives, they will not be found guiltless nor will they be able to dwell among those whom God counts as righteous. The Lord guides and cares for those who seek to do his will, but those who reject his help and guidance will be lost for ever. Those words, written nearly 3,000 years ago, are as full of promise for us today as they were on the day they were first sung. 37. The end