Devotional- Does the “Old Testament” still relevant?

התנך בברית החדשה

“But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second” (Heb 8:6-7).

I will never forget the words of one of my New Testament professors at seminary while lecturing on the Epistle to the Hebrews: “The New Testament is better than the Old Testament because the Bible tells us so.” It was obvious by my professor’s words that he was suffering from a terrible case of mistaken identity. Though written at a time in history when God’s people lived under the old covenant (the Sinai covenant), the Hebrew Bible is most certainly not a covenant. It is inspired Scripture that speaks about many covenants, not just one. Is Jeremiah’s “new covenant” in Jeremiah 31 old? Is God’s covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15 old? Is God’s covenant with David in 2 Samuel 7 old? May it never be! By confusing the epistle of Hebrew’s “old covenant” with the “Old Testament,” this professor was teaching a generation of pastors to belittle inspired Scripture, which, according to our Messiah, the apostle Paul, and the author of Hebrews, all points us to Jesus (Matt 5:17-18; John 5:46; Rom 15:4; 2 Tim 3:14-17; Heb 9:1-10).

Hearing this all too common sentiment about the “Old Testament” being expressed by a professor in a distinguished seminary, I am not surprised that so many pastors teach God’s people by word and by example to neglect the Bible of Jesus and his apostles. But had my professor read Hebrews a bit more closely and had not confused the “Old Testament” (I really dislike this name!) for the “Old Covenant,” he would have noticed the many ways in which the author of Hebrews loves, honors, and treats these Scriptures as God’s holy and authoritative word!

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb 4:12).

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Main picture: Moses crossing the red sea

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