Some passages of the Old Testament can be difficult to understand. Is it a legitimate option for Christians to read only the New Testament? Today, Ben Shaw shows how the New Testament itself provides an answer to this question.
NATHAN W. BINGHAM: I'm joined by Reformation Bible College's professor of Old Testament, Dr. Ben Shaw. Dr. Shaw, is it OK if I only read the New Testament as a Christian?
DR. BEN SHAW: Short answer, no. I think a Christian could get along reading only the New Testament. But if you pay any attention to the words in your New Testament, you will see that on virtually every page of the New Testament there is a citation of an Old Testament passage, an allusion to an Old Testament passage or event. So the person who reads only the New Testament is going to miss all of the background and is not really going to be understanding many things that he or she reads.
I'd remind the questioner that "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness" (2 Tim 3:16). And when Paul wrote that to Timothy, the New Testament wasn't anywhere near complete. So what he was talking about was primarily the Old Testament. When you read through the book of Acts, the Apostles are constantly turning to the Old Testament to press the case with their listeners that Jesus is the Christ, that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Those are all Old Testament themes, Old Testament promises that the Apostles are preaching from. Yes, you can get through your life reading only the New Testament, but you'll impoverish your spiritual life if you do that.
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