A look into The Old Testament

  Old Testament

The Christian name for the Hebrew Bible. It is the sacred scripture of Judaism and the first portion of the Christian Bible. According to Jewish teachings, it is made up of three parts: the Law (also known as the Torah or Pentateuch), comprising the first five books (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), which describes the origins of the world, the covenant between the Lord and Israel, the exodus and entry into the promised land, and the various rules governing social and religious behavior; the Prophets , including the former prophets (Joshua, Judges, Samuel 1-2, Kings 1-2) and the latter prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the 12 minor prophets), which describes the history of the Israelites, the stories of heroes, kings, judges, and wars, and the choosing of David as leader of the Israelites; and the Writings (including Psalms, Job, Song of Solomon, and Ruth, among others), which describes the reactions of the people to the laws and covenants, as well as prayers and praises of the covenant. Some books of the Old Testament regarded as sacred by the Jews are not accepted as such by Christians; among Christians there are differences between Roman Catholics and Protestants about the inclusion of some books, the order of the books, and the original sources used in translating them. Scholars generally agree that the Old Testament was compiled from c. 1000 B.C. to c. 100 B.C.

The first 39 books of the Bible dealing with the life and times of the Jews, and the development of their idea of God before the coming of Jesus.

The second portion of the Christian Bible, which contains 27 books that form the basis of Christian belief. These books include the sayings of Jesus, the story of his life and work, the death and resurrection of Jesus now celebrated as Easter, the teachings and writings of the apostles, and instruction for converting nonbelievers and for performing baptisms, blessings, and other rituals. The New Testament is believed to have been written . A.D. 100, some 70 to 90 years after the death of Jesus. 

The following 27 books of the Bible deal with the birth, life and teachings of Jesus and the development of Christianity.

What is the difference between Old and New Testaments?

In the OT, it is mainly about God, but in the NT, it is about Jesus. Jesus did not exist in the OT. This is probably because the time they were written are different, and the people who wrote them are also different. OT focuses on his creation, the people striving, remaining true to the theory of Monotheism, the gradual establishment of the religion and also the various kingdoms in the history of the Christian religion. NT is basically, as we have learned in class, written in the memory of Jesus Christ the Son of God. I would not call it a biography since it is “impossible to write a biography of Jesus” however, we could seek many of his communal activities and a rough sketch on his life. The Old Testament is written by multi-authors and focused on the “history” of Christianity, whereas the New Testament is written by few authors, (which are possible to identify), and mainly focuses on Jesus’ life. Another difference between the OT and the NT is the strict, punishing God of OT or the human-loving God of NT. 

In the Christian Bible, the New Testament appears after the Old Testament, which preceded it. Jesus endorsed the Old Testament. It is the written account of God progressively revealing himself to his world. The New Testament builds on Old Testament foundations, but has two major differences. Firstly, instead of the life of the Jewish nation being the means for God to reveal himself, in the New Testament the life of Jesus becomes the medium of revelation.

Secondly, instead of mainly featuring one nation as in the Old Testament, the followers of Jesus are an international family. Less significant are national festivals commemorating national events like the Passover, national laws like Jewish food laws, a national shrine like Jerusalem’s temple, or national modes of cleansing such as a sacrificial system. Though important in an earlier era, they are superseded by Jesus Christ and the new era of the Christian church; an intention quite evident throughout the Old Testament.

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