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Why Study the Old Testament?

Have you ever started watching a movie when it was more than halfway over? Can you figure out what is going on without asking questions? You can probably get the gist of the story, but will the ending have as full a meaning to you if you do not know the backstory? Of course not, and the Old Testament is the key backstory for the events in the new Testament. But many Christians only bother to study the New Testament passages. This is a mistake for those who truly want to understand God's word.

In II Timothy, it tells us, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly quipped for every good work" (II Tim.3:16-17)

When Paul wrote these words to Timothy, the New Testament had not been completed. In fact, the Old Testament makes up about seventy-five percent of God's total message to humans. Jesus often quoted the Old Testament in His teachings. Almost one third of the New Testament writings are quotes or allusions to Old Testament scripture. So, what purpose did the Old Testament serve for the first-century Christians? Paul gives us a hint in Galatians 3:24: "Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ that we might be justified by faith."

The Old Testament still serves as a tutor for us today, explaining all the vents of the bible that led to Jesus coming to Earth. Jesus proved this after His resurrection when speaking o the disciples on the road to Emmaus: "And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself" (Luke 24:27). God's plan was made complete in Jesus. It is said that "the Old Testament is God's will concealed, and the New Testament is God's will revealed." It is impossible to grasp the full meaning of God's eternal plan without exploring and learning all His inspired writings to mankind.

excerpt from Proverbs Study Book