What Use Is the Old Testament?

Should we unhitch the Old Testament from Christianity?

Moses Breaking the Tablets of the Law, Gustave Doré

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This month we're discussing the merits of the Old Testament for the modern day Jesus-follower. Is it of any use? Or are we free to discard it?

Here's how the article begins:

In 2018, North Point Community Church pastor Andy Stanley drew attention and criticism for suggesting Christians "unhitch" their faith from the Old Testament. Here's what he said:

"[New Testament] Church leaders unhitched the church from the worldview, value system, and regulations of the Jewish scriptures. . . Peter, James, Paul elected to unhitch the Christian faith from their Jewish scriptures, and my friends, we must as well."

In response critics came out of the woodwork like termites decrying the preacher as a heretic, among other things.

But if Stanley is on one end of the extreme, then an acquaintance of mine is on the other. He believes Christians should live according to the Torah, placing special emphasis on the Sabbath, circumcision, eating only kosher foods, and religious festivals. (Note: this person is not of Jewish heritage.)

So is Andy Stanley right about the Old Testament? Or is my gentile friend in the right? Should we Christians toss out the OT or study and try to obey all 613 commandments in the Torah?


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Don't Believe Everything You Hear: The Privilege (and Burden) of Reading

What Jesus expects of those who can read.

Johannes Krupinski

If you were a Jewish person living in the first century, there's a good chance you wouldn't know how to read.

Or at least not know how to read well.

It's hard to say for sure, but literacy estimates I've encountered range from 3 to 30 percent. Catherine Hezser, professor of Jewish studies at the University of London, concludes that only 10 percent of Jewish people in first century Israel could do more than write his or her own name.[1] Jewish culture valued reading and writing, perhaps more than any ancient culture, but it reserved such tasks for the scribes and other elites like the Sanhedrin.

With this context in mind, it is interesting to examine some of Jesus's own words when teaching or rebuking his fellow countrymen.