Why Read and Study the Old Testament?

Goldsworthy Trilogy Why should we read and study the Old Testament?

“The most compelling reason for Christians to read and study the Old Testament lies in the New Testament.  The New Testament witnesses to the fact that Jesus of Nazareth is the One in whom and through whom all the promises of God find their fulfillment.  These promises are only to be understood from the Old Testament; the fulfillment of the promises can be understood only in the context of the promises themselves.”

“The New Testament presupposes a knowledge of the Old Testament.  Everything that is a concern to the New Testament writers is part of the one redemptive history to which the Old Testament witnesses.  The New Testament writers cannot separate the person and work of Christ, nor the life of the Christian community, from this sacred history which has its beginnings in the Old Testament.”

“It is, of course, of great significance that the New Testament writers constantly quote or allude to the Old Testament.  One estimate is that there are at least 1600 direct quotations of the Old Testament in the New, to which may be added to several thousand more New Testament passages that clearly allude to or reflect Old Testament verses.  Of course not all these citation show direct continuity of thought with the Old Testament, and some even show a contrast between the Old and New Testaments.  But the over-all effect is inescapable – the message of the New Testament has its foundations in the Old Testament.”

“The more we study the New Testament the more apparent becomes the conviction shared by Jesus, the apostles, and the New Testament writers in general: namely the Old Testament is Scripture and Scripture points to Christ.

Graeme Goldsworthy, The Goldsworthy Trilogy (Colorado Springs: Paternoster, 2011), 18-20.

rev shane lems


One comment on “Why Read and Study the Old Testament?

  1. The Goldsworthy trilogy is such a gem. I especially like his treatment of wisdom literature in “Gospel and Wisdom.” Really unique contribution. Goldsworthy is a clear writer to begin with, but I think his writing in the Trilogy is especially down to earth. This is one of those books you can give to a newer Christian and not worry about them getting overwhelmed!


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