I’ll confess that it was one of the lowpoints of my years in ministry, one of the times when I did not stand up and defend someone who deserved it. We were in a heated discussion in a men’s meeting, and a young man said, “Well, in the Old Testament…” An older Christian sitting next to him immediately cut him off: “My Bible says it was nailed to the cross.”
I didn’t speak up at this outrageous comment. My excuse is that I was dumbfounded not only by the words but by the unChristian way in which they had been uttered. Still, it’s no excuse. What if some of those present gave credence to this man’s words, especially since he had been a respected Bible teacher for decades?
I’ve done it since then, but I’ll do it again. Let me proclaim my support for God’s Word. I’ll take my stand alongside Paul, who wrote to Timothy: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2Tim 3:14-17) The Scriptures that Timothy knew from his infancy were not Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. No, when Timothy was a lad the New Testament didn’t exist. Paul is talking about the first two-thirds of the Bible. And look at what he says:
The Old Testament can make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus.
The Old Testament is useful for teaching, etc.
The Old Testament prepares us for every good work.
Part of our confusion comes from that very designation, Old Testament. In our minds, we somehow connect Genesis through Malachi with the pact that God made with the physical nation of Israel, with the Mosaic Law. We somehow forget that the Bible of the early church was what we call the Old Testament. When they studied Scripture, that’s what they studied. When Timothy was told to be a student of the Word, that’s what Paul was talking about.
Nailed to the cross? Hardly. The Old Testament is alive and well and waiting to be studied by the church today as it was by the early church.
Why do you think people want to remove the Old Testament from Scripture? Is it just to win certain arguments? Or is there something else there?