Is the Old Testament still important for Christians? Some professing Christians like Andy Stanley are saying, “No,” but in a recent TGC post, I unpack a number of reasons why Christians must not see the Old Testament as irrelevant, unimportant, or insignificant. Instead, we must treat Jesus’s Bible like Jesus and the apostles did––as the word of God for the church, when read in the light and through the lens of Christ. Books like Leviticus, Judges, and Psalms point to Christ and are a foundational part of the Scripture that is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). In the Old Testament we meet the same God as in the New, and through it we can magnify the hope of the gospel. See my “Ten Reasons the Old Testament Is Important for Christians” to learn how the initial three-fourths of the Christian Scripture was written for us.
Once Christians affirm the lasting value of the Old Testament, the natural question is “What next?” In a follow-up TGC post, I overview three key resources for understanding the OT’s plot-line, for meeting Jesus on its pages, and for understanding the message and contribution of the whole and each individual book. See “Three Books for Staying ‘Hitched’ to the Old Testament.”
For the sake of thoroughness, I will add two other books that I edited or wrote because I believe they too can serve the church of the 21st century. See my What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Jesus’ Bible (Kregel, 2013) and my How to Understand and Apply the Old Testament: Twelve Steps from Exegesis to Theology (P&R Publishing, 2017).
Two other recent TGC posts that can help catch you up on the conversation about the present-day significance of the Old Testament: Michael Kruger argues against the impulse to “unhitch” from the Old Testament, and Thomas Schreiner reestablishes the authority of the Old Testament and helps to show the lasting relevance of the Old Testament as Christian Scripture.