A valid question for believers today is: do we really need to read the whole Bible with its 66 documents? The Old Testament takes up almost 75%. Can’t we discard or just neglect it, because it is the old covenant? Isn’t the shorter gospel of the New Testament sufficient?
# The ‘short’ Gospel
Paul gives us the Gospel in a few words, ‘Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David.’ 1 It is clear, simple, easy to understand and does not need hours of intensive Bible study.
# A slightly ‘longer’ Gospel
However, as followers of Jesus, we realize the Four Gospels are important. So we add them to Paul’s ‘short’ Gospel. What about the Acts of the Holy Spirit and Paul’s letters? What about the letters of Peter and John who were both disciples of Jesus? So we add them, as well as the letters of James and Jude, the half-brothers of Jesus. Finally, we cannot neglect Revelation because it teaches us about the end times. It explains how God will destroy every vestige of Satan’s kingdom on earth and renew the heavens and earth into an eternal home for His children. So we feel the New Testament is quite sufficient. But…
# What about the ‘long’ Gospel, Old & New Testament?
39 of the 66 books are in the Old Testament. Does the Holy Spirit expect us to take the time to read them? Will knowledge of a talking serpent, a universal flood and the calling of Abraham and his family with all their crises, help us get to heaven? Is it necessary to know about poor Moses and his 40 year journey in the desert with the Israelites? Do we have to know about the wars, disasters, disobedience to the Covenant, the exile, et cetera? What about the old ideas, slavery, strange manners and habits, animal sacrifices with rituals for the priests and long winding genealogies? Can’t we skip all the information in the Old Testament?
There is a reason the Holy Spirit gave us the Old Testament. In the next blog we will discuss a few reasons why the Old Testament is important.
- 2 Timothy 2:8