Because the New Testament was written to bring a new covenant to the Gentiles, there are some Christians who avoid reading the Old Testament altogether, but it’s vital to understanding God’s purpose through His word.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
– Genesis 1:1
The above is the first line of the Old Testament. Kind of important not to skip, don’t you think?
The New Testament tells us:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.”
The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is the word. Think about that. Jesus is God’s word and he is God as well. That makes God’s word pretty important. It means we should probably be reading all of God’s word. That means both the Old and New Testaments.
The New Testament is only 29 percent of the Bible, leaving 71 percent of the Bible to the Old Testament, Bible.org states. If you don’t read the Old Testament, you’re skipping most of the Bible.
A number of Bible teachers tell us that one of the most important reasons for reading the Old Testament is that it helps us to understand who God is, what he is like, and what his purpose is.
In the New Testament, Christians pray the Lord’s Prayer, in which Jesus taught us to pray, “Your will be done,” in Matthew 6:10. Therefore, it is vitally important that we read the Old Testament to understand what God’s will is.
In the Old Testament, we see God’s creation of everything, His relationship with humanity, even when being rejected for other gods.
You’ll also learn how, before Christ, Israel and the Jews were under “The Law” found in Deuteronomy and Leviticus. This will help to understand how Christians (the Gentiles) now, under the new covenant, are not required to follow those specific laws, as Christians are under redemption through the blood of Christ.
All this is important to know because Jesus and his disciples were Jews, and were very much influenced by the law and practices of Israel. It’s important to understand the worldview they had, which in turn, puts both the Old and New Testaments in their proper context. A huge mistake people make today is trying to see the Bible from our present worldview only.
“Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’”
– Isaiah 46:10
Another important thing about the Old Testament is that it shows us how God sees all of time at once. What God reveals about the future through Old Testament prophecies, is not only a demonstration of His supernatural power but many can be historically verified as coming true hundreds of years after they were made. This fact gives us assurance that, not only are God’s prophecies accurate but that His word is true and can be trusted.
Depending on your source, some declare there are between 300-351 Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled in Jesus Christ.