Reconsider the Two Parts of the Bible
Where Does the Law of God End and the Love of Jesus Begin in Scripture?
The Bible divides Christian Scripture into two parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament looks at the rules God required to be right with him and anticipates a future when he will send us a Savior. The New Testament looks at that savior and this new way of approaching God. We commonly view the Bible in these two testaments.
Yet this theological transition doesn’t seem to occur until the death of Jesus and his coming back to life. In doing so he becomes the ultimate Old Testament sacrifice, one to end all sacrifices. He dies and then he lives again, so that when we die, we can also live again. When looking at things thematically, this seems to more properly mark the turning point between God’s old way and his new way of doing things.
Jesus’s View of This Theological Transition
However, Jesus offers us a different perspective. Since it came from his mouth, this is the one we should embrace, as opposed to the traditional Old and New Testament division or even looking at his death and resurrection as a pivotal theological switch in the Bible. Instead, Jesus indicates that this transition point starts with the Ministry of John the Baptist.
Jesus says that the Law and the Prophets were taught up until the time of John. Starting with John, this good news of God’s kingdom and telling others about it marks the point where God’s emphasis changes (Luke 16:16).The ministry of John the Baptist marks the Bible’s theological transition point by ushering in God’s long-promised faith reformation. Click To Tweet
The good news of Jesus and the kingdom of God doesn’t begin with Jesus’s ministry, but it starts a few years earlier with the ministry of John. The ministry of John the Baptist marks the Bible’s theological transition point by ushering in God’s long-promised faith reformation, of coming to God in faith instead of pursuing impossible-to-meet rules.
Though Jesus is our ultimate faith solution, John the Baptist points to it.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.
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