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On Jesus vs the Old Testament

Summary

Iain Provan explains why Christians read the Jewish scriptures at all.

Summary

Iain Provan explains why Christians read the Jewish scriptures at all.

Transcript

Well, of course, Jesus of Nazareth is the very person who gave us the Old Testament as Christian scripture. If we ask ourselves why Christian people read the Old Testament at all – because after all, it’s Jewish literature, it’s a bit like reading somebody else’s mail – and the question is, why would you do that? And the only reason we do it is because the early church felt very strongly, because of the apostolic witness, that Jesus Christ had given us these particular scriptures for our use and had endorsed them as important guidelines for our lives, and not just for Jewish people’s lives.

And so it’s very important, I think, to recognise the huge continuity between Jesus’ teaching and the Old Testament teaching. And he frequently grounds his teaching in the Old Testament. So for us to set these things up as a dichotomous set of opposites, I think is fundamentally wrong-headed, actually.