Jesus’ View of the Old Testament

“The way the Hebrew Bible is set out requires some comments and explanations. We start by noting its three-fold shape, and recall at once how Jesus, on the evening of his resurrection, ‘opened their understanding that they might comprehend the Scriptures,’ and, in particular, he instructed them that ‘all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms’ concerning himself (Luke 24: 44– 5). There, in summary, is the threefold book, the third section being entitled by its first and largest component, ‘The Psalms’. The same feature occurs in Mark 1: 2 (cf., NIV) where the whole collection of the Prophets is entitled ‘Isaiah the prophet’, its first book. Another indication that Jesus’ Bible was our Old Testament is found in Matthew 23: 35 where our Lord reviews the whole history of rejection of the Word of God from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, that is from the first (Gen. 4: 8) to the last (2 Chron. 24: 21) books of the Bible as he knew it. What a stimulus to loving the Old Testament! It is his Bible, and our devotion to it is part of our longing to be like him.” -Alec Motyer, A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Living the Old Testament

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