“Christians do not need the Old Testament. All they need is Jesus and the New Testament.” Do you agree or disagree? Justify your position. If you disagree, why do Christians need the Old Testament?
The value of the Old Testament (OT) for Christians has been debated since the second century when Marcion thought of it as ‘the unnecessary and embarrassing sibling to the New’
The OT was the bible of the Early Church
The early church maintained the OT canon
The OT contains thousands of years of God progressively revealing his person by special historical revelation and self-disclosure
‘Without the OT we will always have an impoverished view of God. God is not a philosophical construct but a person who acts in history... from Genesis 1 onward, God has wanted himself to be known and the OT is our most complete revelation of what God is like’
The best understanding of the NT requires understanding of the OT
The OT also aids our discernment of false understanding of the NT. Marcion’s rejection of the OT creation stories allow freedom for him to claim there was a lesser creator God
The NT is not intended to stand alone and in many cases presupposes knowledge of the OT. Theological issues of Creation and the Fall are limited in the NT. Divine judgement is clearly seen in the OT
Prediction of the Messiah – the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus – was clearly anticipated in the OT. God’s ultimate plan for his people and redemption begins in the OT. From the promise Eve’s offspring (Genesis 3:15), to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3), the exodus from Egypt (Exodus 1-11), return of the exiles culminating with Jesus Christ we see progressive revelation of God’s redemptive plan. There are over 455 OT references to the Messiah or Messianic times
A Gentile Christian approaching the OT can be likened to the first family function with the in-laws. You find yourself married into something that may be unfamiliar, and uncomfortable. However, you quickly realise that life existed before and outside of yourself. There are history, relationships, events, and values that have shaped your spouse, and the relationship you have with her. Without the OT our view of God would be impoverished
Achtemeir. (1962). Why Bother with the Old Testament? In The OT Roots of Our Faith (pp. 11-16). New York: Abingdon.
Brunner, E. (1964). The Significance of the Old Testament for our Faith. In B. Anderson (Ed.), The Old Testament and Christian Faith (pp. 243-64). London, London: SCM.
Greidanus, S. (1999). The necessity of Preaching from the Old Testament. In Preaching Christ from the Old Testament (pp. 15-32). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
Kaiser. (1991). The Old Testament as the Christian Problem. In Toward rediscovering the Old Testament (pp. 13-32). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
Kaiser. (2003). The Value of the Old Testament for Today. In Preaching and Teaching from the Old Testament (pp. 15-28). Grand Rapids: Baucer.
Yancey, P. (1999). Is the Old Testament worth the effort? In The Bible Jesus read (pp. 17-42). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
 The meaning of ‘Scripture’ in this context is debated and may be taken as individual passages, the whole OT, or OT plus NT