From the Editor Jul/Aug 2023
American pastor Andy Stanley stated in a 2018 sermon, “Peter, James, [and] Paul elected to unhitch the Christian faith from their Jewish scriptures, and my friends, we must as well.”
He’s not the only one with this opinion. Many believers today think the Old Testament is obsolete, and all that matters now is the New Testament.
But how can you love the New Testament and the gospel message if you don’t know the Hebrew Scriptures on which the Good News is built? The authors of the New Testament loved God’s Word too. But until they wrote their Gospels and Epistles, the only Scripture they had ever received from God came in the books of law, prophecy, and writings of the Tanakh—the Jewish Bible.
Many churches today struggle to appreciate the divine truths God has spoken to us through the Old Testament. A 2019 Pew Research study of U.S. churches found that evangelicals hear from the New Testament in 93 percent of sermons, while Old Testament Scripture appears in only 66 percent of sermons—a discouraging 27-percent gap, despite the fact that the Old Testament is more than three times longer than the New.
These churches may preach on the value of Paul’s teaching from 2 Timothy 3:16–17: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” But such teaching rings hollow if the Old Testament is pushed aside on Sunday mornings and in personal study.
Like those who read Scripture thousands of years ago, we have the great privilege of knowing our unchanging, holy God through the pages of the Tanakh. Without the lens of the Old Testament and its Jewish context, we miss so much of the beauty of New Testament Scripture God has made plain to those who study the Bible faithfully.
This issue of Israel My Glory takes a look into the minds of the New Testament’s most prevalent authors, examining how they used the sacred words of the original Hebrew Scriptures to craft their own entries into the whole counsel of God’s Word as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21). You might be surprised by how much the Old Testament foreshadows and fills in our understanding of the New Testament.
As you learn how deeply the pages of the Old and New Testaments are intertwined, we hope your love of God’s Word will grow and reap a harvest of spiritual fruit in your life.
In His service,