All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” vs. 162 Timothy 3:14-17
Early Christians didn’t start from scratch as they proclaimed the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Their whole message was based on the Hebrew Scriptures, and most of them had been well-trained in its teachings before they became followers of Jesus. This was their community’s story, and they found great inspiration in the writings of the law and prophets and in the psalms. They found that their study often gave them new insights into the teachings of Jesus, and they came to believe that his ministry was the fulfillment of scripture. Sadly, many contemporary followers of Jesus have little understanding or knowledge of these Hebrew Scriptures and only use them occasionally. They may pick out a verse here and there as a prooftext for whatever they’re trying to prove, but have little appreciation for the Old Testament as a whole. What they miss is that the Old Testament is the foundational part of our community’s story, and without it we have little hope of understanding Jesus, a man whose whole life was lived in the context of those ancient stories. Jesus was thoroughly Jewish and not at all Christian, and all that he did and said flowed from the Hebrew Scriptures. To know him we will need to know them well!
Thought for the Day: What’s my favorite section of the Hebrew Scriptures?