Can we understand the New Testament without the Old Testament?
Question: Can we understand the New Testament without the Old Testament?
Answer: If one puts the ribbon of Bible at the page called “The New Testament” and then compares the volume of “The New Testament” vs. “The Old Testament”, he/she will find the mere disproportionate “new” of “The New Testament”.
A friend of the present author estimated that “The New Testament” writings present about 27 percent of the entire Bible, and if we consider the parallel accounts in the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) this percentage drops down to merely 17 percent.
Therefore, it seems like the average Christian reads about 17 percent of the Bible at best and believes in about 17 percent at best. And even this low percentage drops, because there are verses (like Mat 5:17-20) and chapters (like Romans 11), and even the Book of Revelation excluded from the regular sermons.
So, can we understand the Bible by reading only 17 percent?!
Sadly, this is what many Christians are led to believe, that their faith is based on “the New Testament” only, and that they are not under “the old Law”, or the Law is “for the Jews only”. Or, if they at all read “the Old Testament”, they read it from “the New Testament perspectives”, meaning pick and choose what fits the denomination, not as the foundation of their faith.
The array of “the New Testament Christians” varies from those who totally reject the Torah of YHVH aka “the Law” to the more liberal: “for-the-Jews-only”; all depends on the personal conviction and belief, not on what the Bible actually teaches.
And if they are asked which book of the Bible is the most important to the Almighty, none of them would even think to point to Leviticus. For insight into the matter, refer to the articles Which is the Most Important Book in the Bible? and Why Leviticus is the Most Important Book in the Bible – Time of Reckoning Ministry.
At any rate, this division of the Bible into “The New Testament” and “The Old Testament” is done for no good reason, but to build a wall of separation between Israel and “the former gentiles” as Paul called the new comers in the faith.
And speaking of Paul, the Christians are also misled to believe that Paul taught against the Law and his teachings are easy to understand.
The present author believes that Paul is extremely misunderstood especially when it comes to such controversial topics as “the Law is done away with” and “you are not under the Law”.
But is sufficient to say for now that some of his teachings are not easy to understand but twisted by some unlearned in the Scripture for their own destruction. This is what Peter says in his second epistle (2Pe 3:14-17). And while at his time some were teaching false doctrines that Paul was against the Law of YHVH, in our times many are doing it. Recommended reading: Paul commended us to observe Sabbath – Time of Reckoning Ministry.
We can wonder what Paul would do today, if he could only hear those many. But we know that he would do what he already did when he returned to Jerusalem from a mission. The brethren told him that there were rumors in Jerusalem that he had taught against the Torah (see Acts 21:18-28).
But, verse 24 tells us that those rumors were false and plainly states that Paul walked orderly and kept the Law of YHVH.
Because of those false accusations, Paul and his disciples were so angry upon having heard them that they shaved their heads and bodies and went to the Temple to bring sacrifices. They did it not because they had done any sin that requires sacrifices for forgiveness (as some might interpret it), but because they took what the Torah calls Nazarite vow (see Num 6:13-21). What did they vow of, but to keep on teaching the Torah among the new converts?
That incident of false accusations against Paul is just a simple example of misunderstanding Paul, because the Law has been rejected in the first place by the Christians who say Paul is easy to understand.
But they must be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11, who searched the Scriptures daily to see whether what Paul was teaching could be found there, and Luke said they were more noble than the others who did not check. Sadly, many Christians do not search the Scriptures to see whether what they hear from the pulpit can be found there.
So, can we understand the Bible by reading only 17 percent?! Hardly!