The Jews’ View Of The Old Testament -- By: David Murray

Journal: Puritan Reformed Journal
Volume: PRJ 02:1 (Jan 2010)
Article: The Jews’ View Of The Old Testament
Author: David Murray


The Jews’ View Of The Old Testament

David Murray

In previous articles we have examined Christ’s view of the Old Testament, and then the prophets’ view. Now let us look at the Jews’ view of the Old Testament. Why is this relevant, you might say? Well, we learn not only by looking at what is right but also by looking at what is wrong. For example, we can learn about water by describing what it is not as well as by describing what it is. We can likewise learn about the Old Testament message not only by looking at what it is (Christ’s view and the prophets’ view) but also by looking at what it is not (the Jews’ view). One great benefit of the heresies and misunderstandings in the early New Testament church was that they helped the church clarify the truth. Indeed, throughout her history, the church has made most advances in understanding the truth when confronting falsehood.

In 2 Corinthians 3, Paul contends against a wrong Jewish view of the Old Testament by setting out the true view of it. He does so by contrasting the new covenant with the old covenant, a contrast which is not absolute but relative, a contrast which is not between opposites (law versus works) but between a smaller and larger degree of grace.

Let me illustrate this. Some years ago, Office Administration, an office supplies business, was prospering through selling high quality paper, envelopes, and pens to various local companies. However, with the advent of the personal computer and e-mail, demand for these products began to diminish. The management, however, were unfamiliar with new technology. Moreover, they felt that they had good products which had been much appreciated for many years. So, instead of adapting to the new situation, they decided just to keep selling paper, envelopes, and pens. Sales continued to plummet. Eventually, their warehouses were full but their order books were empty. At this point, the managing director’s son, who had been trying for some time

to change the company’s product range, offered to buy out the older management. A deal was soon concluded and the son took over. The warehouses were emptied of old stock, and in came personal computers, printers, and business software. The well-respected company name, Office Administration, was retained, but below the signs and the letterheads was written “Under New Management.” The company soon began to prosper again. The company name and business was the same—Office Administration—but the product range was now suited to a new age and to the new ways that offices were administered.

In a sense, the story of the whole Bible is about Grace Admin...

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