The Old Testaments scriptures were there before the coming of Jesus Christ. Some Christians believe that Jesus changed some of the rules given to them in the Old Testament. Others believe He emphasized the scriptures in the Old Testament. So, did Jesus take the Old Testament literally?
Jesus recognized the Old Testament scriptures were written by people inspired by God. According to Matthew 5:17, the Bible implies that Jesus said He came to fulfill the scriptures in the Old Testament and not abolish them.
Did Jesus recognize the authority of the Old Testament? Did Jesus recognize the laws and prophets of the Old Testament? Did Jesus quote the Old Testament? What did Jesus say about the Old Testament? How did Jesus interpret the Old Testament? Should Christians take the Bible literally? Keep reading to find the answers to these questions and more.
Did Jesus recognize the authority of the Old Testament?
Throughout the teaching of Jesus, He always recognized the authority of the Old Testament. Matthew 15:3 reads, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?” Jesus recognized that the Old Testament has authority and has given the people God’s commandments that they should follow. Jesus taught that the Bible has more power than traditions and one should not break any law in the Bible because of them.
Also, according to Matthew 5:18-19, the Bible implies that Jesus said everything written in the Old Testament would come to pass before the judgment day. He continues to say that whoever breaks the law or teaches others to break it will not see the Kingdom of God, but whoever follows every commandment will be great in the Kingdom of God. From these verses, we learn that Jesus recognized the Old Testament as the law given by God. It shows that he recognized the authority that the Old Testament contains.
Did Jesus recognize the laws and prophets of the Old Testament?
Jesus recognized the Law and the Prophets during his ministry. Matthew 5:17 says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Jesus always recognized the two sections of the Old Testament. He said that he had not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets in the Old Testament but to make what they had prophesied come true. When Jesus was in a synagogue in his hometown Nazareth, in Luke 4:16-30, He read the scripture from prophet Isaiah and said that the scripture had come to pass through Him. Though the people didn’t believe Him, we learn that Jesus always acknowledged the prophets in the Old Testament.
Also, Luke 24:44-46 reads, “Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Jesus always recognized the law and prophets because that is what the Old Testament entails. There are scriptures in the Old Testament that show that Jesus would come to save man. He always recognized that he had come to fulfill the promise God gave his people in the law and prophets of the Old Testament.
Did Jesus quote the Old Testament?
There are many occasions in the Bible where Jesus quoted the Old Testament as he gave his teachings. One juncture where Jesus quoted the Old Testament was during His temptation. In Matthew 4:4, Jesus quoted the words from Deuteronomy 8:3 when he said, “It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Also, he quoted Deuteronomy 6:16 in Matthew 4:7 when he said, “Again it is written, you shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” And Deuteronomy 6:13 in Matthew 4:10 when he said, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “you shall worship the Lord your God, and he only shall you serve.” Jesus used the words from the Old Testament to conquer the Temptations that Satan brought upon him. Moses said these words to the Israelites to remind them of the Lord their God.
Another occasion that Jesus quoted the Old Testament was in the Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 5:21, “you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.” Jesus quoted the 6th commandment in Exodus 20:13. He also quoted the 7th commandment found in Exodus 20:14. This was in Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, you shall not commit adultery.” Jesus was teaching the commandments His followers were to follow and quoted some that God gave the Israelites on Mount Sinai.
What did Jesus say about the Old Testament?
Jesus said that the Old Testament contains scriptures that are fulfilled through Him. He always taught that God fulfilled his promise to his people through him. Jesus read from the book of Isaiah while in Synagogue in Nazareth. He said that those people had witnessed the fulfillment of that scripture through him. When the people did not believe him, he told them that prophets are ignored in their hometown.
Also, he said that the Old Testament cannot be broken. According to John 10:35, the Bible implies that Jesus said the scripture cannot be broken. Jesus always talked of the Old Testament as the law of the prophets, which must come to pass. Also, in Matthew 5:19, the Bible implies that Jesus said that whoever breaks the law or teaches others how to break the law shall not see the Kingdom of God.
How did Jesus interpret the Old Testament?
Jesus interpreted the Old Testament as a promise God told the prophets to prophesy to His people. He talked of how these promises were fulfilled through His birth. He had come to fulfill this promise by bringing light to the people of God.
He also interpreted the Old Testament as a weapon that the people of God can use to fight temptations brought to them by Satan. Jesus used the scriptures in the Old Testament to conquer Satan during his temptation. He quoted the Old Testament and succeeded to conquer Satan.
Also, Jesus interpreted the Old Testament as a law that God gave his people. In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:21-27, Jesus quoted some of the Ten Commandments as he added to them. Jesus says that those who obey the laws in the Old Testament will receive the Kingdom of God.
Should Christians take the Bible literally?
Christians should take the Bible literally because even Jesus took the Bible literally. The reason why people misunderstand what God is trying to tell them through the Bible is they try to complicate the message in the Bible. During the temptation of Jesus, Jesus took the Bible literally when fighting the challenges that Satan brought to him. Jesus quoted how the Bible is written and was able to conquer all the temptations.
Also, the Disciples took the Bible literally when Jesus told them in Matthew 28:19-20 to go and make many disciples from all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and son and Holy Spirit and teaching them all of Jesus’ commandments. The disciples followed every word and made followers of Jesus in that procedure.
However, some scriptures are in parables that Christians need to find the inner meaning they contain. These scriptures need an understanding of the Bible for Christians to understand the message that God is trying to convey to them. Therefore, Christians should ask God to grant them the Holy Spirit so that they can understand such scriptures.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.