The Old Testament Is a Christian Text

5/10/13, by Clement Pulaski

Many misinformed Christians think that there is a natural affinity between Christians and Jews because we use the same book, the Old Testament. While it is true that contemporary Jews hold that the Old Testament is a divine text, this does not make them friends of the Church. The Jews horribly misinterpret and do not truly believe in the Old Testament. Our Lord explicitly states this in chapter five of the Gospel of John, when he says to the Jews, "had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (John 5:46-47). Christ says that it is possible for the Jews to read the Old Testament and think it to be divine, and yet still not truly believe the words. The Jews might reverence Moses, but they do not believe him or understand him, because if they did they would accept Jesus as the Messiah. As Christians, we know that any understanding of the Old Testament that rejects Christ is false.

This Jewish understanding of the Old Testament slanders Christ, denying that he is the Holy One promised in the Law and the Prophets, and therefore the Jewish understanding of the Old Testament cannot lead to salvation. Jesus says this to the Jews earlier on in the same chapter, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life" (John 5:39-40). The meaning of this passage could not be more clear: the Jews diligently read the scriptures, thinking that they gain eternal life, but they do not have the life because they reject Christ. Their understanding does not come from God. It is a false, man-made understanding that obscures the truth and leads to destruction. "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14:12).

According to the Jews, the Old Testament is their text, and Christians borrow it from them. Secularists also teach this view. The true Christian view, however, is that the Old Testament is exclusively our text, because we alone believe what is written in it. The Jews borrow it from us and distort its meaning, thereby cutting themselves off from salvation.

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