How to read your Old Testament

by Aug 22, 2008

Another helpful post by John Walton on the Koinonia blog, this time on overcoming the bias many Christians have against the Old Testament:

Every person reading through the Bible has experienced at one point or another that uncomfortable feeling of wondering, “What is this doing in my Bible?” Maybe they are reading Leviticus or Song of Songs. Perhaps they experience it even in some of the narratives of Genesis.

The key to approaching the Old Testament is to remember that at every point it is God’s revelation of himself to us. Our first question, therefore, should always be, “What does this passage tell me about God?” It is interesting that what is preached most are the Old Testament stories. Unfortunately, when we read them, we are often drawn to the characters in the narratives as we seek to have the faith of Abraham, the courage of Esther, the loyalty of Ruth, the heart of David, etc. There is nothing wrong with challenges to have more of those qualities in our lives. But in the end, these are stories about God more than about Abraham, Esther, Ruth or David.