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Opening THE Book with Rev John K-S November 2022

REV JOHN K-S 05-2021Rev John Kinchin-Smith
Assistant Minister, St Andrew’s Church, Gorleston


As we have learnt, the Bible consists of two halves: the Old Testament and the New Testament. (These words also mean Old and New “Covenant”, important concepts we shall explore on another occasion). The Old Testament contains thirtynine books and historically ends at least 200 years before the birth of Jesus. The New Testament contains twentyseven books beginning with the four Gospels which give an account of the life and teaching of Jesus. People sometimes ask, “Why do we need the Old Testament? It has much that is hard to understand, strange laws and statutes that seem irrelevant today and some pretty gruesome history. Surely all we need are the teachings of Jesus?”
It is true that the New Testament understands and teaches that the events of Jesus’ life are the most significant and pivotal moment of history. However the New Testament also teaches that Jesus is the fulfilment of the Old Testament – what are known as “The Law” and “The Prophets”. In other words, the whole of the Old Testament points to Jesus. It is therefore impossible to understand who Jesus is, why he came, and the significance of his life without the background of the Old Testament. Here is one example, written by the Prophet Isaiah some 600 years before Jesus was born (from chapter 52:13-53:12):

See, my servant...He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all
There are many other reasons why it is important to read the Old Testament. We shall look at some of these next month and also begin to answer the questions, “Then, how should I read the Old Testament and where should I begin?”



courtesy of St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine


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