A Gospel-Centered Reading of the Old Testament

When we read the Old Testament (OT) we should always be asking at least four questions:

1) What did the text mean in its Old Covenant (OC) context for the OC people of God?;

2) How does the full and final revelation in Christ inform the OT text?

a) Does it abrogate the teaching of the text (animal sacrifices are no more),

b) Does it deepen our understanding of the text (i.e. adultery includes deeper issues of the heart such as lust),

c) Does it clarify shadow/reality relationship (such as in Hebrews, the earthly and heavenly tabernacle),

d) Does it transfer/expand the ‘people of God’ identity from Israel to the church (Ca. Ex 19:1-3 to 1 Peter 2:9-10, i.e. an elect and holy people);

3) In what way does the text anticipate the full and final victory that comes in the person and work of Jesus Christ?

 4) How does the text now apply to my context today (i.e. what do I understand about God, what do I learn about human nature, what is happening redemptively that parallels God’s work in my life today and God’s work through His church today?

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