Why I Struggle With The Old Testament

Problem with BibleWhy I Struggle With the Old Testament

I’ve posted a few articles recently about the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament. I was inspired to do so by a seminary student friend who used to be an atheist. He told me he became a Christian when he learned about the reliability of the New Testament scriptures. But he also explained to me the process the Jewish people went through to copy the Torah. If they made a single mistake they would destroy the document and start over. The ancient Hebrew, like English today, has a numeric value associated with each letter (in English A=1, B=2, C=3, and so on). After copying each line of scripture, they would add up the numeric value of each line and compare it to the original. If there was a difference, they destroyed the document and started over.

It’s Not the Accuracy, It’s What It Says

So it’s not the accuracy of the Old Testament scriptures that bothers me. What bothers me about the Old Testament is what’s written. Some of the Continue reading

Don’t Sacrifice What You Know, On the Altar of What You Don’t Know

Photo Credit: BiblePlaces.com

Young Man: “But what about some of that stuff in Leviticus, and Numbers, and Deuteronomy? It doesn’t make sense to me.”

Old Man: “Don’t sacrifice what you know, on the altar of what you don’t know.”

In Deuteronomy there’s page after page of ancient laws, rules, and regulations. Most of them make obvious sense or they’re explained in scripture. A few seem awkward and strange, and are presented without explanation.

Of course all of us have questions about certain scriptures in the Bible. But when that becomes your focus, I think you’re walking into a trap. If I become obsessed with those parts of scripture I don’t understand, I risk discounting, or even sacrificing all the rest of scripture, most of which I do understand and recognize to be true.

A convert of the great revival leader, Charles Finney, drew this analogy concerning focus on what you don’t understand in the Bible. He said of himself, before his conversion:

“It’s as if I had been called to pass judgement on some splendid piece of architecture, some magnificent temple; and that as soon as I came in view of one corner of the structure, I fell into disgust, and turned away and refused to inspect it farther. I condemned the whole, without at all regarding its proportions.”

Give regard to the whole of scripture. Give regard to its proportions. Focus on what you do know. Live out what you know to be true. Give thanks for the scriptures God uses to reach you.

At the regular weekly Bible study I attend, we’re in Deuteronomy right now. And speaking of these matters our pastor made the wise statement: “Don’t sacrifice what you know, on the altar of what you don’t know.” (see Wednesday, May 16, 2012 teaching at JonCouson.com)

“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. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

-Jesus Christ, Matthew 5:17-18