Why Do We Need the Old Testament?


Why do Christians need the Old Testament, and how does it relate to the New Testament? Dr. John Oswalt shares about this important relationship, showing how they harmonize to reveal one coherent vision of God and salvation.

Rather than the Old Testament teaching a religion of works, it consistently reveals a God who redeems his people by grace. Their response is merely an expression of love as they walk in the covenant. This is entirely congruent with what Paul teaches in Ephesians 2:8-9: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (NIV)

See also this video by Dr. Bill Arnold and Dr. Ben Witherington: “Christians and the Old Testament“; read “5 Doctrinal Myths Hurting the Church” by Andrew Dragos; watch as Craig Keener as he explains, “The Old Testament Laws and Their Modern Application.”

Are you looking to better understand the world and text of the Old Testament? In our unique Bible study Epic of Eden: Understanding the Old Testament, Sandy Richter makes the story come to life in ways that have transformed readers’ lives. Through a 12-week study (book + video) Sandy brings new dimension to the history of the ancient Near East, orienting readers around the time, geography, culture, redemption, and relevance of the Old Testament Scriptures for Christians today. Get your copy from our store here.

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Dr. John Oswalt is Visiting Distinguished Professor of Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary. His expertise is in Old Testament studies, Hebrew language, and Hebrew religion. His writings have appeared in Bible encyclopedias, scholarly journals and popular religious periodicals, and is a leading scholar on the book of Isaiah. He is married to the former Karen Kennedy, and they have three children and two grandchildren.


  1. Do you have transcripts of the videos (I am especially interested in this one by Dr. Oswalt)? It is helpful to me to have a transcript because I have some hearing loss. Thank you.