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What Does the Bible Say About..The Purpose of the Old Testament?

I was wondering, why was the Law of Moses included in the Christian Bible? Is it just for historical purposes, or is it there to give us an idea of what God thinks is right and wrong?


“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)
“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Galatians 3:24)

The Law of Moses is included because it tells us about the promised Messiah. It tells about the fall of man and God’s plan to restore man to him. That included the coming of Christ. It was part of God’s plan to bring the Messiah through the Jewish nation. It is in the Law of Moses and the rest of the Old Testament that we find the prophecies that prove that Jesus is that Messiah/Christ.

Paul’s argument in the book of Galatians (especially beginning at chapter 3) is that God brought in the Law to show that man cannot save himself through his own efforts. Otherwise Jesus did not have to die. But the Law shows that nobody but Jesus could keep the Law perfectly.

Another reason it is included in our Bibles is that we could not understand the New Testament without the Old Testament. Without a record of the prophecies or the Law of Moses we could not understand the books of Matthew, Galatians, Jude, or Hebrews. We would have difficulty with parts of Romans and 1 Corinthians. We would never be able to understand the Revelation.

A final reason is that it is part of God’s word. The New Testament did not eliminate the Old Testament. Jesus, himself, said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17-18) Although that law is fulfilled, we need to know what it was that Jesus fulfilled.