Difference Between The Old And New Testaments

The Old Testament and New Testament comprise the two parts of the Christian Bible. They are both similar in that they each share the same format of books with chapters and verses. The Old Testament, however, comes first not only in the Bible itself but also in the historical time it was written. Dates are estimated, but the Old Testament and the New are separated by several hundred years.

Genesis, the first book in the Old Testament, tells of the beginning of the world and the first man and woman’s expulsion from paradise due to sin. Exodus tells the story of how the Jewish people escaped the hard-hearted Pharaoh of Egypt to wander from forty days and forty nights before reaching the land of milk and honey. Many such tales are told in the Old Testament. There is a range throughout of stories, songs, poems, and wise sayings.
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Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are full of advice and wisdom such as “spare the rod, spoil the child” and “it is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.” Many of these sayings are written in the form of metaphors and analogies, while others are written as fables. The famous tales of Job, Jonah and the whale, Daniel and the lion, and the great flood are just a handful of examples. In later books the coming of a savior is mentioned. That savior, Jesus Christ, is the main subject of the New Testament.

The conception of Jesus has been widely debated, but most Christians believe it to be a virgin birth. Mary, his mother, is often called the Virgin Mother, especially in Catholicism. Jesus is, therefore, both man and God as well as the son of God. He is one third of the triumvirate of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit/Ghost. He is brought to the fore when he begins his ministry in his early thirties. He wanders and collects followers known as apostles. Jesus teaches primarily through parables, another form of analogy, like “you reap what you sew.” Jesus tells people to disregard much of the Old Testament, which made him a very controversial preacher and prophet.

After spending three years spreading his word, Jesus is betrayed by Judas Iscariot, one of his closest followers. He dies by crucifixion on the orders of Pontius Pilate, a Roman leader. The cross in the crucifixion now symbolizes Christ and the Christian religion. Three days after Jesus’ death, his tomb is found to be abandoned and he is again seen among his followers. He is said to now be heaven at the right hand of his Father. According to the New Testament, he will also come back to Earth to save the righteous. This act is known as the Second Coming.

The first four books of the New Testament; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are known as the Gospels and each tells its own version of Jesus’ life story. The books which follow the Gospels are mostly letters written by a Christian named Paul. Paul lived several years after Jesus died and was once a criminal. He repents of his sins and leads the rest of his life in service to the Christian faith. Paul is imprisoned more than once, but he continues to preach to Christians via letters or epistles.

The New Testament ends with the book Revelation which is a dream of Saint John’s. In it, he explains the end times or end of the world. Among some of the violent imagery

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are the four horsemen of the apocalypse, a group which brings death and devastation to anyone who is not a believer in Christ. Christians, according to this dream, will be taken to heaven in the rapture with Jesus and will be spared the mayhem and pain the rest of the world will have to endure.

Modern Christians believe the death of Christ makes the Old Testament practices of blood sacrifice and fasting unnecessary and obsolete, much as Christ himself tells his apostles in the Gospels. The tenets of Christianity today lie almost exclusively within the pages of the New Testament.

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Hope you enjoyed this article on the difference between the new and old testaments of the Bible.