The Strasburg Church Of Christ is looking for a full-time Preacher. Applicants must be faithful members of the church of Christ (non-instrumental). Support negotiable. We are also interested in young men from Christian colleges and preaching schools to work with us in Summer programs. Please send resume to:
Strasburg Church of Christ
PO Box 321
Strasburg, VA 22657
A casual glance at the Bible will reveal the fact that it is made up of two major sections - the Old Testament and the New Testament. Why are there two Testaments, and what are the origin of the two Testaments? Do Christians live under both of the Testaments?
The books of the Old Testament were written over a period of about 1,000 years in the Hebrew language, except for a few selected passages, which were written in Aramaic1. It begins with account of God's Creation of all things, including man. It tells of man's sin and fall from his close relationship with God, then covers God's preparation for the coming of Christ to redeem man from the consequences of sin. It's main focus is the history of Israel, the nation that God prepared to be the nation from which Christ would come. Throughout that history, God sent prophets who foretold the coming of Christ. The New Testament was written over a period of about 100 years. The original language in which it was written was Greek. This portion of the Bible tells of Christ's coming, His life and ministry, and the growth of the early church2.
The meaning of testament from both the Hebrew and the Greek languages is "settlement," "treaty," or "covenant." Of these three English words, "covenant" best captures the meaning of the word testament3. Though God made several covenants with men that are mentioned in the Old Testament, the one that gives that section of the Bible its name is the covenant made with Israel at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 19 and 20). The covenant is based on the Ten Commandments. God first gave these commandments to Israel orally, and, later, on two sets of stone tablets. God had delivered Israel from bondage in Egypt. They encamped at the foot of Mt. Sinai. Later, Moses, who had led the people out of Egypt, went up on the mountain where God gave him the Ten Commandments on two tables of stone, "written with the finger of God" (Exodus 31:18). when Moses came down from the mountain, he discovered that the people had turned away from God and were worshipping a golden calf (Exodus 32). In his anger, Moses threw the tablets to the ground where they were broken. Moses went back upon the mountain later to receive the Commandments again on another set of tablets of stone (Exodus 34). The Ten Commandments were the basis of the Law given by Moses. There were many more given, throughout the remainder of of the book of Exodus, and the books of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, that were all based on these ten.
In Exodus 24, the people brought sacrifices, and Moses sprinkled half of the blood on the altar. In verse 7 we read, "And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient." Notice two things: (1)Moses read the law. (2)The people promised to obey the law. God promised to bless the people if they obeyed the law (See Deuteronomy 11:26-28) and the people promised to obey the law. This is a covenant between God and Israel. Moses reminded the people in Deuteronomy 5:2-3:
The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.
So, the covenant was given only to the people of Israel. Israel was God's chosen nation - the nation God had chosen from which the Messiah would come. He made this covenant with them, and gave them all the laws to prepare them for the coming of Christ and the New Covenant. These are important things to keep in mind as we continue our study of the Two Covenants. Continued - Part 1 Part 2Part 3Part 4.