Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
Hello, my question is, it feels like something is missing to me when between the last page of the Old Testament and the next page of the New Testament. Like in my Bible (NIV) the last word in the old is curse and the first word in the new is amazing words. I read as things changed almost overnight. Maybe I’m not getting it. Thank you very much.
Good for you in reading your Bible. Maybe some context will help understand your very good question. Perhaps there are three things to focus on.
1. First, there are about 400 years difference in time between the Old and New Testament. That is a long time. On an American timeline, 400 years ago is about the time of the first English settlement in Virginia in 1607, and the time of the first Thanksgiving in 1619. Much has happened in history in those some 400 years. We live in a vastly different world. The same is true between the Old and New Testaments.
2. The writer of the last OT book, Malachi, was writing to a different audience regarding a specific problem. He was writing a rebuke to the Jewish nation who had backslidden, neglecting the true worship of God. Their hearts were indifferent and hardened toward God. Malachi was calling them to repent of their sins, and to return to God.
On the other hand, the New Testament writer, Matthew, was writing concerning the coming of the Jewish Messiah who was Jesus Christ. That was a different message in a different time, on a different occasion, and for a different purpose. The Jews had been awaiting their Messiah for centuries, and low and behold, here He was – right in their midst. Salvation had come! Unfortunately, the Jewish leadership rejected the Messiah.
3. The entrance of Jesus Christ into world history marked a massive change or shift in the unfolding of history on this earth and beyond. He marked a turning point. In the Old Testament, God worked primarily through the Jews from the time of Abraham on through Moses and the prophets. Malachi was the last OT prophet who wrote to the Jews. Of course, God dealt with other peoples too, but the main OT focus is on the Jewish nation. It is through that nation that Jesus came – as documented by Matthew.
With Jesus, however, things are different. He works primarily through the Church. That is His main focus. The Church is made up of both Jews and Gentiles. The Gospels tell the story of Jesus on the earth, the Book of The Acts of the Apostles outlines the first few years of Church history, and the epistles explain the teachings of Christ. Revelation speaks of His return to the earth.
Diana, I hope this gives you a little idea of why the Old Testament ends gloomy, and the New Testament starts happy.
All the best, and God bless.
PS. Have you considered joining Newman Bible Academy? There you will learn much more about the Bible. It is affordable, you can work from your own computer, and it is quality material.
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