“Jesus never read the New Testament” by Christopher J.H. Wright

“In the midst of the many intrinsically fascinating reasons why Old Testament study is so rewarding, the most exciting to me is the way it never fails to add new depths to my understanding of Jesus.

I find myself aware that in reading the Hebrew scriptures I am handling something that gives me a closer common link with Jesus than any archaeological artefact could do. For these are the words He read. These were the stories He knew.

These were the songs He sang. These were the depths of wisdom and revelation and prophecy that shaped His whole view of ‘life, the universe and everything.’ This is where He found His insights into the mind of His Father God.

Above all, this is where He found the shape of His own identity and the goal of His own mission. In short, the deeper you go into understanding the Old Testament, the closer you come to the heart of Jesus. (After all, Jesus never actually read the New Testament!).”

–Christopher J.H. Wright, Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995), ix.

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Filed under Bible, Biblical Theology, Christian Theology, Christopher J. H. Wright, Jesus Christ, Old Testament, Quotable Quotes, Reading

3 responses to ““Jesus never read the New Testament” by Christopher J.H. Wright

  1. I agree that there is great value in reading and studying the Old Testament; that all of Scripture is about Christ. But the New Testament gives us a clearer picture of Christ, more so than the Old. The fact that Jesus had only the Old doesn’t mean it’s a more complete picture of Him – the whole Bible is the most complete picture of Christ, something neither Testament can claim.

  2. Jennifer

    What a wonderful reminder! I think one of the worst fruits of hyper-dispensationalism is the ruthless “division” of the Scriptures: one part for “Israel” one part for “the church.” When in reality, the *entire* WORD is for believers of Jesus Christ. HE is the grand subject of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation!

    The Old Testament must be understood through New Testament lenses.

    I would argue that the New Testament can exist “independently” of the Old in terms of giving someone saving knowledge of the Gospel.

    That being said, I believe reading the Old is essential to gaining a *deeper* and more all encompassing grasp of Christ and His work, a fuller grasp of God’s character, and a sense of connection to the long lineage of believers of which we are all a part–the heritage of faith we’ve inherited from Abraham.

    I clicked the link and see that the author has written a book about “Knowing the Holy Spirit” through the Old Testament as well…I can often overlook the Holy Spirit even when reading the New Testament –sounds like it’d be a great read!

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