By Larry Ray Halfey
Our Lord never doubted or denied the Old Testament “the scripture,” said He, “cannot be broken” (Jn. 10:35). His appeal to Moses and the prophets was constant and consistent with His confidence in them. Our Savior leaned on “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” during His debate with the devil. “It is written” was His answer to “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life” (Matt. 4:4 & Deut. 8:3; Matt. 4:7 & Deut. 6:16; Matt. 4:10 & Deut. 6:13). For Jesus, “What is written in the law?” was the answer of God.
Anyone, therefore, who claims to be a Christian but who questions the authenticity, veracity and integrity of the Old Testament is challenging the knowledge and faith of the Lord. To do so is to cast a pall of doubt over the Lord’s Godhood. Since the Lord Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God, the anointed Savior and appointed Judge of the world, the Old Testament is the very word of God. You cannot claim Jesus as your inviolate Lord without acclaiming the Old Testament as the infallible word. “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words” (Jn. 5:46, 47).
References to Old Testament Events
Jesus specifically alluded to several Old Testament events and characters. He fully accepted their reality and historicity. A few are listed below.
(1) Solomon’s wealth – Matt. 6:28, 29; 12:42; 1 Kings 3:13; 10: 1-23.
(2) Solomon & Queen of Sheba – Matt. 12:42; 1 Kings 10.
(3) Jonah, Fish & Nineveh – Matt. 12:39-41; Jonah.
(4) David & Shewbread – Matt. 12:3, 4; 1 Sam. 21:6.
(5) Noah & Flood – Matt. 24:36-39; Gen. 6 & 7.
(6) Lot and Sodom – Lk. 17:28, 29; Gen. 19:24, 25.
(7) Lot’s Wife – Lk. 17:32; Gen. 19:26.
(8) Adam, Eve, Marriage, Creation – Matt. 19:4, 5; Gen. 1:27; 2:24.
(9) Serpent of Brass – Jn. 3:14-16; Num. 21:4f.
(10) Moses & Manna – Jn. 6:32, 49; Ex. 16:15.
(11) Elijah & Drought – Lk. 4:25; 1 Kings 17: 1.
(12) Elijah & Widow – Lk. 4:26; 1 Kings 17:9f.
(13) Elisha & Naarnan – Lk. 4:27; 2 Kings 5.
(14) Abel’s murder – Matt. 23:35; Gen. 4.
(15) Tyre & Sidon – Matt. 11:21; Ezek. 26-28.
(16) Moses & Burning Bush – Lk. 20:37; Ex. 3:1-6.
(17) Abraham, Isaac, Jacob & Prophets – Lk. 13:28; Gen.
(18) Patriarchs, Moses & circumcision – Jn. 7:22; Gen. 17; Lev. 12:3.
Were these people and events actual or imaginary? Were they fact or fantasy? Jesus thought and taught that they were real. Was He wrong? Was He mistaken? Was He deceived? God forbid! However, He was in error if the persons above never existed or if they (having existed) never did what the Lord said they did. One cannot have it both ways. To debunk these Old Testament accounts is to dethrone our Lord, deny His Sonship and destroy all hope for life and immortality. Without Jesus, we will all die in our sins and be lost forever and ever, world without end. So, the skeptic may scorn and scoff, the mocker may murmur and malign, but the word of the Lord endureth forever. The Old Testament is the word of God as Jesus is the Son of God. The empty tomb of Joseph of Arimathea establishes both facts.
Guardian of Truth XXIX: 22, p. 681
November 21, 1985