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The Most Harmful Page in the Bible February 14, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Random Musings.
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Joe,

I thought that title might get a response! Actually it is a bit of exaggeration for dramatic effect, but I do believe that there is a page in the Bible that can actually be pretty damaging to our understanding of the Bible. Hear me out on this one!

Turn to the book of Malachi, and go to the very end of it. Then turn the page one time. Do you have that page that says, ‘The New Testament’? I think that page can do a lot of damage to a person. I am secretly contemplating ripping it out of my Bible, except I’m afraid that God might strike me down for desecrating his Holy Book! Maybe I am being a bit of nit-picker, but it bothers me in a way. I started thinking about this a couple of weeks ago when I preached on Jesus being the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets.

I made the point in that message that all the Old Testament, whether it be the priesthood of Melchizedek, the passing over of Israelite babies in Egypt because the blood of the lamb was on the doorpost, Lot’s wife being turned to a pillar of salt, the demands of the Law which were to be a “tutor” to lead us to Christ, the whole system of animal sacrifices, Jonah being in the belly of the whale for 3 days like the Son of Man being in the ground for 3 days, the whole Old Testament pointed to and is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

The Bible, then, from start to finish, is a glorious, unified, body of truth which all points to the supremacy of Jesus Christ as its goal. So this little page that I have (and it’s in all of my Bibles) separating the Old from the New, in my opinion creates an unnecessary dichotomy in the mind of a young believer (or an old one) between what God was doing in the Old Testament versus what He was doing in the New. No such dichotomy exists. The Bible is one book which points to Jesus.

Is it the most harmful page in the Bible? Well, like I said, it’s an overstatement. It’s not like having this page in my Bible is a real detriment to my faith or anything. But it does seem unhelpful to me, with at least the potential of sending a wrong message about the unity of the Bible.

What do you think; am I crazy?

Larry

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Comments»

1. Jim W - February 15, 2007

Larry:

No, you’re not crazy.
I don’t know how many times as a young child I would sit and stare at that page, just not quite sure what to make of it. Maybe Bible scholars would say that it’s put there to represent the “400 years of silence.” (Although somehow, I suspect that God Almighty was still speaking into the hearts of His own…. Another discussion for another time.)

As I’ve heard Jeff Crispin once say — this is not a verbatim quote — “SEARCH the Scripture, and you’ll find Jesus on EVERY page.”
And that’s OT as well as NT!

Praise God for the completeness of His Word and His Work,
Jim W

2. jc3seekhim - February 15, 2007

Amen Jim! And thanks for quoting Jeff! I love that and I am sure he will smile at it as well!

3. Gino - February 15, 2007

Larry,

It’s nice to have both Internet access and free time to catch up with all the happenings here!

Lots of thoughts coming up for me on this topic but I will only mention a few. First, I am quite grateful that I had the idea of the Old Testament (and all of the scriptures for that matter) pointing toward Christ supremacy early in my Christian walk. It happened in quite a non-direct way but it had a huge influence on me. Briefly, a close friend of mine is a Messianic Jew and he was sharing his experiences discussing his conversion with family members and local rabbis. (As an aside, they actually have a counter-evangelism group known as “Jews for Judaism”… kind of redundant, yes?) Anyway, my friend shared with me how he had read portions on Isaiah 53 to different people (including at least one rabbi) and asked them, “Who do you think is being described here?” Nearly everyone told him that it was about Jesus. Of course, they recanted once he had let them know he was reading from Isaiah. His point was that all of the Old Testament point to Jesus and this is known even by those who suppress the truth. That has left a lasting impression on me.

The other thing I wanted to share was a quote that I read in the past from Graeme Goldsworthy: “The meaning of all the Scriptures is unlocked by the death and resurrection of Jesus.” (Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture, p. 54) Kind of like your Star Wars prequel analogy.

Finally, before I forget… “Hi Joe! Stay low on D, follow through on the jumper and keep look up for Him.”

-Gino

4. jc3seekhim - February 16, 2007

Good call Gino, on both the centrality of Jesus and staying low on defense. How did you know that I need that exhortation?!

Also, Goldsworthy is a great read brother. Keep diving into those great books!
Later,
Joe


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