Why Do I Believe the Bible Over Other Religious Texts? Reason 6

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, July 8, 2014 3 comments

by Bill Seng

Reason 6) Fruition

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:17-20

The Old Testament is the text of my Lord and the New Testament tells me about him. There are many different resources that attempt to explain who Jesus is/was. Some will say that he never existed. Others will say he was an avatar: an entity that was a god enshrouded by an earthly cover. Some will say that he was an earthly being that was no more than human and no more than a great teacher. Such texts will sometimes even claim that he had sin, was married, had children, and would become the central figure in the greatest conspiracy the world has ever known. But who was Jesus, really?

To find this answer a person must read the New Testament. The New Testament gives him titles like, The Son of God, The Son of Man, Christ, Messiah, The Good Shepherd, etc. Before the New Testament (to simplify how the New Testament came about) there were no writings to explain Jesus’ identity. In the days of the Apostles people were already trying to exploit and twist the identity of Christ for their own gain. The compilation of the New Testament was one act that would safeguard the Christian faith from heretical teachings regarding Jesus.

The New Testament is an incredible compilation of stories, letters, and prophecies unlike anything else ever written. It was written mostly during a time when the disciples of Jesus were under intense persecution and had to do much of their writing in secret. As a whole, it explains to us the identity of Jesus, his teachings, and his future plans for the universe. Without the New Testament a person cannot know a whole lot about Jesus. But without the Old Testament, it is difficult to grasp the significance of Jesus.

There were only certain teachings of Jesus that were original in comparison to the Old Testament. For the most part, everything he taught came from the Old Testament and he cited various examples from its stories that more than hinted that he believed everything it said. Furthermore, he made it clear that he believed that the prophecies of the Old Testament that spoke about the Messiah were referring specifically to him.

Ultimately, the whole point of the Old Testament is to prepare the world for Jesus, the Messiah. The New Testament reveals Jesus to the world as being the Messiah and explains the significance of the Old Testament. The Bible reveals how God brings his plans to fruition in his own time. What is even more wild than the foreshadowing of Christ and the first coming of Christ is the fact that God’s plans have not fully come to fruition. Jesus, according to the Bible, must still return to the earth. If you want to know how this is going to play out… well, I guess you better read your Bible.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, but your reasoning isn't clear here. What is it, exactly, that has come to fruition? I suppose if you're audience is Christians who already believe like you do, then maybe you don't need to say anymore due to shared context. If you're intended audience is non believers, you will need to provide more context.

Bill Seng said...

I appreciate your question because I may have neglected that aspect of what I was trying to convey. Jesus himself is the fruition of the Old Testament. The reason I used the passage at the beginning of this post that Jesus came to fulfill the law was because I thought it clearly defined what I meant. But if you are unfamiliar with the law I am referring to, I might as well be speaking in Chinese. Jesus came to fulfill the Law of the Old Covenant, which is the Old Testament and most specifically contained in the first five books of the Bible. Nobody had ever fulfilled these laws perfectly, but it was prophesied that Messiah would. Every priest, before Jesus, had to make sacrifices on behalf of their own sins. Jesus, himself, was without sin. Therefore, when he died on the cross his sacrifice was worthy because it was presented by somebody who was perfect...it is more complicated than that, but for now that is the best way to describe it. I will review both your response and mine and see if there is anything else that needs added when I get time. Very good question and I really appreciate it.

Bill Seng said...

After reading your response again, I see that there is probably more that you are asking for. Such as, "I don't believe Jesus is the Messiah, so saying he brought anything into fruition is meaningless to me." That really depends on how you read the Old Testament. I don't know specifically what your beliefs are according to what you have written, but let's be clear that not everybody who is non-Christian disregards the teachings of the Bible or the significance of Jesus. On the contrary, many non-Christian religious folk take many of the teachings of the Bible seriously and hold Jesus in very high esteem as a religious figure.

The way I am regarding the Old and New Testaments is as historic accounts. Whether or not you believe in the supernatural occurrences is inconsequential. Many of the events of the Bible, including the crucifixion of Jesus, have historic references outside of the Bible. To me, this gives me a strong foundation in accepting what the Bible has to say as true.

Now, let's say that I read the Bible but disregard any supernatural occurrences inside of it. There are 500 years separating the latest book of the Old Testament and the earliest book of the New Testament. Many people in the days of Jesus and the early church recognized Jesus and knew of Israel's history (their founding, religion, exile, etc.). When they heard about Jesus, they knew that what they were hearing was true. Now, I would greatly attribute this to the work of the Holy Spirit, myself, but again let's neglect supernatural help. If 200 years ago, one of the founding fathers of America predicted the advent of the first African American president and everything they said about him perfectly fit the character of Barack Obama, I think that we would really have to consider the possibility that a divine force was at work when the prediction was made. To me, that is the case with Jesus. I don't believe that a person can acknowledge this about Jesus without help from God's revelation, but from a purely humanistic perspective I don't think that this is unreasonable.

Thanks again, I really appreciate your question.