Reading the Old Testament to Reveal the Truth

“Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed”  (2 Corinthians 3:12-16).

In these words St. Paul clearly says that the way to interpret the Torah is Christologically or Christocentrically:  reading the Scripture in relationship to Christ and keeping Christ central to the interpretation of the Old Testament text.   He is saying any method of reading the Old Testament which excludes Christ will in fact never discover the full revelation contained within these Scriptures.  He is faulting the way his fellow Jews read their scriptures saying that the key to unlocking the meaning of the Bible is Jesus Himself; without Christ one cannot fully understand what the scriptures are saying.  In saying this St. Paul would also be criticizing any modern scholars who think the only way to read the Old Testament is to keep it in its own historical context or any who would say the way to read the Old Testament is purely literally.   St. Paul’s exact point is that any effort to read the scriptures without understanding their connection to Jesus Christ is doomed to failure.

In St. John’s Gospel, he has the Lord Jesus saying the exact same thing in a different way: 
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life” (John 5:39-40).

St. Paul and St. John would agree that one thing Christians must do is move away from a purely Jewish reading of scripture, and avoid the purely literal reading of the bible, and come to read the text in light of Christ –  let Christ give the meaning to the Old Testament and let the Old Testament bring you to Christ.

It is only Christ who lifts the veil of incomprehension which comes with reading the Old Covenant and who reveals the true purpose and full meaning of the Torah.

3 thoughts on “Reading the Old Testament to Reveal the Truth

  1. Pingback: Weekly News - 9/5 « The Church of Jesus Christ

  2. Pingback: The Year of St. Paul and Charles Darwin! « Fr. Ted’s Blog

  3. Pingback: Christ as Hermeneutic: Moses Wrote of Me | Fr. Ted's Blog

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