Questions & Answers
Good News Magazine
November 1975
Volume: Vol XXIV, No. 11
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Questions & Answers
Good News Staff  

   QUESTION: "You have been doing a pretty good job lately, but you are still quoting out of the Old Testament, which we are not to do! Paul said so! If we do, we will be confused! According to all the apostles, we are only to teach of Jesus Christ and Him crucified and raised from the dead!"
M. R.,
Detroit, Michigan

   ANSWER: The apostle Paul never said we should not use the Old Testament. He not only quoted the Old Testament himself quite often, but he stated in his letter to Timothy that "All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching [doctrine, KJV], for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness..." (II Tim. 3:16).
   In this passage he was referring to the Old Testament, because the New Testament hadn't been fully written or canonized at that time. In verse 14, Paul instructed Timothy: "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings [the Old Testament] which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (II Tim. 3:14, 15). In Timothy's childhood there was no New Testament written — so Paul must be speaking of the Old Testament.
   Paul also commended the Jews of Berea, who "received the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures [again the Old Testament] daily to see if these things were so. Many of them therefore believed ..." (Acts 17:11-12).
   Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4 both quote Jesus Himself as saying: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." Jesus Christ Himself is here quoting from the Old Testament — Deuteronomy 8:3. This is not the only time Christ quoted the Old Testament. He gave His stamp of approval to historical accounts which are sometimes questioned by some "higher critics" today: Adam and Eve (Matt. 19:3-4), Abel (Matt. 23:35), Noah's Flood (Luke 17:26-27), Sodom and Gomorrah (Luke 17:28-29), and Jonah (Matt. 12:40). Jesus also referred to Moses, the author of most of the Pentateuch. Christ said in John 5:46-47 (KJV): "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?"
   The Old Testament and the Old Covenant (which was pre-Christian) are two entirely different things. The Old Covenant was the agreement between God and ancient Israel, while the Old Testament is composed of the inspired writings of people who lived during the time the Old Covenant was in effect. While Paul said that we no longer need to observe certain of the Old Covenant Levitical rituals such as physical circumcision, he did not mean that we should not quote the Old Testament.
   The New Testament contains hundreds of direct and indirect quotations from the Old (about 630 quotations and references, see The Bible Handbook by Joseph Angus, p. 249). And the Old Testament contains prophecies of Christ, plus predictions that are yet to be fulfilled in our day. We cannot ignore the Old Testament if we are to follow the examples of Christ and Paul.

   Q: "If God is the Father of Christ, then it is because sometime in the eons before the beginning of creation God created His Son out of His own living word. Otherwise how could God be the Father and Christ be the Son if God did not create Him?"
Houston E.,
Denton, Texas

   A: The fact that Christ is spoken of as God's Son refers to His human begettal and birth. Before His advent He was the "Word," not the "Son." This was His name, the badge of His power and authority as Spokesman for God the Father. It did not refer to God having created Him from His "Word." John 1:1 does not show that God the Father created Christ. It only states that Christ was there in the beginning. It does not rule out the idea that He could have existed earlier. There is no other scripture in the entirety of the Bible which would support the idea of such a creation.
   Christ is the Creator — not the created.
   There is a scripture which might indicate that Christ existed before the "beginning," or creation. Isaiah 9 is generally accepted as a prophecy referring to Christ. In verse 6 He is referred to as "the everlasting Father," which also can be rendered "the Father of the everlasting age," or the "Father of eternity." The God family inhabits eternity (Isa. 57:15).
   If God the Father has always existed, then there is no problem with Christ also having always existed. Christ, like God the Father, is immortal and eternal — concepts our minds have trouble grasping. Some of these things God has chosen not to fully reveal to man at this time (Deut. 29:29).

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Good News MagazineNovember 1975Vol XXIV, No. 11