Learning from difficult Old Testament Books

Referencing the Old Testament, 1 Corinthians 10:11 says

Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

All of Scripture is profitable for every Christian (2 Timothy 3:16-17). It is easy to see the relevance to us of books like the Psalms, but what about Ezekiel, Malachi, and Deuteronomy? Here is a little primer on how to learn from difficult Old Testament Books.

Ask yourself three questions – they apply to all of Biblical interpretation, but are especially helpful in studying the more difficult parts.


First, What did it mean to them?

As a first step, try, as much as you can, to put aside all revelation that came after the writing of the text you are reading, and define what the original speaker/author was communicating and how the original hearers/readers would have understood it.


Second, What has changed since then and now?

Now, be careful with answering this question. Answer it Biblically, not personally. For example: We are part of the church, they were part of Israel. Furthermore we have the knowledge of Jesus in the Gospels, they only had what was written by then plus the local prophet of the LORD of the day.


Third, How can we apply the text in such a way that it is relevant to us while still accurate to the original setting?

In other words, what was the application to them that is still true for us today as well?


Let us learn from all of God’s Word (Acts 20:27)!

Learning from difficult Old Testament Books
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