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Caravaggio (1573–1610) / National Gallery - London web site

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Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik - published on 04/17/21

Why Is the Old Testament Important for Christians?

Sunday’s Gospel is Luke 24:35-48

1. The Old Testament

In Jewish tradition, the Old Testament is divided into three parts: the Law (Torah), the Prophets (Nevi’im) and the Psalms (Ketuvim). Therefore, the title given to the Scriptures in Hebrew comes from the first letters of the names of these three parts and is TaNaKh.

In the Gospel, Jesus says that all three parts of the Old Testament speak of Him: “Everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”

Both the Old and New Testaments are very important to Christians. The views of the Marcionists and later the Manichaeans, who rejected the Old Testament, were heresies.

2. Key Words

Everything must be fulfilled – The word “fulfill” appears very often in all the Gospels because the Gospels are the testimony that the prophecies of the Old Testament were fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus himself clarified the fulfillment of the Scriptures to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. He explained to them that the Messiah had to suffer and rise again because that is written in TaNaKh. Emmaus is an icon showing that the Old Testament is fulfilled in the New Testament.

Today, we do not know exactly where Emmaus was, but there are many indications that it was Emmaus-Nicopolis. There are remains of sites from the first centuries of Christianity (the oldest from the 3rdcentury after Christ). Such early sanctuaries prove that it was a very important place for the first Christians.

Repentance and forgiveness to all the nations – These words show us that Jesus came to all the nations. His mission goes beyond one nation, and the Gospel is preached to all.

Our present times confirm this. Christians live in different countries, on all continents. There are more than 1 billion 345 million Catholics, and this number has increased by 16 million since 2018.

3. Today

The Holy Scriptures are very important for each of us. Pope Francis encourages us to always have a Bible in our pocket or purse, because Jesus speaks to us through the word of God. We can always have them with us on our smartphone, by using one of the many apps or online portals.

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Sunday Readings

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