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What is the difference…Between the Old Testament and the New Testament? What is the difference…Between the Old Testament and the New Testament?

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What is the difference…Between the Old Testament and the New Testament?

Posted by: admin on Tue, Aug 17, 2010

We find basically three dispensations in biblical history, (some see more, but with reference to their religious practices, I think all would agree to three.) These are the Patriarchal, Mosaical and the Christian ages, respectively.

What is the difference…

Between the Old Testament and the New Testament?



 It is a sad thing today that some people go to a church for many years and yet have not been taught the answer to this simple Bible question.  To mature as we should, we need to build a foundation of biblical principles.  The first of which will be "rightly dividing" the word of God.

 We find basically three dispensations in biblical history, (some see more, but with reference to their religious practices, I think all would agree to three.)  These are the Patriarchal, Mosaical and the Christian ages, respectively.  We might compare these to the starlight, moonlight and sunlight, the degree of light referring to God's continuously clearer revelation of Himself.  Of course Jesus Christ is the ultimate in God's revelation to man.  “He who has seen Me has seen the Father”  (John 14:9)

 In the Patriarchal dispensation, we find the father of each household officiating as the priest for the entire family.  At that time, the religion revolved around the family.  God spoke (“long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways”,) Hebrews 1:1 to the heads of the house.  Job was one of these patriarchs.  "rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings {according to} the number of them all; for Job said, "Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did continually."  Job 1:5  This is perhaps the clearest statement we find defining the role of the patriarch (father) during this period.  As far as the Jews are concerned, this period came to an end with the giving of the Law at Mt.Sinai. 

 The Mosaical Age began with the giving of the Law at Mt.Sinai.  Here, after God had called "a peculiar people," or a special people, He made His will known.

 This period was characterized by a national High Priest (he took the place of the patriarch) who once a year offered a national sacrifice for the entire nation.  There were also numerous smaller sacrifices, feast days, the Sabbath, etc.  The Hebrew author (Heb 10:1) tells that these things were just shadows of the good things to come.

 Paul tells us the purpose of the Law was to serve as a tutor to bring us to Christ (Galatians 3:24).  The schoolmaster was the guardian given the oversight and discipline of boys.  The Law therefore, was to discipline the Jews in such a way that it would bring them to Christ.

 In practical terms this dispensation came to an end with the coming of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2.  On that day the Lord added 3000 souls to the church.

 Jesus was born under the Law (Galatians 4:4) “But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” (Galatians 3:25).

 When the gospel came it then replaced the old law.  Whereas the Old Covenant was for Jews only (a national religion), the New Covenant was for all nations.  We have a high priest in heaven rather than on earth (Hebrews 8:1).

This question of OT vs. NT is important to you because we need to understand the dispensations in order to determine “how” to worship and please God. With this knowledge we can now rightly divide the word of God.  Living under the New Covenant we wouldn't go back to the Old Testament to authorize our religious worship.

 This is why Christians worship on the first day of the week rather than the seventh day (Saturday).  It is also why on that day we partake of the Lord’s Supper rather than sacrificing the various live animals. The principle of Old Testament vs. New Testament explains why it is wrong for churches to bind the Tithe on Christians (an old Testament practice) rather than “giving as we have been prospered.” 

 Here is the New Testament standard of giving….

I Corinthians 16:1-2. " Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye..  Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come."

 I didn’t see a tithe did you?  I did see the first day of the week rather than the Sabbath. The New Testament standard of giving “as God has prospered him” is clearly stated. 

 Let’s try again….

II Corinthians 9:7-8 " Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:"


I know that many churches continue to try to bind this Old Testament practice on Christians, but I have just given you some of the passages dealing with giving in the New Testament.  Judge for yourself…


 The book of Galatians was written to some people that were trying to bring the practice of circumcision forward into Christianity.  Today, that is not normally bound on folks but tithing certainly is pushed on many.  Paul explains to them (Galatians 5:1-4) that bringing anything from  the Old Law forward, makes us bound to the whole (old) law (animal sacrifices, etc.).  He further explains that it causes us to fall from grace!


Here is the passage consider it for yourself….

Galatians 5

 1.  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

 2.  Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

 3.  For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

 4.  Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

 5.  For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

 6.  For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

 7.  Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?


Jesus loved to teach by asking the question, “What do you think?” He would ask this question after being sure the means for an honest person to answer the question was available.  So, now in the light of Galatians 5… What do you think? Does it matter if what we do it the name of God is only found in the Old Testament and not the New? 


A simple understanding of the dispensations allows the Christian to retain his “freedom” under the gospels.  This knowledge grants us the ability to judge for our self where we stand before our maker.


There are obviously other applications of this basic Bible truth but this is an enjoyable and simple illustration of what it means to Christians in a personal way. No man has the right to bind a number on our Christian giving.  God gave the principle… we follow it. (or not!)


Consider God’s mandate to preachers…

II Timothy 2

14.  Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

 15.  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


I have just shown you one of the important ways to rightly divide your Bible… literally. Take care.




Yours in Christ

Jerry Blount

Minister for the Pillar churchof Christ

560 S Oliver

 (SE corner of Oliver &Kellogg)

Wichita, Ks  67218


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