Our word testament comes from the Greek diaqhkh, meaning “will, testament, or covenant.” The best translation, Biblically speaking, is covenant, as the Old and New Testaments are God’s covenants (or agreements) with humanity.

The Old Testament deals primarily with the Mosaic Covenant, or the agreement God made with the Jews, in giving his law on Mount Sinai. The New Testament, on the other hand, refers to his new agreement, offering eternal salvation to people from all nations, through faith in Jesus Christ. 

The 2 Testaments are intrinsically linked, the Old setting the foundation for the New.



Centers on the nation of Israel, recording their history. Focuses on Jesus Christ, his life, person, and works.
Shows God’s anger and hatred of sin, and man’s need of salvation. Reveals God’s grace, in granting salvation to repentant sinners.
Deals with God’s unreachable standard of holiness; the Law. Reveals God’s holiness imparted through the sacrifice of Christ.
Establishes principles of physical blessing through keeping the law. Illustrates spiritual blessings granted through salvation.
Prophesied of the advent (or coming of) a Savior. Records the coming of the Savior who gave himself for the remission of sin.
Foretells the establishment of the Messiah’s kingdom. Records the establishment of Christ’s kingdom in repentant hearts, and foretells his eternal heavenly kingdom.

Study of the New Testament is a powerful and life-changing endeavor.

Through it, we can find not only the path to salvation, but also learn solid principles for walking in newness of life with Christ. It is the Good News of God at work in human history — in the past, in the present, and in the future through his promises.

But Old Testament study is also rewarding and spiritually-enriching.

The Old Testament, rightly so, is sometimes referred to as the First Testament. For it is not old, in the sense of being out-dated or irrelevant. Christ himself, in speaking of the Old Testament, said:

You study the Scriptures, because you think that in them you will find eternal life. And these very Scriptures speak about me! John 5:39.

Christ can be found throughout all Scripture, and that alone should be enough to convince us that the First (or Old) Testament is not out of date, and is still relevant to our Christian walk. It speaks of Christ, the Lord and Savior we long to know better!

God’s Word is his primary way of revealing himself, and is fundamental to our understanding of God, and his purposes for the world and for us.

We cannot hope to know him or his will without spending time in his book!

[Image by geralt/Pixabay.com CC0.]

9 thoughts on “Why Does the Bible Have Two Testaments?

  1. Thanks Bruce! I’m really enjoying my new blog. It’s just what I’VE been needing. There is still so much of the Word, and about the Word, that I don’t know! I’m ashamed of my negligence, but thankful for the Lord’s help!


  2. Well Sheila, you’ve got lots of company, myself included. My part time job allows me to study God’s Word for about 5 hours, for 5 days every two weeks, so that in itself is a blessing. I am so grateful for the increase in faith it brings! My blog is the result of that study. The equation is simple – the more you study God’s Word, the more you are blessed. Can’t lose on that one! Blessings!


  3. Thank you Sheila. I love your new blog!. I look forward to reading your posts and learning with you.
    Blessings dear.


  4. So true Bruce, and you see it through what you write! I’ve also learned that the more we read and spend time in God’s Word, the more our hunger for it grows! My prayer has become, “Lord make me more and more hungry!” God’s blessings to you.


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