Given how seldom most Christians read the Old, or “First,” Testament, the following words from John Goldingay in the introduction to his For Everyone Old Testament commentary series is worth pondering:
[The Scriptures] were not “old” in the sense of antiquated or out-of-date; I sometimes like to refer to them as the “First Testament” rather than the Old Testament to make that point. For Jesus and the New Testament writers, they were a living resource for understanding God, God’s ways in the world, and God’s ways with us. They were “useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the person who belongs to God can be proficient, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). They were for everyone, in fact. So it’s strange that Christians don’t read them very much. My aim in these volumes is to help you do that.†
Of course the church rightly applies Paul’s oft-quoted words about scripture to the New Testament, but when Paul wrote them, he was, in fact, referring to the Old Testament. Hmm…
Do our actual Bible reading habits (not to mention preaching habits, Brent) reflect Paul’s perspective?
† John Goldingay, Joshua, Judges & Ruth for Everyone (Louisville, KY: WJK, 2011), 1.