The Book of Hebrews says the Old Covenant is obsolete, so since I already believe in Christ, I don't need to bother with the Old Testament.—E.E.

As there is a deepening trend among professing Christians not to read the Old Testament, I am taking your statement seriously. A lot is at stake.

First, let's unpack the N.T. passage you are alluding to. Then I'll present some reasons why all Christians should diligently study the O.T.

Beginning in Hebrews 8:8, we learn that the New Covenant (in Christ) is the one prophesied in Jeremiah 31:31-34. Hebrews 8 ends, "By calling this covenant 'new,' he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear." Yet the writer isn't referring to the O.T. scriptures, but to the old covenant itself (based on the Law of Moses).

Perhaps you got your view from someone who was confusing covenant and testament. In the Latin Vulgate translation the word for covenant is testamentum. 

Yes, the Old Covenant is obsolete—that is, the arrangement Yahweh made with Moses and the people of Israel. Paul was emphatic about this point in his letter to the Galatians.

Yet no, Christians are most definitely expected to take the Old Testament seriously—reading, meditating, memorizing, and learning it. You should, too. Here's why:

  • The O.T. is still 3/4 of our Bible.
  • It is God's Word for us (2 Tim 3:16). In fact, since there was no completed N.T. in the 1st century, the O.T. was the Christians' Bible.
  • The O.T. is useful for Christians (2 Tim 3:17).
  • The N.T. often assumes knowledge of the O.T. There are hundreds of citations and allusions.
  • If we don't read the O.T., we will understand very little of how Jesus fulfilled the Scriptures.
  • As someone put it, "The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed; the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed."

Please don't get sucked into the destructive current trend among those who are conveniently rejecting the Old Testament.