Shakespeare said that history is “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” The Christian view of history is quite a contrast; we believe God ordained it, organizes it, and moves it towards a meaningful, definite, and certain purpose.

However many Christians entertain a negative view of Old Testament History, of its usefulness and even of its accuracy. It is often regarded as “far away” and “distant” chronologically, geographically, socially, and theologically. “What can it do for me?” and “Why study it?” are common questions. Here are five reasons to study it and benefit from it.

1. OT History is True History

Israel’s neighbors expressed their beliefs through fantastic, elaborate, “out-of-this-world” myths In contrast, Old Testament narratives about Israel describe real events in real time involving real people and a real God. The reality of Israel’s faith rested on the reality of Israel’s history.

Similarly, if we lose or give up the truthfulness of the Biblical record, we lose and give up the Truth. We also lose our Christian faith because it is founded not on detached philosophical speculations but on God’s acts in human history.

Approaching Old Testament narratives with unshakeable confidence in their accuracy and truthfulness will build up unshakeable faith.

Read the other four reasons at the Ligonier Blog.

  • Deitra Brunner

    Reading the Old Testament really helped to give me a firmer grasp and deeper appreciation and gratitude of the blood of Jesus; and once some words were defined a lot of pieces have been truly falling into place for me.
    So yeah, I agree with your assessment that the Old Testament builds an unshakable faith.
    Stay Blessed!

    • David Murray

      Glad you’ve been blessed in and by the OT as I have, Deitra.

  • Les

    I’ve always loved studying the OT. The human heart hasn’t changed the OT illustrates the effect of sin and demonstrates God’s grace toward His chosen people. I’m reading through I Samuel about Saul and fear for myself because I am too much like him.

    • David Murray

      Yes, Les, you put that very well. And yes, Saul is a warning to us all.