What Did Jesus Say About The Old Testament

What Did Jesus Say About The Old Testament


Did Jesus view the Old Testament as authoritative? Did he view it as inspired by God? Did he hold it up to his followers? Did he use it as a guide for his actions and teachings? How we answer these questions impacts how we understand Jesus’s relationship with the Old Testament.

Reverence for the Law

Jesus never spoke of the Law as a temporary measure, meant to be overstepped by those who had come to believe in Him. He said instead that it would not pass away until all was fulfilled (Matthew 5:18). The Law was given by God and it is necessary for salvation. It will continue until the second coming of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:11), at which point it will be understood in its fullness by everyone who has ever lived.

Jesus pointed to the necessity of obeying the Law when he healed a man on the Sabbath day (Luke 13:14–17)

Valuing the Old Testament Scriptures

When Jesus was asked about the Old Testament Scriptures, he responded, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be in danger of the judgment; and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of the hell of fire” (Matthew 5:21-22).

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Jesus acknowledged that this commandment had been given to those who came before him (those who were not prophets), but then went on to add his own teaching regarding anger towards one’s brother. In Matthew 22:40-46 Jesus teaches us further about what God expects from us through His law (the Ten Commandments) when He tells us that we should love our neighbors as ourselves. From these passages we learn that we are responsible not only for our actions but also for our thoughts as well as feelings toward others.

The Sufficiency of Scripture

Jesus warned against adding to or taking away from the truths of Scripture. He said that man-made traditions were worthless, because they were not from God. Jesus also told His disciples to teach only what is written in Scripture (Mark 7:7-9).

Jesus’ mission was not to add to the Old Testament, but rather to fulfill it. In other words, He came as the Messiah and died on the cross for our sins—just as those prophets predicted would happen (Matthew 5:17). Jesus said He did not come into this world just so that we could be saved from sin; instead, He came so that we could be saved by Him through faith in Him alone (John 3:16).

Jesus’ teachings and actions are in harmony with what we read about all throughout the pages of Holy Scripture—His birth story is recorded in Isaiah 7:14; His life’s purpose is revealed by Isaiah 53; His death is foretold by Hosea 6:6; His resurrection on Easter Sunday morning was prophesied by Psalm 16:10; and much more!

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There are many lessons we can learn from Jesus about the Old Testament.

There are many lessons we can learn from Jesus about the Old Testament.

  • In Matthew 5:18, Jesus said “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” This confirms that all of God’s word is true.
  • In Matthew 5:17-19, Jesus affirmed that Moses gave us God’s law when he said “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” This means that Jesus did not come to change what was already being taught in Israel at that time but rather he came as an example for us on how we should live our lives according to God’s Word (the Old Testament).
  • In Matthew 5:17-19, Jesus also confirmed our salvation through faith in him as he said “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or [the prophets]. I have not come with another teaching but with life itself.” With this statement we can see how much importance Christ places upon his teachings which are based upon what has been written in scripture (Old Testament).


We hope that this post has helped you understand a little more about the relationship between Jesus and the Old Testament. The Bible is one book, divided into two parts (Old and New Testament). It is the story of God’s plan of redemption, or bringing us back to him, with Jesus as its climax. The Old Testament was not an outdated part of the story, but rather an essential part of God’s plan to bring salvation to mankind through his son.

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