A copy of the complete Bible can be bought by people in many parts of the world and read for the first time.
However, readers who are familiar with it know that there are differences to consider. Understanding them is crucial to growing in Christ.
True clarification of the Bible differences became possible after the Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost.
First were the differences and relationship between the Old and New Testaments (which contain the Old and New Covenants).
As we have seen earlier, God spoke exclusively to Israel by the Prophets. But "in these last days" He has spoken exclusively to us by His Son (Hebrews 1'1).
Understanding this primary difference had many implications for the Hebrew Believers and also has many for Believers today too.
The simple idea of Scripture being for or to (or both) is helpful:
1. The Old Testament carried the revelation of God and was for Israel to possess and to them to obey.
(The Old is also for Believers to possess but it is not to Believers to obey. More later.)
2. The New Testament carries the revelation of Jesus Christ who is Himself the revelation of God. It is for His People to possess and to them to do.
On the Day of Pentecost Peter led the Apostles and began preaching and teaching Jesus Christ and the New Covenant Kingdom of God.
Many of his listeners received Christ and went on to receive the Apostles' teachings and began grow in Christ.
In time these New Covenant Kingdom teachings were written down and the majority of them are found in the scriptures of Acts 2'1 to Revelation 3'22.
Consequently, the main Old-New Covenant difference can be understood in the light of these teachings.
And it is an elementary and absolute difference. 2 Corinthians 3'7-11 makes it clear. While the Old Covenant is "Glorious", the New Covenant is "More Glorious":
The Old is:
the "ministry of death"
the "ministry of condemnation"
The New is:
the "ministry of the Spirit
the "ministry of righteousness"
"much more glorious"
This very clear difference is what Christ's New Covenant Kingdom word is all about. His Disciples can possess it, know it, hear it, do it and then grow by it.
And this amazing statement is at the centre of the difference:
"His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness".
These are wonderful things. And they come only through Christ. Here's the context:
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
as His divine power has given to us
all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him
who called us by glory and virtue," 2 Peter 1'2-3.
It's important to keep this in mind: while the Old Testament is indispensable, it cannot minister life and godliness.
To emphasise, it is also important to keep this in mind: the Old Testament presents the great truths of creation, history (man, the world, Israel), prophecy, typology, the lives of the people of faith.
And above that, the OT foreshadows Christ and His New Covenant Kingdom. And together, the Old and the New form the wonderful "whole counsel of God".