The Bible has two parts, conveniently named the Old Testament and New Testament. The difference? The Old leads up to the birth of Jesus – the New picks up after the birth of Jesus. Jesus is the swing point for the whole Bible, just as he is the meaning of the Bible (see John 5:39-40).
This all means that Bible readers need to consider how the two testaments relate to one another. (This is different from considering the relationship between parts within one of the testaments like, for example, between Judges and Nehemiah). The Bible itself gives the analogy of shadow and reality: “the law has but a shadow of the good things to come” (Heb 10:1).
Here are some other images or illustrations that might capture something of the relationship. None will capture it all, and each has different strengths. Also, I’m sure they’re all pinched from other people!
- Blueprint, then finished building
- Outline, then colour and detail
- Miniature painting, then full-scale work of art
- Scale model, then full-size reality
- Dress rehearsal, then actual performance
- The building blocks collected, then the building blocks assembled
- The pre-release song sample, then the whole album available for download
- Topographic map, then the landscape
- The new contained, then the old explained (or the new hidden, then the old revealed)
- The overture, then the symphony
- Foundations, then structure
- Skeleton, then body
- Preparation for war, then the battle won
- Prophecy, then fulfilment
- View through a telescope, then view up close
- The ticket and booking confirmation, then the journey
- The diagnosis and prescription, then the treatment and cure
Do any of these mislead? Are there any I’ve missed? What do you think of the whole idea of relating the testaments? Please go ahead and contribute in the comments below.