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The Old Testament is the first section of the Christian Bible. Christians view the Old Testament in the Bible differently depending upon what their background is and what kind of religious environment they grew up in. There is no general consensus as to what to believe about the Old Testament and how much of it is truth. Of course, the majority of people believe that the Old Testament is just as inspired as the New Testament and that it is designed to guide the believers. The question for many people is just to what extent is the Old Testament to be a guide for believers.

There are five different interpretations regarding the position of the Old Testament for believers today.

Literal vs. Figurative â€" Many of today’s Christians believe that the Old Testament and its stories are not literal and did not specifically happen. Many people believe that the stories are solely figurative and designed to help guide believers. Some even go so far as to say that the old stories such as Noah and the ark and Moses and the Ten Commandments are not true but were fabricated in an effort to get people to turn to God.

Prophetic Views of the Old Testament Stories â€" Another view of the Old Testament is that the stories contained within it are all prophetic. This means that the Old Testament would be inspired by God to tell believers of the things that were to come. There are several instances of prophecy in the Old Testament that do take place in the New Testament and this view takes that a step further and asserts that the entire Old Testament is prophetic.

Old Testament laws are not meant as absolute truths â€" The Old Testament is full of laws both governing and religious. Many of today’s believers take these laws to be the inspired words of God that are meant to be followed word for word. Other people believe that the laws were designed for the times for when they were written and have no bearing on today’s believers. There is still another group of people who choose to follow some of the laws such as the Ten Commandment but believe that the other laws that govern how to eat meat and giving sacrifices to the Lord are the ones that were written for the Bible times and are not meant to be followed today.

Old Testament is not authoritative scripture â€" This is the interpretation that the New Testament is the inspired word of God and contains the information that is needed for today’s believer to follow the Lord and his commands. The Old Testament on the other hand is full of stories and factual information about the believers who lived in the times of Abraham and Moses. The Old Testament is designed as supplemental reading for today’s believers to learn from but not necessarily to live by. No matter what the believer thinks about the Old Testament it can at least be used to supplement the New Testament and is by no means a waste.

The Bible is the inspired word of God regardless of whether or not the Old Testament is still relevant for today’s Christian. The Old Testament is full of stories that everyone can learn from and it has a lot of information that can be used to help today’s believer’s lead holy lives.

The above are some of the most popular theories surrounding the Old Testament in the Bible. There have been debates between scholars for centuries regarding the role of the Old Testament in the life of today’s Christian.

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