If you are a new Christian or new to reading the Bible, you might have wondered why the Bible seems to be split in two. Why is there a New Testament and an Old Testament? Does the New replace the Old?
The most important thing to understand before answering these questions is that the Bible is all about God and His plan to save His people through His Messiah. The first part is the record of what God did before the coming of the Messiah. The second part is the record of the arrival of Jesus the Messiah, the need everyone has for Him, how the world changed because of His coming, and how His followers are to live. We call the first part the Old Testament and the second part the New Testament.
When talking about the Bible, the proper way to understand the New Testament is as the fulfillment of the Old Testament. The Old Testament cannot be ignored or replaced because to understand who Jesus is and why He came, we have to understand the Old Testament first.
It is the Old Testament that we see that humans have been separated from God through sin (Genesis 3:17-19), and that God would restore the relationship (Genesis 3:15). The Old Testament also speaks clearly and often about the coming of the Messiah (Psalm 2, Isaiah 52:13-53:12, Micah 5:2). The Gospel writers knew that much of what Jesus did was done specifically to fulfill prophesies of the Messiah (Matthew 1:22-23, 2:5-6, 2:14-15). Perhaps most importantly, Jesus Himself said that all the Old Testament Scriptures were about Him (Luke 24:27, John 5:39).
Because of this, we should not think that the New is better and replaces the Old like we do with cars or electronics. Both are necessary for us to understand who God is, why Jesus came, who we are and why we need Jesus.