Differences between the Old and New Testaments

First of all, the Bible is the set of canonical and sacred books of the Jewish and Christian religions where the word of God is transmitted, which was collected by the prophets. Thus, the texts that make up the Bible were written over approximately 1000 years, so it contains a series of books that are divided into two parts: the old and the new testament.

For the Jews, this conception of two testaments is not correct, since they do not accept the validity of the New Testament and therefore, the old testament does not exist. However, the Christian Bible does accept this premise. That said, based on Christian beliefs, we will present the differences between the old and new testaments.

Old Testament

The Old Testament is, according to Christian criteria, the first part of the Bible, which contains a series of books or parts with historical, poetic, theological and prophetic content that were written by scribes and scholars at different stages of the Hebrew people. Initially, it was written in Aramaic, which is believed to have been the language of Jesus Christ even though its writing predates his birth.

Likewise, the old testament is structured in several parts: the pentateuch or Torah that contains the first five books written by Moses, the historical books that narrate the history of humanity and the Jewish people, the wisdom books or books of Wisdom that teach man to be like the wise men and the prophetic books that contain the prophecies of universal redemption for all the peoples of the earth.

Finally, the Old Testament was written before the birth of Jesus, beginning with the creation account and ending with the announcement of the birth of Jesus, the Messiah. For Christians, moreover, the mediator of the Old Testament was Moses, since his face is a reference and irrefutable proof of the existence of God and the promise of redemption for humanity.

New Testament

It can be said that the new testament is, according to Christian criteria, the second part of the bible, which contains a series of books with historical and prophetic content that were written by the apostles in the time of Jesus and after his death and Resurrection. It begins with the birth of Jesus and teaches the message of salvation.

Firstly, the New Testament was written in Greek, a language that dominated the Eastern Mediterranean in Roman times, although some experts point out that some books were written in Aramaic or Hebrew. However, the oldest versions are written in Greek, no ancient versions written in Aramaic or Hebrew are preserved.

Likewise, this consists of several parts where the gospels narrate the life and teachings of Jesus, the acts of the apostles speak of the birth of the Church, the letters are narrations made by the disciples to the first Christian communities and the apocalypse or revelations are of exclusively prophetic character.

Having briefly defined the old and new testaments, we can say that the main differences between them are:

  • The old testament consists of 39, 16, 51 or 24 books according to different doctrines while the new testament consists of 27 books for the Christian doctrine and its different religions.
  • The old testament is recognized by Christianity and Judaism while the new testament is not recognized by Judaism.
  • The old testament begins with the account of creation and ends with the announcement of the arrival of the messiah (Jesus) while the new testament begins with the birth of Jesus.
  • The old testament narrates the history of the people of Israel while the new testament narrates the message and life of Jesus, as well as the emergence of the church and the Christian faith.

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