Do Catholics have to accept the Old Testament along with the New Testament?


I recently made it a point to read the Quran. I had heard that Islam was the religion of peace, but the Quran was full of violence and there was no tolerance for the unbelievers. In a subsequent discussion I wondered how we can consider Muslims extremists abnormal when they are simply following out the instructions in the Quran- supposedly the word of God. This was countered by someone who said that the Bible was just as bad.

So I read parts of the Old Testament dealing with the Jews and how they were to deal with non-Jews and it was disturbing- not as bad as the Quran but bad enough.

As Christians, we believe in the New Testament, which IS, in fact, a book of peace and love. Is it reasonable to disavow the Old Testament just as one might disavow the Quran? Do Catholics automatically have to accept the Old Testament on an equal basis with the New Testament? Can the Old and New Testament be separated?


I don’t think it is possible to disavow the Old Testament. The roots of Christianity are in the Old
Testament. The Old Testament points to people and events in the new Testament. Salvation is from the Jews.


The Old Testament is part of divine revelation, and so cannot be removed or separated from the New Testament. As much as the New Testament is inerrant, so is the Old Testament.

It is important to remember that it is Jesus in the New Testament who completes the Law that was given to the Israelites in the Old Testament. Especially as regards the questionable content of the OT, we need to remember that everything is to be understood through the entirety of the Law as given by Christ.


Part 1

The heresy of disavowing the OT is called marconianism:

Marcionism was an Early Christian dualist belief system that originated in the teachings of Marcion of Sinope at Rome around the year 144. Marcion believed Jesus was the savior sent by God, and Paul the Apostle was his chief apostle, but he rejected the Hebrew Bible and the God of Israel. Marcionists believed that the wrathful Hebrew God was a separate and lower entity than the all-forgiving God of the New Testament. Similar to Gnosticism, depicted the God of the Old Testament as a tyrant or demiurge. The terms “Marcionism” and “neo-Marcionism” has sometimes been used in modern times to refer to anti-Jewish tendencies in Christian churches.

The Moral Law in the Catechism:

The OT in Catechism

God meets man in Catechism

The Decalogue in Catechism

Baltimore Catechism

Catechism of Trent pdf

A good read on the origins of the Holy Bible


The relationship between OT/NT


Christian views on Old Covenant


As others have mentioned, the Old Testament books are written as the inspired word. They teach us something. They continually point to Christ, and the New Covenant.

They are history. When we choose to ignore history, we’re doomed to repeat it.

But you have to remember that it was written by people of that age, and thus HAD to be written so that people of that age could relate (otherwise it would not likely be preserved).

Think progressive revelation. Creation, fall, spread of humans. Rise of evil. Flood. Promise never to destroy the Earth. (The whole Earth!)


THEN, The Law. Commandments. History of what happens when you obey and what happens if you disobey. Exile. Restoration.

More nuance.

Promise of a redeemer.

More revelation. (One reason for 46 books instead of 39… that 400 years before Christ was important too, and the Deuterocanonical books fill that nicely).

That was the nickel tour.

We tend to look at some of the violence of the OT from our vantage, not that of the people at the time. Lots of violence all around. (Remember, I said if it wasn’t relevant to contemporary folk, it would likely not be preserved).

But the Deuterocanonical works come into play there, where we meet the Macabees. And the brothers who died rather than disobey the (sacred Jewish) Law.

And THEN we get the fresh clean air of the New Testament.

But, without the OT, there’s no rich backdrop.



Thanks for the great replies. I guess now I would tend to be a Marcionist.




With Jesus making consistent reference to his identity using the Old Testament as a basis;

I find it perplexing that anyone can have that view at all.

The Quran, and Islam Itself, is not a religion as much as political ideology. Spread by the sword, as you’ll find in great detail wherever you go.

Christianity, with regard to the Old Testament - falls back on the old covenant. When mankind was much younger and God was present in a hand-holding scenario.

Almost every event was a lesson to a people who would ultimately shape and influence the entire world.

God was absolute with his wrath and justice. As is required of his nature. But to say it’s similar to the Quran is a great stretch indeed.


Non-Jews are considered inferior. The value of a goyim is placed below the Jewish woman but above cattle. I don’t think that concept should be sanctioned by the Catholic Church.


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