Old Testament and New Testament question


Hi guys.. Reading the bible... I get the feeling that the old testament and the new testament both paint a different picture of God's characteristics?

Why is this so if both were inspired by the holy spirit? Help!



Could you elaborate on what you mean, and provide some examples? If you are referring to the stark differences between, say, the laws written in Leviticus and the commandments given by Jesus, then you should know that God's commands vary between the six major covenants in the Bible.


There is an unfolding of history and development of God's revelation and relationship with Israel and humanity. If you keep that in mind while reading the Old Testament, it is helpful.

Recommended reading:
CCC Part One Article 3 Sacred Scripture (101-141)


[quote="James1990, post:1, topic:338089"]
Hi guys.. Reading the bible... I get the feeling that the old testament and the new testament both paint a different picture of God's characteristics?

Why is this so if both were inspired by the holy spirit? Help!



The Old Testament and New Testament gives out the same picture. The problem though was not how it portrays God but how we portrayed Him. The problem with all human beings is they cannot get it right away. If it takes time for us to mature into spiritual Christian people than you can imagine it how difficult it is for the human race to understand discipline and love right away. It was never the right time for God to reveal all the truth all at once to humans as He did with the Angels. Angels were created to retain all of the truth all at once. Man was not created to receive truth in this manner but must acquire it in time and acquire it in a way they can relate to it. This means man and woman cannot understand direct truth when it is given to them but must acquire understanding through events they can relate to. This means we need stories that would help us better relate to the truth. We understand better when a story is given to us. That is how God made us to understand. Interesting enough the whole of the Old Testament and the New Testament was one great story and catechism He has given to us. For us to know better there must be a story and God has given to us the best catechisms ever in the OT and NT for this is the way He needs to teach us. Mark Twain said to those who said we are made of atoms that we are not made of atoms but are made of stories.


I guess it can seem like God has changed when going from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Probably what happened was that God remained the same but that we changed!

As times were more primitive, it seemed God responded to us differently, perhaps in a way we would understand. Now, we are in different times, and he has progressively been revealing more and more of himself over thousands of years. In the past, there was more we could not understand.

God seemed to tolerate different sets of norms. People in the Old Testament sometimes had more than one wife, and that was considered fine up to a point. People were stoned over what would be considered now to be minor infractions.

Noah seemed to have drunk too much one time, and he was not blamed for it. At that time, that was an acceptable way of trying to get closer to God.

Old wine, old wine skins. New wine, new wine skins ...Old Testament and its rules, New Testament and its ways and rules.


By looking deeper into the Old and New Testaments one can see impressive connections between the two in the way Christ was precursored. Mgr. Jean-Joseph Gaume (AD 1802-1879) enumerates eighteen such persons and things in his Catechism of Perseverance with descriptions of their connections with the Divine Saviour: 1. Adam, 2. Abel, 3. Noah, 4. Melchisedech, 5. Isaac, 6. Jacob, 7. Joseph, 8. the Paschal Lamb, 9. the Manna, 10. the Sacrifice, 11. the Brazen Serpent, 12. Moses, 13. Joshua, 14. Gideon, 15. Sampson, 16. David, 17. Solomon and 18. Jonah. For example as Adam was condemned from paradise to a painful life on earth, Our Lord freely descended from Heaven to the same, and through His obedience saves mankind while Adam by his disobedience brought death. The details can be found from the book (First Course, Chapters XXI-XXXVII) which is available online.


Perhaps God dealt differently with people in the Old Testament, because they were under the “Original Sin” of Adam. In the New Testament, Jesus frees us from this by his Death, and the Sacraments. Also there are Three Persons in the Trinity, it may depend on which of the Three your dealing with. :wink:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.