Difference between the Old and New Testament

Updated on March 27, 2017

Are you having a hard time understanding the connection between Christianity and Judaism? Then the Bible’s New and Old Testament must be a real brain teaser, right? Nothing is as confusing once you really look into it. And this is just what we are going to do. Read on to find out the differences between the Old and New Testament.

Descriptions

Old Testament

The Old Testament is the first section of the Bible. The Old Testament talks about the creation of the world, the exodus of the Jewish people, and the Ten Commandments. This is the basis of the Judaic faith. However, in the Jewish tradition, the books of the Old Testament are presented in a different order. Also, the number of books comprising the Old Testament may vary from one denomination to another, as each religious division integrated a different translation. For example, the Orthodox Church integrated the Greek translation of the Septuagint, whereas the Western Churches integrated the Latin translation. Hence the differences.

The Old Testament includes a moral code that forbids dishonesty, murder, bribery, and corruption, and even tells the people how to behave in their homes or in relation to their spouses. Everything is traced back to the Almighty God. Every act must reflect faith and obedience.

The New Testament is the second part of the Bible. It talks about the coming of Jesus Christ, as the Son of God and the Savior, and His teachings. This is considered to be the basis of Christian belief. The focus in the New Testament shifts from highlighting God’s judgement and authority to showing that He is also a forgiving and loving father figure. The main themes are love, repentance, and sacrifice.

By reading the New Testament, believers must learn from the parables and from the actions of Jesus Christ. This part of the Bible also establishes a code of conduct for the Christian believers.

Old Testament vs New Testament

So what is the difference between the Old and New Testament?

The Old Testament is the first part of the Bible, whereas the New Testament is the second part of the Bible. In the Old Testament, we have the story of how God made the world, how the Jews, his chosen people, fled from under Egyptian rule and wandered through the dessert. We learn about Moses and God’s Ten Commandments. The New Testament picks up where the Old Testament leaves off: in the promise of a Messiah. And Jesus Christ is the Messiah whose life and teachings are recorded in this division of the Bible.

There is a difference in the way God is depicted. The Almighty creator of the Old Testament is a strong and powerful God. He has laid down the law for His people and has established a code of conduct. It is all done for the people to prepare for the coming of Messiah. This code is still followed today by the Jewish people.

In the New Testament, however, through his Son, God is presented as the loving Father who makes the ultimate sacrifice: the life of His own Son. These gospels speak of love, redemption, faith and sacrifice.

Comparison Chart

Old TestamentNew Testament
Is the first division of the BibleIs the second division of the Bible
Has laid the foundation of the Jewish faithHas laid the foundation of Christianity
Tells how God made the world, the exodus, and the promise of a MessiahTells of the arrival and teachings of the Messiah
Depicts a strict God who teaches His chosen people how to live; it is all done in preparation for the MessiahDepicts a forgiving God; is based around the concept of faith and forgiveness