by H.G. Bishop Moussa
Have you ever wondered about the connection between the Old and New Testaments? In part 3 of this series, His Grace Bishop Moussa discusses the purpose of the Old Testament and its modern manifestation in our liturgical worship and services.
A- Why Study The Old Testament?
The Old Testament is the basis and the foundation of the Christian belief. The Following reasons are listed to indicate the value of this wonderful spiritual treasure.
It is a school of experience, in which we observe God's dealing with us. Means of Spiritual Fulfillment: It is a source of spiritual satisfaction through the promises of God, and the beautiful prayers found in the Psalms and in the lives of the children of God.
An Invitation to Repentance and Purity:
The Old Testament, as well as the New, declares clearly the judgmental attributes of God, inviting people to repent. In it we notice the blessings of repentance and God's punishments for disobeying His Commandments.
A Source of Wisdom:
It is a source of Wisdom for in it we read the Proverbs of Solomon, and the wonderful wisdom granted to him by God.
A Spring of Prophecy:
It is a source of prophecies fulfilled in the Old and the New Testaments assuring that God is the author of the Book.
A Wealth of Literature:
It is a wealth of art. In it we find stories, poems, wisdom, law and art .... etc.
B- The Coptic Orthodox Church & The Old Testament
We as Orthodox Copts are firm believers in the Old Testament as a divinely inspired book. As a testimony to that, the life of the Church is richly blessed with Old Testament readings.
The Psalms in the Church Office:
Psalms are used in the Prayers of the vespers (morning & night) as well as the liturgy.
The Lectionary during the Lent:
The Church reads complete books of prophecies during Jonah’s fast and during the great Lent.
The Lectionary during the Passion Week:
Many extracts from the Old Testament are read during the Passion (Pascha) week.
The Doxologies & Songs Of The Daily Midnight Vigil.
An abundance of quotations from the Old Testament are used in the Vigil.
The Daily Office of Personal Devotions:
The Psalms are used in the book of daily prayers (Agbeya) which is divided into seven prayers to be offered by all Orthodox Copts at appointed hours.
Let us not belittle the Old Testament, because of some attacks which are leveled, not only at it, but also, at the New Testament as well.
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|| Prayer of the First Hour || Third Hour || Sixth Hour || Ninth Hour || Vespers (Eleventh Hour) || Compline (Twelfth Hour) || The First Watch of the midnight prayers || The Second Watch of the midnight prayers || The Third Watch of the midnight prayers || The Prayer of the Veil || Various Prayers from the Agbia || Synaxarium