Explain the Gospel with No New Testament?!

“And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him” (Luke 4:16-17a).

Evangelism is always a great thing, and God can and does use many different methods to bring the good news to this world. That said, it seems like the very first method of evangelism used by Yeshua and the early church is simply not an option for many believers. Why? Because it involves a thorough familiarity with the Hebrew Scriptures.

Yeshua had obviously been studying the Scriptures from his youth (see Luke 2:46-47). So when he was handed the scroll of Isaiah, he knew exactly where to turn (no easy task when we consider the fact that there were no chapter or verse markers), what to read, and how it pointed directly to him. No doubt, he could have done this with any other biblical scroll they would have put in his hands as well (see Luke 24:27).

It seems like the very first method of evangelism used by Yeshua and the early church is simply not an option for many believers

I wonder how many of us, however, would be at a loss for words if something other than a tract with the “Four Spiritual Laws” was placed in our hands, or if we were invited to a synagogue to convince people why we believe in Yeshua using nothing but the Hebrew Bible, or only the Torah for that matter.

If we long to understand the biblical roots of our faith and proclaim it to the world with theological accuracy, we must reclaim the first century “custom” of being completely immersed in a knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures (i.e., the Old Testament). And it's never too late to start!

“Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ'” (Acts 17:1-3).

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