The value of Tanakh in understanding the New Testament

May 21, 2018


As a Rabbi and teacher I am often charged with trying to make difficult concepts understandable. One way to make things more understandable is to use parables, as Yeshua (Jesus) did. Other times, I try to use analogies and other times I try to use examples from my personal experiences to help focus and direct so that concepts become easier. One of the questions I am often asked is about the relevance of the Tanakh (Old Testament) in the lives of modern believers in Yeshua as their Messiah.


To help people understand why the Tanakh is still not only of value figuratively and spiritually, but also of great value personally, I direct the student or questioner to the movie Star Wars. Now, I know that today when we say Star Wars, people ask “which episode?” But, to people my age, Star Wars means the very first movie, Episode 4.


I can still remember when I first saw the movie. I was a senior in high school and the movie had become instantly super popular. The computer generated video techniques used were brand new and were absolutely amazing to watch. From the opening scrolling of the backstory through the destruction of the Death Star, everyone was glued to their seats enthralled with the action taking place on the big screen.


We met Luke and Leia as well as Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Darth Vader. We were introduced to the Millennium Falcon, the Rebel Alliance, and the Evil Empire. We learned of light sabers and the force and we left the theater with the theme music playing over and over in our minds.


The truth is that most of us who watched the movie were so moved by the epic story and action that we left the theater totally satisfied and didn’t even think about the fact that right there in the opening title of the movie were the Roman numerals “IV.” That’s right. The movie was so powerful an experience that most peo