It's no secret that Christians see seamless ties between the Old and New Testaments, but a newly released version of the Bible does something that has reportedly never been tried before in an effort to bring those deep connections to the forefront.
Rick Lawrence, one of the editors of the new "Jesus-Centered Bible," told The Church Boys podcast about how he and fellow editor Ken Castor came up with the idea to pinpoint all of the places in the Old Testament that they believe refer to Christ.
"There's red letters in the New Testament where Jesus speaks — what if we highlighted in the Old Testament with blue letters any place that points to Jesus or is connected to Jesus in the New Testament?" Lawrence recalled proposing at the start of the project.
And that's exactly what he and Castor did, working long, 18-hour days for many weeks in an effort to find those specific spots in the Bible and to create brief descriptors for each.
In the end, the two editors were overwhelmed to find nearly 700 places in the Old Testament scriptures that they believe refer, in some way, to Jesus. There were so many, in fact, that Lawrence said that they had to limit their scope for risk of making the Bible too long to publish.
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"We just discovered, as we went, so many connections to Jesus in the Old Testament," he said. "There were so many moments where we just stopped, stared at each other and started crying."
Lawrence continued, "[We] couldn't believe how seamless the Old and New Testaments are when you really slow down and consider."
The end result of the project was the publication of the "Jesus-Centered Bible," which he said provides readers with a deeper look at the interconnected nature of the two Testaments.
"The Bible on its own is really about Jesus," Lawrence said. "The Old Testament points to the messiah, the gospels describe the messiah and the epistles chronicle what a life centered around — orbiting around — Jesus is like."
He said that reading the Bible in a conventional way can lead some to miss those connections, so Lawrence is hoping that the "Jesus-Centered Bible," which is printed in the New Living Translation, will help fix that.
He said that he and Castor wanted to "highlight the Bible in such a way that it was impossible to miss Jesus, no matter where you were."
Find out more about the "Jesus-Centered Bible" here.
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