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Wednesday, June 9, 2021

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St. Ephrem of Syria

2 Corinthians 3:4-11
Psalm 99:5-9
Matthew 5:17-19

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teach the old testament

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets.” —Matthew 5:17

When the Bible speaks of “the Law and the Prophets,” it refers to the Old Testament. Peter preached from the Old Testament on the day of Pentecost, and three thousand people received the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:17, 25, 34). “The ministry of the Spirit” (2 Cor 3:8) began by the preaching of the ministry of the Law and the Prophets.

Jesus’ Transfiguration featured the Law, represented by Moses, and the Prophets, represented by Elijah (Lk 9:30). When Jesus was transfigured into a greater glory (Lk 9:29ff), He didn’t just bypass the old covenant, He fulfilled it (Mt 5:17). Thus the presence of Moses and Elijah at His Transfiguration shows the Old Testament has a place in the New Testament’s ministry of the Spirit.

On Easter evening, Jesus changed the hearts of His two disciples on the road to Emmaus by opening the Scriptures to them, which at that point consisted of only the Old Testament. Jesus began with “Moses and all the prophets” and “interpreted for them every passage of Scripture which referred to Him” (Lk 24:27).

Jesus declared that the Old Testament is more capable of effecting change on a hard heart than would be the sight of a man risen from the dead! (Lk 16:31) Read the Old Testament. Then teach the Old Testament to a hard-hearted world (Mt 5:19).

Prayer:  Holy Spirit, show me how the Old Testament is fulfilled in the New, and how the New Testament is revealed by the Old (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 129).

Promise:  “This great confidence in God is ours, through Christ.” —2 Cor 3:4

Praise:  St. Ephrem creatively fought heresies he encountered in the Fourth Century. He wrote hymns using the heretics’ own melodies, but incorporated lyrics teaching authentic Catholic doctrine.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

(Be a Bible teacher. For encouragement, order, listen to, or download our six CD series, Bible Teachers, beginning with CD 117-1 or our three-part series starting with DVD V-117 on our website.)

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The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.