It’s become trendy in some evangelical circles to claim that we need to rescue Jesus and the NT from the megalomaniac, genocidal God of the OT. That OT God can’t really be what God is like because, well, Jesus isn’t like that. (And he’s God, after all.) Evangelicals, then, need to get Jesus right before they worry about getting the Bible right. And “to understand Jesus” means, at least in part, to understand that “love your enemies” is at odds with “show them no mercy.”
Christian scholars and lay-bloggers alike are picking up this dry, stale bread in hopes of selling it to the public as a buttered loaf straight from the oven. But people know stale bread when they taste it. And they should rightly spit it out.
There is no life in an OT divorced from the NT. This oft-cited quote from Paul to Timothy is not merely a Sunday school lesson in Bible-rule-following–it’s a proclamation about the authority of the OT:
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness.” 2 Tim. 3:16 (HCSB)
This can also be rendered that Scripture is “God-breathed.” Paul isn’t saying, “Scripture is a good road map for life, so don’t worry about the weird stuff.” Paul is saying, “Scripture (in this case, the OT) is God’s breath–his Word–and therefore life-giving.”