Living a New Life: Old Testament Teaching About Conversion

William Barrick | May 18, 2010

Both liberal and evangelical scholars have entertained doubts about the presence and/or frequency of conversion in the OT, but the doctrine is illustrated and objectified in the OT rather than being presented in doctrinal discourses as in the NT. Moses spoke of conversion in terms of the circumcision of the heart in Deut 10:16 and 30:6. The OT prophets referred often to Deuteronomic theology found in Deut 27-30 as a foundation for their prophecies. Joshua spoke of fearing the Lord in developing the Deuteronomic basis for conversion. Hezekiah’s trust in the Lord also built on that foundation, and the prophets after him continued to build thereon. Examples of conversion in the OT included Abram, Naaman, Rahab, Ruth, the sailors on board the ship with Jonah, and the Ninevites. Elements involved in conversion in the OT included the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, knowledge of God, confession, faith, and repentance. A total change in a person’s life was the obvious outcome of conversion.

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William Barrick Retired TMS Faculty, Old Testament B.A., Denver Baptist Bible College M.Div., San Francisco Baptist Theological Seminary Th.M., San Francisco Baptist Theological Seminary Th.D., Grace Theological Seminary Before joining The Master's Seminary faculty in 1997, Dr. Barrick served with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE). In 1981 he and his family moved to Bangladesh. In that ministry Dr. Barrick served as the Exegetical Consultant for Bible translation projects, theological consultant for the Literature Division, and adjunct faculty member of the Baptist Bible Institute of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Theological Seminary, and Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary Extension Program (Singapore). Prior to joining ABWE in 1979, Dr. Barrick had been Professor and Chairman of the Old Testament Department at Denver Baptist Theological Seminary from 1972 to 1978. As a result of his fifteen years of Bible translation ministry in Bangladesh, he has participated in the production of Bibles, New Testaments, and Bible sections in six different languages. Dr. Barrick has been involved in writing or contributing to 26 books, and has authored over 125 periodical articles and book reviews.

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