The living-the-Bible-for-a-year approach ignores basic literary conventions like types and shadows. A type is an illustration of a future reality. A shadow is a sketch of future realities. According to the New Testament, the types, shadows, and sketches of future realities were fulfilled in Christ. It was on this principle that the Holy Spirit revealed to the Apostle Peter (Acts 10:13–16) that the ceremonial laws had been fulfilled and abrogated.
One of the stranger arguments against Christianity that has found an audience (and publishers) is the argument that Christians are hypocrites because they do not adhere to the Bible the way that pagan critics think they should. As I recall, there have been at least two different volumes recounting the attempt to follow the Bible “literally” for a year. The first, The Year of Living Biblically (2009) was published by A. J. Jacobs. The second, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, was published in 2012 by late Rachel Held Evans. I was reminded of both the other day by Jonathan Merrit, a writer on religion and politics for The Atlantic and other outlets, published this on Twitter:
Can we all get real honest and admit there is no Xian who follows ALL the Bible. No one is stoning their disrespectful children or sending escaped sex trafficking victims back to their masters. This is a way of framing debates that conservatives use to shame and silence. 💫 twitter.com/ernursetncc/st…
He is a former self-identified evangelical who was “outed” as gay in 2012. He holds Masters degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Emory University. Presumably he knows that, in the Christian Bible, there are two covenants or testaments. Let us assume that his facility in Greek and Hebrew have become a little rusty but in any English Bible he would find a table of contents. In the table of contents distinguishing between the Old and New Testaments, which Christians have done since the time of Irenaeus (c. 170 AD). The Apostle Paul himself distinguished sharply (and narrowly) between the “old covenant” which he assigned the Moses and the giving of the law at Sinai (2 Cor 3 [all]). The writer to those Jewish Christians who were tempted to leave Christ and return to Moses, made the same distinction (Heb 8 [all]; See also Gal 3:15–29).
More broadly, however, Christians have spoken of everything that God revealed and did before the coming of Christ as belonging to the Old Testament. We have always recognized a principle of progressive revelation of the one plan of redemption in Holy Scripture. The Book of Hebrews speaks of the Old Testament as being replete with “types” and “shadows.” Paul calls Adam a “type” (Rom 5:14) of Christ. Hebrews 8:5 says of the Jerusalem and the Aaronic priesthood: “They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, ‘See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain’” (ESV).
Indeed, according to our Lord Jesus, the entire Old Testament was intended to point to Christ as its fulfillment. E.g., in a dispute with the Jews Jesus proclaimed “Abraham saw my day and rejoiced” (John 8:56). He told Nicodemus that the bronze serpent raised in the wilderness was about him (John 3:14). John said that Isaiah spoke of Jesus (John 12:36b–43). According to Jesus the whole OT was about him (Luke 24:27). The Apostle Paul taught the Corinthian congregation that all the promises are yes and amen in Christ (2 Cor 1:20). The writer to the Hebrews argued that Moses himself was a servant in Jesus’ house but Jesus, God the Son incarnate is the owner of the house (Heb 3:5).