Q. Re: Saving Old Testament Saints. I looked in my concordance to see where the first time that the name of Jesus was used and it appeared that it was the first of Matt. So, how did the Old Testament saints know that they had to believe in Jesus in order to be saved? What was the exact time that that information was made known to humanity and how did it occur?
A. It wasn’t necessary for Old Testament saints to know Jesus by name, but they had to believe in a coming redeemer. Also, the name Jesus is the English translation of a Greek word. The Old Testament was written mostly in Hebrew where the Lord’s name is pronounced Yehsua and means “salvation” or “deliverance”. Various forms of His name appear in over 100 Old Testament passages beginning in Genesis 49:18.
In addition, the Hebrew word for redeemer appears 18 times in reference to the salvation of the people, and the word for Savior appears another 13 times. Finally, there are numerous Old Testament prophecies that foretold the birth, death and resurrection of the coming redeemer in great detail.
The first reference to the redeemer occurs in Genesis 3:15 where God promised the “seed of the woman” would come to reverse the effects of man’s fall. It refers to a unique virgin birth, since seed always comes from a man, and speaks of Satan’s defeat as His hand. The knowledge of a coming redeemer has been present from man’s earliest days.
For the whole story, you can download a free copy of my book “The Redeemer” for your computer, iPad, Kindle, Nook or other ebook reader by going to