Thursday, 27 October 2005

Old Testament, New Testament

One of the most important yet discouragingly difficult of all theological problems is the relationship of the Old Testament to the New. There can be no simple answer to this problem, and even the best answers can only be relative and provisional. But, broadly speaking, I accept the view that there is a christological relationship between the Old Testament and the New. The Old Testament is related to the New as promise is related to fulfilment, or as expectation is related to recollection. Thus together the two collections of texts form an extremely diverse yet essentially unified witness to the saving eschatological act of God in Jesus Christ.

This was the view taken by the twentieth century’s greatest Old Testament scholar, Gerhard von Rad, who wrote: “Christ is given to us only through the double witness of the choir of those who await and those who remember.” (Gerhard von Rad, in Essays on Old Testament Hermeneutics, ed. Claus Westermann, p. 39)

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