Tuesday, November 22, 2005

'Jesus Christ is in the OT in the sense ‘New Israel’ is in the OT'

I enjoyed this quote from Brevard Childs, although there is nothing especially original about it. Please feel to skip what is just another of my quote-posts.

The Christian Church retained the Old Testament not for antiquarian reasons, but because it spoke of Jesus Christ. The Old Testament is not just an historical preparation for his coming, but it is a manifestation of him. Yet every time the attempt has been made to determine more precisely the presence of Jesus Christ within the Old Testament, Jesus emerges as a very shadowy figure and the Old Testament loses its real content. This uncertainty appears not only in the Biblical theologies, but reflects itself even more acutely in the pulpits of the Christian Church. In our opinion, at least the direction for a solution is to be found in the understanding of 'New Israel' as the Old Testament’s witness to reality. Jesus Christ is in the Old Testament in the sense ‘New Israel’ is in the Old Testament. Whenever Israel responded in faith, the new existence, which is Jesus Christ, was taking tangible shape. For this reason the New Testament identifies appearances of the new life in Israel’s history with Jesus Christ. Abraham saw Christ’s day (John 8.56); Moses suffered for Christ’s sake (Heb. 11.26); Isaiah saw his glory and spoke of him (John 12.41).

(pp. 105-6, Myth and Reality in the Old Testament, 1962, London: SCM)

All I would add is that the 'Old Israel' can point to the 'New Israel' and so to Christ too.


At 11:07 am, Blogger thebluefish said...

Thanks for that.


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