"The most important of the problems Christians had to face in the early centuries"1 was the question of the significance of the Old Testament. Yet the rise of the modern historical method still has not contributed substantially to a solution of those early problems. One sign of that fact is the continual oscillation between claims to the continuity of the Testaments and claims to their discontinuity. Indecisiveness about the significance of the Old Testament relative to the New is as evident today as it was in the days which antedated historical science.
Rudolf Bultmann calls for an end to that vacillation by refusing to regard the Old Testament as revelation for the Christian. The New Testament and not the Old expresses the form in which God is now calling his people into existence. Therefore, for a Christian to take the Old Testament as revelation would require either exegetical anachronism or exegetical guile. What Bultmann means by the Old Testament as Vorverständnis, however, separates his decision from Marcionism. For while he keeps the discussion strictly within the historical discipline, he finds a way of____________________
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Publication information: Book title: The Old Testament and Christian Faith:A Theological Discussion. Contributors: Bernhard W. Anderson - Editor. Publisher: Harper & Row. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1963. Page number: 49.
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