No problem more urgently needs to be brought to a focus than the one to which the following essays are addressed: the relation of the Old Testament to the New. This is not just a concern of Old Testament specialists who might be accused of special pleading, or of New Testament experts who cannot escape dealing with the matter in their exegesis of the text. Rather, it is a question which confronts every Christian in the Church, whether he be a professional theologian, a pastor of a congregation, or a layman. It is no exaggeration to say that on this question hangs the meaning of the Christian faith.
Even the language in which the question is formulated indicates that this is primarily and characteristically an issue for Christian faith. The Christian Bible is composed of two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament. For members of the Jewish community this distinction does not apply. The Jewish Bible is composed of the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings, a tripartite canon which is basically coextensive with the Christian Old Testament. Although the Roman Catholic Church includes additional books and passages found in the Greek translation of Scripture (the Septuagint),1there is general Christian agreement____________________