The Old Testament and Christian Faith: A Theological Discussion

By Bernhard W. Anderson | Go to book overview

7 The Connection of Primal Events and End Events with the New Testament Redemptive History

OSCAR CULLMANN*

Redemptive history (Heilsgeschichte) is not a history alongside history, nor is it simply identical with history. Rather in its center part redemptive history depends on a selection of particular events out of profane history which stand in a specific connection with one another. This understanding cannot be deduced by reflecting upon profane history from within and consequently it has nothing to do with a philosophy of history. According to biblical faith it was God who made this selection, established this connection, and imparted it to the bearers of revelation, the prophets and apostles.1

____________________
*
Translated by Louis Martyn.
1
In order more easily to attack me, my critics credit me with various and sundry conceptions of redemptive history which I have never held. In a forthcoming publication I shall present my understanding of redemptive history in a way which I hope cannot be misunderstood. It is to be hoped that this attempt will also clarify the goal which I pursued in my book Christ and Time, and which so many people completely misunderstood by thinking I intended to write a book about the "concept" of linear time. Actually I proceeded on the basis of the opposition between linear and cyclical time-concepts only because

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