The Old Testament and Christian Faith: A Theological Discussion

By Bernhard W. Anderson | Go to book overview

13 The Significance of the Old Testament for Our Faith

EMIL BRUNNER*

Ever since the days of the heretic Marcion, Christendom has been disturbed by the question whether, for the sake of true understanding of God's redeeming work in Jesus Christ, it is advisable not only decisively to differentiate but also to dissociate the Old Testament as the Jewish Bible from the New Testament and the true Gospel. Even at that time the Old Testament was regarded as an embarrassment to the Christian faith. It was wondered whether devotional regard and the weight of tradition were sufficient to outweigh the dangers involved in full recognition of the Old Testament as divine revelation. As is well known, the early Church rejected this questioning. Through its spokesmen, Irenaeus and Tertullian, it tried to present counterevidence that behind the rejection of the Old Testament there was, not some especially sensitive Christian conscience, but on the contrary, a faith wholly irreconcilable with Christianity. Throughout the entire history of the Church the Old Testament has retained full canonicity, at least in principle. Even the Reformers, who would have had every reason to reconsider Marcion's question, owing to the use the

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*
This article appeared in ZZ, Vol. 8 ( 1930). pp. 30-48. Trans. by Bernhard W. Anderson and used here with permission.

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