Wednesday, 9 March 2016
Seeing Judaism Anew: Christianity's Sacred Obligation,
Ed. Mary C. Boys, Rowman and Littlefield, 2002
Chapter 14, "Covenant and Conversion" (pp. 163-174), page 165
From the fact of revelation, Dr Spillman moves to the means and consequence of revelation:
Christians affirm that revelation, as mediated in the Bible, comes not only through Christ but also through the history of Israel: The G-d who is in Christ is also the G-d of the Exodus; the G-d of the apostles is also the G-d of the prophets. Given this reality, it necessarily follows that Christians must recognise and accept the validity of G-d's revelation to the Jewish people. Christians must realise that the Hebrew Bible contains a message intended for Jews as well as Christians - indeed a message given first to Jews and then to Christians. Furthermore, the New Testament would be virtually impossible to understand without the Hebrew Scripture because it constantly links the life and teaching of Jesus Christ with the history of Israel.
This too is fine as far as it goes. Many Christians - under the influence of varying degrees of replacement theology - might suggest that while the Hebrew Bible is a valid message for both Jews and Christians, it is incomplete and needs the full revelation of the New Testament to make sense of it. This is part of the move to "read the Old Testament as Christian Scripture", but how about reading it on its own terms, rather than always interpret it through a Christian lens. If it was delivered to the Jewish people, then let's read it as it was heard by its first audience, the Jewish people, and respond to it or about it as it comes to us.