You never thought I’d make that suggestion, did you?
Now before you write me off as a complete heretic instead of a partial one, at least give me a chance to explain myself.
One of the problems we have in Christian theology is understanding the relationship between the Old and the New Testaments. At least since the second century with Marcion, there have been debates about the continuity of the Old Testment, especially the law, into the New Testament era.
Now a good part of the problem is words. The words “old” and “new” carry with them the connotation of replacement. Or at least, that is how it is now understood. The New Testament somehow replaces the Old. And if you’re not careful, you end up with a kind of “replacement” theology.
In order for better understanding, then, it’s time to join a crowd that says let’s abolish the name, Old Testament. We could creatively find new names for it, such as “Permanent Testament” or something alone these lines. Then we could get creative with the New Testament and call it the “Fulfilled Testament.”
I think we should really get rid of the word “Testament” completely and call it the alternative, “Covenant.” Then we could have the “Permanent and Fulfilled Covenants.”
Now, doesn’t that give you a better idea of the relationships between the books of the Bible?
God bless you this week.
Ian Hodge, Ph.D.