Old Testament in the New
The purpose of this course is to consider issues that are raised when Christians preach from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. We will discuss two related issues. First, how do Christians think theologically about and preach on texts that prove to be theologically and practically problematic: texts that raise questions of supersession; texts that seem to condone violence; texts that deal with Israel as promised territory; texts that lead to consideration of relationships among the three major monotheistic religions—Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Second, what are some New Testament texts where the author uses the Old Testament theologically and homiletically? Do these texts provide help in guiding us in Christian use of those texts, or do they simply make a difficult issue more difficult? We will be looking at particular theological problems (such as “God and Violence” and “The Election of Israel”). Each session of the course will consider a problem treated by New Testament texts that are themselves influenced by the author’s reading of the Old Testament. We will ask in what ways our understanding of the Old Testament texts can help (or hinder) the use of the New Testament by contemporary readers. The theological points we will examine are all complex, so we cannot treat every relevant text, but we hope to be able to raise some important issues and facilitate a discussion of how Christians might preach from Old Testament texts and from New Testament texts that themselves interpret the Hebrew Bible.
David Bartlett is Professor of New Testament Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary and Lantz Professor Emeritus of Preaching at YDS, where he also served for eleven years as Academic Dean.
Robert R. Wilson is Hoober Professor of Religious Studies and Professor of Old Testament. A former chair of the Yale University Department of Religious Studies, Professor Wilson’s areas of academic interest include Israelite prophecy, the Deuteronomistic history, and ancient Israelite religion in its social and cultural context. His books include Genealogy and History in the Biblical World, Prophecy and Society in Ancient Israel, Sociological Approaches to the Old Testament, and Canon, Theology and Old Testament Interpretation (ed. with G.M. Tucker and D.L. Petersen).