Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Cure for Marcionism?

This is one of those books that could be very good (and much needed) depending upon how the author takes the title theme. You can learn more about it here.

We live in a very curious time in popular Christianity. Some sixty years after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the dissemination of Late Second Temple Judaism studies into most printed editions of the Bible, and a scant two decades removed from the interest in the Jewishness of Jesus, there is a robust current of crypto-Marcionism running through contemporary Christianity.

Across denominations and churches, we seem to be in a wave of repeated denigration of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, returning a mindset that the Old Testament is little more than the proof text of Christ.

As someone trained in Biblical Studies first, this development is disconcerting and genuinely baffling. Even in the most "inter-religious" of circles, there is still a subtle demarcation from the Christian God and the Jewish God, oftentimes falling into the clichés of mercy, forgiveness and love, as thought the Old Testament had none of the three. To wit, I would remind everyone of the parable of the ten virgins; it is a very clear depiction of Jesus' concept of God, a concept he expected those following him would (eventually) see for its veracity.

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