Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Guess the author contest

The following is from a seminal book that deals with Christian Origins. I was blown away when I read this.

Who wrote it? Answer in the comment box.

. . . in taking the Old Testament as its sacred Scripture, the Early Church did more than recognize its historical connection and even continuity with Judaism; it provided itself with the concepts, terminology and motifs through which it was both to comprehend itself and interpret its faith to the world. In short, Judaism provided . . . the "Substructure of Christian Theology." New Testament Christianity, even in its Johannine form, is articulated in the language of Judaism.

This is made most clear in an area which has attracted much attention int he scholarship of the last few decades, namely, the use of quotations from the Old Testament in the New. These are not merely strange bits of jigsaw puzzles wrenched from the Old Testament, but indications of the way in which the very structure of Jewish thought determines the Christian. The evidence for this statement is so copious that no attempt to present it can be made here; a few examples of a more general and a more particular kind must suffice.

First, let us look at the broad way in which early Christians though of the Christian era or dispensation. There are two figures or metaphors which are familiar in the New Testament. The first is that of a new creation, along with which there go certain concomitants, such as the concept of Jesus the Messiah as the second Adam.

Another broad category derived from Judaism is that of the New Exodus. . . Other major categories which it employed are patently derived from the same source--the Kingdom of God, for example, in the Synoptics. . . .

We might go even further. . . in insisting that after Nicaea also--simply because of the perpetuation of the New Testament and Old Testament in the life of the Church (not to speak of other currents) as its foundation documents--this substructure continued to exert its influence. Unfortunately, the full extent of this influence has never been recognized, because of the Chrstian ignorance of Judaism. There is little doubt that a deeper understanding of the governing concepts of first-century Judaism would throw a flood of light on early Christianity. . . Phenomena such as the Resurrection, the Ascension and, indeed, the whole range of Christian concern can only be illumined for us by a profounder penetration of [. . .] Judaism.


Anonymous said...

C.H. Dodd.

Don't mess with a librarian ...


Anonymous said...

Yes, this has to be Dodd.

This quotation shows why the field of NT theology desparately needs to get back to Dodd.

Anonymous said...

Well, the phrase "Substructure of Christian Theology" in relation to Judaism is Dodd. Not sure who wrote the larger work but it is great stuff ...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I have it! Aidan Nichols LOVELY LIKE JERUSALEM pgs 88-89. I knew I read those lines recently, and since much of my reading has focused on Ratzinger...but then I remembered.

So, what's my prize? ;)

d. miller said...

It can't be Dodd. His subtitle is "The Sub-Structure of New Testament Theology" not "Christian Theology" and he doesn't discuss Judaism in any detail in According to the Scriptures.

I would be surprised if it were Aidan Nichols (despite the page numbers dim bulb cited) because a volume published in 2007 hardly counts as a seminal book that deals with Christian Origins.

My vote is N.T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God. Wright is heavily influenced by Dodd, he is prone to using "bits", and he trumpets the idea of a "New Exodus."

If I'm wrong, I would still like to know the correct reference so I can use the quote in class.

Anonymous said...

Mister Miller,

You called me on this in the face of page numbers? I bet you'd make quite a poker player.

d. miller said...

Mister dim bulb,

I just have a high tolerance for being wrong. Is LOVELY LIKE JERUSALEM seminal enough for it to be worth purchasing?

Unknown said...

D. Miller,
Lovely Like Jerusalem is a good book worth your time to read.

Dim Bulb,
Are you sure it's from Lovely Like Jerusalem? I looked at the pages you said and it doesn't match up. It is very similar, but not the same. Perphaps Michael has read the book referenced by Nichols, A.G. Herbert's "The Throne of David: A Study of the Fulfillment of the Old Testament in Jesus Christ and His Church" and has taken the quote from there?

Anonymous said...

Misters Miller and Garland,

Just so there is no misunderstanding, I was bluffing concerning Nichol's work. As Mister Garland notes, some of the language is similar. I know I've read that quote recently, and I'm going nuts trying to remember where.

I just have a high tolerance for being wrong. Is LOVELY LIKE JERUSALEM seminal enough for it to be worth purchasing?

It appears you also have a high tolerance for letting other people spend your money for you.

Lovely Like Jerusalem strikes me as a work designed for the average Christian whose knowledge of the OT isn't what it should be. I suppose, then, that for such people it could be called "seminal," but not in the standard, scholarly sense.

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