- Pathfinder

Reply To: In the first lecture, Dr. McDermott teaches that the Bible is one story, and that God upholds his covenant with the Jewish people to this very day. Was this what you were taught growing up? If not, how will this insight change the way you read the bible going forward?

AvatarIvor Starkey

The limited religious upbringing I experienced focused much more deeply on the New Testament. For a long time I believed the Old Testament was full of violence and cruelty, with a vindictive and jealous God, whilst the New Testament brought the peaceful message of Jesus. This supersessionism-lite splits the Bible in two, cutting the teachings of Christ off from the tradition that nurtured Him. Without the Old Testament, Jesus’ life, teachings, parables, even His crucifixion, lose their contextual importance and relevance. The Hebraic understanding of the Bible anchors our faith, allowing us a new viewpoint. From there we can understand better the teachings of later religions such as Islam, which also drew on the Old Testament teachings and traditions. Ultimately, the ‘one-story’ reading of the Bible is the only Christian one, with the Old Testament being purposefully included in the Christian canon by the Church Fathers and the Early Christians. Any attempt to sever Christianity from its Hebraic origins is a misguided enterprise.