Monday, January 26, 2015

Introduction to Goldingay Volume 2

Goldingay2In January I began reading volume 2 of Goldingay’s, Old Testament Theology, Israel’s Faith. I am continuing to post quotes from the book on my Facebook page on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays, and will blog here as I finish each chapter. There will be a link to the blog post on my Facebook page where you can comment. Again, I appreciate the way Goldingay does not force the text into a pre-conceived systematic theology, but wrestles with the text as it is and I want to do that with him.

Chapter 1, is an Introduction, to the volume that explains the approach he will take. Goldingay notes in the first section of the introduction that the Bible uses both Narrative and Theology to accomplish the task of revealing and explaining who God is. Both testaments open with long narratives and then follow the narratives with more direct theological material. In volume 1 Goldingay focused on the narratives. In volume 2 he focuses more on the prophets and wisdom literature.

Each Testament opens with long narratives that help us understand God or Jesus by telling their story. These long narratives (Genesis to Esther and Matthew to Acts) help us see what they were seeking to achieve, and to portray them acting in and reacting to different situations. Each Testament then follows the narratives with material addressing people more directly with an account of who God and Jesus are and what their significance is for us. 15

In the second section of the introduction, Diversity and Unity in Old Testament Theology, Goldingay admits that, despite our affirmation of the authority and trustworthiness of the scriptures, scripture presents us with “ambiguities and antinomies” that force us to wrestle with all of scripture and live within its tensions.

We recognize that we perceive only the outskirts of God and of God's ways. 17

The final section of the introduction, Biblical Theology of the Old Testament, explains how Goldingay will integrate both Old and New Testament theology in the volume. His main point is that the two testaments are revealing the same God and saying the same thing. The New Testament “fills out the picture” and provides “new angles” but it not “a revolutionary new revelation;” it is new form of revelation as God has now spoken through his Son.

The First Testament already provided Israel, and even the world, with plenty of revelation. Israel's chief need, and the world's chief need, was not more revelation. Christ came to do something, not to reveal something. He came to implement God's rule in the world. 18-19

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