Re: Old vs New Testament God

Murphy (
Wed, 11 Jun 1997 08:32:33 -0400

John P. McKiness wrote:
> Janet wrote:
> >This apparent difference between the OT and NT versions of God is something
> >that I've struggled with and is the primary reason I reject a literal
> >reading of the Bible. .... I realize this
> >may be a bit far afield for the listserv which deals with science and
> >religion, so I'll ask apologies in advance if this is an inappropriate
> >question.

> In my way of thinking (which may no longer be acceptable here after my last
> posts) the God of the Old Testament is the same as the God of the New
> Testament.

This IS relevant to science-theology concerns. The idea that
the OT "God of the Jews" was _not_ the father of Jesus, & that the OT
should be rejected was characteristic of Marcion & the gnostics in the
2d century. (Some of them objected to the vindictive &c character of
God in parts of the OT, as discussed here.) The church rejected such
views. The fact that the 1st & 2d articles of the creed are united is
an expression of the belief that the redeemer is the creator.
In classical gnosticism, the creation of the world was the work
of an inferior deity, and the redeemer is sent from a higher realm to
save souls _from_ the world. It is hard to see how science could
develop in a culture pervaded by such beliefs.
(A lot of Xns think that salvation means God snatching souls out
of a doomed world. They're wrong.)
This doesn't mean though, that the OT is to be our primary
source for understanding God, or that God must be thought of as in all
ways unchangeable.
George L. Murphy