Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Scripture of the Early Church (Quote of the Day)

Ronald E. Heine writes:
"The Christians of the first century and the first half of the second had no question that the Old Testament was their Scripture. As the apostolic writings began to make their appearance, they were held in high regard. This was especially true of the Gospels. The Old Testament, however, continued to hold the undisputed position of Scripture in the minds of the Christians. Gradually, the Gospels appear to have been elevated to a status of equal authority with the Old Testament in Christian worship because they contained the words of Jesus. Nevertheless, it was the Old Testament that gave significance to the story of Jesus in the minds of the early Christians, and they continued to turn to it both to define and to justify their faith in him...

The Old Testament had a tremendous influence on the making of the early Christian mind; it was Scripture for the earliest Christians even before the Gospels were considered to be Scripture. According to the accounts given in the New Testament, the Old Testament was the earliest means for telling the story of Jesus. When we Christians think of returning to the sources of our faith, this earliest Christian Bible must head the list of those sources of we will misunderstand and misrepresent our origins."
 Ronald E. Heine, Reading the Old Testament with the Ancient Church: Exploring the Formation of Early Christian Thought (Evangelical Ressourcement: Ancient Sources for the Church's Future). (Baker Academic, 2007). 45, 46.

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