Monday, December 28, 2009

Barth on the canon

The Old Testament canon is a collection of those writings which prevailed and were acknowledged in the synagogue. Their content was so persuasive that they were recognised as authentic, trustworthy, and authoritative testimonies to the Word of God. Evangelical theology bears witness of the Old Testament with the greatest earnestness and not merely as a sort of prelude to the New Testament. The classic rule is Novum Testamentum in Vetere latet, Vetus in Novo patet: The New Testament is concealed within the Old, and the Old Testament is revealed by the New. As long as theology preferred to neglect this rule, as long as it was content to exist in a vacuum by claiming exclusive orientation to the New Testament, it was continually threatened by cancer in its very bones.
Karl Barth, Evangelical Theology: An Introduction, p. 28.

Aside: the "classic rule" in latin is attributed to Augustine.

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