Monday, July 1, 2013
Consuming the Word Chapter 4: The New Testament After the New Testament
St. Clement, in reference to the term "New Covenant/Testament," states that Christ: "made a New Covenant with us; for what belonged to the Greeks and Jews is old. But we, who worship him in a new way, in the third form, are Christians. For clearly, as I think, he showed that the one and only God was known by the Greeks in a Gentile way, by the Jews Judaically, and in a new and spiritual way by us (29)." Later, Clement using athletic themes, states: "go and submit himself (Christian life) to the Word as his trainer, with Christ as the referee of the game; and for his prescribed food and drink let him have the New Testament of the Lord (28-29)." (Keep in mind, what was discussed in previous chapters, that the term "New Covenant/Testament" is only uttered by Jesus at the Last Supper."
It is only when we get to the third century that the term "New Testament" is used for a set collection of sacred texts (30). We see this in the writings of Tertullian and Origen.
Hahn concludes the chapter by looking at how many earlier church writers described the Eucharist in covenantal language. He references Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, Origen, Augustine, and John Damascus. All of these Church Fathers understood that the "Eucharist was the sacrificial rite required by the covenant-and by the very nature of covenant (34)."
What are your thoughts on this chapter or from what we have read through thus far? I am just trying to pick out a few points of interest in each chapter rather than give a comprehensive analysis of each one.