In yesterday’s post I indicated that my next trade book, to be written in a couple of years, would deal with the question of Jews and Christians, centered on the question of why Christians kept the Old Testament and how doing so led to controversies with Jews. The following is how I set up the issue that I will be addressing.
The second-century Christian theologian Marcion maintained that the Old Testament was the Scripture of the Jews. Christians, however, were not Jews; they were followers of Jesus. Moreover, the loving God of Jesus was not the wrathful God of the Jews. For Marcion, Jews and Christians had nothing in common except in a negative sense: the Jews represented everything the Christians rejected, including the inferior, legalistic God who chose the Jewish people and gave them their Scriptures. Christians have their own beneficent and salvation-bringing God, and their own Scriptures. For Marcion, the Old Testament is not part of the Christian Bible.
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