Can there be a New Testament Christology without the Old Testament?

Posted: December 14, 2018

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Can there be a New Testament Christology without the Old Testament?

From an individual perspective, I can argue that there can never be a New Testament Christology without the Old Testament because the Old Testament contains real message about the information of Christ but in an indirect form. The New Testament offers full light of the Old Testament however through the appearing of Jesus Christ. Christology refers to the reflection of the Christians and teachings of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. It also forms a part of theology through the concerns of nature and the work of Jesus Christ. The impact of Christology is that it helps us to learn about matters that deal with Resurrection, Incarnation and the human and the divine nature of Christ. There can never be a New Testament Christology without the Old Testament. The religious reflection of Christology begins in the Old Testament where Christ is discovered as the coming Son of God. The Old Testament suggests that Jesus will have an excellent character that the Law, The Psalms, and Prophets talk about. Jesus affirms this in the New Testament from the book of (Luke 24:27 and John 5:46).

 In the social perspective, Christology is significant more so after reading the Old Testament because someone can identify the real picture about the richness of Jesus Christ as depicted in the New Testament (Chow, 2016). From (Hebrews 11:25-26), it is evident that the Son of God was incarnated for about 4000 years after the Fall, but the elect people of God were aware of him, had full trust in him, endured some reproach for the sake of Jesus and also looked forward to seeing him as it is in (John 8:56). The elect people of God also had justice in Him just as the New Testament in (Romans 4:24-25) laments. The people of God were dependent about the assured Messiah throughout their years.

Various scholars such as Cassidy (2015) argue that the New Testament has an underlying methodology regarding the assumption of Christology. This is important in a religious perspective because it helps Christians to know about Jesus. Christians can learn about some accurate records of Jesus that are both implicit and explicit. From the New Testament, it is evident that it conveys information about the earlier followers of Jesus Christ who were persuaded that God would be revealed in Him. They went on to offer him various titles. Some referred to him as “the Messiah,” “Son of Man” “Son of God” and “the Lord (Cassidy, 2015).” The discourse of the Christians appears to use Jesus portrayal during the foundation of documents regarding Christianity at the point of departure. The Christological reflection focuses on some individual aspects of representation of the traditional name of Jesus and his work. It also tries to clarify the systematic meaning of the scriptural depiction of Jesus Christ.

From a brief look at the Old Testament, it is evident that “The work of Redemption was not wrought by Jesus until after his incarnation. The benefits of this were revealed and signified from the Seed of a Woman from the beginning of the World.” The son of God appears to have experienced various prophecies. Daniel (2014) argues that most of the prophets of the Old Testament had spoken about Jesus Christ. Christ was speaking through the prophets. For instance, from the book of (Genesis 16:7, Joshua 5:13-15 and Exodus 32:34), it is evident that before Christ clothed himself with the nature of the prophets, he had already made some appearances (Daniels, 2014). In Genesis, Jesus is presented through the Faith of certain people like Adam and Melchizedek. The events that signify about the teaching of Christ include the anointing of the prophets to the office, the priest and the king and various institutions like the yearly feasts of Israel. Some Places from the Old Testament also signify about the Coming of Christ. For instance, the Temple and Tabernacle. Objects the Offering of burnt offering, the ark and brazen serpent present people’s faith in Christ.

Migliore (2014), on the other hand, argues that all the biblical poetic books are also complete about Christ in several means and ways. For instance, Psalms appears to be exhausted after they seem to be making reference to Christ. Despite not being mentioned by His name, His glorious work and person saturate various Songs of worship. The book of Proverbs also delineates from the initial glance and appears to be a pure ethical book (Migliore, 2014). This is evident in (Proverbs 8:21-31) and in (Proverbs 9:1-12). The book marks out Christ and expresses his love for the Church. Most of the prophets were able to see and went on to speak about his glory like in (John 12:41). Isaiah, on the other hand, reaches out to some poetic heights by talking about Christ where he suggests that he will be known as the Evangelical Prophet. He also talks about the Universal dominion of Jesus Christ, His eventual victory and His reign (Migliore, 2014). Isaiah (chapter 53) says that Jesus will establish an individual Kingdom through his death and suffering. The other prophets also speak about Jesus Christ from their own means just as Peter confirms that they will do in the book of (Acts 3:22-25).

From the historical-critical perspective, Jeremiah presents Jesus as the Lord of our Righteousness in the book of Jeremiah 23:6. Ezekiel, on the other hand, develops and acclimates the theme of worship as the Spirit that addresses some current circumstances. Christ is magnificently described in the 1st chapter of Ezekiel and later presents him as the Good Shepherd in (chapter 34:23 and 24). The prophecy of Daniel is shot from the divine sovereignty of Christ. The Son of Man is Jesus and is given some everlasting righteousness of the Kingdom that will be holy (Samartha, 2015). The Minor Prophets also do not lack in the reference to Christ. Jonah, for instance, appears to be a form of Christ in Matthew 12:39. He appears through a historical account but is not devoid of the Christological character. Micah, on the other hand, was privileged to offer some particular information about the coming of Jesus like offering details about his birthplace.

In reference to Historical-criticism Zechariah suggests that he came as a penultimate prophet from the spate of Christological predictions. He describes Jesus as the source of the Strength of His people in (Chapter 12:8). He is also described as Jehovah in (chapter 12:8 and 10), the king and a high priest, full of salvation, God Fellow, and the Messenger. In Malachi 1:11, Malachi offers some results about the coming of Christ where he says that the coming will be an acknowledgment in the entire world. He also suggests in Malachi (chapter 3:10-12) that Jesus will offer great blessings to His people. The Old Testaments is meaningless without the presence of Christ. He appears to be the principal subject in the Old Testament where he is suggested to be ever fresh, living since it offers us with the Living Word (Cassidy, 2015). He is a fullness of time and made of a Woman in (Galatians 4:4). In Genesis, we can quickly discover the relationship between various activities like Fall, Creation Babel Crisis, and Flood and from characters such as Isaac, Joseph, Abraham and Isaac. The prophecies of the New Testament about Christ are revealed in the New Testament. Various texts in the New Testament talk about the preexistence of Jesus Christ.

From (John 1:1, 14), John says that the “word” is flesh because it implies that Christ had existed previously to his incarnation. Jesus also suggests about his preexistence in various texts. Jesus said that he had magnificence with the Father before the world in (John 17:5) and that he came from the father. All these are a clear implication about preexistence. Paul also refers to Christ as the last Adam who is also an implication about the preexistence of Jesus because the Jews also maintained that Moses and Adam were preexistent (Chow, 2016). This is also evident when he refers to Christ as “rich” but later became “weak” “he was in the form Of God” but still “humbled himself.” In (Col 1:17), “He existed before anything else.” All of these references refer to the humiliation of incarnation and also suggests that Christ used to live before his earth coming.

There are various lines that contain evidence from the Scripture that proves about the view of Jesus from the Biblical viewpoint. Jesus is considered as human through names offered to him as Son of David and Jesus. He was experienced by other people as a human being just as suggested in (John 9:16). He had a body, he could speak an ordinary human language, and he also referred to himself as a man in (John 8:40). In (Acts 3:22), people also referred to him as a Man. In reference to (Luke 2:52), Jesus experienced life as a human being (Daniels, 2014). He also experienced various earthy limitations like thirst, hunger, and tiredness in John 4:6. Jesus was also distressed and sorrowful. He contained a human soul in (Luke 23:46) and later died just as indicated in (Hebrews 2:14-15).

In the New Testament, various lines from the scripture contain some Biblical prove written by the Biblical writers regarding Jesus as Human but more than a person as well. The authors consider Jesus to be more divine. From (John 1:1), Jesus us termed as being divine and God. Paul, on the other hand, says that Jesus is the "form of God" "the Savior” and “our boundless God.” In (Matthew 2:43-45), Jesus is termed as the Lord and the King of Kings (Migliore, 2014). He came to do the work of God in sustaining, creating, saving and raising the dead. In John 5:25, Jesus was responsible for Judging and sending away evil spirits. This is the work that was only assigned to him by God. Jesus accepts worship from the man just as God does. In Isaiah 45:23 it is believed that some days to come men will have to bow down to him which a thing that only God can accept. It is therefore evident that the simultaneous doctrine about the humanity and deity of Jesus was not an invention of the fourth and fifth century from the church council but this is only evident from the New Testament.

The New Testament also talks about the birth of Jesus. In (Matthew 1:23), Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary. This was a fulfillment of the predictions of Isaiah in (chapter 7:14). From the biblical and theological viewpoint, John suggests that the divine and eternal word of God became flesh that God tabernacle among people (Samartha, 2015). The incarnation of the doctrine means that the second individual of the Trinity was to take on human flesh. Jesus Christ is portrayed as an undiminished deity that in united with the perfect humanity without the attributes of confusion, He is portrayed as having a dual nature that is the divine and human nature (Chow, 2016).

God got to be a man through Jesus Christ so that he could redeem the creation and have rule over it. He, therefore, came to fulfill the covenant of David as a promised King in (Luke 1:31-33). From his role as King and David, he is able to reveal God to Men and also saves the sinners in (Galatians 1:4). He also destroys the dominion of the devil and also judges human beings. He also brings the created things back to the submission of God in (Ephesians 1:10-11) (Samartha, 2015). In reference to the real divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ, it is necessary to try and understand whether the temptations towards Jesus were genuine or if it was possible for Jesus to sin. Most people suggest that the humanity of Jesus consists of ideas about how he could sin. Other people claim that the deity of Jesus might have assisted him to sin. Most of the theological scholars suggest that the reality of the temptations of Jesus is that he did not Sin. It is evident that Jesus was both man and God, he was able to face the victory of temptation and he also draws near us to assist us during the times of weakness (Cassidy, 2015). The temptations of Jesus Christ offer us with confidence from his heart that is full of sympathy. From this, we can easily suggest that not man can understand the deceit of temptations, strength, and viciousness regarding suffering better than Jesus.

It is important to distinguish between Christology from Trinitarian theology despite the two terms being related. The Trinitarian theology is responsible for distinguishing between the relationship between God and Jesus and between the nature of the Son of God and that of the Father and the Holy Spirit. Christology should focus on the relationship between the character of Jesus as Human and his divine nature. The Christology debate concludes that Son, Father and the Holy Spirit form a single Godhead and the son is fully divine. The only remaining issue is concerned with how Jesus exists in a divine nature and how he is related to his humanity.

From this exploration, it is evident that there cannot be a New Testament Christology Without the Old Testament. The Old Testament provides the base for Christ Jesus about his coming, and this is revealed in the New Testament after he was born by the Virgin Mary in Nazareth. In the Old Testament in the book of Psalms, Christ affirms himself by being regularly mentioned. The Bible says in (Luke 24:44) that, “These are the words that I speak to you, When I was with you, all things should be fulfilled, that were written in the law of Moses and various prophets, concerning me.” The New Testament, on the other hand, conveys the information about the followers of Jesus who convinced that God was to be revealed in Jesus. David also spoke about the Lord about the future of Jesus Christ. This is evident in (John 14:1) after Jesus promises his disciples exactly as David did regarding the perfect fellowship with the Lord.

 

References

Cassidy, R. J. (2015). John's gospel in a new perspective: Christology and the realities of ancient power (Vol. 3). Wipf and Stock Publishers.

Chow, A. (2016). Jesus without Borders: Christology in the Majority World, written by Gene L. Green, Stephen T. Pardue, KK YeoThe Trinity among the Nations: The Doctrine of God in the Majority World, written by Gene L. Green, Stephen T. Pardue, KK Yeo. Mission Studies, 33(2), 229-231.

Daniels, J. C. (2014). Christology, Evolution, and Cultural Change. Anglican Theological Review, 96(3), 435.

Migliore, D. L. (2014). Faith is seeking to understand: An introduction to Christian theology. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.

Samartha, S. J. (2015). One Christ--Many Religions: Toward a Revised Christology. Wipf and Stock Publishers.

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