Reading OT in the Light of What?

The following has appeared elsewhere, so I apologize for any repetitions. This post continues to argue the importance of the Old Testament for Christians.

Approaching the OT

Is approaching the Old Testament in light of Jesus just another ‘reading’ of the Old Testament? Are we awarding meaning to the biblical text? In the 70’s Marxism was a popular ism to read into the context of the Bible, and in our present day, feminism is another such ism – a popular screen through which we are encouraged to see what is being told. The most absurd things emerge as a result of this. Marxism had it that the Israelites obviously were the slave class of the Canaanites rebelling and making up the Exodus story to create a raison d’être. Feminism sees Mary as violated by God, having the virgin birth forced upon her.

In this manner the Bible is being read ‘in the light’ of something else, exterior to the text itself. These isms are held to be totally legitimate concepts of truth without constituting any imposition on the text – everything is now, obviously, to be seen and judged in the light of gender theory as it was obvious and true to judge all in the light of Marxism 30 years ago. It is held that the respective isms explain and expound the real nature of all it comes into contact with.

Are we now then attempting to read the Bible ( or more specifically the OT) in the light of another such ism – in the light of Christianism? Are we in turn awarding meaning to stories concerning people who lived long ago, far away? Contrary to the relativism in 20th century literary criticism, the author does have a say concerning the interpretation of a given text. The reader is not omnipotent.

As should be apparent to the Christian, Christ is the light of the world. It is in this light we must ‘read’ or understand everything, the whole world and all history. The Bible systematically presents a Christological metaphysic, if one is to employ modern philosophical language. The Bible only seems obscure, contradictory and incoherent if Jesus does not constitute the context within which we read it. As someone said (and as I have earlier mentioned), leaving out the Son of God and thus the Trinitarian God, the only true living God is like watching the film ‘King Kong’ with the main character ‘King Kong’ digitally removed. As indeed is trying to live life without Jesus.

No wonder things do not make sense.


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