The Old Testament offers a rich palette of ideas, images, and narratives that help us unpack some of the more compact and opaque theological ideas of the New Testament. In conversation with both Christian and Jewish interpreters, prominent scholar Gary Anderson explores the exegetical background of key Christian doctrines. Through a deeper reading of our two-Testament Bible, he illustrates that Christian doctrines have an organic connection to biblical texts and that doctrine can clarify meanings in the text that are foreign to modern, Western readers.
Anderson traces the development of doctrine through the history of interpretation, discussing controversial topics such as the fall of man, creation out of nothing, the treasury of merit, and the veneration of Mary along the way. He demonstrates that church doctrines are more clearly grounded in Scripture than modern biblical scholarship has often supposed and that the Bible can define and elaborate the content of these doctrines.
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Whether locating Mary in the Old Testament or seeing types of Christ in Genesis or Tobit, unlocking unexpected biblical dynamics of merit or uncovering unexpected hints of purgatory, this is radical work from a biblical scholar and theological master provocateur. For Anderson, the key to the biblical text lies in recognizing how it is that the Jewish Bible continues to function as Scripture for Christian readers ever since antiquity. Doctrine, he claims, has an uncanny way of unlocking exegesis. Allow yourself to be provoked!
—Markus Bockmuehl, Keble College, University of Oxford
Wow, Gary Anderson thinks that the Old Testament may help us understand Christian doctrine, and vice versa! What a marvelous series of studies, full of connections one hadn't made before and full of informative footnotes!
—John Goldingay, David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary
Gary Anderson is a rare creature among biblical scholars. A savant of the historical-critical method and a serious student of theology, he is also at home in the history of biblical interpretation. All three skills are on display in Christian Doctrine and the Old Testament, and readers will delight in tracking Anderson's march through the Scriptures with high theological concepts in hand. There is a freshness and originality here that few biblical scholars can match.
—Robert Louis Wilken, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of the History of Christianity Emeritus, University of Virginia
Gary A. Anderson (PhD, Harvard University) is Hesburgh Professor of Catholic Theology at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana, and is a past president of the Catholic Biblical Association. He is the author or editor of more than ten books, including the award winners Sin: A History and Charity: The Place of the Poor in the Biblical Tradition. Anderson has also written for The Christian Century, First Things, Commonweal, and America.