Christopher Seitz – The Elder Testament

Episode: Canon, theology, and Trinity are brought together in this episode featuring guest Chris Seitz. But here’s the surprise: We are talking about Trinity in the Old Testament. Seitz has written an outstanding book, The Elder Testament, showing how the Old Testament’s literal sense pressures us in a trinitarian direction. Along the way Seitz drops funny personal stories about noted biblical scholars Brevard Childs and Leander Keck. Hosted by Matt Bates and Matt Lynch.

Guest: Christopher Seitz is Senior Research Professor at Wycliffe College in the University of Toronto, a position he has held since 2007. Previously he was Professor of Old Testament at Yale University and the University of St Andrews. He is an ordained Episcopal priest. Some of his books include The Bible as Christian Scripture (SBL), The Character of Christian Scripture (Baker Academic), and theological commentaries on Joel and Colossians. The list could go on.

The Book: Christopher R. Seitz, The Elder Testament: Canon, Theology, Trinity (Baylor University Press, 2018). Canon to Theology to Trinity. This trilogy, as Seitz concludes, is not strictly a historical sequence. Rather, this trilogy is ontologically calibrated through time by the One God who is the selfsame subject matter of both the Elder and New Testaments. The canon makes the traditional theological work of the church possible without forcing a choice between a minimalist criticism or a detached, often moribund systematic theology. The canon achieves “the concord and harmony of the law and the prophets in the covenant delivered at the coming of the Lord” of which Clement of Alexandria so eloquently spoke.

Endorsement: Impossible. Sealed tight. The Christian doctrine of the Trinity cannot be successfully grounded in the Old Testament, read on its own terms. Or so scholars have claimed for hundreds of years. But the Old Testament’s witness to God’s complex reality contains volcanic pressure. Large cracks have already appeared. Christopher Seitz has blown off the lid. – Matthew W. Bates, author of The Birth of the Trinity 

(Book description and endorsement from the publisher’s website, abridged)

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