Old becomes new

The other night, while doing my bathtub reading of scholarly journals, I came across two references to one subject. Taken together they almost roused me from the torpor induced by the whirlpool. Not quite. But later, when I recollected that emotionless time in tranquillity, I woke up to the import of my reading.

The subject was what to call the Old Testament. Those of us of a certain generation have always termed the Old Testament the Old Testament. We became aware that that could sound demeaning to Jews when we were asked, “What would you think if your scriptures were represented as containing only the old stuff, now transformed or replaced by something else?” We answered, “Teach us what to call it, and we’ll call it that.”


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