About us
How we can help
Latest news
Press Releases
How to join
Contact us
Quick links
Church Society Trust

 The Principles of Theology - Article 7

by W.H.Griffith Thomas


<< Part 1. The Essential Unity of the Old and New Testaments

Part 2. The Spirituality of The Old Testament

The Article goes on to state the Old Testament is not concerned with transitory matters alone. “Wherefore they are not to be heard, which feign that the old Fathers did look only for transitory promises.” The outlook of the Old Testament is quite evidently concerned with an expectation beyond the present life, and emphasises a reality apart from things visible, and yet in the face of this clear statement it is natural to enquire why the Old Testament lays such emphasis on the present, the visible and the temporal. The answer may be found in connection with God’s purposes with Israel, which were mainly concerned with temporal and national life in preparation for the Divine revelation for the world. Israel was to be God’s depository of redemption, and, as such, it was to be expected that the work of preparation would be specially prominent, as the people were trained for their position in relation to other nations and to the whole world. So that it is not surprising that there is comparatively little in the Old Testament with reference to the future life. But the future life is clearly there; and, indeed, is involved in the very relation of the Jew to God. The fact of fellowship between the Israelitish believer and God necessarily implied an everlasting relationship. It never seemed to enter into the consciousness of the godly Jew that this relationship with God was capable of coming to an end. In spite of all the changes and chances of this mortal life he felt that his union and communion with God would last for ever. It is this more than anything else that constitutes the real testimony of the Old Testament to a life beyond the grave (Psa. 16:11; 73:24; cf. John 8:56; Heb. 11). Our Lord’s reference to God as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and therefore the God of the living, not of the dead, indicates at once the fact of the future life and its obscurity in Old Testament times. To the same effect are the words of the Apostle when literally rendered: “Our Saviour Jesus Christ who … hath illuminated life and immortality through the Gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10). [1]


>> Part 3. The Temporary Elements of The Old Testament




[1] For a fuller discussion see Salmond, The Christian Doctrine of Immortality, and A. B. Davidson, Old Testament Theology.




back to top

Related Links

The Principles of Theology

>> Buy from the online store

>> 39 Articles Issues pages

>> Griffith-Thomas biography


Article 7

>> Introduction

>> Unity of Old & New Testaments

>> Spirituality of the Old Testament

>> Temporary elements of the O.T.

>> Permanent elements of the O.T.

>> Problem of the O.T. Today

Content of The Principles

>> Index

>> Preface by J I Packer

>> Introduction

>> 1 - Trinity

>> 2 - Christ

>> 3 - Descent into Hell

>> 4 - Resurrection

>> 5 - Holy Spirit

>> 6 - Holy Scripture

>> 7 - The Old Testament

>> 8 - The Three Creeds

>> 9 - Of Original or Birth Sin

>> 10 - Of Free Will

>> 11 - Of the Justifcation of Man




>> Ussher : A Body of Divinity

Available Online

>> Churchman

>> Cross†Way

>> Principles of Theology

>> English Prayer Book

>> Clergy Appointments

>> Remembrance Sunday

From the Archives

>> Church Association Tracts

>> Great Churchmen

>> Veritatis Viribus

>> Church Book Room

>> Old Reports

>> Other Leaflets

The Store

>> Churchman

>> Cross†Way

>> Conference CDs

>> Church Society titles

>> Other Publishers

 search church society
Bullet Click for advanced search
Home | About us | Publications | Store | Issues | Events | Press releases
Membership | Contact us | Search | Links | Churchman | Church Society Trust | Cross+way