While giving a lecture at Baylor’s Truett Seminary, New Testament scholar and professor at Duke Divinity School Richard Hays shared a funny and yet sad story of a student’s confusion regarding the faith of Judaism and Christianity. The context of the story is a discussion on the modern church being almost Marcionite in their practice of biblical instruction and reflection. The story received much laughter to which Hays was thankful: “I’m glad that line got a laugh. Among Methodist audiences they sometimes look at me blankly when I have told that story.”
I once had a student say to me in class, “Judaism was a harsh religion that taught people to fear God’s judgment. But thank goodness Jesus came along and taught us to love God with all our heart, and soul, and strength.”
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 is at the heart of Judaism, not fear of judgment.
4″Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! 5″You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
The lecture is titled “Can the Gospels Teach Us How to Read the Old Testament?”
You can download the video here.