Tuesday, August 25, 2009

John Chrysostom: Progressive Revelation and the Harmony of the Testaments

Just as with teachers, you see, the teacher who receives the child from the mother teaches it the elements first, whereas the one who receives it from another teacher leads the pupil to a higher level of teaching, so too was it in the case of Moses and Paul and John: Moses came upon our nature when it was just weaned and knew nothing, and so he taught it the elements of the knowledge of God, whereas John and Paul, receiving them from master Moses, as it were, led them on to the higher level of teaching, reminding them in brief of what had preceded. Do you see the relationship of both Testaments? Do you see the harmony of the teaching? Did you hear of the creation of materials things in the Old and David speaking of spiritual thins, "Because He spoke, and they were created"? Likewise in turn in the New, they spoke of the invisible powers, and spoke also of material creation.

- John Chrysostom (around A.D. 347 to around A.D. 407), Sermon 1 on Genesis, in St. John Chrysostom, Eight Sermons on the Book of Genesis, pp. 29-30 (2004), Robert C. Hill translator.