The Word Among Us

July 2004 Issue

Abba! Father!

How Does Scripture Describe Our Father?

It is a common misconception that the portrayal of God is very different in the New Testament from the picture we see in the Old Testament. According to this view, the Hebrew Scriptures depict God as the transcendent Creator or stern Lawgiver, punishing the sins of his recalcitrant people. He is the God who allowed hordes of Babylonians to invade Jerusalem, pillage and murder, and drag the remaining Israelites off to exile. Even in scenes that show God's care for his people, he is depicted as delivering them from bondage in Egypt by drowning all the Egyptian forces in the Red Sea. Then, he gives them the Promised Land by allowing Joshua and his men to kill most of the Canaanites, its previous pagan inhabitants, beginning with Jericho.

All this is contrasted with the New Testament God, who is the God of mercy and love. This "other" God allowed his only Son to die for us so...

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