Oct 12, 2011
New as a Return to the Old
I found this comment by James Thompson interesting. To be honest, I have never thought about the new is actually a return to the old.
"Consistent with the view that the old is better, the NT provides examples of the appeal to the primordial as a norm for the community, arguing that the new is, in fact, a return to the beginning. In the Synoptic tradition, Jesus argues in a way that is the opposite of the argument in Hebrews. Placing the creation story alongside the divorce law of Deut 24:1–4, he argues that the primordial has precedence over the Torah (Mark 10:2–9). Similarly, he answers questions about the Sabbath by giving precedence to the creation story over the Sabbath law (cf. Mark 2:23–28). Paul also argues that "the new creation" (2 Cor 5: 17) has come, maintaining that this event is the restoration of the primordial. Only in the images of the new wine in old wineskins and the new cloth on the old garment does the Synoptic Jesus suggest that the new is better (Mark 2:19–22 par.)."
James W. Thompson, "The New is Better: A Neglected Aspect of the Hermeneutics of Hebrews," Catholic Bible Quarterly 72 (2011), 549.