Jan 29, 2020

Early Christian Preaching and the Old Testament

Hughes Oliphant Old's discussion on preaching in the early Church references a sermon by Melito of Sardis (ca. AD 130–190). He observes.
We notice first of all that even though the sermon comes at the end of the second century, it is not preached on the New Testament Scriptures. Although, as mentioned above, we cannot be sure that the New Testament Scriptures were read during this service, it is clear that Melito and his congregation knew most of the New Testament.
The fact that Melito preaches from the Old Testament is instructive as it reminds us that one of the earliest examples that we have of Christian preaching utilized the Old Testament. This runs contrary to those who de-emphasize the role of the Old Testament in Christian preaching.

The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church: Volume 1: The Biblical Period (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), 290.

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