Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ratzinger on the nature of the New Testament

The New Testament writings "neither oppose nor juxtapose a new Scripture to the old; but to the one Scripture, i.e. to the Old Testament, they oppose the event that is Jesus Christ, inasmuch as he is the Spirit who explicates Scripture. . . . [Paul] opposes the Old Covenant and the New as gramma and pneuma, letter and spirit, and he calls the Lord by the name of [the] Spirit who causes [one] to comprehend the letter, or, rather, who is the sense of it, its living content (2 Cor 3:6-18)."

Joseph Ratzinger, as quoted by Henri de Lubac, as quoted by Tracey Rowland, in "Henri de Lubac et Saint Thomas d'Aquin: ouverture et structure en théologie," Revue des sciences religieuses 77, no. 2 (2003): 246. All of this contra Joachim of Fiore, who treated the New Testament as a second gramma merely, and was therefore obliged to hold out for something else wholly "spiritual".

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