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A Critique of the Place of the Old Testament in the Early Historical Perspective of the Stone-Campbell Movement: Campbell through Lipscomb

Gary Hall
Professor of Old Testament
Lincoln Christian Seminary

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The Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement traditionally does not hold the OT in high esteem, for the church is a NT church. A survey of the attitudes of the nineteenth-century founding fathers reveals the genesis of this perspective. Alexander Campbell set the tone by his “Sermon on the Law” and other writings. His emphasis on three dispensations and eight covenants put the OT into a salvation-historical, progressive revelation perspective. Christ was the interpretative key to the OT and typology was a key hermeneutical principle. All the other nineteenth-century leaders followed Campbell in this approach. The OT was very important and full of valuable insights for understanding the NT but it had no authority on its own. This position became further hardened in the controversy over instrumental music near the close of the nineteenth century.

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Volume 26 Issue 1

Current Issue:
VOLUME 26, No. 1
Spring 2023



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