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Discussions on Old Testament's relevancy for today's Christians

Neff, Bach led continuing education program Nov. 7

Old Testament discussionAlthough the church affirms that its Scriptures include both the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the New Testament, Christians often downplay or ignore the witness of its "first testament." Elizabethtown College hosted the continuing education program "The Witness of the Hebrew Bible for the New Testament Church" Monday morning, Nov. 7, to explore that dichotomy.

During the morning session, Dr. Robert Neff, an Old Testament scholar, president emeritus of Juniata College and former general secretary of the Church of the Brethren, and Dr. Jeff Bach, director of Elizabethtown's Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies and associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies, addressed topics and questions raised in the 2010 Brethren Press book "The Witness of the Hebrew Bible for the New Testament Church," in which 13 Brethren scholars address the question "Of what relevance is the Old Testament for Christians today?"

In the afternoon were two panel discussions focusing on the themes of peacemaking, education, holiness and conceptions of God. Panel members were Robert Neff and Elizabethtown's Dr. John David Bowman, adjunct faculty in the Department of Religious Studies, who were contributors to the book, and the book's coeditors Christina Bucher; Elizabethtown's Carl Ziegler Professor of Biblical Studies; David Leiter, pastor of Green Tree Church of the Brethren in Oaks, Pa.; and Frank Ramirez, pastor at Everett (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. Also on the panel were Mike Long, associate professor of Religious Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies at Elizabethtown, and the Young Center's Bach.

This event was sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies and Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center.

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