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The Contribution of Dietrich Bonhoeffers Interpretation of the Old Testament In reviewing the works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer the study of the Old Testament seems to be almost non-existent It is not until his time in Tegel Prison nearly one year prior to his execution that he fully commits himself to serious thought on the subject My thoughts and feelings seem to be getting more and more like those of the Old Testament and in recent months I have been reading the Old Testament much more than the New Bonhoeffer Letters 156 Though his Old Testament study was fairly dicey and incomplete the contributions of his interpretation have been tremendous Bonhoeffers distinct Christological approach to the Old Testament may not have pleased an orthodox readership but the kerygma and additional impact of it was in one word masterful especially in view of the theological and historical context of his day Due to his tumultuous academic life resultant of the German crisis Bethge 1025 his cohesion of the Old and New Testaments centered in Christ was not systematically expressed and was primarily encountered in his exegetical studies sermons and letters and miscellaneous papers Harrelson 115 As with all biblical interpretation careful evaluation is required View of the Bible Bonhoeffer views the Bible as the place where God reveals himself to the individual in the context of the church Ballard 116 The Bible is not merely an instruction book or a magical book of answers to confirm or order human thinking about God and the world It is not something to be manipulated rather it to be come to humbly and in expectation of Gods revelation of himself in relation to humanity Harrelson 116 It is where God speaks to humanity and it listens Kuske 20 To do otherwise is to make man the measure of the Gospel rather than to learn from the Gospel the true norm for human existence Harrelson 116 This God who
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