BA Dissertation

Tue, 17/05/2005 - 10:00 -- James Oakley

Do the following texts imply a conscious faith in the person and work of Christ on the part of Old Testament saints?

Genesis 15:6; John 8:56; Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6; Hebrews 11:10


The doctrine of salvation by faith in Christ alone is central to a reformed systematic theology. Yet a number of people have raised the question as to how the OT saints could be justified before God, given they have no knowledge of Christ. The two main recent suggestions appear to have been:

  1. people can be justified today without knowledge of Christ, and
  2. the Old Testament saints shared the knowledge of God we enjoy today.

I have a number of friends who hold to one or other of these suggestions, yet my suspicion was that neither suggestion offered a satisfactory explanation of the biblical data. This dissertation explores this area. The title is deliberately exegetical rather than systematic. The concern is to see what a few specific biblical texts, studied in their proper contexts, have to say about the cognitive content of the OT saints’ faith. The contemporary relevance of this issue comes from the challenge it raises to the traditional doctrine of justification, and from the need to develop an OT hermeneutic that is itself biblical.

… The complete essay can be downloaded as a PDF by clicking the link below

PDF icon diss.pdf509.25 KB
Website Section: 
Additional Terms