Was Marcion right? Is there a different God of the Old & New Testaments? The answer, if you want to attempt to agree with the Bible, is NO!!!
Before showing why Marcion is wrong we must ask this question; "Does the New Testament portray God differently than the Old Testament?" The answer to this question is; YES, in a sense. Look at what John 1:14-18 says
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten
from the Father, full of grace and truth...For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one has
seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
Is there a different God? NO. Is God pictured differently? YES. The distinction we see between the God of the Old & New Testament is one of degree not quality. That is, as John 1:14-18 states, we see a clearer or more full picture of God after the Cross, not a different type of God. God's character is unchanging (Hebrews 13:8; Ps 102:27; Mal 3:6). Therefore, even though some claim to see a difference in God's character between the Old & New Testament we affirm there really is not one. The God that Jesus "explains" (Jn 1:18) is the God of Moses
We see a God of love in the Old Testament
- Exodus 34:6, "Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;"
- Deut 5:10, "but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments."
- Psalms 86:5, "For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You."
- Joel 2:13, " And rend your heart and not your garments." Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil."
We see a God of wrath in the New Testament
- Romans 11:22a, "Behold then the kindness and severity of God"
- Matthew 11:21-24--Jesus condemns the cities who would not repent at His preaching
- John 2:15--Jesus makes a whip and beats people out of the temple
- Matthew 15:4--Jesus agrees with the Old Testament capital punishment system
- Revelation--I would have to cite the whole book. Its full of wrath and destruction.
- 1st Corinthians 11:30--Sickness & Death are due to sin
- Hebrews 11--Attributes acts of violence to "faith"
- 1st Corinthians 16:22, "If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed. Maranatha."
- Galatians 5:12, "I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves."
French scholar René Girard says, "In the OT we never arrive at a conception of the deity that is entirely foreign to violence…Only the texts of the Gospels manage to achieve what the OT leaves incomplete.” Obviously this pseudo-scholar hasn't done his homework; maybe he is just lazy. If someone would point him to my blog he can skip reading the Bible, since obviously he has never done so a day in his life, and he would see from these few examples how his degree is worth about as much as a used handkerchief.
In conclusion here is what we have found:
- The Old Testament God has Grace as well as Wrath
- The New Testament has Wrath as well as Grace
- We do not see a different type of God
- We do see God in a more complete picture. His grace is more fully understood by the Cross
What other examples have you found in Scripture which portray a balanced view of God?