Letter & Spirit, Vol. 3: The Hermeneutic of Continuity: Christ, Kingdom, and Creation

The Hermeneutic of Continuity

Christ, Kingdom, and Creation


From the Editors’ introduction:

The hermeneutic of continuity is hardly a term of art in biblical theology. In fact, as near as we can tell the term itself is of fairly recent vintage, perhaps originating from the deliberations of the Synod of Bishops in 1985.

The synod had been convened to discuss the reception and interpretation of the Second Vatican Council (1963–1965). The synod fathers were disturbed by a tendency in the post-conciliar era for theologians and pastoral leaders to interpret Vatican II’s teachings as marking a sharp break or departure from the teachings of earlier Church councils. To the contrary, they affirmed that by its very nature the Council stands in an unbroken line of continuity with the whole of the Church’s doctrinal, liturgical, and moral tradition.

The actual expression, “hermeneutic of continuity”, did not appear in the synod’s final report. But the principle was crisply stated: “The Council must be understood in continuity with the great tradition of the Church, and at the same time we must receive light from the Council’s own doctrine for today’s Church and the men of our time. The Church is one and the same throughout all the councils.”

Table of Contents



  • Covenant and the Union of Love in M. J. Scheeben’s Theology of Marriage
    Michael Waldstein
  • Rebuilding the Bridge Between Theology and Exegesis: Scripture, Doctrine, and Apostolic Legitimacy
    R. R. Reno

Tradition & Traditions

Reviews & Notices

  • Reviews & Notices
  • Paul R. Williamson, Sealed with an Oath: Covenant in God's Unfolding Purpose (Downers Grove, IL: Apollos/InterVarsity, 2007)
  • Ralph W. Klein, 1 Chronicles: A Commentary (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 2006)
  • Young S. Chae, Jesus as the Eschatological Davidic Shepherd: Studies in the Old Testament, Second Temple Judaism, and in the Gospel of Matthew (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2006)
  • Michael E. Fuller, The Restoration of Israel: Israel’s Re-gathering and the Fate of the Nations in Early Jewish Literature and Luke-Acts (New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2006)
  • John A. Dennis, Jesus’ Death and the Gathering of the True Israel: The Johannine Appropriation of Restoration Theology in the Light of John 11:47–52 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2006)
  • Jocelyn McWhirter, The Bridegroom Messiah and the People of God: Marriage in the Fourth Gospel (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2006)
  • Kiwoong Son, Zion Symbolism in Hebrews: Hebrews 12:18–24 as a Hermeneutical Key to the Epistle (Carlisle: Paternoster, 2005)
  • Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels As Eyewitness Testimony (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006)