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Supersessionism refers to the concept that the [[New Testament]] supersedes the [[Old Testament]]. But it can also refer to vaguely related ideas that the [[Church]] supersedes ancient Israel, that the Church fulfills the missions Israel held, or simply that Christianity brings something new.
The term developed in Protestant scholarship in the 1970's-1980's1970s and 1980s, and its is uncommon in Orthodox literature. Its normal use is to portray traditional Church teachings on these questions, often in a negative light.
== "Supersession" as a simple concept ==
"Supersession" comes from the word "supersede", which means “to set above; to make void or inoperative by a superior authority; to stay, suspend or supplant” <ref> Kendrick Kinney: A Law Dictionary and Glossary, 1893, Callaghan and Company, p. 642</ref> It can also mean to overrule, override, or replace the function of something.
For example, an amendment to a law supersedes the original law, a governor's pardon overrules a sentence prescribed by law, and a remodeled home or car replaces the old one. Note that in each of these cases that which is superseded may remain in existence or operation fully or partially. Consequently, supersession may cause the new thing to remove, modify, affect, or only add to the previous one.
==="Supersession" in Orthodoxy===
===Clarifying the Church's use of "Supersession"===
Despite the New Testament's precedence, and despite certain Old Testament ritual elements ceasing or changing, the Old Testament continues to have importance: It . For example, it remains an important source of learning, as St. Paul writes: ''“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine and for instruction in righteousness”.'' (II Tim 3:16)
[[Maximus the Confessor]] sees the two Testaments as complementary, writing: ''“The Old Testament provides to the knowledgeable man the modes of virtues. The New Testament gives the practical man the words of true knowledge.”''<ref>St Maximus the Confessor, Exegesis of Zechariah 4:1–3</ref>
While the term might describe certain Orthodox views, it is uncommon among Orthodox worldwide, since an exact translation does not exist in Slavic languages. It is also rare in patristic writings.
The term may cause confusion because supersession can refer to a new thing either adding onto an older thing that still remains (eg. adding a new provision onto a law), ''or '' to an older thing being destroyed in every sense (eg. a law that has been canceled).
=="Supersessionism" as an ideology==
===Orthodox Criticism of Supersessionism===
In the "Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity", Prof. Eugene Pentiuc of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, called supersessionism a "danger" discernible in Biblical passages<ref>Cited are: Mat 21:33-46, Gal 3:24-5, Rom 10:4</ref>, and adding that it was especially pronounced in writings about Old Testament [[Typology]]. He wrote that "many early Christian writings" portray the New Testament and the Church as superseding the Old Testament and what he calls the "old Israel".<ref>Prof. Eugene Pentiuc, “Judaism, Orthodoxy and”, cited in Fr. John McGuckin The Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, p. 356.</ref> The entry claims that supersessionism fueled "anti-Jewish sentiment" and devalued the Old Testament, but that ''"the church as a whole has [kept] the two Testaments in a dialectical unity, in the main avoiding... supersessionism as [a] danger."''<ref>Id.</ref> Fr. Yves Dubois of St. John Kronstadt Church pointed out that while in Luke 2:32 Simeon called Christ "the glory of thy people Israel", a hymn in the Feast of the [[Meeting of the Lord]] has Simeon call Christ "the glory of the newly-chosen Israel."<ref>Fr. Yves Dubois, "An Orthodox Perspective", cited in "Christian-Jewish Dialogue", edited by Helen Fry, 1996, p.34</ref> He wrote that this twists Scriptural texts to make ''"Judaism and the Jewish community redundant, substituting the Gentile Church for Israel."'' He defines "supersessionism" as this substitution of ''"the Gentile Christian Church for the people of Israel"'' after God had made promises to Israel. Fr. Dubois writes that it ''"is theologically untenable because it questions God's consistency."'' This hinges on the liturgy's insertion of the phrase "newly-chosen Israel". The phrase "New Israel" is common in Orthodox writing. Herman Blaydoe, the Orthodox Monachos forum moderator, comments on the term::The Church is the continuation of Israel. We call it the New Israel, not because it no longer includes the Jewish people, but because it now includes ALL people. It goes beyond what it was; it does not replace what was before.<ref>Orthodoxy and Supersessionism, Monachos Forum,</ref> Thus Fr. Feodor Lyudogovsky comments about the Feast of the [[Meeting of the Lord]] that the hymn writer's paraphrase contains the perspective revealed with ''"the Incarnation - Christ's Church, the newly chosen Israel, in which yesterday's gentiles and believing Jews became, in the Savior's words (John 10:16), one flock."''<ref>Fr. Feodor Lyudogovsky, "Сретение Господне: Ветхий днями – значит Вечный", February 14, 2013.</ref>
==See Also==
==External link==
*[ Is the Orthodox Church “Supersessionist”?] by Hal Smith of the Orthodox Church in America.
Alternate URL address for the article: [ Is the Orthodox Church “Supersessionist”?]
*[ Supersession and Continuance: The Orthodox Church's Perspective on Supersessionism] by Hal Smith, Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 49:2, Spring 2014.
Alternate URL address: [ Supersession and Continuance: The Orthodox Church's Perspective on Supersessionism]

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