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's, and its normal use is to portray traditional Church teachings on these questions, often in a negative light.
== "Supersession" as a simple concept ==
===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 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>
===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 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>