Can John Howard Yoder’s Ethics Embrace the Entire Old Testament as Scripture?
John Goldingay, in his recent Israel’s Gospel: Old Testament Theology (p. 764) refers to Yoder’s “anti-Ezra-ism” as the “left hand of his Christology.” In this paper I will examine whether Yoder’s pacifist ethics is ultimately compatible with the acceptance of the entire trustworthiness of the Old Testament Scriptures. In particular I will examine his view of Ezra-Nehemiah, the compatibility of the self-defense of Jews recorded in Esther 9 with Yoder’s pacifism, and issues arising from his written interaction with pacifist Jewish Rabbi Steven Schwarzchild in Yoder’s posthumous The Jewish-Christian Schism Revisited.
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