Knoxville, TN — Mass hysteria and riots have broken out in Bible Colleges across the country, lead by a large contingency of scholars and preachers of the Stone-Campbell Movement. In acts of protest, students have been ripping out the Old Testament pages from their Bibles and burning them, creating huge bonfires. On each campus, Koine Greek graffiti continues to spread at an alarming rate. Chants of “I am a New Testament Christian” can be heard everywhere. What could have caused such a response at these schools? The major source of ire of these protests has been identified as the upcoming Stone-Campbell Journal Conference.
Several years ago the conference was organized around the theme of the Septuagint, and this year the focus has turned to the Hebrew Bible. Many groups are furious that a second year’s conference is focusing on the Old Testament—again. Responses have varied. A group of church historians, the Alexandrians, are in an uproar over the focus on what they deem to be an inconsequential part of the Bible. Pacifists have been protesting on Twitter with the hashtags #Resist #Pray4SCJC & #NotMyConference. The Old Paths have responded by organizing a counter-conference within the conference proceedings; the parallel sessions have been filled with sermons focused on the New Covenant, where the Old Testament is only to be used as illustration material and never a main text. The Open Theists, in imitation of Abraham, are petitioning God to find good organizers of this year’s conference so that it can be saved from destruction.
We asked multiple Old Testament scholars that registered for the conference what they thought of the heated situation. All three of them will deliver the same speech they give every year to their governing boards on how the Old Testament should still be taught at their schools.
By Alexander Foster McGarvey