Our Vision & Mission
For many, the language of the faith has historically divided the Bible into two segments: the “Old” Testament (the Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh: Law, Prophets, and Writings) and the “New” Testament. Unfortunately, this division has engendered an erroneous perception that the “Old” Testament, while foundational to the faith concepts found within the New Testament, is a text that simply prefigured what the New Testament ultimately consummated and displaced. This view, which postulates that the New concludes the Old, has often resulted in the erroneous idea that there is little need for a person of faith to fully engage the texts of the Tanakh.
However, it is the perspective of the vision of St. Petersburg Seminary and Yeshiva that the materials found within the entirety of the canonical Scriptures are to be understood as a unified, single stream of divine revelation, which consistently demonstrates God’s grace and unmerited compassion to humanity. In other words, there is no dichotomy between an old and a new covenant. The Older Testament has not been superseded by the New. Rather, the Bible should be thought of as containing an “older covenant” and a “newer covenant.”
In addition, while this area is often overlooked, it is beneficial for a person of faith to become educated and gain insight into the events and theological developments that occurred during the 400-year period between the lifetime of the prophet Malachi and the events recorded within the Gospels, namely the Inter-testamental or “Second Temple” period. We believe that it is necessary for students to learn about the multifaceted religious concepts and perspectives that were developed and functioned during the Second Temple period in order to gain a better understanding of the materials found within the Newer Testament.