By dividing the collection of books in the Bible into "Old Testament" and "New Testament", the compiler of the books of the Bible made a strong theological statement that something "old" has passed away and that we are in the "new" era with a new covenant instituted by God.
This question is a follow up to another question: When did the insertion of title page for Old Testament and New Testament started which didn't quite cover:
- the contents of the title pages,
- the reason why they are included,
- the earliest codex which included them (in whatever language, Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic, etc.)
- the first Christian group who did this.
Besides the 4 questions, I'm also interested in:
- whether any church father had mentioned about the practice of grouping the 2 library of books by names equivalent to "old" and "new"
so these type of information is in scope. The practice almost certainly did not start with the original 12 apostles, nor even the 2nd generation. Even before the canon was finalized, I would think the title pages could have appeared already, which we could learn only from a church father's writing.
While the reason for "old" and "new" separation is obvious (the coming of Jesus is the reason), another type of information that is also in scope for this question is:
- detailed theological description of what's old and what's new in a church father's writing,
which may later have given rise to the insertion of the title pages in the codex.
One motivation for this study is as a background to early church father's understanding on what elements of the Torah were no longer relevant and how they were settled. For example, most denominations now teach that Christians need to obey the ten commandments not because it was part of the Mosaic covenant, but because Jesus "re-covenanted" those commandments under the new covenant (i.e. same elements, new contract), which explains why the Sabbath rule in the new covenant is different than in the old.
Lately, Christian scholars are more sensitive when using the term "old testament", especially when collaborating with Jewish scholars or when their audience includes Messianic Jews. They prefer to use the term "Hebrew Bible" or the "Tanakh". For sure, the Masoretic manuscripts shared by both Jews and Christians would certainly did not include the "Old Testament" title page. But a lot of early Jews became Christian, how would they see their Scripture? For those who could read Hebrew / Septuagint, would that group called their Scripture "old" as well?