I don't really know why, but referring to the sacred writings of the Hebrew people as
"The Old Testament"
has always bothered me. 

I still do it, but I would like to stop doing it
out of respect 
to the Hebrew tradition. 

After all, this collection of documents is their  collection.  Calling their collection "The Old Testament" and our collection "The New Testament" has unfair implications.

This way of talking didn't start until about 180 CE when Bishop Melito of Sardis first used the term "Old Testament."  About 20 years later in 200 CE Tertullian is believed to have been the first one to use the term "New Testament" to designate the Christian writings.  Whoever is to blame, it wasn't nice.
If I were a little younger and not so lazy,  I would learn to refer to the Hebrew writings with the same names they  use.  For instance,  in Judaism the canon of the Hebrew Bible is called "The Tanakh."  
The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the  three traditional subdivisions: The Torah ("Teaching", also known as the Five Books of Moses), Nevi'im ("Prophets") and Ketuvim ("Writings")
["According to the Talmud, much of the contents of the Tanakh were compiled by the "Men of the Great Assembly" by 450 BCE, and have since remained unchanged. Modern scholars believe that the process of canonization of the Tanakh became finalized between 200 BCE and 200 CE." --Wikipedia ]  

Even though I'm old and lazy, I'm going to learn four new words:
Tanakh,  Torah,  Nevi'im,  and  Ketuvim .

I plan to refer to the Christian documents as: the Gospels, the Acts, the Epistles, and the Apocalypse.

I can't agree with everybody all the time,
but I can show respect


When I was in the seminary, I took a year of Hebrew.  I loved it.  But, alas, I've forgotten it all!  We learned the classical, Biblical Hebrew.  This is the alphabet of Biblical Hebrew.

Wow!  Does that bring back memories!  I'd love to go back to those days and start over from there! 
Sorry about the tears.
" The things I'd do different
(ly) if I could do them again! "
                                                                                        --John Denver


The early books of The Tanakh, like Amos, etc.  were written in what's called the Paleo-Hebrew.

Paleo-Hebrew alphabet
This is the alphabet that Amos and others used for writing down the spoken Hebrew.

["The Paleo-Hebrew alphabet is an  offshoot of the ancient Semitic alphabet and closely related to the Phoenician alphabet from which it descends.

It dates to the 10th century BCE or earlier. It was used as the main vehicle for writing the Hebrew language by the Israelites, who would later split into Jews and Samaritans.

It began to fall out of use by the Jews in the 5th century BCE when they adopted the Aramaic alphabet as their writing system for Hebrew, from which the present Jewish "square-script" Hebrew alphabet descends.
After the Babylonian capture of Judea, when most of the nobles were taken into exile, the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet continued to be used by the people who remained.

Beginning from the 5th century BCE onward, when the Aramaic language and script became an official means of communication, the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet was preserved mainly for writing the Tanakh by a coterie of erudite scribes."   --Wikipedia

Have I digressed? 
When you're very old you digress a lot and you cry a lot!

What I meant to say was this, "I'm going to learn four new words."

Tanakh,  Torah,  Nevi'im,  and  Ketuvim .

I have an idea that people around the world are not asking for us to agree with them about everything.  Whether they're Buddhist or Hindu or Taoist or Confucian or Christian or Muslim or Jain or Sikh or whatever, they would happily settle for just a little more respect.  I painfully realize that there are some who are saying, "My way or the highway."  These are the real trouble makers.  I don't know what to say about these people.  I don't know what their problem is.  But, except for these extremists, I really do believe that most people would be happy to settle for a little honest, humble respect. I know I would.

Years ago, while Jerry Falwell was still alive, I wrote an open letter to him.  If you would take the time to read it, I would be very grateful. [Reading this over again, I'm very embarrassed.  I must have been in a very bad mood the day I wrote this. Sorry, Jerry! ]

An Open Letter to Jerry Falwell