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Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Counterpoints)

, 2008
ISBN: 9780310496809

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To read the New Testament is to meet the Old Testament at every turn. But exactly how do Old Testament texts relate to their New Testament references and allusions? Moreover, what fruitful interpretive methods do New Testament texts demonstrate? Leading biblical scholars Walter Kaiser, Darrel Bock, and Peter Enns each present their answers to questions surrounding the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament.

This volume introduces three approaches presently employed in the study of the uses of the Old Testament in the New Testament, especially in those instances where the New Testament authors discern the fulfillment of a prophetic element in the Old Testament text. The foundational issue concerns the relationship between an Old Testament author’s meaning and the meaning of that same passage when it is used by a New Testament author. Contributors address elements such as divine and human authorial intent, the context of Old Testament references, and theological grounds for an interpretive method. Each author applies his framework to specific texts so that readers can see how their methods work out in practice. Each contributor also receives a thorough critique from the other two authors. A one-stop reference for setting the scene and presenting approaches to the topic that respect the biblical text, Three Views on the New Testament Use of Old Testament gives readers the tools they need to develop their own views on this important subject.

Resource Experts
  • Introduction by Jonathan Lunde
  • Bibliographical references and indexes

Top Highlights

“An historical-exegetical reading is primarily concerned with discerning the original author’s message to his immediate audience in its specific, historical situation. A theological-canonical reading views the text in light of subsequent revelation.” (Page 116)

“The key premise of this essay is that God works both in his words and in revelatory events that also help to elaborate his message. In other words, the use of the OT in the NT is not just about texts; it is about God’s revelatory acts. The two often combine, in prediction and pattern, to show what God is doing in history through word and deed.” (Page 107)

“Is the divinely intended, prospective element in typology known by the original human author, or is this only ascertained retrospectively from the NT author’s vantage point?” (Page 21)

“Typological-prophetic. Other texts are typological-prophetic in their fulfillment. This means that pattern and promise are present, so that a short-term event pictures (or ‘patterns’) a long-term fulfillment.” (Page 118)

“The second typological-prophetic category is better labeled TYPOLOGICAL-prophetic. Here the pattern is not anticipated by the language, but is seen once the decisive pattern (or fulfillment pattern) occurs.” (Page 119)

Walter C. Kaiser Jr. (PhD, Brandeis University) is a distinguished professor emeritus of Old Testament and president emeritus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. Dr. Kaiser has written over 40 books, including Toward an Exegetical Theology: Biblical Exegesis for Preaching and Teaching, The Messiah in the Old Testament, and The Promise-Plan of God, and coauthored An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics: The Search for Meaning.

Darrell L. Bock (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is a professor of New Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary.

Peter Enns is a Reformed Evangelical Christian and a biblical scholar. He is a frequent contributor to journals and encyclopedias, and the author of several books, including Exodus in the NIV Application Commentary and Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament.


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