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Messianic Exegesis: Christological Interpretation of the Old Testament in Early Christianity


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Donald Juel defends a simple thesis: “The beginnings of Christian reflection can be traced to interpretation of Israel’s Scriptures, and the major focus of that scriptural interpretation was Jesus, the crucified and risen Messiah.” He therefore proceeds to demonstrate how certain Old Testament texts came to be applied to Jesus as Christ. He argues that the interpretative application of such texts to Jesus was part of the interior logic of Christianity.

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Resource Experts
  • Proposes the the earliest use of the Scriptures was to understand the gospel, to clarify the implications of faith in Jesus Christ
  • Explores why and how the Scriptures were read by early Christians
  • Focuses on a variety of Old Testament passages that are interpreted messianically in the New Testament
  • Shows how the biblical passages are employed and explains why they were selected to shed light on the career of Jesus the Christ
  • Messianic Exegesis: Developing an Approach
    • The Problem
    • Excursus: C. H. Dodd
    • A Proposal
    • Excursus: Alternative Opinions
  • Rules of the Game: Biblical Interpretation in the First Century C.E.
    • The Need for Exegesis
    • Midrashic Exegesis
  • Christ the King: Christian Interpretation of 2 Samuel 7
    • 2 Samuel 7 in the Qumran Scrolls
    • 2 Samuel 7 in the New Testament
  • Christ the Crucified: Christian Interpretation of the Psalms
    • The Role of the Psalms in the Passion Tradition
    • The Psalms in the Passion Narrative
    • The Psalms in Mark’s Gospel
    • Messianic Interpretation of the Psalms
    • Excursus: “My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?”
    • Conclusions
  • The Servant-Christ: Christian Interpretation of Second Isaiah
    • Suffering Servant
    • Christian Interpretation: The Servant-Christ
  • Christ at the Right Hand: The Use of Psalm 110 in the New Testament
    • Overview of Influence
    • Jewish Background
    • The Origin of Christian Exegesis
    • Conclusions
  • The Risen Christ and the Son of Man: Christian Use of Daniel 7
    • The Son of Man
    • New Testament Allusions to Daniel 7
    • Jewish Interpretation
    • Interpretation and Conclusions
Professor Juel has given us a brilliant work of disciplined imagination . . . and for my part I detect a breath of fresh air . . . Professor Juel’s book makes an extremely valuable contribution not only to the study of how the earliest Christians interpreted the Hebrew Scriptures but also to our understanding of Christian origins.

Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Though the relationship between Jewish modes of exegesis and the New Testament is recognized by everyone, few scholars actually succeed in illustrating that connection in intimate detail. Into the short and exclusive list of expert exegetes who can uncover the dynamic argument of a New Testament text, we must now put Donald Juel, whose new book Messianic Exegesis will certainly serve as a mode for how to investigate the problem of the use of the Old Testament in the New in the future.

Word and World

  • Title: Messianic Exegesis: Christological Interpretation of the Old Testament in Early Christianity
  • Author: Donald Juel
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress
  • Publication Date: 1992
  • Pages: 208

Donald H. Juel is professor of New Testament at Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary. He has taught also at Indiana University and Princeton Theological Seminary. A popular lecturer to clergy and lay groups, he is the author of several books, among them Luke-Acts: The Premise of History and Messianic Exegesis: Christological Interpretation of the Old Testament in Early Christianity.


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  1. Youngbok Kim

    Youngbok Kim




Print list price: $22.00
Save $4.01 (18%)