Christ in the Old Testament 9

This is part of a series on the consciously Messianic faith of the OT.

Here are quotations OT from some of the heavy-weights in church history.  In this post we’ll look at Justin Martyr and Irenaeus.  Next post we’ll look at Luther and Calvin, then finally John Owen and Jonathan Edwards.  I’ve been very selective, not wanting these posts to go on too long.  There are more at my site.  And check out Dev’s collection of Justin quotes here.

JUSTIN MARTYR

Jesus, as we have already shown, while He was with them, said, “No one knoweth the Father, but the Son; nor the Son but the Father, and those to whom the Son will reveal Him.” The Jews, accordingly, being throughout of opinion that it was the Father of the universe who spake to Moses, though He who spake to him was indeed the Son of God, who is called both Angel and Apostle, are justly charged, both by the Spirit of prophecy and by Christ Himself, with knowing neither the Father nor the Son. For they who affirm that the Son is the Father, are proved neither to have become acquainted with the Father, nor to know that the Father of the universe has a Son; who also, being the first-begotten Word of God, is even God. And of old He appeared in the shape of fire and in the likeness of an angel to Moses and to the other prophets; but now in the times of your reign, having, as we before said, become Man by a virgin, according to the counsel of the Father, for the salvation of those who believe on Him, He endured both to be set at nought and to suffer, that by dying and rising again He might conquer death.
(First Apology, chapter LXIII)

And where it has been said, ‘O God, give Thy judgment to the king,’ since Solomon was king, you say that the Psalm refers to him, although the words of the Psalm expressly proclaim that reference is made to the everlasting King, i.e., to Christ. For Christ is King, and Priest, and God, and Lord, and Angel, and Man, and Captain, and Stone, and a Son born, and first made subject to suffering, then returning to heaven, and again coming with glory, and He is preached as having the everlasting kingdom: so I prove from all the Scriptures (i.e. the OT). (Dialogue with Trypho XXXIV)

IRENAEUS

The Holy Ghost, Throughout the Old Testament Scriptures, Made Mention of No Other God or Lord, Save Him Who is the True God. Therefore neither would the Lord, nor the Holy Spirit, nor the apostles, have ever named as God, definitely and absolutely, him who was not God, unless he were truly God; nor would they have named any one in his own person Lord, except God the Father ruling over all, and His Son who has received dominion from His Father over all creation, as this passage has it: “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at my right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” Here the [Scripture] represents to us the Father addressing the Son; He who gave Him the inheritance of the heathen, and subjected to Him all His enemies. Since, therefore, the Father is truly Lord, and the Son truly Lord, the Holy Spirit has fitly designated them by the title of Lord. And again, referring to the destruction of the Sodomites, the Scripture says, “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah fire and brimstone from the Lord out of heaven.” For it here points out that the Son, who had also been talking with Abraham, had received power to judge the Sodomites for their wickedness.  (Against All Heresies, III.6.1)

With regard to Christ, the law and the prophets and the evangelists have proclaimed that He was born of a virgin, that He suffered upon a beam of wood, and that He appeared from the dead; that He also ascended to the heavens, and was glorified by the Father, and is the Eternal King; that He is the perfect Intelligence, the Word of God, who was begotten before the light; that He was the Founder of the universe, along with it (light), and the Maker of man; that He is All in all: Patriarch among the patriarchs; Law in the laws; Chief Priest among priests; Ruler among kings; the Prophet among prophets; the Angel among angels; the Man among men; Son in the Father; God in God; King to all eternity. For it is He who sailed [in the ark] along with Noah, and who guided Abraham; who was bound along with Isaac, and was a Wanderer with Jacob; the Shepherd of those who are saved, and the Bridegroom of the Church; the Chief also of the cherubim, the Prince of the angelic powers; God of God; Son of the Father; Jesus Christ; King for ever and ever. Amen. (Fragment LIII)

Next post – Quotes from Luther and Calvin…

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Posted on by Glen in christology, covenant continuity, Doctrine of God, Old Testament, revelation, trinity

About Glen

I'm a preacher in Eastbourne, married to Emma.

9 Responses to Christ in the Old Testament 9

  1. jacky

    hey glen,
    glad u’re having that discussion with bobby on the other site, definitely allows me to see both sides of the argument clearly.

    i noticed you quoted margaret barker… afraid so say i haven’t heard much about her. have you any recommendations in particular besides her book on the Angel of the Lord?

  2. glenscriv

    Hi Jacky,
    I’ve not read much either to be honest. But ‘The Great Angel’ is a good resource for the extrabiblical Jewish stuff. There are links to her later books which I haven’t read from here:

    http://www.margaretbarker.com/Publications/History.htm#Angel

    Interestingly her presuppositions seem to be on a fairly progressive model. But she believes there was kind of a Hebrew pantheon which, when Christ came and said He was the LORD, (who is the Angel, the national God of Israel) that progressed things towards trinity. Whereas I’d just say there was always trinity and the multi-Personal stuff is because the OT is trinitarian rather than polytheistic.

    So Barker has in common with the prog rev view the fact that more basic doctrines of God develop into clearer, more developed ones. It’s just that for Barker (I think!) she sees it more as a progression from polytheism to trinity. For prog revers it’s more like a progression from strict monotheism to trinity. I disagree with them both about this myth of progress. But I think Barker rightly picks up on the multi-Personal OT stuff and has done good work on showing us that ancient Jews were not Aristotelian!

    My other recommendation on Bobby’s blog is well worth checking out – John Owen’s introductory essays to his Hebrews commentary. There’s some great stuff there.

  3. Dev

    I like this quote from Justin:

    And where it has been said, ‘O God, give Thy judgment to the king,’ since Solomon was king, you say that the Psalm refers to him, although the words of the Psalm expressly proclaim that reference is made to the everlasting King, i.e., to Christ. For Christ is King, and Priest, and God, and Lord, and Angel, and Man, and Captain, and Stone, and a Son born, and first made subject to suffering, then returning to heaven, and again coming with glory, and He is preached as having the everlasting kingdom: so I prove from all the Scriptures (i.e. the OT).

  4. glenscriv

    Oh that’s a good one! You have a reference for that?

  5. Dev

    oh sorry,

    from his Dialogue with Trypho, XXXIV

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