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Leon Sim (sometime commenter here) has written a cracker of an essay on Irenaeus's understanding of the Old Testament.  Of course that understanding is explicitly christocentric and Trinitarian.

Here are a couple of great quotes from the essay:

Not only does Irenaeus see Christ and the Trinitarian God to be the object of revelation, but he also sees Christ to be the subject or agent of God’s revelation. For Irenaeus, it is not merely incidental, but crucial, that it is the Word who spoke to the patriarchs and prophets, and “preach[ed] both Himself and the Father alike,” (Against Heresies 4.6.6.)...

...In one sense, Irenaeus reads the Old Testament Christologically and Trinitarianly because He sees that the Father does everything through the Son by the Holy Spirit. In another sense, he also does so because he holds creation, salvation and revelation together, that is, it is the Father’s purpose in creation to save and bring men to Himself through the revelation of His Word by the Spirit. Hence if there is to be salvation for humanity in the Old Testament, it must be through the revelation of the Spirit-anointed Son...

...According to Irenaeus, therefore, anyone who follows in the non-Christological interpretation of the Old Testament – assuming that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were unknown or unrecognisable through the Old Testament itself – have followed unbelieving Jews in departing from the true God and any knowledge of Him: "Therefore have the Jews departed from God in not receiving His Word, but imagining that they could know the Father [apart] by Himself, without the Word, that is, without the Son; they being ignorant of that God who spake in human shape to Abraham, and again to Moses." (Against Heresies 4.7.4.)

Read the whole thing here.

Download an easier to read format here.

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A friend preached a wonderful sermon on the bible last Sunday.  He spoke, among other things, of Luther's attitude to the bible:

The whole reformation was birthed by a tenacious asking, seeking and knocking at the door of Scripture:

I beat importunately upon Paul at that place (Rom 1:17), most ardently desiring to know what St. Paul wanted. At last, by the mercy of God, meditating day and night, I gave heed to the context of the words... There I began to understand... I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open doors.

Do I beat importunately upon Scripture?  Luther spoke of treating the bible like the rock in the wilderness - smiting it with the rod until water gushes out.  Do I do that?

When he lectured on Ecclesiastes he found it tough.  He wrote to a friend "Solomon the preacher, is giving me a hard time, as though he begrudged anyone lecturing on him. But he must yield."

Wow!  It's been a while since I've wrestled with Scripture like that.  Do we really believe that there's life-giving Waters in this book?  Well then, let's smite it till our thirst is slaked!

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. . . There is no such thing as a non-dogmatic or non-theological engagement of the biblical text, or of any text or language for that matter. Moreover, anti-Trinitarian frames of reference lead to fundamental problems for approaching the Bible and revelation. To illustrate by way of a historical parallel, the early Socinians, whose orientation was supposedly non-dogmatic, advocated an inspired and trustworthy Scripture, yet were closed to a Trinitarian perspective. They sought to divorce Scripture from its Trinitarian frame of reference. Their Unitarian view of God had repercussions for Scripture’s authority and inspiration. Perhaps it is the case that the seed of liberalism is sown on orthodoxy’s soil. That is to say, an over-objectified view of the Bible leads ultimately to radical objections to the Bible. A Trinitarian frame of reference is important for developing a doctrine of revelation, including Scripture’s status in the revelational framework, for God reveals God by God through Scripture in the life of the church. Scripture’s content, even the means through which Scripture is mediated, is ultimately Trinitarian. Once this view is lost, the radical objectification process is bound to begin. (Paul Metzger, ed., “Trinitarian Soundings in Systematic Theology: Chpt. 2 The Relational Dynamic of Revelation, A Trinitarian Perspective,” 23-24)

h/t Bobby

This reminded me of an old post called 'Theology - the end of the process?'  So here it is for Thawed-out Thursday...

Is “systematic theology... the end process of exegesis and biblical theology"??  Ben Myers writes persuasively against this idea.  To imagine that a pure biblical scholar can dispassionately read off the meaning of the Bible through the use of objective interpretive tools is ludicrous.  To imagine that then the systematic theologian comes to co-ordinate these propositions into a logically cogent order is similarly misguided.  As Myers says 'It's theology all the way down.'  Theological pre-suppositions and commitments necessarily guide and shape all Christian activity from exegesis to exposition to pastoral work, to evangelism to hospitality to everything.

And yet the idea that the Bible can be neutrally read is so tempting.  We would love to conceive of revelation as propositions deposited in a handy compendium simply to be extracted and applied.  Yet the Word is a Person.  And His book is Personal (John 5:39).  It's not something we judge with our double edged swords - the Word judges us. (Heb 4:12)

Now Jesus thought the Scriptures were absolutely clear.  He never made excuses for theological error.  He never gave even the slightest bit of latitude by conceding a certain obscurity to the Bible.  He never assumes that His theological opponents have just mis-applied an interpretive paradigm.  If they get it wrong He assumes they've never read the Scriptures (e.g. Matt 21:16,42; Mark 2:25)!  So the perspicuity of the Bible is not in dispute. 

But Jesus tells the Pharisees why they get it wrong - "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God." (Matt 22:29)  And, again, "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life." (John 5:39-40)  They are wrongly oriented to the Power of God and the One of Whom the Scriptures testify - Jesus.  This is not simply a wrong orientation of the intepreter but of the interpretation.  Scripture reading must be oriented by the Power of God to the Son of God.  Within this paradigm - a paradigm which the Scriptures themselves give us - the Bible makes itself abundantly clear.

But this paradigm is an unashamedly and irreducibly theological one.  It is the result of exegesis (e.g. studying the verses given above) but it is also the pre-supposition of such exegesis.  Theology is not the end of the process from exegesis to biblical studies and then to the systematician! 

And yet, I have often been in discussions regarding the Old Testament where theologians will claim an obvious meaning to the OT text which is one not oriented by the Power of God to the Son of God.  They will claim that this first level meaning is the literal meaning - one that is simply read off the text by a process of sound exegesis.  And then they claim that the second meaning (it's sensus plenior - usually the christocentric meaning) is achieved by going back to the text but this time applying some extrinsic theological commitments.

What do we say to this?  Well hopefully we see that whatever 'level' of meaning we assign to the biblical text it is not an obvious, literal meaning to be read off the Scriptures like a bar-code!  Whatever you think that first-level meaning to be, such a meaning is inextricably linked to a whole web of theological pre-suppositions.  The step from first level to second is not a step from exegesis to a theological re-reading.  It is to view the text first through one set of pre-suppositions and then through another.

And that changes the direction of the conversation doesn't it?  Because then we all admit that 'I have theological pre-suppositions at every level of my interpretation.'  And we all come clean and say 'Even the basic, first-level meaning assigned to an OT text comes from some quite developed theological pre-commitments - pre-commitments that would never be universally endorsed by every Christian interpreter, let alone every Jewish one!'  And then we ask 'Well why begin with pre-suppositions which you know to be inadequate?  Why begin with pre-suppositions that are anything short of 'the Power of God' and 'the Son of God'?   And if this is so, then why on earth do we waste our time with a first-level paradigm that left even the post-incarnation Pharisees completely ignorant of the Word?  In short, why don't we work out the implications of a biblical theology that is trinitarian all the way down?  Why don't we, at all times, read the OT as inherently and irreducibly a trinitarian revelation of the Son?

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Take the Christ the Truth patented quiz:

What is your response to the following Scriptures?

 

Scripture 1: Josh 10:12-15 - the sun stays up for a whole extra day

A) What a rich and enigmatic text! The main thing we glean is that the LORD can be trusted in difficult circumstances.

B) [Muffled] I suppose something quite strange happened here.  Perhaps it was to do with perceptions (after all we'd have to completely rewrite the astronomy books on this one), but even if something miraculous happened here, the main thing we glean is that the LORD can be trusted in difficult circumstances.

C)  Wahey - the sun stopped in the middle of the sky!

 

Scripture 22 Kings 6:17 -  Elisha prays that his servant might see the angels all around

A) What a rich and enigmatic text!  The main thing we glean is that the LORD can be trusted in difficult circumstances.

B) [Muffled] I suppose there were angels in that place at that extraordinary time.

C) Wahey - angels are everywhere!

 

Scripture 3: Mark 15:33 - Darkness on Good Friday

A) What a rich and enigmatic text!  The main thing we glean is that something rich and enigmatic was taking place.

B) [Muffled] I suppose something was obstructing the sun and causing a localised darkness.

C) The sun stopped shining!

 

Scripture 4: Romans 8:19-22 - The creation waits and is groaning

A) What a rich and enigmatic text!  The main thing we learn is how the LORD can be trusted in difficult circumstances.

B) Creation is not how it was supposed to be.

C) Creation waits and is groaning.

 

Scripture 5: 1 Cor 11:3-16 - Head coverings etc

A) What a rich and enigmatic text!  The main thing we learn is how we should skip this chapter and head straight for 1 Cor 13.

B) [Muffled] Gender differences should be expressed in culturally appropriate ways.

C) Men, uncover those heads.  Women, cover them up.  (With hair I reckon - though some will think I should lose points for that!)

 

Scripture 6: 2 Cor 13:12 - Greet one another with a holy kiss.

A) What a fascinating window onto 1st century church practice!

B) Greet one another in an affectionate, culturally appropriate way.

C) Get kissing!

 

A = 1 point

B = 2 points

C = 3 points

 

Add up your score.

 

6-10 - bit woolly for these parts.

11-15 - could be nuttier

16-18 - you are a bible nut.  Welcome to Christ the Truth.

 

What did you score?

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...Are you ready?  It's really particularly awesome.  Here it is:

exeJesus

How cool is that?

What do we want from our exegesis?  ExeJesus that's what!

Nice one Dave Ingland.

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Isaiah's servant songs are:

  1. Isaiah 42:1-7
  2. Isaiah 49:1-6
  3. Isaiah 50:4-9
  4. Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Now in the songs, the servant is clearly a figure who acts on behalf of the people.  He is a covenant for the people (42:6).  He will bring Jacob and Israel back to the LORD (49:5,6).  His word is the word the people should fear (50:10). He is rejected by the people yet suffers on their behalf (all of chapter 53).

Yet "servant" is also mentioned in and around these songs:

Isaiah 41:8,9 (You O Israel are my servant)

Isaiah 42:19 (Who is blind like my servant)

Isaiah 43:10  (You are my witnesses and my servant)

Isaiah 44:1,2  (Jacob my servant)

Isaiah 44:21  (My servant O Israel)

Isaiah 45:4  (Jacob my servant)

Isaiah 48:20  (His servant Jacob)

Here 'servant' refers to Israel/Jacob. 

Actually this is nothing new in Isaiah.  Jerusalem for instance can stand either for the corrupt, faithless generation under the LORD's judgement or the centre of a new heavens and new earth that lies beyond the judgement.  Jerusalem is both the problem and the hope!

In a similar way the servant of the LORD is Israel.  The people really should be the LORD's faithful witness, judge, light, salvation etc.  Yet earthly Israel is a crushing disappointment.  Nonetheless the hope is not apart from Israel.  The hope is the TRUE ISRAEL.  This Ideal Israel is what the songs set before us.  He takes a hold of old Israel and sweeps it up into His own triumphant work as Witness, Judge, Light, Salvation etc.  Servants do that - they stand for the people - see Moses or Job for instance. In fact this Ideal Servant is spoken of as the King of Isaiah 6 (cf 52:13) - High and lifted up.  The true King sums up in Himself His people and acts on their behalf.  His victory is their victory. 

And so the people may lament the servant Israel, yet at the same time they sing about THE TRUE ISRAEL, the Ideal Servant, the KING who stands in their place and acts as Israel.  He is their hope and the Light for we Gentiles.

Anyway that seems to be the sort of interpretation of 'the Servant' which takes seriously both sets of verses - the songs and the surrounding references. 

The one interpretation we should laugh off is the one that says "Foolish ancient people only understood half of these verses and so had no idea that there would be an individual Ideal Servant to stand for blind Israel.  It takes a later re-reading to understand that there is an individual Ideal Servant, Jesus".   No, no. No need for such chronological snobbery thank you very much.

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By the way - has anyone read or heard anything good on the Servant Songs??  Please do let me know in the comments.

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I recently re-read Nathan Pitchford's excellent short article on the reformers' hermeneutic.

His basic point is that Sola Scriptura always leads to Solus Christus.  The literal reading simply is the christocentric reading.

For Luther, the grammatical-historical hermeneutic was simply the interpretation of scripture that “drives home Christ.” As he once expressed it, “He who would read the Bible must simply take heed that he does not err, for the Scripture may permit itself to be stretched and led, but let no one lead it according to his own inclinations but let him lead it to its source, that is, the cross of Christ. Then he will surely strike the center.” To read the scriptures with a grammatical-historical sense is nothing other than to read them with Christ at the center.

And yet, claims Pitchford, many evangelicals today have a basically un-Christian reading of the OT.

[What I mean is]...  they employ a hermeneutic that does not have as its goal to trace every verse to its ultimate reference point: the cross of Christ. All of creation, history, and reality was designed for the purpose of the unveiling and glorification of the triune God, by means of the work of redemption accomplished by the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. The bible is simply the book that tells us how to see Christ and his cross at the center of everything. It tells us who God is by showing us the person and work of Christ, who alone reveals the invisible God. If we do not intentionally ask ourselves, “How may I see Christ more clearly by this passage,” in our reading of every verse of scripture, then we are not operating under the guidance of Luther’s grammatical-historical hermeneutic. If we would follow in the steps of the reformers, we must realize that a literal reading of scriptures does not mean a naturalistic reading. A naturalistic reading says that the full extent of meaning in the account of Moses’ striking the rock is apprehended in understanding the historical event. The literal reading, in the Christ-centered sense of the Reformation, recognizes that this historical account is meaningless to us until we understand how the God of history was using it to reveal Christ to his people. The naturalistic reading of the Song of Solomon is content with the observation that it speaks of the marital-bliss of Solomon and his wife; the literal reading of the reformers recognizes that it has ultimately to do with the marital bliss between Christ and his bride, the Church. And so we could continue, citing example after example from the Old Testament.
 

So what went wrong?  How come the reformers' understanding of a "literal hermeneutic" gets used today to justify un -Christian interpretation?  Well, historically the influence of academic liberalism turned 'the literal reading' into 'the naturalistic reading'.  And that's quite a different thing. 

Nathan ends with 6 points at which the naturalistic reading fails:

1. A naturalistic hermeneutic effectively denies God’s ultimate authorship of the bible, by giving practical precedence to human authorial intent.

2. A naturalistic hermeneutic undercuts the typological significance which often inheres in the one story that God is telling in the bible (see Galatians 4:21-31, for example).

3. A naturalistic hermeneutic does not allow for Paul’s assertion that a natural man cannot know the spiritual things which the Holy Spirit teaches in the bible – that is, the things about Jesus Christ and him crucified (I Corinthians 2).

4. A naturalistic hermeneutic is at odds with the clear example of the New Testament authors and apostles as they interpret the Old Testament (cf. Peter’s sermon in Acts 2, Paul’s interpretations in Romans 4 and Galatians 4, James’ citing of Amos 9 during the Jerusalem council of Acts 15, the various Old Testament usages in Hebrews, etc.).

5. A naturalistic hermeneutic disallows a full-orbed operation of the analogy of faith principle of the Reformation, by its insistence that every text demands a reading “on its own terms”.

6. A naturalistic hermeneutic does not allow for everything to have its ultimate reference point in Christ, and is in direct opposition to Ephesians 1:10, Colossians 1:16-18, and Christ’s own teachings in John 5:39, Luke 24:25-27.

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Really great stuff, go read the whole thing.

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This is a repost of Theology - the end of the process??

Is “systematic theology... the end process of exegesis and biblical theology"??  Ben Myers writes brilliantly against such a conception.  To imagine that a pure biblical scholar can dispassionately read off the meaning of the Bible through the use of objective interpretive tools is ludicrous.  To imagine that then the systematic theologian comes to co-ordinate these propositions into a logically cogent order is similarly misguided.  As Myers says 'It's theology all the way down.'  Theological pre-suppositions and commitments necessarily guide and shape all Christian activity from exegesis to exposition to pastoral work, to evangelism to hospitality to everything.

And yet the idea that the Bible can be neutrally read is so tempting.  We would love to conceive of revelation as propositions deposited in a handy compendium simply to be extracted and applied.  Yet the Word is a Person.  And His book is Personal (John 5:39).  It's not something we judge with our double edged swords - the Word judges us. (Heb 4:12)

Now Jesus thought the Scriptures were absolutely clear.  He never made excuses for theological error.  He never gave even the slightest bit of latitude by conceding a certain obscurity to the Bible.  He never assumes that His theological opponents have just mis-applied an interpretive paradigm.  If they get it wrong He assumes they've never read the Scriptures (e.g. Matt 21:16,42; Mark 2:25)!  So the perspicuity of the Bible is not in dispute. 

But Jesus tells the Pharisees why they get it wrong - "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God." (Matt 22:29)  And, again, "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life." (John 5:39-40)  They are wrongly oriented to the Power of God and the One of Whom the Scriptures testify - Jesus.  This is not simply a wrong orientation of the intepreter but of the interpretation.  Scripture reading must be oriented by the Power of God to the Son of God.  Within this paradigm - a paradigm which the Scriptures themselves give us - the Bible makes itself abundantly clear.

But this paradigm is an unashamedly and irreducibly theological one.  It is the result of exegesis (e.g. studying the verses given above) but it is also the pre-supposition of such exegesis.  Theology is not the end of the process from exegesis to biblical studies and then to the systematician! 

And yet, I have often been in discussions regarding the Old Testament where theologians will claim an obvious meaning to the OT text which is one not oriented by the Power of God to the Son of God.  They will claim that this first level meaning is the literal meaning - one that is simply read off the text by a process of sound exegesis.  And then they claim that the second meaning (it's sensus plenior - usually the christocentric meaning) is achieved by going back to the text but this time applying some extrinsic theological commitments.

What do we say to this?  Well hopefully we see that whatever 'level' of meaning we assign to the biblical text it is not an obvious, literal meaning to be read off the Scriptures like a bar-code!  Whatever you think that first-level meaning to be, such a meaning is inextricably linked to a whole web of theological pre-suppositions.  The step from first level to second is not a step from exegesis to a theological re-reading.  It is to view the text first through one set of pre-suppositions and then through another.

And that changes the direction of the conversation doesn't it?  Because then we all admit that 'I have theological pre-suppositions at every level of my interpretation.'  And we all come clean and say 'Even the basic, first-level meaning assigned to an OT text comes from some quite developed theological pre-commitments - pre-commitments that would never be universally endorsed by every Christian interpreter, let alone every Jewish one!'  And then we ask 'Well why begin with pre-suppositions which you know to be inadequate?  Why begin with pre-suppositions that are anything short of 'the Power of God' and 'the Son of God'?   And if this is so, then why on earth do we waste our time with a first-level paradigm that left even the post-incarnation Pharisees completely ignorant of the Word?  In short, why don't we work out the implications of a biblical theology that is trinitarian all the way down?  Why don't we, at all times, read the OT as inherently and irreducibly a trinitarian revelation of the Son?

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Kyle has asked about this verse from Genesis 4:

23 Lamech said to his wives, "Adah and Zillah, listen to me; wives of Lamech, hear my words. I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me. 24 If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times."

Thought it provided a good opportunity to model some points on interpreting tricky verses.  I'll just highlight three simple points to bear in mind as you read the bible.  Tape these on the inside cover of your bible.

In reverse order of importance...

Coming in at number 3...

Just cos it's in the bible don't mean it's approved of!

This one's important to bear in mind especially when reading Old Testament narrative.  I used to tie myself in knots trying to figure out how Jacob could be such a slime-ball or how Abraham could lie about his wife and stand by while she's taken into Pharaoh's harem etc etc.  I still remember the relief when a minister told me these guys are not being held up as paragons of virtue.  Often they are held up for judgement and as warnings.  We're meant to be appalled.  Often they are testimonies to God's grace.  God uses slime-balls.  He doesn't condone their slime but He loves to show His goodness in redeeming the messes that we create.  We're meant to wonder at His mercy.

Lamech here is being held up as a terrible example of the way of Cain, his great great great grandfather.  Kyle is right to see arrogance here - Lamech is bigging himself up horribly.  His is not an example to follow!

 

Next, at number 2, we must learn...

The bible interprets the bible

When we come across tricky verses we don't need a PhD in ancient near eastern archeology or a hundred theology textbooks or initiation into some religious fraternity that holds the secrets.  We just need the bible.  The Holy Spirit has done a good job of authoring a book with all the necessary information.  If we had needed an appendix at the back with the essential keys to interpretation, He would have included one.  As it is, what He's written is sufficient.  The bible will explain itself to us if we allow it to interpret itself.

So as we consider Lamech's song we'll consider the context of what's happened previously.  We might be interested to compare Lamech's song to the first song sung to a wife - Adam's in Genesis 2:23.  That was a good song.  That was all about the wife.  Lamech's song is sung to his wives but it's all about him.  It's a kind of anti-love song!  Adam's song was able to celebrate the wounds that the husband sustained because it produced His beautiful bride. (Gen 2:21-24)  On the other hand Lamech will protect himself from any wound and seek vengeance.

We might also want to think about the significance of the number 7.  The bible uses sevens a lot.  From the beginning (the seven days of creation) we see it used as a number of completion.  It's used in connection with God's activity.  And here Lamech pretends to have God's own perfect blessing on his life - a divine protection.  Of course we hear nothing from God about this.  Again the pride of Lamech is on show.

When we search the bible for 7 and 77 together we might turn to Matthew 18:21-22:

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" 22 Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

And this brings us to the most important point...

The number 1 interpretive key:

The bible is about Jesus

The bible is not about morality or religion or politics or psychology or history or philosophy.  And if you see the bible as primarily a source book for these things you will twist it from it's true intention.  Jesus says the bible is about Him.  When speaking to some serious bible scholars He said this:

You have never heard the Father's voice nor seen His form, 38 nor does His word dwell in you, for you do not believe the One He sent. 39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about Me, 40 yet you refuse to come to Me to have life.  (John 5:37-40) 

Life does not exist in the Scriptures.  Our interest should not terminate on the text. We must allow the bible to bring us to Christ - He is the point of our bible reading. 

As we think about Lamech's song - how does that testify to Christ?

Well in Christ we have the answer to Lamech's anti-love song.  Jesus (who the bible calls the 'Last Adam') speaks not of seventy-seven-fold vengeance but seventy-seven-fold forgiveness.  Through the wounds He sustains for His bride (on the cross) He brings not revenge but grace.  Jesus is the True Husband who does not protect Himself but in love He makes Himself vulnerable for His bride (the church). 

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Those are just some thoughts on this verse and how to interpret tricky verses in general.

Justin Taylor points us to a very helpful book review by Andy Naselli, whose blog looks great!  What follows is taken straight from Andy's blog - do check it out for yourself.

Three views on the New Testament use of the Old Testament outlines the following three positions:

Walter Kaiser Jr: “Single Meaning, Unified Referents: Accurate and Authoritative Citations of the Old Testament by the New Testament”

Darrell L Bock: “Single Meaning, Multiple Contexts and Referents: The New Testament’s Legitimate, Accurate, and Multifaceted Use of the Old”  

Peter Enns: “Fuller Meaning, Single Goal: A Christotelic Approach to the New Testament Use of the Old in Its First-Century Interpretive Environment”  

 

The book orbits around five key questions:

  1. Is sensus plenior an appropriate way of explaining the NT use of the OT?
  2. How is typology best understood?
  3. Do the NT writers take into account the context of the passages they cite?
  4. Does the NT writers’ use of Jewish exegetical methods explain the NT use of the OT?
  5. Are we able to replicate the exegetical and hermeneutical approaches to the OT that we find in the writings of the NT?

And the general editor, Kenneth Berding, helpfully tabulates a summary of their answers:

 

 

Kaiser

Bock

Enns

Sensus plenior?

 

No, the prophets knew where their prophecies were heading.

 

Yes, but only in the limited sense of acknowledging that the OT writers could not always see fulfillments that emerge later.

 

Yes, because Christ-as-telos holds it all together. This, however, is not the way to resolve the “hermeneutical tension.”

Typology?

 

Yes, but it must be seen ahead of time and possess “divine indication” that it is a type.

 

Yes, and fundamental for resolving difficult cases; can be either prospective or retrospective.

 

Yes, but again not the way to resolve the hermeneutical tension.

Context?

 

Yes, both the immediately literary context and the antecedent “promise-plan” context are important.

 

Yes, the immediate “exegetical context” is drawn upon but the “canonical context” is the key.

 

Sometimes yes and sometimes no.

Use of Second Temple exegetical methods?

 

No, such comparisons are misguided.

 

Sometimes yes, but constrained by the NT authors’ commitment to canonical reading.

 

Yes, and this is the central issue in the discussion.

Replication?

Yes, because the NT authors are careful interpreters just as we should be. Yes, but particularly in terms of their overall appeal to canonical themes. Yes, but less in terms of their exegetical methods and more in terms of their “Christotelic” goal.

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Though I've not read the book, the first comment on Andy's blog puts well my gut reactions to this issue:

 

From Tom Keiser:

One thing consistently missing, or at best, minimalized, is the question of the proper exegesis of the OT texts. Kaiser seems to best deal with this idea, although not always directly. The tendency is to see OT exegesis as primarily historical. Little consideration seems to be given to the possibility that OT writers were speaking primarily theologically, and applying theological principles to historical situations. If that is the case, than proper exegesis should be focusing on the theological ideas presented rather than simply their historical application. This perspective has profound implications when trying to ascertain the NT writers’ understanding of the OT. If they understood the OT texts as presenting primarily theological principles, then many of their applications to Christ would no longer be problematic, but rather reflect accurate “historical-grammatical” exegesis. Of course, this consideration does not resolve all issues, but does alleviate many tensions.

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