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Q204 : New Testament use of the Old Testament

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Q204 : New Testament use of the Old Testament

Hello Tony,

I was wondering if you could recommend an excellent resource on New Testament use of the Old Testament. I was thinking of buying Beale and Carson's Commentary on New Testament Use of the Old Testament, but I'm wary of Beale's approach to Scripture.

A204 : by Tony Garland

I share your wariness of Beale's approach to Scripture. For some problems with Beale's approach, see this review of A New Testament Biblical Theologya by Dr. Paul Henebury.

Another article by Dr. Henebury which may prove helpful is “Hermeneutical Confusion and Hermeneutical Consistencyb.”

To obtain a reliable understanding of the New Testament use of the Old Testament, I would suggest focusing on issues related to interpretation (hermeneutics) and remaining faithful to the meaning of the various Biblical covenants as given to the original recipients within their historical context. In other words—coming to the conviction that God is bound by His very character and the nature of communications to retain the original meaning of the things he has said—such that interpretive methods which subvert this understanding essentially paint God as unreliable and equivocating or even misleading. (Which brings to mind yet another article by Dr. Henebury, Top Twenty Reasons for Not Reinterpreting the Old Testament by the Newc.)

I am unaware of a single text which deals with this particular topic in-depth and is also reliable from cover-to-cover, but can suggest several texts on interpretation (hermeneutics) which contain chapters dealing with some of the issues:

Although there are definitely some challenging issues related to the use of the OT by NT writers (who, unlike us, were inspired), I think we need to keep our feet on the ground and that a solid grasp of basic interpretive issues along with stepping into the shoes of the original recipients of the more important biblical covenants to understand how they would have understood God's words will go a long way toward keeping us from error in our handling of the Scriptures.


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