J.G. McConville on How the OT Relates to the NT

Reading this morning a chapter in The Messiah in the Old and New Testament edited by Stanley Porter, Tremper Longman quotes  J.G. McConville on how the Old Testament relates to the New.  His two-way approach is akin to Christopher J. H. Wright’s hermeneutic laid out in his popular book Knowing Jesus Through the Old TestamentConsider McConville’s assertion as you read your Bible today and think about how God’s antecedent revelation shaped  the NT apostles (cf. Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 10:6) and how the OT prophets were looking forward to a coming Messiah, often writing “better then they knew” (cf. 1 Peter 1:10-12). 

The interpretation of the Old Testament is not a one-way, but a two-way flow, in which contemporary situations were compared with the Scriptures, and the Scriptures were then brought to bear, sometimes in (to us) unexpected ways, on the situations.  The Old Testament, indeed, underwent a good deal of reinterpretation even as hopes of deliverance were being worked out (J. G. McConville, “Messianic Interpretation of the OT in Modern Context,” in Satterthwaite et al., eds., The Lord’s Anointed [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995], 13).

Sola Deo Gloria, dss

One thought on “J.G. McConville on How the OT Relates to the NT

  1. So here’s the question: should 21st century Christians reinterpret the OT in light of the NT the way the apostle’s did (in preaching and teaching)? Or, was there a specific hermeneutic used by the apostles (through divine revelation, of course) as the church began? Or, should we maintain the original intent of the OT author in the same way that we do for NT authors? Would this deemphasize the Messiah in the OT?

    I think I can anticipate your response, but I thought that I would ask, nonetheless.

    By the way, this is a nice blog! Just yesterday I discovered it.

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