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 Testament. Consider 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