This Fall Zondervan is set to publish another book in its Counterpoints series. The book, Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, is a survey of differing ways evangelical Christians read the Scriptures. Darrell Bock of Dallas Theological Seminary, Peter Enns formerly of Westminster Seminary, and Walter Kaiser formerly of TEDS and Gordon-Conwell are its three contributors.
In preparation for this release, Zondervan’s Koinonia blog has set up a seven question quiz that can help you determine what position best describes your biblical-theological hermeneutic. It will peg you as either a Fuller Meaning, Single Goal View (Enns), Single Meaning, Unified Referents View (Kaiser), or a Single Meaning, Multiple Contexts and Referents View (Bock). According to my responses, I am the last–which means, that in reading the OT/NT, I consider the authorial intent of the Old Testament writers to have historical and literary significance for them and their audience in their varied Ancient Near Eastern settings. At the same time, inspired by the Spirit, I believe that they were aware that what they wrote was eschatologically pointing forward to Jesus Christ. In other words, they wrote better than they knew. Peter says as much in 1 Peter 1:10-12 when he writes, “Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.” Likewise, this seems to be the way that Jesus reads the OT, identifying himself by means of these OT writers who pointed forward to him (cf. John 5:39; Luke 24:27, 44). Moreover, Paul and Jude employ this same hermeneutic when they read Christ into the OT (respectively, 1 Cor. 10:4; Jude 6).
All that to say, if these things interest you as they do me, and they should–putting the Bible together OT and NT is one of the most vital ways we can understand the God who has revealed himself and offered us salvation in his Son–then be sure to check out this multi-sided book. In the meantime, you can also take the quiz here.
Other helpful resources on the subject include: G.K. Beale and D.A. Carson’s Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament; G.K. Beale’s The Right Doctrine from the Wrong Text? ; Graeme Goldsworthy’s Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics.
I look forward to reading the arguments in the upcoming Zondervan book, but i am still more excited to simply read my Bible and see Jesus in the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings.
Sola Deo Gloria, dss
2 thoughts on “Zondervan Quiz, Three Views Book, and Other Resources on OT/NT Hermeneutics”
Interesting. I kind of wish they would have chosen different contributors. Maybe Moo, Carson, and Beale. Just kidding, but seriously.
I came up with the same result you did Dave on the quiz, but I didn’t like the quiz. On two or three of the questions I didn’t like any of the possible choices. It is not enough to say that the NT authors were working with a different audience and a different context. You need to say that the NT authors are further along in God’s redemptive plan and thus apply texts to the epocal situation of post-resurrection believers. They are writing as those who have seen the promised Messiah die and rise again and thus read OT texts in light of the era of redemptive history in which they live. It is not just a new audience and a new context, it is a new era in redemptive history. I suppose new context might cover this, but most people don’t think what I just laid out when they hear “new context.” They just think “context where we have cars and electricity” not “context of post-resurrection and ascension of the Messiah.”
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