Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The OT in the NT

Have you ever had the experience of reading the New Testament and stumbling over a quote from the Old Testament that seems to be wildly out of context? One example might be in Matthew 2:15, where Matthew applies Hosea 11:1 (“out of Egypt I have called my son”) to the situation of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus being in Egypt. The OT passage was about Israel, though, and made no predictions about Christ. Do we have here a case of the NT getting “the right doctrine from the wrong text” (to use the title of a helpful volume edited by G.K. Beale). I actually had the privilege of taking an entire course on the issue of the OT in the NT with Dr. Beale. The short answer is no—they didn’t get the right doctrine from the wrong text. There is much more going on here than meets the eye—and much more than can be explained in a short blog post!

So what should you do if you’re interested in this issue? One fruitful path of study would be to listen to D.A. Carson—one of the premiere NT scholars in the evangelical world—deliver three lectures at Southern Seminary on the theme of “Hard Texts: Why Does Hebrews Cite the Old Testament Like That?”