Friday, July 17, 2009

Finishing The Job

When I typed my last entry, I neglected to type page one of my notes. I decided to rectify the situation by making these notes available. So, after one reads these notes, they should then go back to the previous article to gain a full understanding of "The Old Testament As Christian Scripture" by M.J. Evans. Links to this article are to be found in the previous post.

3 Propositions Concerning The Old Testament:

1. The Old Testament must be interpreted within its own context; the straightforward sense must be upheld if its claims as the Word of God are to be taken seriously. The Old Testament must be taken within its context to be taken seriously. But does this mean that the New Testament can be used only as a commentary on the Old Testament, but not as an exegetical tool of the Old Testament.?

2. The Old Testament, rightly understood, speaks constantly of Christ and must be interpreted in that light- Luke 24:27, 44-47, Acts 8:35, 28:23, 2Cor 1:20. Yet not all Old Testament prophesies and proclamations refer directly to Jesus. How can we take seriously the Christiological implications of a text without throwing overboard the original context?

3. The Old Testament is the Word of God. It is not simply a historical survey of God's dealings with Israel, it also speaks directly as God's Word to us in our situation. True, but those who expouse this view are not entitled to ignore the actual meaning of the text. Evans give examples of how Bible studies ask questions about the text, such as "How does this passage relate to me?" and "What blessings can I get from reading this verse?" Evans labels such questions as invalid methods of seeking the text's meaning.

1-3 are valid, but how do we uphold all three at once? How do we practice Old Testament as scripture? In what ways do we use the New Testament in clarifying our understanding of the Old. If scripture is the word of God, then rightly discerning that Word has to be the key to everything else. Therefore, the question of the relationship between the two is not an academic one.

Some say that the New testament can be interpreted in light of the Old Testament, but not vice-versa. Can the New Testament be used to arrive at the meaning of Old Testament Passages?

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