Monday, August 3, 2009

"Our Lord's Use Of The Old Testament" by R.V.G. Tasker

Last night I read "Our Lord's Use of the Old Testament" by R.V.G. Tasker. This article is a transcript of a lecture given in 1953. Tasker's time was therefore limited and so he makes great generalizations instead of providing the detail required by a scholarly publication. I suspect that the audience for this lecture were mostly lay people, not his colleagues. Much of what he says is not new to me, although he provided helpful interpretations I had never heard before of a few scriptural passages. Tasker lists three principles that he considers axiomatic in any sound exegesis of the New Testament:

1. Jesus considered the Old Testament to foreshadow the role He was to play in the climax of the divine plan of salvation.
2. Christ's quotations from the Old Testament not only demonstrate His mastery of its content but shows His evaluation of it as eternal truth. John 10:34-36 quotes Jesus as declaring that "scripture cannot be broken." Tasker believes that the rendering of this verse in the R.V. is the most correct: "scripture cannot be disintegrated." In other words, scripture, and Jesus was at that time referring to the Old Testament, must be treated as a whole. Scripture must not be interpreted by selective treatment of texts.
3. The Old Testament was the final, absolute authority to which our Lord appealed in controversies with His adversaries to justify His claims, vindicate His authority and substantiate His judgements.

While these points may seem obvious to Evangelicals, it is important to remind ourselves of them since the Divine authorship of and inerrancy of the Old Testament is not only under attack by liberals but by some in the Evangelical world as well. I have two more articles to read on the subject of the Old/New Testament relationship before I move on to articles on inerrancy.

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