On the NT use of the OT

Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament

In the intro to the long awaited commentary of the NT use of the OT by our favorites, Beale and Carson, they list six questions they’ve asked the contributing scholars to answer while commenting on the NT books.  While all six are very good hermeneutical/exegetical questions to ask, I thought #2 was brilliant and most helpful as one considers the interpretation of Scripture.

“What is the OT context from which the quotation or allusion is drawn?  Even at its simplest, this question demands as much care with respect to the OT as the first question demands of the study of the NT.  [My note: the first question is, “What is the NT context of the (OT) citation or allusion?”]

“Sometimes energy must be expended simply to demonstrate that a very brief phrase really does come from a particular OT passage, and from nowhere else.  Yet sometimes this second question becomes even more complex.  Under the assumption that Mark’s Gospel picks up exodus themes (itself a disputed point), is it enough to go to the book of Exodus to examine those themes as they first unfold?  Or are such OT exodus themes, as picked up by Mark, filtered through Isaiah?  In that case, surely it is important to include reflection not only on the use of the OT in the NT but also on the use of the OT within the OT” (emphasis mine).

“Or again, how does the Genesis flood account (Gen. 6-9) get utilized in the rest of the OT and in earlier parts of the NT before it is picked up by 2 Peter?  Sometimes a NT author may have in mind the earlier OT reference but may be interpreting it through the later OT development of that earlier text, and if the lens of that later text is not analyzed, then the NT use may seem strange or may not properly be understood.”

See Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament ed. D.A. Carson and G. K. Beale (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007), xxiv.

shane lems

sunnyside wa

1 thought on “On the NT use of the OT”

  1. It’s a beautiful book, isn’t it? I just got a copy in the mail last week, a Christmas present from a likeminded friend! I hope to dive in soon and get some stuff posted on it too!


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