The Intent(s) of the Divine and Human Writers

Another great quote by Michael Horton:

In scriptural discourse the original human author may never have intended his or her words to be put to use in later, often quite distanciated, contexts, but the divine speaker is doing just that.  Thus, the story of deliverance from Egypt through the Red Sea becomes not only a metaphorical, but a living, present reality for Israel crossing the Jordan River into Canaan and, just as appropriately, for the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth.  And it is still figural (but not metaphorical) of a yet future migration through the waters of death into the heavenly Jerusalem and not just for individual salvation, but for the redemption of a people and indeed of the whole creation.

Michael S. Horton, Covenant and Eschatology: The Divine Drama, 182.

Far too often conflation of the intent of the divine and human authors is used as an apologetic tool to protect the unity of scripture.  This unity must never, however, be construed in such a way as to undermine the redemptive-historical changes evident in scripture, nor the progressive unfolding of revelation.  What is more, re-use of earlier texts by later prophetic and apostolic writers (sometimes in very different directions) must also be studied carefully as a phenomenon evident in Christian scripture.  While Horton’s quote is more about typology than about inner-biblical exegesis, the same kind of stuff used in studying the former is also be needed for pursuing the later.

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Andrew