Christ the Key

Have you ever read a commentary or theology book that purposely interpreted the OT in a Christ-less way? Consider this quote by John Goldingay from his commentary on Psalm 110: “The text’s theological implications…do not lie in its application to Jesus; that is to ignore its meaning.” As I’ve noted before (here and here), Goldingay reads the OT in a way that removes Christ from the text. A fundamentally different and much more biblical approach is found in these words from Graeme Goldsworthy:

“It is important that we understand very clearly that this fact of the Old Testament’s progression towards a fulfillment in the New Testament is not merely an invitation to understand Jesus Christ as the end of the process. It is also a demand that the whole Bible be understood in the light of the gospel. It means that Jesus Christ is the key to the interpretation of the whole Bible, and the task before us is to discern how he interprets the Bible.”

“It should be realized at the outset that when we speak of Jesus Christ as the key to interpretation we must speak of Jesus Christ as he is revealed – the Christ of the gospel. It is not sufficient to stress the ethics of the man Jesus of Nazareth out of the context of the saving acts of God (as many liberals do), nor to stress the supernatural presence of Christ with the believer out of the context of the meaning of the historical humanity of God come in the flesh (as many evangelicals do). Obviously we need to be clear about the gospel itself if we are to be clear about the significance of Christ for interpreting the Bible.”

Graeme Goldsworthy, The Goldsworthy Trilogy, 105.

Shane Lems

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