9780310273332mHave you ever heard that reading leads to an incessant desire to read more. Well I’m sure some people have found thats not the case but I haven’t. The more I read the more I realize that there’s books I still want to read and the “want to read” list begins to far outweigh the “have read” list (Facebook’s ap on books is a perpetual reminder to me of that). One of the books on my “want to read” list is the book in the Zondervan counterpoints series called, “Three views on the New Testament use of the Old Testament.”

To hold me over when I can’t read a book right away I look to solid reviews of it that either give a good survey of the book or offer penetrating insights into the main tensions for the books writer(s). Steve Moyise’s review in the “Review of Biblical Literature” is an example of the latter for the “Three views on the New Testament use of the Old Testament.” 

One of the more helpful things I found in his review was his reflection on why Walter Kaiser and Peter Enns view the New Testament’s use of the Old Testament differently. He says its not only a matter of hermeneutical difference between them, but also how they understand the nature of God;

In one sense, the debate is about hermeneutics, but one wonders if, more fundamentally, it is about one’s view of God. Kaiser’s God would not inspire Hosea to speak about the exodus and then inspire Matthew to find new meaning in the same words. Enns thinks this is precisely what the God who became incarnate in Jesus would do. 

What do you think about Moyise’s suggestion?

Here’s a small bibliography to read further on the issue of how the New Testament authors used the Old Testament:

Inerrancy and Hermeneutics” edited by Harvie M. Conn. Dan McCartney’s essay in this collection of articles is of fundamental importance to understanding how the New Testament uses the Old Testament. Several of the other essays are of course helpful as well. 

Inspiration and Incarnation” by Peter Enns. Enns draws out in further detail his approach to the New Testament’s use of the Old Testament in this book, but what is even more helpful is the way he situates his approach in his broader hermeneutical commitments, particularly the incarnational analogy. 

Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period” by Richard Longenecker. Longenecker’s book is now considered a classic, while it may at times be dated his perceptions and the passages he discusses continue to in their own way not only form the foundation for scholars like McCartney and Enns but also contribute to what they seek to clarify as the extra-biblical and biblical data continue to be related.

Early Biblical Interpretation” by James Kugel. This is Kugel’s earlier work on the subject, he has three larger, more current works to consider as well (Traditions of the Bible, The Bible as it Was, How to Read the Bible). I choose to list this book for its size and comparable significance with the others in this list.

Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul” by Richard B. Hays. Hays work is focused upon Pauline literature, exploring how and why Paul used the Old Testament the way he did. Hays work holds both hermeneutical and theological interests at heart and is a standard work referenced in the ongoing discussion about the New Testament’s use of the Old Testament.

(HT: Art Boulet)