The New Testament's Use of the Old Testament

I have been preaching through Hebrews which makes frequent use of the Old Testament. Some critical scholars both past and present quite confidently declare that the writer of Hebrews, along with other New Testament writers, simply misuses and misinterprets the Old Testament. But I find this argument to be terribly hubristic and built upon an insufficient doctrine of Scripture. These scholars begin with the assumption that God's Word errs. Therefore, they reason, if the writer of Hebrews uses an Old Testament text in a way that they would not then this is jst one more example of an error in the Bible.

Greg Beale and D.A. Carson are examples of two biblical scholars which begin by affirming that what the Bible declares about itself is true. They are also among the scholars who have done outstanding work in studying the New Testament's use of the Old Testament.

Last year Carson and Beale were interviewed by Christianity Today on this particular issues. It's worth reading.

What might surprise readers about how the New Testament writers used the Old Testament?

Beale: It's evident in our book that the New Testament writers use the Old Testament with the context of the Old Testament in mind. That's a real debate between evangelicals and non-evangelicals, but it's also an in-house debate. Some evangelicals would say Jesus and the apostles preached the right Old Testament doctrine but from the wrong Old Testament texts. They believe that what the New Testament writers wrote was inspired, but their interpretative method was not inspired, that it was just as wild and crazy as the Jewish method at the time. Our book proceeds on the presupposition that of course their conclusions are inspired. But we also show that Jesus was not a wild and crazy Jewish interpreter like those at Qumran or elsewhere, but he interpreted the Old Testament in a very viable way.

If you want a good example of someone who would disagree with our method, there's a recent book by Peter Enns called Inspiration and Incarnation. In one of the concluding chapters, he contends that Jesus and the apostles preached the right doctrine from the wrong texts and that we should do the same. I have written a lengthy review of that chapter in the periodical Themelios. Enns responded, and then I wrote a surrejoinder just on this very issue.

Read the entire interview HERE.