Forty Reasons for Not Reinterpreting the OT by the NT: The First Twenty

Introduction

It seems to be almost an axiom within contemporary, evangelical Bible interpretation that the New Testament must be allowed to reinterpret the Old Testament. That is, the New Testament is believed to have revelatory priority over the Old Testament, so that it is considered the greatest and final revelation. And because the NT is the final revelation of Jesus Christ, the only proper way to understand the OT is with the Christ of the NT directing us. Though proponents of this hermeneutic may define “reinterpret” with slippery words like “expansion” or “foreshadowing,” they are still insisting the OT can be, and in some cases, should be, reinterpreted through the lens of the NT.

Not unusually the admission is made that the original recipients of the OT covenants and promises would not have conceived of God fulfilling His Word to them in the ways in which we are often told the NT demands they were fulfilled. This belief in the interpretative priory of the NT over the OT is accepted as “received truth” by a great many evangelical scholars and students today. But there are corollaries which are often left unexplored or ill-considered. Did the prophets of the OT speak and write in a sort of Bible Code which had to be picked through and deciphered by Apostolic authors resulting in hazy allusions and unanticipated concretizations of what seemed to be unambiguous language? Did God speak to men in times past in symbolic language so that we today could unravel what He really meant? Doesn’t this strongly imply that the OT was not really for them, but for us? Read more about Forty Reasons for Not Reinterpreting the OT by the NT: The First Twenty

Theology Thursday - Reasoned Eclecticism & the New Testament Text (Part 2)

Can textual criticism actually help us figure out what the original reading was? How does this work, on a practical level? In this short video, Dan Wallace explains why he believes it does work: 1

Now, Dan Wallace concludes his discussion about the reasoned eclectic approach to New Testament textual criticism:[2]

External Evidence

There are three pieces of external evidence that textual critics use to determine which variant is more likely to reflect the original wording: date and character, genealogical solidarity, and geographical distribution.

Read more about Theology Thursday - Reasoned Eclecticism & the New Testament Text (Part 2)

From the Archives: A Biblical Perspective on Demons & Deliverance Ministry

“Deliverance ministry” is enjoying increasing popularity in the church. Don Dickerman is a notable advocate, and teaches a “deliverance process.” For Dickerman, the basic thrust is as follows: Salvation is a first step to being free, but many Christians are oppressed by demons in their bodies, wills, minds, etc., resulting in ailments of all kinds. The demons don’t get into the spirit, Dickerman says, because the Holy Spirit indwells the spirit.

But while Dickerman insists a believer cannot be demon possessed, he does assert that believers can have demons in their soul, by appealing to certain legal rights to get in. These rights can come by unforgiveness, generational curses, secret society oaths or pledges, childhood traumas, and anxieties. If doors are opened to allow demons in, in they will come. Those same rights can be revoked, Dickerman asserts, but they must be handled by closing the legal-rights demonic doorways, and by binding and casting out the demons themselves.

The prescribed solution for demonic oppression is not counseling nor medication, but rather is “deliverance,” which includes intercessory prayer and binding and casting out demons, and which can allow Christians to be free from demons who lay claim to the Christian’s body, will, mind, or soul. Read more about From the Archives: A Biblical Perspective on Demons & Deliverance Ministry

The Significance of the Five Quotations of Isaiah 6:9-10 in the New Testament

All quotations of the Old Testament (OT) in the New Testament (NT) are significant. Yet when a particular OT passage is cited multiple times, we do well to study why the NT persons and writers viewed this text as so important. Such is the case with Isaiah 6:9-10, a text quoted in the NT five times in connection with national Israel’s rejection of Jesus as Messiah.

The context of Isaiah 6:9-10 is the prophet Isaiah’s commission to disobedient Israel around 740 B.C. Isaiah’s message to Israel would not result in the nation’s repentance but would result in their being further hardened: Read more about The Significance of the Five Quotations of Isaiah 6:9-10 in the New Testament

Jesus and the Legion of Demons (Mark 5:1-13)

This is a series about the Trinity. It explores this doctrine by brief expositions of different passages from throughout the Gospel of Mark, showing how the Trinity is the explicit and implicit teaching and assumption of Scripture.

Jesus and his disciples have finished their perilous crossing of the Sea of Galilee. There was a ferocious storm during the night. It was so bad, the men with him feared for their lives. Frantic, they woke Jesus up, probably because they were exasperated that He slept while they desperately bailed water from the boat. Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves, demonstrating His power, jurisdiction and authority over the forces of nature.

Though He had added a human nature in the incarnation, Jesus still retained all the properties of His divine nature and continued to uphold all things in creation as He lived as a man in His own creation (cf. Col 1; Heb 1).1 Read more about Jesus and the Legion of Demons (Mark 5:1-13)

The Coming of Christ

(About this series)

CHAPTER V — THE COMING OF CHRIST

BY PROFESSOR CHARLES R. ERDMAN, D. D., PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY

The return of Christ is a fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith. It is embodied in hymns of hope; it forms the chmax of the creeds; it is the subHme motive for evangehstic and missionary activity; and daily it is voiced in the inspired prayer: “Even so: Come, Lord Jesus.”

It is peculiarly a Scriptural doctrine. It is not, on the one hand, a dream of ignorant fanatics, nor, on the other, a creation of speculative theologians; but it is a truth divinely revealed, and recorded in the Bible with marked clearness, emphasis and prominence. Read more about The Coming of Christ

Theology Thursday - Reasoned Eclecticism & the New Testament Text

Daniel Wallace is a scholar who advocates a reasoned eclectic approach to New Testament textual criticism. Here, in this short video, he briefly explains this approach:1

In this short excerpt from his discussion of New Testament textual criticism from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, Dan Wallace explains the nuts and bolts of the reasoned eclectic approach to textual criticism:2 Read more about Theology Thursday - Reasoned Eclecticism & the New Testament Text

Why I Said “No” to Ghostwriting

Once upon a time, early on in my academic and writing career, I was invited to ghostwrite for a best-selling author (who shall remain anonymous). I recall my initial shock at the request, because, in my naïveté, I had no idea that there was any such thing as a ghostwriter. That I should write and someone else would put his or her name on what was written struck me as wrong on its face.

At the time, I understood little about the “biz,” though years later I admit—I don’t view ghostwriting much differently.

I didn’t decline the opportunity immediately. I wanted to consider carefully all the ramifications. I could see definite advantages. For the ghostwriter, there would be opportunity to become known in publishing circles, to hone one’s craft, and to develop a rapport with some well-known personalities. For the named writer, there would be the opportunity to be prolific without having to do all of the laborious footwork. In the competitive marketplace of ideas, being prolific is an inestimable advantage. Read more about Why I Said “No” to Ghostwriting