Hermeneutics: Apostolic

Greg Beale made the following points:


“Jesus and the apostles had an unparalleled redemptive-historical perspective on the Old Testament in relation to their own situation…this perspective involved a framework of five hermeneutical and theological presuppositions:

1.      the assumption of corporate solidarity or representation.


2.      that Christ is viewed as representing the true Israel of the Old Testament and true Israel, the church, in the New Testament;


3.      that history is unified by a wise and sovereign plan so that the earlier parts are designed to correspond and point to the latter parts (cf. Matt. 11:13-14);


4.      that the age of eschatological fulfillment has come in Christ;


5.      as a consequence of (3) and (4), the fifth presupposition affirms that the latter parts of biblical history function as the broader context to interpret earlier parts because they all have the same ultimate divine author who inspires the various human authors, and one deduction from this premise is that Christ as the center of history is the key to interpreting the earlier portions of the Old Testament and its promises…


“Subsequently, New Testament Scripture interprets the Old Testament Scripture by expanding its meaning, seeing new implications in it and giving it new applications…this expansion does not contravene the integrity of the earlier texts but rather develops them in a way which is consistent with the Old Testament author’s understanding of the way in which God interacts with his people – which is the unifying factor between the Testaments. Therefore, the canon interprets the canon; later parts of the canon draw out and explain more clearly the earlier parts.


“…If the contemporary church cannot exegete and do theology like the apostles did, how can it feel corporately at one with them in the theological process?


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