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Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology) [Paperback]

By Kenneth Berding (Editor) & Jonathan Lunde (Editor)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.9" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2008
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
Age  18
ISBN  0310273331  
EAN  9780310273332  
UPC  025986273330  

Availability  92 units.
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Item Description...
This book in the Counterpoints: Exploring Theology series introduces the various approaches presently employed in the study of the uses of the Old Testament in the New Testament, especially in those instances where the New Testament authors discern the fulfillment of a prophetic element in the Old Testament text. The foundational issue concerns the relationship of the human author?s intention to the Divine Author?s intention.

Publishers Description
To read the New Testament is to meet the Old Testament at every turn. But exactly how do Old Testament texts relate to their New Testament references and allusions? Moreover, what fruitful interpretive methods do New Testament texts demonstrate? Leading biblical scholars Walter Kaiser, Darrel Bock and Peter Enns each present their answers to questions surrounding the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament. Contributors address elements such as Divine and human authorial intent, the context of Old Testament references, and theological grounds for an interpretive method. Each author applies his framework to specific texts so that readers can see how their methods work out in practice. Each contributor also receives a thorough critique from the other two authors. A one-stop reference for setting the scene and presenting approaches to the topic that respect the biblical text, Three Views on the New Testament Use of Old Testament gives readers the tools they need to develop their own views on this important subject. The Counterpoints series provides a forum for comparison and critique of different views on issues important to Christians. Counterpoints books address two categories: Church Life and Bible and Theology. Complete your library with other books in the Counterpoints series.

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More About Kenneth Berding & Jonathan Lunde

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Stanley N. Gundry is executive vice president and editor-in-chief for the Zondervan Corporation. He has been an influential figure in the Evangelical Theological Society, serving as president of ETS and on its executive committee, and is adjunct professor of Historical Theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He is the author of seven books and has written many articles appearing in popular and academic periodicals.

Stanley N. Gundry currently resides in Grand Rapids, in the state of Michigan.

Stanley N. Gundry has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Counterpoints
  2. Counterpoints (Zondervan)
  3. Counterpoints: Bible & Theology
  4. Counterpoints: Bible and Theology
  5. Counterpoints: Church Life Counterpoints: Church Life
  6. Counterpoints: Exploring Theology

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
personal library  Mar 2, 2010
An addition to personal library, do not know when chance will arise to read as seminary still requires another year of reading, no time for personal pursuits at this time.
A must-have for the NT use of the OT  Dec 8, 2008
The book begins with an introduction by Dr. Jonathan Lunde which serves to frame the interaction which follows. He identifies the central question as being the relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament authors' intended meaning. Surrounding this central issue he identifies five "orbiting questions":

1. Is sensus plenior an appropriate way of explaining the NT use of the OT?
2. How is typology best understood?
3. Do the NT writers take into account the context of the passages they cite?
4. Does the NT writers' use of Jewish exegetical methods explain the NT use of the OT?
5. Are we able to replicate the exegetical and hermeneutical approaches to the OT that we find in the writings of the NT? (12)

The participants in this discussion (Walter Kaiser, Darrell Bock, and Peter Enns) articulate their positions by addressing these questions and by illustrating how their view works in particular biblical texts.

First, Walter Kaiser argues for the "single meaning, unified referents" view. Whereas many scholars see a problematic disparity between the NT authors' meaning and that of the OT authors, this perspective claims that closer exegetical investigation reveals complete harmony between the two. Kaiser goes even further down this line of thinking by arguing that the Old Testament writers understood where their prophecies were moving. Consequently, he rejects any appeal to sensus plenior or to the use of Jewish exegetical methods to explain any supposed tension.

Second, Darrell Bock argues for the "single meaning, multiple contexts and referents" view. While acknowledging that there is disparity between the NT and the OT meanings, he nevertheless argues that they are fundamentally connected. He makes this move through employing the distinction of "sense" and "referent." While there may be a disparity on the level of "referent," there is a unity on the level of "sense." Therefore, like Kaiser, he seeks to vindicate the NT authors' reading of the OT. However, unlike Kaiser, he is quite willing to appeal to sensus plenior and to the use of Jewish exegetical methods in order to explain what the NT authors were doing.

Third, Peter Enns argues for the "fuller meaning, single goal" view. Out of all three views, Enns allows for the greatest amount of tension between the meaning of the OT and NT authors. Although he affirms that we must factor in the questions of sensus plenior and typology, he rejects the usage of these concepts to attempt to remove this tension. On the contrary, he claims that the NT authors did not always respect the context of the OT passages to which they refer. However, he agues that this isn't a problem because they used Jewish exegetical methods which were appropriate to their time and context, and most importantly, because they properly read the OT Scriptures with a "Christotelic" hermeneutic.

Dr. Kenneth Berding then concludes the book by offering a summary of these three positions (with a very handy summary chart on page 240), by noting the "benefits" and "potential problems" of these three views, and by offering a "probing question" to each of the contributors.

Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament is an excellent introduction to this topic and I highly recommend it. Dr. Jonathan Lunde and Dr. Kenneth Berding are particularly to be thanked for the following reasons.

First, the project which they have undertaken here is much needed. Those who have given the topic of the NT's use of the OT some attention will know that it is one of the most challenging and yet most fruitful areas in biblical studies. Beyond the obvious essential of doing good exegesis of both Old and New Testament texts, it further requires of students that they give particular attention to textual, hermeneutical, and canonical considerations. Beyond this, beginners are faced with the challenge that there is relatively little introductory level secondary literature in this area. This book helps to fill this gap in the literature by providing students with a substantial yet accessible introduction to this subject.

Second, although books of the "Counterpoint" variety aim to introduce to the major viewpoints rather than to break any new ground on their subject, the framework for this topic outlined by Dr. Lunde in his introductory chapter (i.e., the central question with its five "orbiting questions") provides readers with a new way to break down the issues in order to more effectively organize their thoughts and determine where they stand. This point could easily be overlooked, but it is worth noting. Whereas many of the other counterpoint volumes have topics in which there are already clearly delineated positions, such is not the case with this topic. While there have been some attempts to do this (see, for example, Darrell Bock's own attempt: "Evangelicals and the Use of the Old Testament in the New [part 1]," Bib Sac 142:567 [Jul 1985], 209-223), there have not been many. In any case, I believe that readers will find Lunde and Berding's approach to be especially helpful.

Rather than delve into a few of my somewhat minor criticisms and my general disappointment with Kaiser's contribution, I conclude this already overly lengthy review on a more appropriately positive note--a quote from Dr. Lunde: "If the church wakes up to this dimension of the NT use of the OT, it will recover the profound perspective that the first Christians had in relation to Jesus--a perspective that enlivened a mission that changed the world." ( accessed on December 1, 2008).
Good Debate - No Clear Winner, but I lean toward Bock's view  Dec 6, 2008
Do the New Testament writers use the OT in its grammatical historical sense, or do they give it a deeper meaning unforeseen by the OT writers? These questions and more are developed in this volume. Walter Kaiser defends the single meaning, unified referents viewpoint. He believes that the NT writers presented Christ as the fulfillment of the OT, and that they didn't bring out a deeper meaning unforeseen by the OT writers. Kaiser rejects the notion that 1 Peter 1:10-12, 2 Peter 1:19-21, and John 11:49-52 are examples that support the sensus plenior (deeper meaning viewpoint) reading of the text. Moreover, he presents John 13:18 as a direct fulfillment of Psalm 41:9, Acts 15 as a direct fulfillment of Amos 9:9-15, and Acts 2:30-35 as a direct fulfillment of Psalm 16.

Darrell Bock effectively counters Kaiser, noting that Psalm 41 probably had an initial application to Ahithopel's betrayal of David, and that Psalm 16 was probably the Psalmist's reflection on his own experience in its initial application. But Bock contends that the general meaning of Psalm 41 remains the same in the NT: It's about a good king being betrayed by a friend. Similarly, Psalm 16 is about a future beyond the grave.

In Bock's own essay, he develops this idea more fully. He notes that Psalm 2 is about people opposing God and His regent king, and Acts 4 sticks with this same meaning, only that the enemy of God is not just the Gentile nations, now it is Israel in their opposition to the apostles!

Peter Enns goes on to say that the NT writers did not always stick with the original meaning that the OT writers had in mind. He believes that Paul and other NT writers used pesher, midrash, and other hermeneutical tools that were prevalent during the era of Second Temple Judaism. His best example was probably Matthew's use of Hosea 11. Hosea is talking about how God called Israel out of Egypt and Matthew describes this text as being fulfilled when Christ and his parents were called INTO Egypt (Matthew 2).

Kaiser counters by saying that the common thread is the expression "My son." Christ's ancestors were alive when they were called out of Egypt, and so Christ himself, in a sense, was being called out of Egypt in Hosea 11. But I found this to be an extremely weak counter. Hosea 11 goes on to say "The more I (God) called, the more they strayed." Did Christ himself go astray from God?

My answer would be that Christ as the exemplary Israelite relives Israelite history in His own experience. He fulfills Hosea 11 analogically. Just as God called Israel into and then out of Egypt, God called Christ into and then out of Egypt. In other words, I'm sort of in line with Bock. Matthew sticks with Hosea's general meaning: God's son being called into and then eventually out of Egypt. This view is also the one presented by Craig Blomberg in his commentary on Matthew.

I think three essays made very good points. None of the writers landed a knockout blow, but my own view seems to be similar to Darrell Bock's. I should also mention that the opening essay of this book presents the five or six questions that Bock, Kaiser, and Enns answer as they deal with these issues.

If you're interested in the relationship between the testaments, I think this is a great place to start, but not the final word.
A Good Entry Point Into the Study of the NT Use of the OT  Nov 10, 2008
"Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old" is a collection and interaction of three essays on the topic of how to understand the New Testament authors' use of the Old Testament. The three contributors to the book are Walter Kaiser (single meaning, unified referents view), Darrell Bock (single meaning, multiple contexts and referents view), and Peter Enns (fuller meaning, single goal view). Each of the three lengthy chapters includes an essay by one of the contributors espousing his view followed by two short responses by the other contributors.

Co-editor Jonathan Lunde lays the conceptual foundation for the rest of the work in the introduction and orients the reader to the book's primary question when he writes, "When New Testament authors appeal to OT texts in order to support or validate their arguments, the relationship between their meanings and that which was originally intended by their OT forebears is the central question" (pg. 11). In addition to this central question the contributors are also asked to address five "orbiting questions" in their essays. These five questions are:

1. Is sensus plenior an appropriate way of explaining the NT use of the OT?
2. How is typology best understood?
3. Do the NT writers take into account the context of the passages they cite?
4. Does the NT writers' use of Jewish exegetical methods explain the NT use of the OT?
5. Are we able to replicate the exegetical and hermeneutical approaches to the OT that we find in the writings of the NT?

The five questions provide the conceptual framework for the contributor's essays and encapsulate some of the specific points of debate in the overall discussion. The general purpose of the work as a whole is modest. Lunde again writes "We are seeking simply to expose our readers to a range of approaches to some of the questions posed by this issue, in the hope that their understanding will be deepened at various levels, enabling them to evaluate conclusions..." (p. 10). The book unquestionably achieves this overall goal and serves as a valuable resource to any student of God's Word wishing to explore the NT use of the OT.

I would firmly recommend this book to any student of Scripture who is seeking to understand the issue at hand more fully. Even if one does not agree in total with any one particular view presented, one will quickly come to an understanding of the questions that must be answered and will make progress in seeking to become "a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)

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