The Citations Of The Old Testament In The New -- By: Charles A. Aiken

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 011:43 (Jul 1854)
Article: The Citations Of The Old Testament In The New
Author: Charles A. Aiken


The Citations Of The Old Testament In The New

Charles A. Aiken

[This translation is made from the third edition of the author’s treatise on “The Old Testament in the New,” which is usually found as an appendix to his Commentary on the Hebrews. The preceding edition of the appendix was translated with the commentary, and published in the “Cabinet Library,” of Messrs. Clark, Edinburgh, in 1842. The treatise has since that time been entirely remodelled (1849), and is, in its present form, in Germany, the standard discussion of this important and difficult subject. The fact of a former translation seemed to render desirable a new translation, rather than a mere abstract, as had been intended. Here and there a quotation or reference has been thrown into a foot-note; and one omission will be found noticed in its place. The high reputation of the author and the importance of the subject will be a sufficient justification of the attempt to lay this discussion before the readers of the Bibliotheca Sacra. Tr.]

The way in which all the writers of the New Testament, and especially the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, use the expressions of the Old Testament as proofs, is to us somewhat striking at the stage of development which exegesis has now reached, inasmuch as the passages of the Old Testament thus employed, have frequently a sense which seems to make them inappropriate to the argument, and, indeed, for citation at all in the connection. The Arminian theologians had, in their time, in support of the historical interpretation which they advocated, called especial attention to the fact, that among Jewish authors a like arbitrariness in the application of the Old Testament prevails; that they also explained passages of the Old Testament, and adduced them as proofs, or at least as parallels, altogether without regard to the original context. “So much every one perceives,” says the Fragmentist, at the end of the last century (on the Design of Jesus and his disciples, p. 176), “that unless one is ready to assume beforehand, on the ground of his faith in the New Testament, this principle, — this passage speaks of Jesus of Nazareth, — no single one of these quotations proves anything, but that they all in their natural sense speak of quite other persons, times and events.” “Whether now, under the influence of the imperfect cultivation of the age, the Old Testament, in the passages in question, was expounded by the apostles, by Christ himself, generally in inconsistency with the connection, is to appear in the course of the following examination. True, special investigations are never undertaken without certain dogmatic presuppositions, more or less fixed; on the other hand, the results of...

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