Going Beyond What is Written or Learning to Read? Discovering OT/NT Broad Reference -- By: Ian Turner

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 61:3 (Sep 2018)
Article: Going Beyond What is Written or Learning to Read? Discovering OT/NT Broad Reference
Author: Ian Turner


Going Beyond What is Written or Learning to Read? Discovering OT/NT Broad Reference

Ian Turner*

* Ian Turner is a Ph.D. student in Biblical Studies at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, 2965 Leonard St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525. He may be contacted at iturner11@prts.edu.

Abstract: When NT authors quote the OT, are they evoking the larger context of the precursor text and inviting readers to explore it? This question of “broad reference” has received affirmative answers within the field of the NT use of the OT. Broad reference has been described as a matter of authorial intent (Beale) or as textual resonances discerned by skilled readers (Hays). Building upon prior insights, this study suggests linguistic categories to develop a discourse-focused description of broad reference. The ideas of cohesion and coherence from discourse analysis (Halliday/Hasan) are used to clarify the process of broad reference, which is seen as a collaboration of author, (con)text, and reader to achieve a coherent sense of how Christ and the Scriptures redemptively speak to our situation. We then explore broad reference of Psalm 34 in 1 Peter 1–2, discerning surprising resonances of Psalm 34 beyond the explicit quotation in 1 Pet 2:3.

Key words: pointer quotations, broad reference, OT/NT, discourse analysis, cohesion, coherence, Dodd, Beale, Hays, Halliday and Hasan, 1 Peter

I. DISCOVERING OT/NT BROAD REFERENCE

In her commentary on 1 Peter, Karen Jobes arrives at a passage where Peter teaches believers to love one another (1:22) since they have been born again “through the living and abiding word of God” (1:23). The apostle then quotes Isa 40:6–8—“all flesh is like grass … but the word of the Lord remains forever”—in order for his original audience of scattered Christian in Asia Minor to see that they “are now part of the people to whom God has been faithful for long ages past” and that they “can face the hostility of their society with the assurance that God is powerful to deliver.”1

What is unexpected is Jobes’s next statement: “The Christians needed to be reminded of the power of their God. Though not quoted, the words of Isaiah continue in 40:12–26, reminding them of the great dimensions of their...

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