Book Review -- By: Alan D. Ingalls
JMAT 13:1 (Spring 2009) p. 151
Associate Professor of Old Testament
Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania
Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. Walter C. Kaiser Jr., Darrell L. Bock, and Peter Enns. Ed. Kenneth Berding and Jonathan Lunde. Counterpoints series, ed. Stanley N. Gundry. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007. 237 pages. $16.99.
This new work in Zondervan’s Counterpoints series provides three views on the NT’s use of the OT by three eminent scholars who represent these views and respond to one another’s views. Co-editor of the volume Jonathan Lunde provides an introduction which frames the nature of the issue: “When NT 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” (10-11). This question he terms the “gravitational center” of the debate (11). Around this issue are “five orbiting questions” which are closely related to the center: sensus plenior, typology, the context of the OT source-text, the use of Jewish exegetical methods current in the first century AD, and our ability to replicate the methods of the NT authors (12). Lunde’s extended introduction (35 pages), unfortunately, leaves the present reviewer with a strong impression that Lunde has prejudiced the case. For example, he spends considerable effort to describe the kinds of Jewish exegetical methods ascribed to the NT authors, with little explanation of why some reject such methods, suggesting to the present reviewer that he favors such methods. Furthermore, this introduction was perhaps the most opaque and difficult section of the entire book. For a book that Lunde says is designed to inform “professors, pastors, and lay people who are not specialists in the field,”1 the introduction seems counterproductive.
The first contributor is Walter Kaiser, who espouses a view labeled “Single Meaning, Unified Referents.” Kaiser’s view is perhaps the best known of the three views. Kaiser argues that
JMAT 13:1 (Spring 2009) p. 152
there is one meaning, the meaning intended and understood by the OT writer. The person(s) referred to by the OT writer (the “referents”) are unified. For example, the “Holy One” of Psalm 16 can refer both to the kings of the Davidic dynasty and to an individual representative of that line, the Messiah (80). Interpretation may include “antecedent scriptural development of words, phrases, concepts, events, and expectations” (75), but not later ones. Kaiser ...
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