Parallelism Of Foreshadowing And Fulfillment: Considering Affinity And Dissimilarity In Johannine And Matthean Use Of Old Testament Prophecy -- By: Christopher Cone

Journal: Journal of Ministry and Theology
Volume: JMAT 23:1 (Spring 2019)
Article: Parallelism Of Foreshadowing And Fulfillment: Considering Affinity And Dissimilarity In Johannine And Matthean Use Of Old Testament Prophecy
Author: Christopher Cone


Parallelism Of Foreshadowing And Fulfillment: Considering Affinity And Dissimilarity In Johannine And Matthean Use Of Old Testament Prophecy

Christopher Cone

In earlier research this writer proposed Johannine Parallelism of Foreshadowing and Fulfillment (JPFF) as an exegetically viable model for strongly affirming that the NT use of the OT is indeed rooted in and consistent with the literal grammatical historical hermeneutic (LGH).2 The JPFF device is readily observed in John’s Gospel in his usage of fulfillment language and the sign metaphor. In his Gospel, JPFF shows that John’s concept of fulfillment is more consistently the culmination of foreshadowing than it is the simple occurrence of predicted events. One proposed advantage of this model over Thomas’s Inspired Sensus Plenior Application (ISPA) and Cooper’s Law of Double Reference (LDR) is a seemingly closer adherence to LGH. But while Thomas’s ISPA and Cooper’s LDR approaches are broadly applicable in understanding NT use of the OT, JPFF was examined only in the Johannine context.

The proposal for JPFF acknowledged further need of research to assess whether or not John’s device for handling the OT was shared by other NT writers, and especially Matthew, since Matthew makes greater use of the OT in his Gospel than does

John in his. This paper examines whether or not Matthew’s utilization of the OT aligns with JPFF, or whether Matthew employs a different hermeneutic device (such as ISPA or LDR). If Matthew’s hermeneutic is consistent with John’s then we can understand Parallelism of Fulfillment and Foreshadowing (PFF) as not just Johannine, but as a device applied by those whom Jesus taught directly, applied from the earliest NT books to the most recent (spanning the entirety of NT textual history) and thus as a leading hermeneutic principle for Biblical interpretation – a foundational principle of LGH.

The scope of this paper is very narrow. It is not intended to provide a consideration of how other interlocutors have handled Matthew and particular challenges within Matthew’s Gospel. Other writers have handled in some detail numerous hermeneutic approaches to Matthew, including pesher3 and other typological considerations4 but these largely appeal to external factors to derive hermeneutic understanding. Swiss theologian Ulrich Luz, for example, concludes especially from his handling of Matthean fulfillment passages that,

Matthew’s Gospel is a Jesus story with double meaning … . M...

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