Preaching Christ from the Old Testament: A Review of Elliott Johnson and Vern Poythress -- By: G. K. Beale
SBJT 22:3 (Fall 2018) p. 85
Preaching Christ from the Old Testament: A Review of Elliott Johnson and Vern Poythress
G. K. Beale is the J. Gresham Machen Chair and Research Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia). He earned his PhD from Cambridge University. He is author of such books as a commentary on The Book of Revelation (Eerdmans, 1999), The Temple and the Church’s Mission (IVP, 2004), We Become What We Worship (IVP, 2008), New Testament Biblical Theology (Baker, 2011), and a Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Baker, 2012). Dr. Beale is a minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, a husband, and father of three.
Review of Elliott Johnson, “Expository Preaching and Christo-Promise”
It is a privilege to comment on Elliott Johnson’s essay, since I was a former student of his at Dallas Theological Seminary. His essay is brief. He writes in order “to demonstrate that a grammatical interpretation of various Old Testament (OT) mentions of promise includes the presence of Christ” (p. 36). Accordingly, this promise is unfolded as redemptive history progresses. He makes an important hermeneutical conclusion: biblical authors, like Moses, intend to express that Christ is the ultimate object of the promises (e.g., of the Abrahamic promise that his seed will bless all the nations) and that this authorial intent could be understood by readers of the time, despite whether or not there is any evidence that they, in fact, did understand. He successfully demonstrates this through his discussion of a few OT texts, especially texts from Genesis: Genesis 3:15; 12:1–3; 15:1–6;
SBJT 22:3 (Fall 2018) p. 86
2 Samuel 7:11b-16; and Psalm 16:10.
There is, of course, much more that Johnson could have discussed that would have further supported his argument. He cites 2 Corinthians 1:20 (“For every one of God’s promises is ‘yes’ in him”), which supports the notion that all of God’s promises in the OT begin fulfillment with Christ’s first coming and will be consummated in him at his final coming. Likewise, Johnson adduces Luke 24:27: “beginning in Moses and all the prophets he (Jesus) expounded to them in all the Scripture things concerning himself” (HCSB). Elliott never tells us to what “all the Scripture” refers. Does it refer only to those places where t...
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