Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
MSJ 7:2 (Fall 96) p. 259
James DeYoung and Sarah Hurty. Beyond the Obvious. Discover the Deeper Meaning of Scripture. Gresham, Ore.: Vision House, 1995. 422 pp. $15.99 (cloth). Reviewed by James E. Rosscup, Professor of Bible Exposition.
This book challenges the traditional evangelical view that sees a single meaning in a Scripture text, the human author’s intent. The writers seek to show more possibility in valid meaning by inquiring how Jesus and the NT writers use the OT. Though seeing basic help in the historical-grammatical method, the co-authors contend that the divine Author in later Scripture takes revelation beyond the original human author’s intent into new details or even changes in meaning (34).
DeYoung is Professor of New Testament, Western Baptist Theological Seminary, Portland, Ore. Hurty is pursuing Ph.D. studies at the University of Sheffield, Sheffield, England.
The book aims to be clear even for readers not technically trained. It relegates some technical, in-depth comments to extensive end notes. Chapters 2–3 discuss historical and present efforts to find deeper meanings, 4–9 explain the writers’ theory, and 10 deals with where the hermeneutical approach leads. Appendices A-F discuss related matters such as the kingdom theme held to be the central, unifying factor for all biblical interpretation. Chapter lengths are 12–20 pages for the most part (Chap. 7 on “Knowing God the Author” is 32).
The authors hold that the literal hermeneutic makes good sense and curbs interpreters from whatever may strike their fancy. The literal method does not go far enough to fit with the NT’s use of the OT, in their opinion.
Chapter 1 offers examples of NT texts assuming more meaning than literal interpretation of the OT passages allow. In Ps 102:25–27 the psalmist speaks to Yahweh as creator, etc. But Heb 1:10–12 supplies
MSJ 7:2 (Fall 96) p. 260
new information that the God the psalmist addressed is Jesus, who will endure for eternity. The writers see this as a case where the writer of Hebrews changes (34) the authorial intent of the psalmist. This reviewer wonders if a better word choice would not be “complements” rather than “changes”. Naturally OT passages relating to the Lord, by progressive revelation, prepare for and are taken further later in the NT, which has the vantage point of seeing them in the fullest light. Also, one’s full and final interpretation of Psalm 102 in historical-grammatical methodology would include sensitivity to factors in all of the Bible (a unity). The method in...
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