The New Testament Interpretation Of The Old Testament: A Comparative Study -- By: G. W. Grogan

Journal: Tyndale Bulletin
Volume: TYNBUL 18:1 (NA 1967)
Article: The New Testament Interpretation Of The Old Testament: A Comparative Study
Author: G. W. Grogan


The New Testament Interpretation Of The Old Testament: A Comparative Study*

G. W. Grogan

* This paper was first given at the New Testament and Biblical Theology Group of the Tyndale Fellowship, at Cambridge, in July 1966.

This study is limited to the Gospel of Matthew, the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Book of the Revelation, and the teaching of our Lord, sections of the New Testament material which seem to be of special interest because of their distinctive features or peculiar problems. The Acts of the Apostles and the Pauline corpus merit a separate survey, while the Gospel of John and the first Epistle of Peter have been left aside in order to restrict the material to be compared, although they might have been helpfully included.

I. The Hermeneutics Of The Gospel Of Matthew

We are to consider later the teaching of Jesus, and as some of this is recorded in Matthew we are faced with a methodological problem at this point. Our interest just now is in the mind of the author of the first Gospel rather than in that of Jesus, although we recognize that his selection of material from the teaching of Jesus reflects his mind also. Accordingly, we will take into account his record of this teaching, but will concentrate attention especially upon hermeneutical principles which can be seen from a study of his narrative framework and comments. This will be our primary material, while that taken from the Matthaean record of Dominical teaching will be given for additional illustration and will be placed in brackets in the notes.

(A) The Conception Of The Nature Of The Old Testament

A high conception of Scripture manifests itself somewhat differently from author to author. Matthew does not employ

the perfect γέγραπται very often with reference to the Old Testament, except when he is quoting the words of our Lord, when it does appear fairly frequently. More often he looks back to the word spoken, although of course he knew this only in its written form.1 It is probable that the reason for this is to be found in the fact that he viewed the Old Testament chiefly as a collection of prophetic oracles. In most of the citations with formula in this Gospel the idea of prophesying occurs.2 In view of this, it is not surprising to find this often associated with the thought of fulfilment.3 Does this mean that the idea of prediction governs everything for him? Not necessarily. Our author would have been extremely näive if he had thought that th...

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