Monday, August 22, 2011

How to Read the Old Testament

Everything has to be understood in light of the ministry of Jesus.  For example, King David is a type of the ultimate Priest-King who was to arise in the Order of Melchizedek.  There is much in the Psalms that points to specific details of Christ's ministry.  On a purely grammatico-historical reading much in the OT the NT writers apply to Christ would be ruled out as metaphorical language for the spiritual situation of OT Israel/ Israelites alone.  The early Church then drew applications for the new covenant ministry by spiritual analogy to Christ's office. 

If we presuppose two stages of hermeneutical continuity between:

1) OT type & NT anti-type, and
2) Christ's royal priesthood & the Church's royal priesthood,

many important spiritual applications can be (and were) made for Church order and worship. 

We should generally assume that the ancient universal practices in the Church were based on a spiritual hermeneutic we are obliged to ourselves receive and unqualified to reject.  This spiritual hermeneutic is none other than the Christian Faith in operation as the Scriptures are opened.


Anonymous said...

Because Christ's own hermeneutic places himself at the center of the Law and Prophets, He is the very substance of the Hebrew Scriptures, and, consequently, their fufillment. But he broadens this into an antitypology with profound ecclesial implications (e.g. he tells the Apostles that his Ascension and enthronement will inaugurate their rule of a regenerated Israel from twelve thrones). And in various guises, or in the parlance of type and fulfilment, using familar OT imagery-Israel,temple, kingdom, covenant, field, tree and branch, altar, sacrifice- this ecclesial dimension receives further amplification in the NT Epistles. Not all of it is allegorical, though some of it certainly is; but it is based on a "spiritual" hermeneutic which frustrates the search for a literal fulfillment of the type, or a one-on-one correspondence between type and antitype. Typology has not been rejected by those who insist upon a strictly historical/grammatical exegesis, but I get the feeling they are reluctant to admit that a spiritual antitype, such as the Church, can stand as the real fulfillment of the OT types (in this case, Israel and the Temple).


Anonymous said...

Here is an explication by Dr. Mascall of how biblical typology does not always have a one-one correspondence between type and antitype:

"When we recall that one of the central themes-we might say indeed the central theme-of the New Testament is that of the restoration and revivification of Israel, the people of God, by Jesus who is israel's Messiah, the declaration that the Twelve shall 'sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel' is clearly seen as establishing the twelve Apostles as the Patriarchs of the New Israel, as the twelve sons of Jacob were the Patriarchs of the Old. It is true that the type of Patriarchate, like all the other Old Testament types which our Lord fulfills, is transformed in its fulfillment; it is not always sufficiently remembered that typology is an analogical and not a univocal mode of communicating information."


karar94 said...

visit my channel and learn how to become more healthy.