Two days ago I had the privilege of giving my “inaugural lecture” here at Grace Theological Seminary, the title of which is the heading for this post. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening, as the audience asked good, thought-provoking questions. If you are interested, the audio can be found here.
The short answer to the question I posed was not only should we read the OT the way the NT authors did, but that we must if we are to be faithful to the way that Jesus expects us to read the OT. I then proceeded to look at three key passages: Luke 24:25-32, 44-49; Romans 15:4; 1 Cor 10:11. After examining these passages, I concluded by offering four key assumptions that the NT authors had when they read the OT. They are:
1. Because Christ is the fulfillment of God’s promises in the OT, every part of the OT in some way points forward to Christ and the redemption he accomplished.
2. Within all its diversity the OT tells an overarching story of God’s plan to redeem a people for himself who proclaim his glory to the ends of the earth.
3. History is unified by a wise and sovereign plan of God such that the earlier parts are designed to correspond and point to latter points in history.
4. In light of the first three assumptions, our reading of the OT and our understanding of redemption in Christ must continually reshape each other.
I don’t pretend to have made the definitive statement on the subject, and I am well aware that the issues surround the question are complex, but I am convinced that identifying these assumptions of the NT authors is a useful starting point.
I’d welcome any comments or questions you might have.