By Max StrangeBiblical Theological Study Center
Beginning to Study the Whole Purpose of God A Christo-Presuppositional Approach to the Entire Scriptures
- Find the preliminary meaning of the text as it was understood by the original recipients.
- Seek to understand the message as it was first delivered to
the people of God. (Kaiser)
- This involves the structure of the text, immediate context,
author and audience relationship, the speech and the act that takes place.
- We begin to take note of the themes, repetitions, allusions,
genre, and typology.
- This involves exegesis and the historical-grammatico method
- Immediate context is vital; however this is a starting point and not
- From the immediate context begin to think of the wider
contextual range (Sentence, Paragraph, book, whole Bible).
- At this time, resist the temptation to utilize subsequent passages
to validate the meaning or to move out from the immediate context.
- Remembering that all exegesis must finally be a Christocentric exegesis.
- Allow God’s message of the entire Bible to unfold Christologically.
- Allow the Bible’s natural progress of redemption to flow forward and back again in a reciprocal relationship to understand the full significance from Old to New and from New to Old. (Gerhard Hasel pp 184).
- Let the natural themes, motifs, “bi-directional” longitudinal conceptsthroughout the whole canon set the agenda in order to illuminate the variety of thematic perspectives and textual totality. (Gerhard Hasel pp 188)
- Begin to use Biblical Theology to discover the full significance:
- Biblical theology makes use of the results of exegesis (Vos)
- Biblical Theology is essentially the examination of the individual
parts to see how they fit into the big picture (Goldsworthy 68).
- Ultimate understanding of truth and reality is through Jesus and
His gospel who is the summation of all revelation and embedded in own Word (Goldsworthy 69).
- The Old and New Testaments are intimately connected (Hasel 183)
- Recognize the preliminary nature of the OT and the definitive word
that comes in the NT.
- The New Testament interprets the Old Testament, while the Old Testament interprets the New Testament.
- The ultimate boundaries of a text’s interpretation is the full
Biblical canon, not the text itself (Hasel 183)
- Biblical theology deals with texts in the totality of their final form.
- Our goal is to unearth the fullest claims of biblical revelation
within the context of Scripture. (Hasel 183, 194)
- The OT and NT live in reciprocal and historical relationship
(Hasel 184; Goldsworthy 69)
- The New Testament elucidates the Old Testament in a
refractory and reflective way (219).
- The original text is loaded with meaning and that meaning will
be unpacked when it is opened to the full Biblical context. (Hasel 184)
- Revelation is progressive.
- Progressive revelation makes clearer the shadowy shapes
of the Old.
- The immediate context is never the end of the Story.
- Scripture interprets scripture, that is to say that God
determines and controls the meaning of his own words (Bresson)
- The whole of the Old Testament scriptures are prophetic
and they find their fulfillment in the New Testament (Luke 24:44).
- The New Testament’s use of the Old testament is a reflection of the progress of revelation in Jesus Christ (Darrell Bock 216)
- Think like a Jew and then interpret like a Christian.
- Utilize the Analogy of Faith (Scripture Interprets Scripture)
- God’s Word interprets itself.
- Jesus is the Word who was the compliant listener and perfect (Grand) interpreter of all His Father said (John 15:15; Goldsworthy 69)
- Use antecedent theology to find the immediate context and then use subsequent theology to find its fullest expression in reciprocate fashion (Luke 24:27, 32, 44).
- The wider biblical context remains an extrapolation on the
grammatico-historical plane, not a new projection onto the plane of allegory (Darrel Bock 214)
- Look carefully for theological progression, allusions to prior and post events, types, shadows, realities, historical sequences, gradual unfolding, development, growing truth, direct or indirect quotations, and references to covenants in the text that assume a prior knowledge (Vos).
- Look for Christ even if He isn’t there directly. It is better to see Christ
in a text even if He isn’t, than to miss Him where He is.
- Jesus and the Apostles give us our Hermeneutical Norm and so we interpret the Old Testament the way Jesus and the Apostles did.
- Read the Old Testament like a 1st century Jewish Christian with a developed theology of messianic expectation realized in Christ
(paraphrase of Bock 217).
- Fuller sense is not allegorical but derives its meaning from the Scriptures itself.
- Principles of New Testaments use of the Old Testament
- Typology is not some open theological sesame to allegory if done under the control of Biblical Theology (countering Kaiser Pp 135).
- Old Testament passages are interpreted by the NT authors (and Jesus) in light of the Christ Event.
- The New Testament uses of the O.T. as interpretive support for its various conclusions (Bresson).
- The New Testament provides definitive interpretation of the Old Testament quotations (Bresson).
- The New Testament’s use of the O.T. provides Christians an interpretive pattern (Bresson).
- Often the OT quotation is a memory-marker for the larger Old Testament unit (Bresson).
- Kaiser, Walter, (1981), Theological Analysis: Chapter 6 in Towards an Exegetical Theology: Biblical Exegesis for Preaching and teaching: Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House Co; pp 131-147.
- Hasel, F. Gerhard. The Future of Biblical Theology: Chapter 14 pp. 179-194
- Bock, L. Darrell, (1985) Evangelicals and the Use of the Old Testament Part 1. pp. Bibliotheca Sacra, 209-223.
- Goldsworthy, Graeme, (2006), Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics; InterVarsity Press, pp. 68-69.
- Vos, Geerhardus, (May 8, 1894), Inaugural Address; Anson D.F. Randolph & Co. New York.