Original Research

Developing an integrated approach to interpret New Testament use of the Old Testament

Gregory Y. Phillips, Fika Janse van Rensburg, Herrie F. van Rooy
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 46, No 2 | a50 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v46i2.50 | © 2012 Gregory Y. Phillips, Fika Janse van Rensburg, Herrie F. van Rooy | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 July 2012 | Published: 16 November 2012

About the author(s)

Gregory Y. Phillips, Research Unit for Reformed Theology, North-West University, South Africa
Fika Janse van Rensburg, Research Unit for Reformed Theology, North-West University,, South Africa
Herrie F. van Rooy, Research Unit for Reformed Theology, North-West University,, South Africa

Abstract

The aim of this article is to develop a specific approach to interpreting New Testament use of the Old Testament. The approach has integrated the most useful insights of studies in both Second Temple Judaism and present day literary theory in order to reach most consistently and effectively a valid explanation of the biblical data. In the process, severalimportant hermeneutical issues have been addressed. The focus of New Testament use of the Old Testament in the person and redemptive work of Jesus should always be the goal of Christian interpretation. Whilst old and new texts mutually interpret one another, it has been argued that there has been no ultimate ambiguity about the author’s intended, singular meaning or distortion of the original meaning of the old text. It is important to be aware that all readers come to a text with preconceived worldviews that are inevitably a mixture of biblical and unbiblical perspectives. However, this does not prevent a reader from attaining a valid understanding that adequately overlaps with the most probable meaning of the text as intended by the author. This most probable meaning is determined by the explanation that logically makes the most coherent and natural sense of most biblical data. The methodological procedure proposed has taken thegrammatical-historical method as the normative starting point of exegesis. It has then proceeded to imitate the New Testament in consideration of the broader canonical context, before considering explanations derived from the Second Temple literature or present day literary theory.

Die ontwerp van ‘n geïntegreerde benadering om Nuwe-Testamentiese gebruik van die Ou Testament te verstaan. Die bedoeling met hierdie artikel is om ’n benadering te ontwerp om die Nuwe-Testamentiese gebruik van die Ou Testament te verstaan. Dié benadering moet die mees bruikbare insigte van die navorsing oor die Tweede Tempelperiode en die hedendaagse literêre teorie integreer, met die oog daarop om op die mees konstante en effektiewe wyse ’n geldige verklaring van die Bybelse data te gee. In hierdie proses word etlike hermeneutiese vraagstukke onder die loep geneem. Aangesien die fokus van die Nuwe-Testamentiese gebruik van die Ou Testament die persoon en verlossingswerk van Jesus is, is dit nodig dat hierdie fokus by die Christen se verstaan ook teenwoordig is. Dit is so dat ouer en nuwer tekste mekaar interpreteer; dit hou egter nie in dat daar dubbelsinnigheid is oor die outeur se bedoelde enkele betekenis, of ’n skeeftrekking van die oorspronklike betekenis van die ouer teks nie. ’n Leser kom noodwendig na die teks met ’n spesifieke wêreldbeskouing, wat ’n mengsel is van Bybelse en onbybelse perspektiewe. Dit verhoed die leser egter nie om by ’n geldige verstaan van die teks uit te kom wat voldoende oorvleuel met die mees waarskynlike betekenis van die teks soos wat die outeur dit bedoel het en wat logieserwys die meeste van die bybelse data goed en organies verreken nie. Die voorgestelde benadering neem die grammaties-historiese metode as die normatiewe beginpunt vir eksegese, en volg dan die Nuwe Testament self na deur die breër kanoniese konteks te verreken. Eers dan word die literatuur van die Tweede Tempelperiode asook die literêre teorie van die huidige tyd verreken.

Keywords

Hermeneutics – apostolic; intertextuality; New Testament in relation to Old Testament; Old Testament usage; reader-response theory

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Crossref Citations

1. ‘Son of man’ in the Gospel of Mark
Marius Nel
In die Skriflig / In Luce Verbi  vol: 51  issue: 3  year: 2017  
doi: 10.4102/ids.v51i3.2096