How the New Testament Authors Used the Old Testament
November 25, 2013 Leave a comment
Over the years, there has been a lot of misunderstanding about the New Testament authors use of the Old Testament. Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, Director of Ariel Ministries has this online resource. He says:
THE RABBINIC BACKGROUND
In his definitive work, The History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, Emil Shuer noted that Later Judaism discovered that there is a fourfold meaning of Scriptures, which is indicated by the word pardes (Paradise), viz. 1. pshat, the simple or literal meaning; 2. remez (suggestion), the meaning arbitrarily imported into it; 3. drash (investigation), the meaning deduced by investigation; and 4. sod (mystery), the theosophic meaning. (pg. 348). He goes on to observe that the New Testament writers also applied these same four ways of quoting the Old Testament but makes the following distinction: In saying this however it must be remarked, that the exegetic method practiced in the New Testament, when compared with the usual Jewish method, is distinguished from it by its great enlightenment. The apostles and the Christian authors in general were preserved from the extravagances of Jewish exegesis by the regulative norm of the gospel.(pg. 349). As for the rabbinic extremes, he goes on to say: Jewish exegesis however,from which such a regulatory was absent, degenerated into the most capricious puerilities. From its standpoint, e.g. the transposition of words into numbers, or of numbers into words, for the purpose of obtaining the most astonishing disclosures, was by no means strange, and quite in accordance with its spirit. (Ibid).