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Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament Hardcover – November 1, 2007
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From the Inside Flap
"Beale and Carson have given us a volume that will certainly become a standard for all serious Bible readers, ministers, and scholars. We are in their debt. As a preacher, I would especially encourage other preachers to use this volume in honing their understanding of God's Word and in leading their congregations to better understand the Old Testament, the same Scriptures that Jesus taught his disciples. I'm even planning on using this to help select appropriate Scripture readings for public services."
--Mark Dever, pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC
"There has been a great need for a comprehensive study of the New Testament's use of the Old Testament. This arduous task has now been accomplished by very competent New Testament scholars, resulting in an excellent reference work. It is well thought out and the style makes it easy to use; a must for every serious student of the Bible."
--Harold W. Hoehner, Dallas Theological Seminary
Craig L. Blomberg (Denver Seminary) on Matthew
Rikk E. Watts (Regent College) on Mark
David W. Pao (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) and Eckhard J. Schnabel (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) on Luke
Andreas J. Köstenberger (Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) on John
I. Howard Marshall (University of Aberdeen) on Acts
Mark A. Seifrid (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) on Romans
Roy E. Ciampa (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) and Brian S. Rosner (Moore Theological College) on 1 Corinthians
Peter Balla (Károli Gáspár Reformed University, Budapest) on 2 Corinthians
Moisés Silva (author of Philippians in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) on Galatians and Philippians
Frank S. Thielman (Beeson Divinity School) on Ephesians
G. K. Beale (Wheaton College Graduate School) on Colossians
Jeffrey A. D. Weima (Calvin Theological Seminary) on 1 and 2 Thessalonians
Philip H. Towner (United Bible Societies) on 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus
George H. Guthrie (Union University) on Hebrews
D. A. Carson (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) on the General Epistles
G. K. Beale (Wheaton College Graduate School) and Sean M. McDonough (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) on Revelation
From the Back Cover
An Exploration of Old Testament Quotations, Allusions, and Echoes
Occurring from Matthew through Revelation
"This really is a new sort of commentary! For the first time we are given a continuous exegetical reading of the way each New Testament book quotes, alludes to, and evokes the Old Testament Scriptures. This volume will be an immensely useful resource for all kinds of study of the New Testament."
--Richard Bauckham, University of St. Andrews
"Every scholar would profit by having a copy of this thorough and judicious work on his or her desk. The authors have collected for us an immense amount of material and insight in a relatively short space, and many of us will be grateful for their efforts. This commentary is a profound witness to the unity of the Testaments in the mystery of Christ."
--Francis Martin, Sacred Heart Seminary
"Finally a volume that surveys the use of the Old Testament in each book of the New Testament. Written by top-tier scholars with unsurpassed expertise in New Testament exegesis, these essays model sound engagement with Scripture that quotes Scripture. This excellent collection is a must-read for all who wish to understand how the New Testament writers understood and used their Bible. This long-awaited volume deserves to become a standard text that will hopefully launch a new stage of fresh work in biblical research."
--Karen H. Jobes, Wheaton College
"More than a generation ago, C. H. Dodd and a few other scholars began sowing the seeds of a new and fruitful approach to reading Scripture, by studying the New Testament writers' use of Old Testament texts. The present commentary thus represents the harvest of decades of research into the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. By carefully observing various factors, ranging from the textual to the theological, each contributor shows how the New Testament writers were not only careful readers of the Old Testament but also profound theologians themselves. The scholars on this superb team assembled by Beale and Carson distill many new and remarkable insights for exegesis and theology, all of which serve to demonstrate the explanatory power of this approach for the present and the future. This landmark volume should prove to be an invaluable resource for both the church and the academy--for pastors, teachers, and students alike, whether Protestant or Catholic--and for anyone wanting to go deeper into the heart of sacred Scripture. Indeed, Beale and Carson are to be thanked and congratulated for a momentous accomplishment."
--Scott Hahn, Franciscan University of Steubenville
"Finally we have a work that examines the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament and covers the entirety of the New Testament in a single volume. Pastors, students, and scholars will profit from the careful attention to both the Old and New Testament contexts in which the citations occur, and they will be enriched by the theological depth represented in this important book."
--Thomas R. Schreiner, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
"Few areas of New Testament study are as often discussed as the New Testament's use of the Old. There has long been a need for a careful case-by-case treatment, since the use we see in the New Testament is so varied and diverse. This commentary meets that need admirably. It is thorough yet concise, clear yet detailed. All will be led into helpful reflection on this important area of study. Well done to the editors and authors of this useful and unique commentary."
--Darrell L. Bock, Dallas Theological Seminary
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Top Customer Reviews
For the lay reader, be aware that this is a scholarly book, with all the Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, and (I suspect) even Coptic terms used freely, just when I've gotten in the habit of tracking down Greek, I have to deal with two even more difficult languages. I mention that primarily for those who are allergic to footnotes and phrases in languages other than English. Otherwise, I am delighted in how easy the reading is in all the contributions from eighteen (18) major scholars on the New Testament.
Much of this is attributable to the marching orders given to the writers by the two editors. This list of guidelines makes the diverse contributions very uniform, which contributes to the value of this book as the guide to a specialized type of Bible study based on this book's subject.
Anyone who has tracked down more than a handful of OT passages used in the NT will realize that the NT writers often take some liberties with their interpretations, reading in a prophesy about Jesus which, in the original text actually referred to something completely different. And, one has also run across a wide range of different ways in which OT texts are used, from `exact' quotes to paraphrases to allusions.
The editors address this range by asking all authors to address their OT citations from at least five different points of view. These are:
1. What is the NT context of the citation? What is the genre and literary structure of the book or chapter?
2. What is the OT context of the citation? Do these Markan citations come directly from Exodus, for example, or are they quoted from Isaiah's use of Exodus verses?
3. How was the OT quote handled or interpreted by Second Temple Judaism, or early Judaism in general?
4. From what text is the OT quotation copied. The Septuagint (LXX), the Masoretic text, or a Targum (scripture translated into Aramaic or Coptic).
5. What is the ultimate use or connection being made by the NT author's use of the OT. Is it simply to emote a connection, is it a use of a common OT idiom, is it a parable use, shorthand to evoking an OT story, or is there a belief that events in NT times fulfill a specific OT prophecy.
Of course, many commentaries on individual NT books do this as well, but most do not go into detail on points 2, 3, and 4.
In looking at those parts of the NT I know best, I find this book delivers everything it promises on these five points, but that the book cannot replace good commentaries and study Bibles for NT books. In looking at one of the most famous uses of OT scripture in Luke, at 4:18 - 19, where Jesus teaches from Isaiah 61:1 - 2, the authors, David Pao and Eckhard Schnabel cover all the editors' points admirably, including references to important opinions by famous scholars such as Rudolph Bultmann. For this passage and for all others in this chapter on Luke, the actual passage is NOT presented in any translation. Therefore, one has to have a copy of the Bible open to the passage, as you read the authors' interpretation of it. Less important is the fact that the explanation of this section of Luke on Jesus' teaching in the Nazareth synagogue says nothing about the puzzling climax, where the congregation turns on Jesus. But that is a logical limitation of the approach, and is not relevant to the subject of the book.
The introduction to Lucan passages was illuminating, as it tells us that even though one of Luke's primary objectives was to show the resolution of OT prophesies, Luke actually uses fewer OT quotes than Matthew. This is rarely discussed in commentaries on Luke.
So, especially with regard to the synoptic Gospels, this would be an excellent book to use as a guide to OT references in the NT. For the scholar, there is the usual tower of bibliographical references after each article, plus the usual index to Biblical citations at the back of the book. There was just one thing I wanted which is missing. This is a `reverse' index, if you will, of OT books, with the number and locations of where verses are cited in the NT. The reason for wishing such an index is as a guide to selecting which OT books may best be studied together, as with Luke and Deuteronomy (some commentators claim the 10 chapter journey of Jesus to Jerusalem is patterned after Deuteronomy).
Ultimately, this is a great reference if you make a habit of studying NT scriptures in depth, as either a pastor or bible study teacher.
This one isn't likely to have that problem for a while. For too long, theologians have dodged the problem of knowing how much we can use OT references in the NT to guide not only our understanding of the passage, but also our hermeneutical approach to the various types of OT references.
For instance, how will you know if a phrase is an OT reference, an early church hymn, or the author's own voice? Does the author have solid hermeneutical reasons for quoting that particular passage? Does he use it to refer to a character trait of God, or to make a theological argument?
This book answers those questions and more. It is so easy to use that I would recommend it for everyone from a college student leading a small group Bible study to a Sunday School teacher to a pastor preparing sermons for his congregation. I bought the book fairly recently, and have already used it for Sunday School classes, a sermon, and seminary papers.
Because of its uniqueness and theological health, it also makes a great gift for church leaders, small group leaders, and anyone in between. if you are a person looking to get a good present for that Bible teacher in your life, this is a terrific place to start!
Enjoy the book, and keep pushing to better understand God's wonderful and inerrant Word.
Carson and Beale have brought together well known scholars, many of whom have written monographs and/or major commentaries on the books they were assigned (Craig Blomberg on Matthew; Rikk E. Watts on Mark; David W. Pao and Eckhard J. Schnabel on Luke; Andreas Köstenberger on John; Mark Seifrid on Romans; Roy Ciampa and Brian Rosner on 1 Corinthians; Peter Balla on 2 Corinthians; Moisés Silva on Galatians and Philippians; Frank Thielman on Ephesians; G. K. Beale on Colossians and Revelation with Sean McDonough; Jeffrey Weima on 1 and 2 Thessalonians; Philip Towner on 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus; George Guthrie on Hebrews; D. A. Carson on James through Jude).
And this all-star lineup has adopted a methodology beyond questioning: (1) attention to the NT context of the citation or allusion; (2) attention to the OT context of the citation or allusion; (3) attention to the use of the OT passage in the literature of Second Temple Judaism; (4) attention to textual factors--is the NT passage citing the Hebrew, the Greek translation of the Hebrew, or the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew or could the author be citing from memory?; (5) attention to the way in which the OT quotation or allusion is intended to function; and (6) attention to the theological contribution the NT author uses the OT text to make. To this point, all this may sound rather bookish, but the utility of this volume is not limited to the groves of academe.
I found the Commentary's treatment of the structure of 1 Corinthians particularly insightful. The discussion of 2 Corinthians 3 sheds light on how Paul reads the Old Testament and will prompt long reflection on how Christians should read the Scriptures. The treatment of Paul's quotation of Psalm 68 [ET 69] in Ephesians 4 is fully conversant with the scholarly literature and advances the discussion in a creative, honest, and helpful way. Many more instances could be cited.
. . . may the idea that we should not pattern our exegesis of the Old Testament after the method exemplified for us by Jesus and his apostles be dismissed to that place of darkness whence it came.
James M. Hamilton Jr. is the assistant professor of biblical studies, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Houston Park Place Campus, and the preaching pastor at Baptist Church of the Redeemer in Sugar Land, TX.