Annotated Bibliography: The New Testament Use of the Old Testament

Occasionally, I will be compiling annotated bibliographies of books and articles that I have read or used as a reference on various topics of interest to Biblical studies, theology, science, philosophy and Christian apologetics. Below, I present an annotated bibliography of books and articles I have found valuable on the topic of the New Testament use of the Old Testament. I do not necessarily agree with the content of every resource that I list in an annotated bibliography, but I trust that readers will find this a helpful resource for acquiring information about the topic.

Beale, G.K. “The Use of Hosea 11:1 in Matthew 2:15: One More Time.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 55:4 (2012), 697-715.

This journal article examines the authorial logic behind Matthew’s use of Hosea 11:1 (“Out of Egypt I have called my Son”) in his nativity narrative. This is notoriously a difficult text since in its original literary context, Hosea 11:1 is speaking of Israel, identified as God’s Son, leaving Egypt during the Exodus. Matthew also uses Hosea 11:1 when speaking of Jesus’ family entering into Egypt, whereas it is only later in Matthew’s narrative that they come back out of Egypt. The author summarizes the major scholarly positions that are taken on the legitimacy of Matthew’s use of Hosea 11:1 in this context. He then expresses his own view, that Matthew understood Hosea 11:1 in a typological sense but that Hosea likewise understood this verse typologically. The author makes the connection between Hosea 11:1 and Balaam’s oracles in Numbers 23 and 24. His basic thesis is that Hosea viewed the allusions in Numbers about the historical coming out of Egypt to be recapitulated in the eschatological future.

Beale, G.K and Don Carson, ed. Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. Baker Academic, 2007.

This is an extremely comprehensive volume which catalogues and discusses every Old Testament quotation, allusion or echo identified in the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation by a distinguished team of scholars. For each of the instances surveyed, the commentary evaluates six questions: (1) What is the New Testament context for the citation, allusion, or echo? (2) What is the Old Testament context of the relevant text? (3) How is the Old Testament source interacted with in the literature of second temple Judaism or early Judaism more broadly? (4) What textual factors are important to consider? (5) How are the New Testament authors utilizing or appealing to the Old Testament? (6) What is the theological purpose for which the New Testament author cites or alludes to the Old Testament text? This volume is aimed at the academic reader and is a reference textbook that should be in the library of any serious student of the Bible.

Beale, G.K. Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. Exegesis and Interpretation. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2012.

This book is a concise volume that guides the reader to better study the plethora of Old Testament quotations, allusions, and echoes in the New Testament. Aimed at students and pastors, this volume lays out principles for recognizing Old Testament quotations and allusions in the New Testament and provides the set of categories and principles necessary for readers to perform their own analysis of the New Testament use of the Old. At the end of the book, the author applies the principles he has discussed to a particular case study, involving the use of Isaiah 22:22 in Revelation 3:7, to show how the methods he has discussed may be applied in practice. The set of principles and categories elucidated in this book provide the framework for the author’s more thorough and comprehensive volume, co-edited with Don Carson, Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament.

Birding, Kenneth, and Jonathan Lunde, eds. Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008.

This book brings together three leading scholars on the Bible to introduce readers to the subject of the New Testament use of the Old Testament. Each author has a chapter fleshing out their own approach to this topic, and these chapters each have a response from the other contributors. The key locus of contention concerns the relationship between the contextual meaning of the Old Testament text that is quoted by the New Testament, and the New Testament author’s application of these passages. Each author demonstrates how his method works practically by applying his paradigm to particular passages. Each of the authors comments on five topics. These are: (1) whether there is there a fuller meaning to the texts of the Old Testament than would have been understood by the prophets themselves; (2) whether typology is a valid category and how it is best understood; (3) whether the usage of the Old Testament in the New faithful to the original contexts of the passages it draws from; (4) exegetical methods and (5) whether we should replicate the exegetical principles employed by the New Testament authors. This book is intended for the layperson and student and provides an excellent introduction to the scholarly debate concerning the New Testament’s handling of the Old Testament.

Blumenthal, Yisroel C. “Contra Brown: Answering Dr. Brown’s Objections to Judaism”, accessed June 18 2020, https://judaismresources.net/contra-brown/.

An orthodox Jew responds to Dr. Michael Brown’s case for Jesus as the Jewish Messiah in his five volume series, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus.

Brown, Michael L. Answering Jewish objections to Jesus: New Testament objections (Vol. 4). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2007.

This volume is written by a Messianic Jew, and responds in detail to questions, objections and challenges from the orthodox Jewish community in relation to the New Testament utilization of the Hebrew Bible.

Chen, Kevin S. The Messianic Vision of the Pentateuch. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2019.

This book makes the case that not only did Moses write about Jesus but it is the central message. The author challenges the prevailing view of the Torah as being focused principally on Mosaic Law, suggesting instead that the Messianic vision stands at the core of its message. The author investigates important texts that reveal the Messianic vision of the Pentateuch. The book is suitable for scholars, preachers and laymen and should be in the library of any student interested in the Messianic hope of the Pentateuch and the Hebrew Bible more broadly.

Chou, Abner. “Corporate Solidarity: A Heuristic Grid for New Testament Use of the Old Testament”, Evangelical Theological Society (2003).

This paper was originally presented at the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) far west regional. As such, it is intended for a largely academic audience. The author attempts to elucidate the authorial logic behind the New Testament’s application of Biblical passages to Jesus which, in their original Old Testament contexts, are unequivocally referring to the nation of Israel rather than to the Messiah. The author introduces the idea of corporate solidarity as is preferred heuristic grid. The idea is that a whole group can be represented by one person. While a majority of scholars believe this concept to be a hermeneutical presumption about the apostolic logic, the author argues instead that this paradigm can be derived from the Hebrew Bible itself. The author examines three words – seed, son, and servant – which he observes can be used of a group (the nation of Israel) or an individual and which are present in Messianic

texts in the Hebrew Bible. After making a convincing case for his interpretive paradigm, the author explores the hermeneutical implications. He recognizes that corporate solidarity is not found everywhere in New Testament usage of the Old Testament, and the interpreter must study carefully before appealing to it.

Chou, Abner. The Hermeneutics of the Biblical Writers: Learning to Interpret Scripture from the Prophets and Apostles. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 2018.

This book examines the hermeneutical methods that are employed by the authors of the New Testament and evaluates the extent to which our hermeneutical techniques should reflect those of the apostles. The author argues that the apostles had deep insight into the literary context of the texts they quote from or allude to, and that they employ a set of hermeneutical principles that reflects those used by the prophets. He draws the reader’s attention to intertextuality within the Old Testament, which he maintains is key to unlocking the hermeneutical method of the prophets. He argues that the apostles used a similar hermeneutic and that difficult texts can be illuminated in the light of intertextuality. Finally, the author turns his attention to how his conclusions might inform our own exegesis of the Bible. This book makes an important contribution to the field and will be useful and informative to both the scholar and layman.

Davidson, Richard M. “Corporate Solidarity in the Old Testament, revised December 2004, accessed 05/23/2020. http://www.gospelstudygroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/corporate-solidarity-in-OT.pdf.

This essay discusses in detail the concept of corporate solidarity in the Old Testament. The author highlights how the Old Testament draws a relationship between mankind and Adam as well as Eve, and how the covenant of creation, alluded to in several passages such as Hosea 6:7 and Isaiah 24:5, was broken through them as our corporate representatives. He also suggests that the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15) points to the one to come who would be the representative seed of the woman and who, therefore, is in corporate solidarity with the woman’s “seed” taken corporately. The author also highlights the Messiah’s corporate solidarity with the patriarchs. For example, he highlights that in Genesis 22:17a, the seed is clearly plural whereas in 17b the focus narrows to a singular “seed,” which carries through to verse 18, indicating that though this Messianic “seed” all of the nations would be blessed, and

illustrating the Messiah’s corporate solidarity with Abraham’s seed. The author subsequently surveys the of the Old Testament, documenting support for the idea of Corporate Solidarity. This essay will be useful to scholars, students, and preachers.

Fruchtenbaum, Arnold G. Messianic Christology: a study of Old Testament prophecy concerning the first coming of the Messiah. Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 1998.

This book offers a brief discussion of all of the Messianic passages throughout the Old Testament, demonstrating how the revelation of Israel’s Messiah progressed and developed. The book also contains a supplemental section which reveals how the plurality and triunity of God is expressed even in the Hebrew Bible.

Hays, Richard. Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989.

This is a short book, aimed at a wide readership, which seeks to examine the usage of Scripture in the Pauline corpus. The author offers his interpretation of Paul’s usage of Scripture and his interpretive model, having surveyed a representative sample of Paul’s application of Old Testament Scripture. He develops a strong argument for intertextuality between Paul’s epistles and the Old Testament. The author offers his thesis as an alternative to the popular view that Paul misreads Old Testament Scripture. Instead, he argues, such readings only succeed in misinterpreting Paul. This book ought to be required reading for any student interested in the New Testament use of the Old.

Kennedy, Joel. The Recapitulation of Israel: Use of Israel’s History in Matthew 1:1-4:11. Mohr Siebeck, 2009.

This book surveys the first four chapters of the gospel of Matthew to explore how he makes use of the history of Israel in his telling of the story of Jesus. He points out that Israel’s history is recapitulated by the genealogy at the beginning of Matthew’s gospel in order to highlight the Messiah as being the ultimate fulfilment of Israel’s history. He also argues that in Matthew 2:1-12 Jesus recapitulates Israel’s experience of the Exodus from Egypt. Finally, he shows that in Matthew 3:1-4:11, Jesus recapitulates the history of Israel as the representative embodiment of the nation.

Kravitz, Bentzion. The Jewish Response to Missionaries – Counter-Missionary Handbook, fourth edition. Los Angeles, CA: Jews for Judaism, 2001.

This is a Jewish polemical book which engages with popular Christian arguments for Jesus as the Messiah and interacts with common Christian “proof texts.”

Lippard, Jim. “The Fabulous Prophecies of the Messiah”, accessed June 18 2020, https://infidels.org/library/modern/jim_lippard/fabulous-prophecies.html.

An article by an atheist, which surveys claimed prophecies of Jesus’ birth, ministry, betrayal, and crucifixion. The author argues that every case of fulfilled Messianic prophecy suffers from one of three deficiencies – either the quoted Old Testament text is not a Messianic prophecy at all; or the prophecy was not in fact fulfilled by Jesus; or the prophecy is too vaguely worded to be persuasively interpreted as referring to Jesus.

Longenecker, Richard. Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1975.

This scholarly volume examines the methods and principles of the earliest Christians in their interpretation of the Old Testament. He compares the earliest Christian writings with contemporary Jewish sources and explores the important differences between Christianity and Judaism and highlights the Jewish underpinnings of the Christian faith.

Miller, Robert J. Helping Jesus Fulfill Prophecy. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, 2015.

This is a book by an atheist scholar, which makes the case that the New Testament authors quoted Old Testament passages out of context, reinterpreted them, and rewrote them. As he puts it, Jesus had help fulfilling prophecy. He also argues that the gospel authors used the Old Testament to craft their narratives concerning Jesus’ life. The book also covers non-Messianic examples of prophecy, which the author deems to be failed predictions. He concludes by making the case that Christians ought to cease making the argument from prophecy. This is an important book for Christians to be acquainted with and for them to analyze carefully and critically, and develop thoughtful responses to.

Pickup, Martin. “New Testament Interpretation of the Old Testament: The Theological Rationale of Midrashic Exegesis.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 51/2 (2008), 353-381.

This paper argues that the New Testament’s handling of the Hebrew Bible should be understood in the light of Jewish midrashic interpretation. To make his case, the author considers three examples of puzzling passages that are used by the New Testament: Psalm 8:4-6, Psalm 68:18, and Hosea 11:1. He concludes that the New Testament’s handling of the Old Testament must be viewed in terms of the Judaic method of reading the Old Testament.

Porter, Stanley E., ed. Hearing the Old Testament in the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006.

This academic monograph contains a collection of essays written by ten distinguished scholars. The book begins by laying out the important foundational issues. It then proceeds to systematically examine the Old Testament usage in the New Testament.

Postell, Seth D., Eitan Bar, and Erez Soref. Reading Moses, Seeing Jesus: How the Torah Fulfills Its Goal in Yeshua (Expanded Third Edition). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2019.

This book, authored by two Messianic Jews, tackles the question of whether an intent of the Torah is to point to the Messiah. The authors also address the question of the Christian believer’s relationship to the Pentateuch and its laws. The book is written to be accessible to the non-academic reader.

Ronning, John L. The Jewish Targums and John’s Logos Theology. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2011.

This book explores the background of John’s theology in the fourth gospel of Jesus as the divine λογος. He argues that the Jewish Targums – Aramaic paraphrases of the Hebrew Bible – form an important background to John’s usage of the λογος as a title for Jesus. His book covers a myriad of passages in John’s gospel, examining them in light of the Targums. In doing so, he reveals how the Memra of the Targums provides a key backdrop to various themes and threads that run throughout the fourth gospel.

Rydelnik, Michael. The Messianic Hope. Is the Hebrew Bible Really Messianic? Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2010.

The thesis of this book stands in contradistinction to the trend among many scholars to reject that the Hebrew Bible actually makes specific predictions concerning the coming of Israel’s Messiah, which are fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. He surveys and discusses the various approaches to Messianic prophecy, including the view that the predictions of the prophets were all fulfilled in their lifetime; sensus plenior (dual fulfilment) view; and the view that the evangelists used midrash or pesher. The author gives three important reasons for recognizing the existence of specific Messianic predictive prophecy within the Old Testament. First, the Messianic nature of the Bible is affirmed by the Scriptures themselves. Second, the Messianic texts in the Hebrew Bible give us a Biblical apologetic for our identification of Jesus as the Christ. Third, the Bible’s Messianic character enables Christians to have confidence in the inspiration of the Scriptures. The book contains a detailed analysis of three Messianic texts in particular – Genesis 3:14-15; Isaiah 7:13-25; and Psalm 110, examining each from its immediate context, its broader (innertextual) context and its canonical (intertextual) context. The author argues that each of these texts was intentionally Messianic.

Rydelnik, Michael and Edwin A. Blum, eds. The Moody Handbook of Messianic Prophecy. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2019.

This book contains a collection of essays from Biblical scholars on all the major themes relating to Messianic prophecy. It contains a commentary on all many Messianic texts throughout the Hebrew Bible. It also covers textual critical issues relating to Messianic prophecy as well as surveying interpretive approaches. The book also argues that the Messianic hope was key in determining the canonical redaction of the Old Testament and that the Messianic theme was an important feature for determining canonicity of Old Testament books. Furthermore, this volume shows how key Christological doctrines (such as the Messiah’s deity and identity as prophet, priest and king) can be defended from the Hebrew Bible.

Singer, Tovia. Let’s Get Biblical! Why Doesn’t Judaism Accept the Christian Messiah? Volume 1. RMBN Publishers, 2014.

This book is by a Jewish Rabbi who makes the case that Jews should reject Jesus as the Messiah. He surveys popular Christian arguments for Jesus being the Jewish Messiah and offers a Jewish counter-interpretation. He also argues that the New Testament misrepresents the Hebrew Bible and takes many passages out of context, even sometimes deliberately misquoting them in order to support their argument. This is an important volume for Christian scholars to have in their library, to refine their own thinking about the relevant passages and develop counterarguments.

Thomas, Robert L. “The New Testament Use of the Old Testament”, The Master’s Seminary Journal (2003): 79-98.

This journal article surveys examples of literal usage of the Old Testament in the New Testament as well as nonliteral uses of the Old Testament in the New Testament. He then addresses whether the modern interpreter can assign alternative or additional meaning to the Old Testament texts in imitation of the way they have been applied by the New Testament authors. He concludes that the answer is ‘no’ since assigning additional meanings would violate the principle of single meaning. He argues that the New Testament authors – due to their apostolic status – enjoyed certain prerogatives that modern readers do not. He concludes by comparing his hermeneutical paradigm to those of other scholars in the field.

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