BT 502 Lesson 3 Handout.docx - BT 502 Understanding...

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BT 502: Understanding Biblical Theology Lesson 3 Handout I.The Story of Scripture A. Introduction 1. The Bible tells a story and though it may not be readily apparent from the beginning, the unity is perceived from the standpoint of its conclusion. 1 The trajectory of the story is best realized when we find the focal point. 2 This is apparent from the opening chapter of the first Gospel. The genealogy recorded in Matt 1:1-17 points to the Jewishness of Jesus and his position as the heir of David. 2. These opening pages demonstrate what the Old Testament meant in the context of the Gospel of Christ. The evangelists tell us the story of the real historical Jesus, but they weave their stories in such a way so as to emphasize specific points of interest. John Goldingay summarizes: As well as understanding Christ in the light of the Old Testament story, Matthew understands the Old Testament story in the light of the Christ event. Matthew’s claim is that the story from Abraham to David and from the exile on into the post-exhilic period comes to its climax with the coming of Christ, and needs to be understood in the light of this denouement. . . . The significance of Abraham’s leaving Ur, the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, David’s capture of Jerusalem, and so on through the Old Testament story, emerges with fullest clarity only when you see these events in the light of each other and in the light of the Christ event which is their climax. 3 3. Ties to the Old Testament are not just found in the words of Jesus, but in the literary strategy of the evangelists. a. For example, there are strong parallels found in the Gospels between Jesus and Moses. In Luke-Acts where Jesus is portrayed as a prophet, a lawgiver and leader. 4 Matthew sees Jesus as recapitulating Israel’s history (Matthew 1-7) and records Jesus as the one who is “greater than” all three major categories of Old Testament leaders; prophet, priest, and king (Matt 12:1-8, 1Misselbrook, “Biblical Theology and Biblical Interpretation,” 25-26. Vanhoozer writes, “The ‘event’ of Jesus Christ stands as the culmination of a series of such revelatory and redemptive events in the Old and New Testaments, which together recount a single drama of redemption that is both covenantal in its focus and cosmic in its scope.” Vanhoozer, The Drama of Doctrine , 39. 2Stanley Grenz notes, “We must confess that revelation has a focal point, which we declare lies in the biblical trajectory that centers on Jesus of Nazareth.” Grenz, “Toward an Evangelical Theology of Religions,” 64. 3John Goldingay, “The Old Testament and Christian Faith: Jesus and the Old Testament in Matthew 1-5, Part 1” Themelios 8.1 (1982) 5-6. Goldingay argues the following points of organic connection between the Old Testament and the New Testament: 1) The OT tells the story of which Christ is the climax (Matt 1:1-17); 2) The OT declares the promise of which Christ is the fulfilment (Matt 1:18-2:23); 3) The OT provides the images, ideas, and words with which to understand Christ (Matt 3:13-17);
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