Him We Proclaim, 7

June 30, 2008

Dennis Johnson gets to it in this chapter titled, “Theological Foundations of Apostolic Preaching.” The question and concerns that he has raised prior in the book finally come to surface as he deals healthily with them here. The issue has to do with the typological correspondence of the Old Testament with the New. He highlights five categories:

1) The typos texts of OT persons, events, and institutions to which the Greek word typos is used in the New Testament (200). An example would be Romans 5:14 or 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11 (202).

2) Here Johnson refers to the OT quotations that are applied to Christ in the NT. He means here the OT passages “that are explicitly cited in the New Testament as reaching their fulfillment in Jesus and his saving work, often introducing the Old Testament citation with a formula such as ‘this was to fulfill,’ or ‘this is fulfilled’ (207)”. He mentions Matthew’s usage of Hosea 11:1, “Out of Egypt I called my son,” in Matthew 2:15. I love what Dr. Dennis says here about “a more foundational conviction to which Matthew is leading his readers…”

Jesus is the true Israel, delivered from infant death, brought out of Egypt, tested in the wilderness, and finally exalted as Son of Man, invested with all authority as representative head of the eschatological “saints of the Most High” (Dan. 7:13-14 is echoed in the Great Commission, Matt. 28:18-20) (208).

3) Next there are the “unmistakable allusions to Old Testament events, applied to Christ” (209). The difference here with the previous is the absence of direct NT citation. Much of the book of Hebrews falls into this category, also John 1:17-18 and 6:31-51 where Christ is portrayed as the superior mediator.

4) The next category is one of greater ambiguity and controversy. He has in mind here such examples as when NT authors employ words or constructions that are unusual in biblical Greek. Such usage could signal the text’s OT dependance. He includes in this category such texts as Matthew 17:5 and the mountain of transfiguration. The verb “overshadow” resembles Exodus 40:35 and the Lord’s initial dwelling of the tabernacle (213). Again he speaks to my heart:

To be responsible to the Bible’s divine Author and credible to our hearers, our identification of typological similarities (as well as contrasts between type and antitype) must be warranted by evidence in the text of Scripture, not merely the product of our own hyperactive imaginations (214).

5) The final category are the general OT patterns that are fulfilled in Christ and his work. He means here such as examples as the narrative of Joseph.

This is a great chapter and much anticipated. I recommend some readers to just skip to this one to get a good quick dose of the issues at hand.

 

 

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