Metaphor or OT Allusion

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Greektim, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. Greektim

    Greektim
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,143
    Likes Received:
    118
    How do you decide when you interpret Scripture?

    For example, the John 3 thread about "water and the Spirit" has many options, but it really comes down to 2: is it a metaphor for something (w/ a bunch of options) or is it an allusion from the OT (namely Ezekiel 36:25ff.)?

    Considering just how much the NT uses and relies on the OT, I think we should start there first and then consider a metaphor later.

    Another example is the salt and light in Matthew 5. I think light very clearly refers back to Isaiah's use of light referring to Israel as a light to the nations. Salt is a bit trickier, but there are good reasons to think it reaches back to the OT as well.

    This is more a word of caution... don't automatically assume there is a theological metaphor in a highly interpretive passage. Likely, it has an OT referent. After all, the OT was THE Bible of the early church.

    A quote for you:

     
  2. kyredneck

    kyredneck
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Messages:
    10,566
    Likes Received:
    276
    The new is in the old concealed, the old is in the new revealed. - origin Augustine

    I look for the 'pointers' in the new to types and allegories in the old. Marvelous it is.

    Perhaps 'water' in Jn 3:5 is indeed a 'pointer' back to the old.
     
    #2 kyredneck, Jun 9, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2015
  3. Greektim

    Greektim
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,143
    Likes Received:
    118
    I think pointer is putting it mildly. All fingers point that Jesus was alluding to Ezekiel 36.
     
  4. OldRegular

    OldRegular
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Messages:
    22,678
    Likes Received:
    53
    Depends on what Sailhamer means. The Bible is the whole revelation of GOD. However older revelation must be understood in light of newer revelation, that is, if you believe revelation is progressive. For example Genesis 3:15 would be meaningless unless further revelation were give.

    I believe that the Old Testament cannot be fully understood without the New Testament. There are a number of places where the revelation in the New Testament give new meaning to some of the Old Testament prophecies {Acts 2:15ff and 15:15ff for example.}.
     
  5. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,378
    Likes Received:
    790
    What has typically been done throughout the history of the church and what I do is look to interpret the passage at face value first. Unless there is some indicator that what is being said in a particular passage (ie John 3) is a reference to an OT passage it is my position that this is not the first place to look. There are other considerations to be made when considering where else to look in scripture.

    In John 3 Jesus is dealing with a Pharisee and the subject is salvation. Therefore how the Pharisees view their salvation should be the first place to look. Since they viewed being the child of Abraham meant they were automatically elect Jesus addresses Nicodemus' false view. Being a child of Abraham can also be expressed as a physical birth. In John 8 we see this clearly expressed.

    There are times when the NT interprets itself even within the same conversation or passage we are looking at. This is evident in John 8, as I have shown, and also in verses 5 & 6 of John chapter 3.

    It is my position that automatically looking to the OT to interpret the NT is in error.
     
  6. wpe3bql

    wpe3bql
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2015
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    12
    An excellent source for looking at the NT cf. the OT (& vice versa) can be found in Read the Bible for Life: Listen, Understand, Respond by George H. Guthrie and published by LifeWay (c) 2010.

    LifeWay has even made this work in a format for small groups w/ a Leaders Kit (includes DVDs). The individual is given a text + questions to be completed.

    Here's what Guthrie has to say on page 54:

    "We can't make sense of the NT w/out an understanding of the OT. Remember that what we call the OT was the Bible for Jesus and His 1st followers. Thus, Jesus & the writers of the NT often quoted & alluded to the OT. Approximately 10% of the NT is made up of these quotations & allusions. That %'age amounts to almost 300 quotations from the OT & 100's of clear allusions."

    And, of course, for cross-referencing passages, one would be hard-pressed to find a better work than Dr. R. A. Torrey's The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge.
     
  7. kyredneck

    kyredneck
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Messages:
    10,566
    Likes Received:
    276
  8. kyredneck

    kyredneck
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Messages:
    10,566
    Likes Received:
    276
  9. Greektim

    Greektim
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,143
    Likes Received:
    118
    I don't deny that I am a maximalist when it comes to viewing the NT through the lense of the OT. I tend toward biblical theology, canonical theology, and intertextuality. The OT makes use of itself quite profusely, so it is no wonder that the NT does as well w/ the apostles taking their cues from the prophets. So I'm the opposite of you, Rev. I start w/ the OT and rule that out first. It is only expected that these writers whose minds were so saturated w/ the OT would allow that to influence their thinking and even their writing. I am moving to the place where I can't believe people don't start w/ an OT backdrop first. Even your example requires the OT to make any sense of Abraham and his seed.

    I think John especially expects his readers to bring an OT background to the text as seen in the very first 3 phrases of his gospel. Being the logos of God is a way of referencing Jesus to divine revelation albeit superior than the OT. The word of the LORD came through the Law and the prophets, but in the last days has come through the Son... who is the WORD of the LORD (see what I did there... I used a NT allusion since I am a post NT believer; the apostles would have used the OT similarly b/c they are post OT and rely heavily upon it as we do upon the NT). Considering the extensive use of quotations and allusions in John as well as the Jewish audience, looking at John 3 through the lens of the OT is justified. Not to mention that in that convo w/ Nic, Jesus is talking to someone who should have known what Jesus was talking about, which one can only assume is a reference to the OT.
     
    #9 Greektim, Jun 10, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2015
  10. Greektim

    Greektim
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,143
    Likes Received:
    118
  11. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,982
    Likes Received:
    373
    I'll go with it is alluding to Ezekiel 36. I say this because the passage (Ezekiel 36) is a new birth - i.e., God cleansing us and putting within us a new spirit. Personally, I don't think that it necessarily stops at chapter 36 (and the chapters in Ezekiel are not the only passages pointing to this "new birth"). Jesus is telling Nicodemus that what he has looked for is here - and it is a work of God rather than his struggle to obtain a righteousness through the Old Covenant.

    This is also, BTW, why I reject the notion that Nicodemus was either sarcastic or ignorant. When Jesus explained the new birth by pointing to a birth by water and Spirit, Nicodemus understood exactly what Jesus was saying as he would have understood the reference. The application, perhaps, was a matter with which he wrestled. But I believe he understood Jesus clearly by the conclusion of that conversation (which was the purpose of the verse....to explain).
     
    #11 JonC, Jun 10, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2015
  12. kyredneck

    kyredneck
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Messages:
    10,566
    Likes Received:
    276
    ...and I appreciate that.

    Didn't know which thread to post this on, seems both threads are surrounding the same topic, sorta.

    http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?p=2232729#post2232729
     
  13. percho

    percho
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    3,894
    Likes Received:
    37
    Does Nick's question of verse four remotely suggest he was thinking of anything from Ezekiel?

    Therefore does Jesus in verse five take him to Ezekiel or is Jesus showing a difference of the births in verse five and the need of both?

    Does not Romans 1:3,4 show the very same thing as John 3:5 of, "a certain one," a man, Jesus himself?

    Put to death indeed to flesh, being made alive yet to the spirit 1 Peter 3:18
     
  14. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,982
    Likes Received:
    373
    No, his question doesn't indicate that he was thinking of Ezekiel. His question is seeking an explanation for what was just said. Jesus responds by directing him to a passage where God cleanses and puts within man a new spirit. But the two (born again....or "from above" with Nicodemus linking this to a rebirth...is linked to the explanation of verse 5).

    Yes, I believe the verse in 1 Peter is speaking of God's work of redemption (as He cleanses us and puts within us a new spirit).
     

Share This Page

Loading...