The Fuller Sense of Psalm 22

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Deacon, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. Deacon

    Deacon
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    Known as a Messianic psalm, Psalm 22 graphically portrays the crucifixion of Christ a thousand years before the event.
    Verses:1 to 26 foreshadow Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection;
    Verses 27 through 31 foreshadow his millennial reign.

    Some of the more obvious allusions in the text are:

    My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matt 27:46; Mark 15:34)

    But I am a worm and not a man,
    A reproach of men and despised by the people.
    All who see me sneer at me;
    They separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying,
    “Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him;
    Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.”
    (Matt 27:43; Luke 23:35)

    For dogs have surrounded me;
    A band of evildoers has encompassed me;

    They pierced my hands and my feet. (Matt 27:35; John 20:25)

    They look, they stare at me; (Luke 23:27, 35)

    They divide my garments among them,
    And for my clothing they cast lots.
    (Matt 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; John 19:24)


    One of the simple rules of interpretation is:
    “A TEXT CANNOT MEAN HERE AND NOW WHAT IT DIDN’T MEAN THERE AND THEN” or perhaps more simply, there is only one meaning in a text, the original meaning.
    Christ’s use of this Psalm pointing to Himself seems to contradict this simple rule of interpretation.

    This leads me an idea expressed by the term
    Sensus plenior: the idea that there may be a fuller sense in a particular text.
    Sensus plenior can be defined as “that additional, deeper meaning, intended by God but not clearly intended by the human author, which is seen to exist in the words of a Biblical text (or a group of texts, or even a whole book) when they are studied in the light of further revelation or development in the understanding of revelation.” Raymond Brown, Catholic Biblical Quarterly 15/1 (1954) 141-62.

    Can the “Fuller Sense” be used as an interpretative method today?
    Are there things that we are missing in the Bible that haven’t been seen by us yet?

    “When interpreters go beyond the safe guideline of original intentionality, the possibility of reading subjective opinions into the text becomes very real, of course. The only safeguard against eisegesis at this point is not to deny the reality of the fuller sense but to insist that that fuller sense be established only as an extension of the original sense and solely on the basis of subsequent biblical revelation.” The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text, Sidney Greidanus. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids Michigan, 1988. p. 112. (Bolding added)

    Christ Himself established the Psalm as a Messianic Psalm. It wasn’t considered as a Messianic Psalm until Christ Himself used the words to relate it to Himself.
    So He established the reality of the fuller sense in Psalm 22.

    A problem with using sensus plenior as an interpretive method is that it can lead us to allegorize a text bringing out meanings that are subjective and highly questionable.

    Rob
     
  2. Petrel

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    Jesus was in the position to know the second meaning, having authored it himself! :D

    I remember I was listening to a sermon on the radio one day and the speaker was talking about going to another church and listening to a friend of his preach. The friend preached on the resurrection of Lazarus, but he allegorized it so that each person stood for some larger group of people. The friend came up to him afterwards and said, "I bet you never saw that in that passage before."

    He replied, "I don't think anyone saw that before!" [​IMG]

    Anyways, the point is we may see secondary meanings in some texts, but I don't think that we ought to teach those as biblical truth, although I don't see any problem with speculating among friends.
     
  3. IveyLeaguer

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    Without a doubt.
     
  4. IveyLeaguer

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    It sure can and we presently behold many examples of it in the visible church, from Benny Hinn to C.Peter Wagner, the 'superapostle'. I think I agree with the above principle and the idea that there may be an extension of or a broader application of a certain truth, as in a number of the Psalms and elsewhere. But we can be sure that whatever the Holy Spirit shows us will never contradict anything in the Word and will always line up with the whole of scripture.

    I would be interested in a few more examples of this.
     
  5. jdcanady

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    Deacon

    What you have is scripture interpreting scripture. Jesus did the same in John when He spoke of Moses lifting up the serpeant in the wilderness as a metaphor of His own crucifixion. Jesus gave it the addtional meaning. That is a far cry from us trying to allegorize scripture or look for hidden meanings in texts when there is no support for it found elsewhere in scripture.
     
  6. James_Newman

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    The serpent being lifted up was a type. The passage in Psalm 22 is obviously prophetic in hindsight, although the Jews apparently never caught this. A similar passage might be the prophecy of the virgin birth:

    Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

    The near term fulfillment did not involve a literal virgin, but the ultimate fulfillment did literally include a virgin bearing our Lord.
     
  7. Deacon

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    Verse 1 of Psalm 22---
    Was Jesus quoting Scripture in Matt 27:46?
    ...or was Scripture fortelling Jesus' words???

    Rob
     
  8. jdcanady

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    Jesus was quoting scripture.
     
  9. superdave

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    I would even be careful not to say the Jesus gave it additional meaning. If scripture, including the OT, was "God-breathed" than the meaning was always there. It was merely revealed by the teachings and actions of Christ. There is no "new" meaning in the scriptures. When events happen to us that may allow us to understand given passages better, that is a change in us, not in the written Truth. It is very very dangerous to personalize or allegorize the narratives and teachings of the scriptures, they need to stand on their own, and the principles accurately distilled to allow us to apply them to modern circumstances, not the see parallels that may not be completely accurate when we stretch the meaning of a passage to fit our shallow understanding of the Truth being conveyed by a given passage.
     
  10. Deacon

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    At the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
    When some of the bystanders heard it, they began saying, “Behold, He is calling for Elijah.” (Mark 15:34 NAS) bolding added

    I question whether Jesus was quoting Scripture or voicing a despairing cry from His heart (maybe both). In my opinion it’s just semantics anyway.

    Our Savior cries out, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani”
    He was truly abandoned by God and voicing His anguish from the cross.

    Commentators say it was spoken in Aramaic, not Hebrew (the difference seems to be in the pronounciation of “Eloi” (given my limited Hebrew capacities it still looks very similar to me).
    (Was Jesus memorizing His Scripture in Aramaic? ---Oy, will we soon hear from the Targum-only crowd)

    Interesting play on the word “Eloi” in the N.T.
    It was apparently misunderstood by the group that gathered to witness the event.
    Since it was mentioned earlier in the text that Christ thirsted, perhaps a little inarticulation might be expected.
    Eli being similar in pronunciation to a shortened form of Elijah; they thought He needed an end times style deliverance.
    Little did they know that Christ would be delivering them from Satan’s embrace.

    Rob
     
  11. robycop3

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    The Psalms were written in the Hebrew of David in the 900s-1000s BC. That Hebrew had changed somewhat in the years between David and Jesus. As for changing the meaning a little or adding a little to it, JESUS IS THE WORD, and He has full power and authority to do that.
     
  12. Aaron

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    Christ said the Scriptures testify of Him. Therefore, anything that is Scripture is about Christ and His Work.

    Consider also Gal. 4:21-31, and the book of Hebrews.
     
  13. Deacon

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    Very good point Aaron!
    Txs

    Rob
     
  14. jdcanady

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    superdave

    You said, "I would even be careful not to say the Jesus gave it additional meaning. If scripture, including the OT, was "God-breathed" than the meaning was always there."

    Thank you, I stand corrected and I agree with you. Christ revealed its meaning.
     

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