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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Great tools for the serious Bible student (1)

In the next few blogs I am going to take a break from Bible study itself in order to recommend some tools (both printed and web-based) that I have found very helpful in my own studies.

The first recommendation is
a book entitled, "Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament," edited by G.K. Beale and D.A. Carson. It is precisely what it claims to be, and more. The book is full of careful, expert study by leading scholars, and is exemplary in the way it thoroughly establishes the context of a passage before offering an interpretation.

The Old Testament (OT) books were the entirety of the Holy Scriptures available to Jesus and the authors of the New Testament (NT). They relied on it heavily to make their divinely inspired exposition of the truth of God's good news. Understanding how the NT writers used the OT brings us a lot closer to understanding the message of the Bible in its glorious totality.

This commentary covers every quotation of the Old Testament by New Testament writers in considerable detail, under the following six headings: The Immediate NT Context, The Original OT Context, [OT Source] in Judaism, The Textual Background, The Use of [OT Source] in [NT Quotation], and Theological Use. It also deals with abundant allusions to the OT in the NT, and more broadly with each NT writer's approach to the OT Scriptures.

The book offers a lot of factual information that is not available to even the most diligent student of the English Bible. For instance, did you know that Hebrews 1:6 is probably a quotation from the Septuagint of Deuteronomy 32:43, rather than Psalm 97:7 as sometimes supposed? Or that, while Titus contains no direct quotations from the OT, Titus 2:14 probably reflects the Septuagint of Psalm 129:8? You will know this and much more after consulting this fully indexed and referenced volume of more than 1100 pages.

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