The Use of the OT in the NT

Confused about where you stand on this difficult issue? Take this seven-question quiz and find out.

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16 responses to this post.

  1. Enjoyed doing the quiz. Great fun.

  2. Posted by Chris Pixley on December 18, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Thanks for the quiz, Matt. I guess it served its purpose since I ordered the book! So tell us, who are you: Walt Kaiser, Darrell Bock, or Peter Enns. Inquiring minds want to know:-)

  3. Posted by Matt Waymeyer on December 18, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Hey Chris,

    I haven’t actually purchased or read the book yet, but based on my other reading, I’m pretty sure I am a mixture of Bock and Kaiser. The quiz itself said I was Bock, but a few of the questions were written in such a way that I wasn’t satisfied with any of the choices. Paul Lamey and I were emailing back and forth about this a few months ago, and here is a two-paragraph excerpt from what I wrote to him:

    I think I fall somewhere between Kaiser and Bock. I really agree with and appreciate Kaiser’s emphasis on single meaning and authorial intent, and a huge part of me wishes I could agree with his bottom-line conclusion regarding the use of the OT in the NT (because of how simple it is and because of how it fits so perfectly with so many other things I believe), but it just seems like such a stretch at times. And so I find myself open to Richard Longenecker’s point about the exegetical methods of early Judaism, which I believe is what Bock means when he refers to the use of Second Temple exegetical methods (am I right?—Longenecker’s original article is from 1987, so it might not be quite the same in light of all the emphasis in the last 20 years on Second Temple Judaism).

    Anyway, the point is that even though I really “wish” that Kaiser’s view were true, I do think it is overly simplistic because of how the NT writers seem to use the OT in a variety of ways. I think the most difficult part of this whole issue is that in order to approach it inductively, you almost feel like you have to examine carefully every use of the OT in the NT, or at least a big enough sample, to be able to draw some firm conclusions and begin to systematize them. That’s why I feel so inadequate to say anything more on the subject than I’ve already written (which is probably too much). I remember Dr. Thomas saying in class that this is an area that needs a whole lot more work. In the meantime, as I study the Word verse by verse, I simply take them as I come (uses of the OT in the NT, I mean).

    How about you, Chris? Which one are you?

  4. Posted by caleb kolstad on December 18, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    The quiz told me i am of Bock….

    It was alot of fun…and i hope to read the book in 09

  5. Posted by Chris Pixley on December 18, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    Like you, the quiz told me I was sympathetic to Bock’s view (which kinda scared me when I first read it). But I think your assessment is correct–some of the wording of the questions left me with little choice but to lean in that direction. I’m looking forward to reading the book so as to get a better feel for the strengths and weaknesses of each perspective. This is an area that I definitely need more work in before I can come to any definitive conclusions.

  6. Posted by Scott Christensen on December 19, 2008 at 2:16 am

    I think if you answered all the questions selecting the first option you adopt Kaiser’s position; the second, Bock’s position; and the third, Enns’ position. I found myself selecting all the second options, thus I fell into Bock’s position.

    I agree that the answers in the first option sounded clear and straightforward but perhaps too idealistic and reductionistic. However, upon reflection I am not sure that all the second options best reflected where I am either which is a little fuzzy at times. In that regard, I am with Pixley.

  7. Posted by Chris Pixley on December 19, 2008 at 7:43 am

    Exactly, Scott. After first taking it, I immediately went back to take the quiz a second time to test the very theory you propose, but it wouldn’t let me take it again. Like your experience, I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the exact wording of the second option, but ultimately selected that choice after concluding that the wording of the first option was too simplistic and naive. Hence the problem with these kinds of standardized quizzes to determine one’s position on any given topic of discussion.

    FWIW, Justin Taylor has posted D.A. Carson’s review of the three-views book today at his blog:

    http://theologica.blogspot.com/2008/12/carson-reviews-three-views-on-nt-use-of.html

  8. Posted by Jerry Wragg on December 22, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Took the Quiz…got the “Bock” T-shirt…

  9. Posted by Chris Pixley on December 22, 2008 at 10:36 am

    Great…that should go well with your “Spock” t-shirt.

  10. The quiz tells me I am most aligned with Bock. Is there a Bock on church discipline quiz also?

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    Jeremy Strang
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    http://www.time2standladies.wordpress.com

  12. I fell under Kaiser’s approach, and I don’t think its too reductionistic. I have a tough time saying that the apostles re-applied OT prophecies to Jesus. How do we defend an opponent (someone like Ehrman) who argues that they simply misread and misinterpreted the OT? Only are theological commitment allows us to say “re-apply” instead of “mis-apply.” I find that thoroughly unconvincing, especially since the main debate Jesus had with the Pharisees and Sadducees, and Paul with the Judaizers, was about correctly applying the OT! Either they did, or they didn’t – if they didn’t, they’re wrong.

  13. Guys, this is David Diez. I am just using my daughter’s info. So I took the quiz. I fell on Bock’s field. Oh the shame! I feel the same as Matt. By the way, Kaiser seems to violate his own hermeneutical convictions in his article of Malachi 4.

  14. Posted by Matt Waymeyer on September 23, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Update for anyone who cares: I’ve been hammering away on this issue for the past month and, in contrast to what I wrote nine months ago in the third comment above, I no longer find myself open to Longenecker’s view about the use of the exegetical methods of early Judaism in the NT(sorry Bobby). Ironically, Peter Enns’ argument in favor of this view in the Three Views book is what solidified my rejection of it. If I ever find some time, I’ll explain why. But I will say for now that if you read Longenecker and Enns closely, you’ll find that they simply assume what they are trying to prove. In fact, both of them state that it is “a priori likely” that the NT writers employed these methods, and Enns says “hard for me to think” that the NT use of the OT is merely an application (how’s that for an argument!). In the end I’m still a mixture of Bock and Kaiser on this issue, and I have to agree with Paul Lamey who told me in a recent email that he thinks the two of them are closer to each other than either would probably admit.

  15. […] hammering away on this issue for the past month and, in contrast to what I wrote nine months ago [here] in the third comment above, I no longer find myself open to Longenecker’s view about the use of […]

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