Beale’s Old in the New Categories

With the dawn of Beale and Carson’s New Testament Use of the Old Testament Commentary I thought I would post Greg Beale’s Old in the New hermeneutical categories for exegesis. These are taken from his Old in the New course taught variously at Gordon-Conwell and Wheaton College.

I. Proof-texting for fulfillment

A. Direct prophetical fulfillment – Basic understanding of Prophecy.

B. Indirect fulfillment/ Event prophecy – (Mt 2:15/Hs 1:10) This is first Exodus that Hosea is reflecting on as an anticipation of Christ’s exodus to Egypt. Jesus is central, fulfilling everything that Israel failed to do. Corporate solidarity in action.

II. Analogical/universalizing – this use may be conceptual or textual as will be seen below.

A. Rev 2:14,24 – Balaam’s prophecy indicative of a group of false teachers. Moabites and Israelites combine to produce harlotry which is spiritually pictured here. This is motivated by economic motive just as Balaam was.

B. I Cor 9:9/Deut 25:4 – “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is it about oxen that God is concerned? Surely pantws he says this for us, doesn’t he?”

III. Symbolic Use – difference from analogical use is that there are not 2 things compared. The symbol may or may not describe an event. Could be a subset of II.

These symbolic uses denote continuity from the OT to the NT.

IV. Abiding Authority – Rm. 3:4/Ps God is trustworthy; 3:10 Man is sinful and fallen.

V. Stock-in-trade – something done often, repeated use of a word/phrase so much that it comes to have a common meaning without reference to the original context. Ex. That was her waterloo. Many would recognize that this has to do with a loss, fewer would know the original context. This occurs in the OT “Edom, Moab and the Sons of Ammon” is used to refer to the enemies of Israel even though the enemies are dead. Seen in II Macabees etc.

VI. Rhetorical Use – impressive language included for rapport and inauthentic, but not necessarily. Paul may have incorporated the OT texts for rapport, this would not disqualify the use.

VII. Midrashic Use – Scripture interpreting Scripture. “Literature about literature,” Prabhu, p. 117. There may be 4 or 5 uses…. 1QM the Q War Scroll, in the beginning of the scroll the author explains in apocalyptic language the last battle of time, drawing from Dan 11, Zech 14, Is 41, etc…there appears to be a main text. In this case it is Daniel 11, the hermeneutical magnet. Both outline and content follow Daniel, see handouts. Mt 24 synoptic eschatological discourse is dominated by Daniel.

VIII. Textual Use – Authors quote from various texts in order to bring out an intended theme more explicitly

IX. Assimilated Use – author expresses biblical language simply because it is a function of the way he thinks. Scripture becomes a way of speaking.

X. Ironic Use – saying of one thing to intend the opposite in order to ridicule, often to stress ironic judgment or redemption. Rev 5:6 the 7 horns of Christ contrasted/compared with the 7 horns of the beast/Satan in order to emphasize the superior power of Christ over and against Satan. This is an example of judicial irony.

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2 comments so far

  1. Dave on

    excellent! could you some how put all those notes in a PDF and post them?

  2. jdodson on

    I will try to get to that. Glad its helpful.


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