Beale on Jesus and the Law

We could picture Christ as a hermeneutical filter through which the Law must pass in order to get to the new creation. Those parts of the Law which are nationalistic in nature or are overt nationalistic tags distinguishing Israelites ethnically form other people-groups are too large or misshapen to be able to pass through the filter. Those parts of the Law more moral and less ethnic in nature are able to pass through the filter.

In other words, Beale sees Jesus as the filter for discerning what parts of the OT law remain applicable and those parts that do not. It is worth noting that he is not taking Calvin’s approach on the three uses of the Law. Keep the Moral (Decalogue/Ten Commandments) and dispense with the Ceremonial and Civil parts of the Law, which in turn leads to sabbatarianism (which I do not know if Beale observes). Rather, Beale is advocating Christ as a certain type of filter, a typological filter:

This is why Paul quotes only form the moral law, or when he quotes from other facets of teh Old Testament law (such as the civil), he uses it in a typological or non-theocratic manner in employing it withing the covenant community of the church (e.g., see his use of Deuteronomy in 1 Cor 5:13). Consequently, understanding how Christ has instituted the new creation also gives insight into understanding what parts of the Old Testament Law relate to the new age and what parts do not.

Quotes taken from, Greg K. Beale, “Eschatological Conception of New Testament Theology” in Eschatology in Bible and Theology (Downers Grove: IVP, 1997), 38.

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