10/06/2015 in: Look Insideon
These days it’s hard to find a commentary that is distinct from all the others on the market. I mean, there are only so many ways that you can exposit a passage. With that in mind, it’s worth noting when a commentary comes along that is wholly unlike the rest. The Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, edited by G. K. Beale & D. A. Carson, is one of those commentaries. Let’s take a look inside this commentary and see how it can enhance your Bible study in Bible+.
What It Is and Isn’t
The key to using this commentary is first understanding how the editors designed it. This is not a verse-by-verse commentary on the entire New Testament; there are plenty of commentaries that already do this well. Nor is this a commentary that gets into the debates surrounding how the Old Testament is utilized by New Testament authors. Again, there are plenty of books already written on the subject.
Instead, what you get with this commentary is exactly what its title says: a commentary that explains how the New Testament makes use of Old Testament quotations and allusions. While analyzing these passages, Beale and Carson encouraged the commentary’s contributors to keep in mind six questions that ought to be answered:
- What is the NT context of the citation or allusion?
- What is the OT context from which the quotation or allusion is drawn?
- How is the OT quotation or source handled in the literature of Second Temple Judaism or early Judaism?
- What textual factors must be kept in mind as one seeks to understand a particular use of the OT?
- What is the nature of the connection as the NT writer sees it?
- To what theological use does the NT writer put the OT quotation or allusion?
Wherever possible, each passage covered in the commentary seeks to answer these six questions so that you, as the reader, can understand how the text is being used. While most commentaries delve into this subject matter on some level, the advantage of this commentary is that it’s its sole focus. You don’t have to worry about reading only a few sentences or a short paragraph because the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament will give you everything you want & then some.
Using the Commentary
There are a few ways you can use the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament in Bible+, but let me show you the most convenient way: Resource Guide.
Depending on the Bible translation you’re using it can be easy or difficult to identify when the New Testament authors are quoting from the Old Testament. For example, in the ESV you may find text that is indented and set apart to show that it’s a quotation; but, it’s not as easy to identify when it is kept inline. Translations like the NASB, on the other hand, put OT quotes in small caps, which make them easier to identify (see below). In a book like Matthew, this isn’t a big deal; but consider a book like James that alludes to the OT frequently. In this case, you could miss these in the ESV, where they are obvious in a translation like the NASB.
With the Resource Guide your choice of translation doesn’t matter, whether it be the ESV, NASB or some other translation. As you’re reading a New Testament passage, you don’t even have to consider if what you’re reading contains an OT quotation or allusion. Simply glance down at the commentaries section of Resource Guide and see if you have a hit for the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. If there is, you can proceed reading the commentary text. A perfect example of this is James 5:1-6 where James condemns the rich for oppressing their workers. There is no clear OT quotation, but a Jew would understand that James is alluding to the Mosaic Law. The commentary explains this in great detail, providing all the context you need to understand what James is trying to get across.
The biggest benefit of using Resource Guide in your study is that you don’t have to manually search through your commentaries. Forget having to wonder if the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament addresses your passage, you’ll know without ever having to open it. The Resource Guide saves you time and effort in your studies by putting the information you need at your fingertips.
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