New Testament’s Use of the Old Testament

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Author: Reid Ashbaucher  |  Date of Writing: March 2009


New Testament’s Use of the Old Testament


It is evident by Darrell Bock’s article: “Evangelicals and the Use of the Old Testament in the New,” that there is a debate going on in the Theological community concerning this topic and covers a wide range of issues. According to Bock, there are four schools of thought within the evangelical circles to how one approaches such a subject and is compounded by the various issues within the schools. Bock lists these schools as: “The Full Intent School,” represented by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.; “The Divine Intent-Human Words School,” represented by James I. Packer and Elliot E. Johnson; “The Historical Progress of Revelation and Jewish Hermeneutic School,” represented by Earle E. Ellis, Richard Longenecker, and Walter Dunnett, and “The Canonical Approach and New Testament Priority School,” represented by Bruce K. Waltke.1 Within these schools Bock describes the following issues:

In the interaction between these schools of thought, four tension points will be raised in this article concerning dual authorship, language referent, the progress of revelation, and the problem of the differing texts used in Old Testament citations by their New Testament fulfillment(s). In isolating these four concerns, it is important to recall that in any passage being discussed all these concerns interact with one another.2

Because of the complexity of this subject, there must be some starting point or understanding of how one should proceed. After reviewing all of the required reading for this paper I have decided to pursue this subject through three concepts: the true origin of Scripture, the progression of revelation, and the rules used for interpreting Scripture. From this foundation, we will look at Scriptural examples of how it all works together.

The Source

It has always been my belief that if you don’t ask the right questions you will not get the right answers. Throughout the reading and reviewing the thoughts of many individuals on this subject the same statement comes up in various forms: “Is this what the author intended”? “Was this understood by the author”? Did this fit into the author’s hermeneutics? It is this type of reasoning that requires us to review the real question. What does the inspiration of God really mean?

From the very beginning God’s statements are clear concerning this matter as we read:

Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a Cushite woman); and they said, “Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us as well?” And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.) And suddenly the LORD said to Moses and Aaron and to Miriam, “You three come out to the tent of meeting.” So the three of them came out. Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the doorway of the tent, and He called Aaron and Miriam. When they had both come forward, He said,

“Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,

I, the LORD, shall make Myself known to him in a vision.
I shall speak with him in a dream. “Not so, with My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household;
With him I speak mouth to mouth,
Even openly, and not in dark sayings,
And he beholds the form of the LORD.
Why then were you not afraid
To speak against My servant, against Moses? “

So the anger of the LORD burned against them and He departed.3

We can observe from this passage that it is God, who reveals to us his thoughts and desires and used man as a conduit to proclaim his message. If John Sailhamer’s view holds true concerning the question of whether the NT interpretation of an OT text is, in fact, the meaning intended by the OT author,4 then we should see his view of this concept amplified throughout Scripture. One of John Sailhamer’s propositions is that the Hebrew Bible serves both as text and commentary for self-interpretation. It is a brilliant concept and as we shall see, does in fact play out in Scripture. “The Prophets and the Writings are not intent on giving us a new vision for the future. Their aim is to help us understand the messianic vision that has already been laid down in the Pentateuch and repeated in their own writings. God told the prophet Habakkuk, for example, to ‘write the vision’ and also ‘to explain it’ (Heb 2:3).”5

We continue to find God’s intentions on this matter spoken of in the following Scriptures:

Now these are the last words of David.
David the son of Jesse declares,
And the man who was raised on high declares,
The anointed of the God of Jacob,
And the sweet psalmist of Israel,
The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me,
And His word was on my tongue.6

Surely the Lord GOD does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets. A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken! Who can but prophesy?7

Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets Who lead my people astray; When they have something to bite with their teeth, They cry, “Peace, “But against him who puts nothing in their mouths, They declare holy war. Therefore it will be night for you– without vision, And darkness for you– without divination. The sun will go down on the prophets, And the day will become dark over them. The seers will be ashamed And the diviners will be embarrassed. Indeed, they will all cover their mouths Because there is no answer from God. On the other hand I am filled with power–With the Spirit of the LORD–And with justice and courage To make known to Jacob his rebellious act, Even to Israel his sin.8

It is evident that inspiration is not a New Testament concept, but carries over to the New Testament as the Apostles write: “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”9 “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”10

In light of these Scriptures, how should we view inspiration? Is it God using man’s talents and education to convey God’s wishes? Or is it God dictating to man God’s wishes? Or is it both of these concepts combined? Think about the Scriptures the Apostles Peter and John wrote. Would you consider these writings solid, theologically sound works? Were these writings based on the education and wit of the authors? It is my contention that they needed to know how to write a letter, put thoughts on paper, but is the content based on their educational abilities, their formal theological training? To this line of reasoning, I would say, no! Consider the following statement by Dr. Luke:

Let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the very corner stone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.

Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John, and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were marveling, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply.11

The statement that they have been with Jesus means, that all of their understanding of spiritual and theological things came to them through the teaching of God Himself. Then after Jesus was not with them any longer, He sent them the Holy Spirit to do the following: “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”12

The concept of inspiration originated in the Old Testament and was continued throughout history until the completion of the original documents we now know as the canonized Scriptures. If we look back in time God spoke directly to Moses giving us the bulk of the Pentateuch. Jesus lived, discipled, and taught the twelve disciples. The Apostle Paul states that he spent three years in the mountains with Christ after having direct contact with him on the road to Damascus. Adding up all these encounters, one could contribute 32 books of the 66 as a direct result of God personally speaking and spending one on one time with those that struck a pen to write. The question of these men’s styles, hermeneutics, understanding what they wrote is all academic when thinking through the concept of direct contact with the true author of the Scriptures. Sometimes I get the impression that we in the world of academia believe that it is not possible for God to dictate to man what to say – That somehow God must use our talents and abilities, or else, what man puts on paper is not authentic or justified in its existence. I am not advocating that God does not give an ability to man, then uses that ability for His Glory. I am only saying that we should not put God in a box and say that God must operate this way or it’s not allowed.
The true source of Scripture is meaningless in relation to how the New Testament relates to the Old unless we factor in the next concept.

The Progression of Revelation

We have established that God is the author of all Scripture, but why does revelation need to be progressive? Or given to us in increments? John Frame makes these statements:

For his own reasons, he has chosen to delay the fulfillment of his intentions for the end of history, and to bring about those intentions through a complicated historical sequence of events. In that sequence, his purposes appear sometimes to suffer defeat, sometimes to achieve victory. But, as we shall see later in our discussion on the problem of evil, each apparent defeat actually makes his eventual victory all the more glorious. The cross of Jesus is, of course, the chief example of this principle.13

When God expresses his eternal purposes in words, through his prophets, those prophecies will surely come to pass (Deut. 18:21-22; Isa. 31:2). God sometimes represents his word as his active agent that inevitably accomplishes his bidding:14

As sound as all this may be, is that all there is to it? Or is there also a human side to God’s considerations? In John 16:12, Jesus states: “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” (NASB) It seems that God’s word to us must come in stages because we must be prepared as a person to understand or recognize what God has to say to us, and this preparation sometimes includes our historical surroundings.

On the more technical side, Paul Lee Tan makes this observation:

Some interpreters believe that in the revelatory process, revelations given earlier have been absorbed into and supplanted by those given more recently. They say that Old Testament revelations, being prior to the New, have been mostly supplanted and should be interpreted in light of the New Testament.

Although God reveals Himself and His plan of the ages progressively and everything is not unfolded all at once, this does not mean that revelations entirely given have been replaced or contradicted. Progressive revelation is like a landscape that is progressively lit up as the rays of the sun advance over it at dawn. With the advance of the sun’s rays, certain portions of the landscape are revealed earlier than others. And just because a given portion of a total landscape is illuminated earlier than another does not mean that a portion of the landscape has been supplanted.15

The purpose of progressive revelation is to reveal God’s plan for man’s redemption and the establishment of God’s final rule over his creation; this is revealed to us in the establishment of God’s kingdom. This very statement is the heart of progressive revelation and can be demonstrated using John Sailhamer’s concept that the Hebrew Bible is both text and commentary.

What I have in mind is that when the OT reads and interprets itself, as is happening in Daniel 7, it does so by drawing on the real, historical intent of the other OT authors. There is no need to speak of a reinterpretation of texts. I think, for example, it is possible to show that the Pentateuch is already thoroughly messianic and that the rest of the OT understands this and expands on it by way of textual commentary and exposition.16

Genesis 3:15 states: “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”(NASB) This statement is the beginning of God’s plan for man in history. Many will focus on the statement of the bruising, but let me draw some attention to the seed of the woman, which in my view has much more long-term messianic significants. Consider the following:

Accordingly, Kurtz-though recognizing the prophetic character of this passage-views the phrase “seed of the woman” as equivalent to all the human race; and the modern Jews also take it as meaning collectively the children whom she shall bring forth-the whole family of man. But “the seed of the women” being contrasted with “the seed of the serpent,” a designation, in this context, and conformably to Scripture usage elsewhere, of the wicked portion of mankind (cf. John 8:44; 13:38, with Matt. 23:33; 1 John 3:8), the expression must evidently be considered as restricted to the children of God, “who are born not of the flesh but of the spirit” (cf. Gal. 3:29); and from its denoting individuality in the following clause, as specially applied to one whose miraculous birth gave him a preeminent title to be called “the seed of the woman” (cf. Gal. 4:4). The prophecy points to a continual struggle which would be carried on between the offspring of the woman and the grand enemy of God and man: and no language could more appropriately describe the mighty conflict, of which this world, has ever since been the theatre, between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. To us the words have a higher significance than they could have had to our first parents.17

This theme of seed is carried throughout the Old Testament into the New through the covenants – starting with the Abrahamic Covenant, first found in Genesis 12:1-3 and further amplified in chapters 15 and 17. The Abrahamic Covenant is the foundation for and one of four, Eschatological covenants that are considered everlasting or eternal. The Abrahamic Covenant is an everlasting covenant emphasizing land for Israel, a seed line for a great nation and kingdom, and finally a universal blessing to all nations. This covenant was then amplified through three additional everlasting covenants known as the Palestinian Covenant emphasizing the promised land (Deut. 30), the Davidic Covenant is emphasizing a kingdom through a seed line (2 Sam. 7), and New Covenant (Jer. 31) to fulfill all three aspects of the Abrahamic Covenant to include the universal blessing, which the Apostle Paul labeled the Gospel in Galatians 3:8. The Apostle Paul’s commentary on Galatians 3:8-9 provides us with a connection tying this assessment back to Abraham, forming a bond between the New and Old Testaments.

If one would follow the four eschatological covenants through Scripture, one would see the progressional intent of God’s plan for the world. It would be nice if we could end here and say that this debate could be settled on these facts alone, but it is not possible until we enter the discussion of hermeneutical principles and just who should be the final interpreter on these matters.

Biblical Hermeneutics

Hermeneutics is a discipline that stands alone and generally takes up a full year of course study to bring one up to speed on the topic. So in this short article how shall we proceed? Elliott Johnson narrows the subject and debate by defining the issues this way:

The subject of our dialogue focuses our attention on a fundamental difference between dispensational hermeneutics and other expressions of evangelical hermeneutics. While this is a fundamental difference, yet the difference is not at the level of principles. It is fundamental because it determines one’s view of the structure of progressive revelation and consequently influences for today and for the future. Yet the differences are not basically in principle. All agree on the necessity of grammatical interpretation and historical interpretation and most agree on the legitimacy of literal interpretation and interpretation by the analogy of faith. It is rather a difference in the appropriate application of these principles.18

Bernard Ramm makes this observation alone this line of thinking, as he states:

Learning the rules of hermeneutics does not make a student a good interpreter. A person with a good memory may memorize the rules of chess and yet be a mediocre player. A person may be limited in his native mental endowment, and although able to memorize the rules of hermeneutics unable to apply with skill. A person with a good mind may go astray due to the pressure of very strong biases. Equally great scholars are to be found among Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant interpreters. It can hardly be denied that bias in this regard will prevent one scholar from seeing an opposing position sympathetically, and will in turn see his own position glow with invulnerability. Millennial and eschatological biases are the source of many over-statements, under-statements, and unguarded statements found in the literature of this subject.19

It may be best that we start by defining a set view of the rules that will ultimately provide us some guidance on how we should be looking at and interpreting the Scriptures. I tend to lean on Milton Terry for General Hermeneutics and Paul Lee Tan for Special Hermeneutics. To be intellectually honest these two authors do not agree on all the same rules for Special Hermeneutics but do agree on many of the other rules. Terry makes this statement:

It is common to distinguish between General and Special Hermeneutics. General Hermeneutics is devoted to the general principles which are applicable to the interpretation of all languages and writing. …Special Hermeneutics, according to Cellerier, is a science practical and almost empirical, and searches after rules and solutions; while General Hermeneutics is methodical and philosophical, and searches for principles and methods.20

It is Terry’s view that the Scripture should be taken as a whole and believes that both the Old and New Testaments are linked hand in hand. Terry comments:

In short, the whole Bible is a divinely constructed unity, and there is danger that, in studying one part to the comparative neglect of the other, we may fall into one-sided and erroneous methods of exposition. The Holy Scriptures should be studied as a whole, for their several parts were given in manifold portions and modes (πολυμερώς καί πολντρόπως, Heb. i,1), and , taken all together, they constitute a remarkably self-interpreting volume.21

Johnson alludes to the differences of Walvoord’s hermeneutics and Ladd’s hermeneutics as he writes: Walvoord called for this consistent, contextual handling of an Old Testament text which he called literal. Ladd objected to this approach. He concluded: “The ‘literal hermeneutic’ does not work… Old Testament prophecies must be interpreted in the light of the New Testament to find their deeper meaning.”22

These two good men differ in their approach to a problem. Let me suggest that we look at this from another perspective for a solution. If we understood the literal method of hermeneutics in a new light, would it make a difference in our approach to the debate? Paul Tan teaches the following:

The word literal is often taken to mean that which is nonfigurative. Interpreters often set the literal over against the figurative. This is a serious misapprehension of the method. …The presence of figures in Scripture, however, does not militate against literal interpretation. Since literal interpretation properly accepts that which is normal and customary in language–and figurative language is certainly normal and customary–literal interpreters are not hindered by that which is figurative. There is no necessity to change to a different method of interpretation.23

The literal method is also often cast in the unnatural role of being against the spiritual. The argument is that literal interpretation misses the spiritual element. Non-literal interpreters therefore like to call their method “the spiritual method” or “spiritualization.”24

Literal interpretations, of course, recognize that the Scripture contains spiritual truths which no uninspired Shakespeare could ever produce. The Bible is divine both in its origin and in its content, and, as such, it is certainly spiritual. The proper method of getting to know these spiritual truths, however, is not through spiritualization. Spiritual truths when revealed are revealed as the written Word of God. Literal interpretation of that which is written brings out these truths.25

And finally Dr. Tan makes this observation on literal interpretation:

The literal method of interpretation is concerned with interpretation, not with application. The interpreter is primarily interested to what the Bible says; then he makes practical applications based on what has been interpreted. To base interpretations of the Bible on applications is erroneous and will end in chaos.

As the reformer John Calvin says, “The Word of God is inexhaustible and applicable at all times, But there is a difference between explanation and application, and application must be consistent with explanation.”26

According to Dr. Tan we can come to a proper understanding of Scripture by using the literal or Grammatico-Historical Method of hermeneutics. By understanding these truths of inspiration, progressive revelation, and the literal method of hermeneutics, we can begin to evaluate some text as they relate to both New and Old Testaments.

The Text

The debate in the biblical field today is the NT use of OT quotations.27 It is through this debate that we have questions about the hermeneutics used by the Apostles and their choice of OT Scriptures in their writings. It is interesting to note that when Jesus made claims to OT passages no one questions those to be illegitimate. Homer Kent, Jr. makes this observation and perhaps is the reason for this phenomenon. “Christ’s direct uses of the Old Testament employed the references in their literal sense. None were typological. All treat the Old Testament text in its obvious grammatical and historical meaning. Here is certainly to be found a significant pattern and a caution for all interpreters of Scripture.”28

An example of this can be found in Luke as we read:

And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book, and found the place where it was written,

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are downtrodden,
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

And He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed upon Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”29

Before Jesus spoke these words, did anyone see this passage as Messianic or something to be contributed to Jesus of his day? It is referring to Is. 61:1-2. Who did anyone think “me” was in reference to in verse one? Did Isaiah know what he was saying? Or who he was talking about? Talk about being in the dark, then all of a sudden Jesus says, today this is being fulfilled. What a shock. How should we view this type of revelation? Maybe we should understand this as; it is God who wills for us to know his intentions and revelation to us. This concept is supported by the Apostle Paul as he writes, and my emphasis added:

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body (which is the church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ’s afflictions. Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.30

It is God who wills and wishes for us to know and understand His mysteries or unrevealed revelation proclaimed from the Old Testament. This brings us back in full circle to how are His chosen writers used to communicate to us His written word?

Paul and the Targumim

According to Allan Harmon, approximately one-third of all New Testament quotations of the Old Testament are made by Paul, and one-fifth are from the Psalter.31 The debate surrounding Paul is his quotes of the OT did not always match the Hebrew text. Allan Harmon makes this statement:

When the Pauline Psalter quotations are reviewed, there is the opportunity to test Dodd’s thesis that the New Testament writers selected whole portions of the Old Testament and that it is not the detached words, which serve as a pointer, but the total context that forms the basis of their argumentation. If Dodd’s contention is correct, it is of considerable importance for a correct understanding of many of the quotations from the Psalms, which are often held to be taken arbitrarily out of their context by Paul.32

In light of this concept, it should be noted that Paul was translating the Hebrew text into not only Greek but into New Testament theology concepts. Eugene Glassman, a Bible translator makes these helpful observations:

Nida further notes that although it is possible to say in one language anything which can be said in another, one must not conclude that it is always possible in translating to carry over the entire meaning of an original text. In fact, the higher the literary quality of the source language text, the more difficult it is to do justice to it in translation.33

FROM WHAT I HAVE SAID so far, two points should be obvious: (1) it is seldom possible to translate literally, word for word, without making adjustments in the receptor language which inevitably constitute some degree of paraphrase; and (2) translators are not at liberty to make just any changes that suit their fancy, but must make adjustments according to the demands or the receptor language and in faithfulness to the intent of the original author.34

Harmon’s observations are that Paul relied on not only the Hebrew text but also a great deal on the LXX.35 This would only make sense since the LXX was used by New Testament writers to help them in their translation of the O.T. Remember not all N.T. writers were as educated as Paul. Glassman makes this statement concerning how the LXX was view by others.

It should be remembered that emphasis on meaningful translation is not some latter-day perversion dreamed up by twentieth-century heretics. As long ago as the fourth century A.D., Jerome frankly admitted that he translated “sense for sense and not word for word.” In support he called attention to the manner in which the New Testament writers freely quoted or adapted the original Hebrew or Septuagint (LXX) in their own writings. There was certainly no slavish literalism there! 36

A targumim is a more controversial translation in this debate for N.T. usage mainly because of the many versions that there are, for example, the Wikipedia encyclopedia states the following:

The two most important targumim for liturgical purposes are:

  • Targum Onkelos on the Torah (The Law)
  • Targum Jonathan ben Uzziel on the Nevi’im (The Prophets)

    These two targumim are mentioned in the Babylonian Talmud as targum dilan (“our Targum”), giving them official status. In the synagogues of talmudic times, Targum Onkelos was read alternately with the Torah, verse by verse, and Targum Jonathan was read alternately with the selection from Nevi’im (i.e. the Haftarah). This custom continues today in Yemenite Jewish synagogues. The Yemenite Jews are the only Jewish community to continue use of Targum as liturgical text, as well as to preserve a living tradition of pronunciation for the Aramaic of the targumim (according to a Babylonian dialect).Medieval biblical manuscripts of the Tiberian Mesorah sometimes contain the Hebrew text interpolated, verse-by-verse, with the official targumim. This scribal practice has its roots both in the public reading of the Targum and in the private study requirement.

    The two “official” targumim are considered eastern (Babylonian). Nevertheless, scholars believe they too originated in the Palestine because of a strong linguistic substratum of western Aramaic. Though these targumim were later “easternized”, the substratum belying their origins still remains.

    There are also a variety of western targumim on the Torah, each of which was traditionally called Targum Yerushalmi (“Jerusalem Targum”). An important one of these was mistakenly labeled “Targum Jonathan” in later printed versions (though all medieval authorities refer to it by its correct name). The error crept in because of an abbreviation: The printer interpreted ת”י to stand for תרגום יונתן instead of the correct תרגום ירושלמי. Scholars refer to this targum as Targum Pseudo-Jonathan. To attribute this targum to Jonathan ben Uzziel also contradicts the talmudic tradition (Megillah 3a), which quite clearly attributes the targum to Nevi’im alone to him, while stating that there is no official targum to Ketuvim.37

Harmon, after debating Paul’s use of the targum closes out this issue with the following comment:

Despite widespread support for the contention that Paul has been influenced by the Targum in Eph 4:8, it cannot be substantiated that he was citing from it, and as this is the only case where there is any resemblance between the variations from the NT in his Psalter quotations and the Aramaic Targums, the conclusion must be drawn that the influence of these upon the text of Paul’s quotations was negligible. Nor is there any evidence to digest that Greek Targums were employed by Paul, though the possibility of the existence of such Targums must not be overlooked.38

Mark Seifrid picks up on this issue of the targumim use with reference to Romans 10:6-8. After a brief discussion concerning Paul’s use of targumim, he concludes the following:

The Targum, then, allowed Paul to affirm that “the incarnate Word” was close to all believers, just as Deuteronomy said that Torah was near. This conception of Pauline usage is admittedly closer to the text of Rom 10:6-8. However, it is difficult from this argument to discern anything in the Targum that Paul could not have gleaned directly from Deuteronomy. A Moses-Christian connection seems particularly unfruitful. Moreover, the imagery does not carry over into Rom 10:8: as Werner Bieder has noted, Christ is not equated with “the word” (τό ρήμα), but the word consisted in the “Kerygma” of the apostle (v. 9,10). Paul’s emphasis is not on the nearness of the “incarnate Word” but on the nature of the message he preached.39

Despite the debate on whether Paul used or did not use current translations of the Old Testament seems a little arbitrary if we take into account Glassman’s view of Bible translation principles and more importantly divine inspiration that oversaw all that took place. We can either believe that God’s word is His word or we can believe it is not, to stand in the middle, for me, is not an option.

To understand this subject is important and enlightening, but one must come to a final conclusion on where they stand concerning the origin of the Holy Scriptures. I believe Dr. Harold Lindsell sums it up best with this observation: “Inspiration involved infallibility from start to finish. God the Holy Spirit by nature cannot lie or be the author of untruth. If the Scripture is inspired at all it must be infallible. If any part of it is not infallible, then that part cannot be inspired. If inspiration allows for, the possibility of error then inspiration ceases to be inspiration.”40


  1. Darrell L. Bock, “Part 1: Evangelicals and the Use of The Old Testament in the New,” Bibliotheca Sacra vol. 142: 209-219, 1985; available from The Theological Journal Library, vol. 1-5, [CD-ROM] (Garland: Galaxie Software, ©2000-2006).
  2. Darrell L. Bock, “Part 2: Evangelicals and the Use of The Old Testament in the New,” Bibliotheca Sacra vol. 142: 306, 1985; available from The Theological Journal Library, vol. 1-5, [CD-ROM] (Garland: Galaxie Software, ©2000-2006).
  3. Num. 12:1-9 (NASB)
  4. John H. Sailhamer, “The Messiah and the Hebrew Bible,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society vol. 44: 5, 2001; available from The Theological Journal Library, vol. 1-5, [CD-ROM] (Garland: Galaxie Software, ©2000-2006).
  5. Ibid., 12.
  6. 2 Sam. 23:1-2 (NASB)
  7. Amos 3:7-8 (NASB)
  8. Mic. 3:5-8 (NASB)
  9. 2 Pet. 1:20-21 (NASB)
  10. 2 Tim. 3:15-17 (NASB)
  11. Acts 4:10-19 (NASB)
  12. John 16:12-13 (NASB)
  13. John M. Frame, The Doctrine of God, (Phillipsburg: P & R Publishing, 2002), 47.
  14. Ibid., 48.
  15. Paul Lee Tan, The Interpretation of Prophecy, (Winona Lake: Assurance Publishers, 1974), 112.
  16. Sailhamer, “The Messiah and the Hebrew Bible,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society vol. 44, 2001, 14.
  17. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, “Genesis 3:14-15: And between thy seed and her seed”, Electronic Database, [CD Rom] (Seattle: Biblesoft, ©1997.)
  18. Elliott E. Johnson, “What I Mean by Historical-Grammatical Interpretation and How that Differs from Spiritual Interpretation,” Grace Theological Journal vol. 11: 157, 1990; available from The Theological Journal Library, vol. 1-5, [CD-ROM] (Garland: Galaxie Software, ©2000-2006).
  19. Bernard Ramm, Protestant Biblical Interpretation, rev. 3d ed., (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1970), 12.
  20. Milton S. Terry, Biblical Hermeneutics, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1983), 17.
  21. Ibid., 18-19.
  22. Johnson, “What I Mean by Historical-Grammatical Interpretation and How that Differs from Spiritual Interpretation,” Grace Theological Journal vol. 11: 158, 1990.
  23. Tan, The Interpretation of Prophecy, 30.
  24. Ibid., 32.
  25. Ibid.
  26. Ibid., 34.
  27. Walter C. Kaiser, “The Promise to David in Psalm 16 and its Application in Acts 2:25-33 and 13:32 – 37,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society vol. 23: 220, 1980; available from The Theological Journal Library, vol. 1-5, [CD-ROM] (Garland: Galaxie Software, ©2000-2006).
  28. Homer A. Kent, Jr., “Matthew’s use of the Old Testament,” Bibliotheca Sacra vol. 121: 42, 1964; available from The Theological Journal Library, vol. 1-5, [CD-ROM] (Garland: Galaxie Software, ©2000 -2006).
  29. Luke 4:17-21 (NASB)
  30. Col. 1:24-27 (NASB)
  31. Allan M. Harmon, “Aspects of Paul’s use of the Psalms, ”Westminster Theological Journal vol. 32: 1, 1970; 2002; available from The Theological Journal Library, vol. 1-5, [CD-ROM] (Garland: Galaxie Software, ©2000-2006).
  32. Ibid., 2.
  33. Eugene H. Glassman, The Translation Debate, (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1981), 1617.
  34. Glassman, The Translation Debate, 93.
  35. Harmon, “Aspects of Paul’s use of the Psalms, ”Westminster Theological Journal vol. 32: 3-4, 1970, 2002.
  36. Glassman, The Translation Debate, 31-32.
  37. Wikipedia Encyclopedia, “Targum” [Encyclopedia on-line]; available from; Internet; accessed 5 September 2007.
  38. Harmon, “Aspects of Paul’s use of the Psalms, ”Westminster Theological Journal vol. 32: 6-7, 1970, 2002. available from The Theological Journal Library, vol. 1-5, [CD-ROM] (Garland: Galaxie Software, ©2000-2006).
  39. Mark A. Seifrid, “Paul’s Approach to the Old Testament in Rom 10:6-8,” Trinity Journal vol. 6:, 1985; 2002; available from The Theological Journal Library, vol. 1-5, [CD-ROM] (Garland: Galaxie Software, ©2000-2006).
  40. Harold Lindsell, The Battle for the Bible, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), 31.

Works Cited

  1. Bock, Darrell L. “Part 1: Evangelicals and the Use of the Old Testament in the New.” Bibliotheca Sacra, 142 (1985): 209-19.
  2. _____________. “Part 2: Evangelicals and the Use of the Old Testament in the New.” Bibliotheca Sacra, 142 (1985): 306.
  3. Frame, John M. The Doctrine of God. Phillipsburg: P & R Publishing, 2002.
  4. Glassman, Eugene H. The Translation Debate. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1981.
  5. Harmon, Allan M. “Aspects of Paul’s use of the Psalms.” Westminster Theological Journal, 32 (1970, 2002): 1-7.
  6. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, s.v. “Genesis 3:14-15.” [Electronic Database on CD Rom], Seattle: Biblesoft, 1997.
  7. Johnson, Elliott E. “What I Mean by Historical-Grammatical Interpretation and How that Differs from Spiritual Interpretation.” Grace Theological Journal, 11 (1990): 157-69.
  8. Kaiser, Walter C. “The Promise to David in Psalm 16 and its Application in Acts 2:25-33 and 13:32-37.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 23 (1980): 220-29.
  9. Kent, Homer A. “Matthew’s use of the Old Testament.” Bibliotheca Sacra, 121 (1964): 42.
    Lindsell, Harold. The Battle for the Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976.
  10. Ramm, Bernard. Protestant Biblical Interpretation, rev. 3d ed. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1970.
  11. Sailhamer, John H. “The Messiah and the Hebrew Bible.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 44 (2001): 5-23.
  12. Seifrid, Mark A. “Paul’s Approach to the Old Testament in Rom 10:6-8.” Trinity Journal, 6 (1985, 2002): 25.
  13. Tan, Paul Lee. The Interpretation of Prophecy. Winona Lake: Assurance Publication, 1974.
  14. Terry, Milton S. Biblical Hermeneutics. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1983.
  15. Wikipedia Encyclopedia, s.v. “Targum”. [Encyclopedia on Line] Available from; INTERNET.
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