Theology on the Web helps over 2.5 million people every year to find high quality theological resources that will help to equip them to serve God and to know Him better (2 Timothy 2:15). Like other websites that provide free services, it is dependent on donations to enable it to grow and develop and only 0.004% of visitors currently do so. If you would like to support this site, please use one of the options to the right of this message.

Themelios 13.1 (Oct./Nov. 1987): 4-8.
[Reproduced by permission of the author]

The author is Ramsay Armitage Professor of New Testament at Wycliffe College in the University of Toronto. In this article he returns to the subject of his book Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975). His other recent writings include a particularly useful commentary on Acts in the Expositor's Bible Commentary series (vol. 9, comprising John and Acts; ed F. E. Gaebelein; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981).

The question of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8 is that asked by every inquiring person when reading what has come to be known as the Old Testament: 'Who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?' (v. 34). And Philip's answer is the definitive response of Christian proclamation: 'Jesus' (v. 35). The movement from Scripture to Jesus, however, while seemingly simple, is a matter that requires careful delineation. For it is all too easy to reason in some deductive manner as to how early Christians must have viewed matters, given certain basic commitments, than to investigate inductively how they actually worked out their convictions in the context of the presuppositions and methodologies of the day. Three matters, in particular, call for reflection when we attempt to understand the NT's use of the OT: 1. the concept of fulfilment in the New Testament; 2. the exegetical procedures of the early Christians; and 3. the normativity of then current hermeneutical practices for Christian faith, both in that day and today.

I. Fulfilment in the New Testament

The concept of fulfilment is at the heart of biblical theology. This is true, first of all, for the OT, where God's purposes were to be fulfilled through his covenant people Israel and where the latter prophets often explicate the former prophets. It is pre-eminently true for the NT, where the focus is on Jesus of Nazareth as the fulfilment of God's redemptive purposes for mankind.

The question is, however, as to what exactly is meant by fulfilment in the biblical sense. One answer is to assert that fulfilment has to do with direct prediction and explicit verification. Indeed, a primary test of a prophet in OT times was that his predictions could be precisely validated at a later time (Dt. 18:22; cf 1 Sa. 9:6). And this same expectation is carried on in the NT, as witness Jesus' statement on fulfilment in Matthew 5:17-18 (even the most minute features of the prophetic vision shall be fulfilled) and many of the quotations of Scripture by the evangelists (e.g. Mk. 1:2-3, par.; Mt. 2:5-6; Jn. 12:14-15). It is, in fact, this understanding of fulfilment that Justin Martyr used to excess in his Dialogue with Trypho. It appears also in extreme form in many of the Church Fathers; for example, in Tertullian's claims that Genesis 49:27 ('Benjamin is a ravening wolf; in the morning he devours the prey, and in the evening he distributes food'), 1 Samuel 18 (Saul's pursuit of David, but later repentance), and Isaiah 3:3 ('I will take away from Judah... even the wise master-builder') are veiled predictions of Saul of Tarsus, who was from the Judean tribe of Benjamin, and so were fulfilled in Paul's life and ministry (Adv Marc 5.7.10).

So-called 'proof from prophecy' of a direct nature has always been a factor in both a Jewish and a Christian understanding of fulfilment. Sadly, however, some see this as the only factor, and so lay out prophecy-fulfilment relations in a manner approximating mathematical precision. Starting from such basic theological axioms as that there is a God in charge of human affairs and that historical events happen according to his will, they point to a few obvious instances where explicit predictions have been literally fulfilled (as Mi. 5:2, quoted with variation in Mt. 2:5-6) and move on from there to construct an often elaborate and ingenious 'biblical' apologetic that is usually more 'gnostic' than biblical.

What a 'proof from prophecy' approach fails to appreciate is that other factors are involved in the NT's understanding of fulfilment. For example, there are times when an OT text in its own context is enigmatic, yet is used in the NT with Christological significance. Such a passage is Ps. 110:1 ('The Lord says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet" '), which was variously understood in early Judaism - usually of God speaking to Abraham, or to David, or even to Hezekiah, but not as having messianic relevance by the rabbis until about 260 CE - yet was explicated by Jesus to clarify the nature of Messiahship and to point to himself (Mk. 12:36, par.). Stemming from Jesus' usage, this verse in fact became the scriptural bedrock of early Christian proclamation (most clearly seen in Acts 2:34-35) and the basis for further Christological reflection in the Christian church (e.g. anchoring the catena of passages in Heb. 1:5-13 as to the nature of Christ's Sonship, and triggering the use of Ps. 110:4 in Heb. 5:6-7:28 as to the nature of Christ's priesthood). There are also times when the NT quotes the OT in ways that appear quite out of context, yet claims fulfilment by Christ or in Christian experience for those passages. Romans 10:6-8 ('The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart') is one such case, for Dt. 30:12-14 (used proverbially) surely has in mind the Mosaic law, whereas Paul interprets it to mean 'the word of faith which we preach'. Likewise, Paul's use of a number of OT texts in Galatians 3-4 can be cited as not being in strict accord with their original contexts. And though the biblical argument of Galatians 3-4 is telling when understood in terms of Paul's Christian perspective and polemical purpose, his use of Scripture cannot be said to be in line with a direct prediction explicit verification model.


Furthermore, the concept of fulfilment in the NT often has more to do with ideas of 'corporate solidarity' and 'typological correspondences in history' than with direct prediction. For example, the editorial comment of Matthew 2:15, quoting Hosea 11:1 ('So was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son" '), seems to be a rather clear case of the evangelist thinking along the lines of what has been called corporate solidarity (i.e., the interchange between the nation and its representative, with the Messiah being the embodiment of Israel's hopes and the ultimate recipient of God's promises to his people) and of rereading his OT from an eschatologically realized and Christological perspective. For while in Hosea 11 'my son' appears as a collective synonym for the nation (LXX: 'his [Israel's] children') which from childhood was loved by God (v. 1) but drifted into idolatry (vv. 2-7), the evangelist's point - without taking up any of the other features in the passage, many of which would have been entirely inappropriate for his purposes - is that what was prefigured in the nation's exodus from Egypt finds its ultimate focus in the experiences of Jesus, Israel's Messiah. Likewise, Matthew 2:17-18, quoting Jeremiah 31:15 (Rachel weeping for her children), and Matthew 4:14-16, quoting Isaiah 9:1-2 (a great light appearing to the people of Zebulun and Naphtali), use certain events of the nation's history as prefigurements of Jesus' life and ministry, seeing these events as fulfilled in (1) Herod's killing of the young boys at Bethlehem (so Je. 31:15) and (2) Jesus' preaching in Capernaum (so Is. 9:1-2). Similarly, Paul invokes ideas of corporate solidarity and typological correspondences in history when he argues that Christ is Abraham's 'seed' (Gal. 3:16; cf Gn. 12:7; 13:15; 15:18; 17:7-8; 22:17-18; 24:7, where 'seed' as a generic singular refers to Abraham's posterity as an entity), and that 'that rock [which followed the Israelites in the wilderness] was Christ' (1 Cor. 10:4, probably alluding to traditions based on Nu. 21:17 and Dt. 32:1ff.).

The passages cited above are only some of the more obvious instances of where the NT's understanding of fulfilment overflows any simple prediction-verification model. More elusive still, yet of great significance, are the currents of fulfilment that flow almost everywhere throughout the substrata of the NT writings. For example, as Leonhard Goppelt has spelled out in detail, underlying the common narrative of our canonical gospels are all sorts of typological connections between God's activity among his covenant people Israel and his working in the life and ministry of Jesus - connections which the earliest believers in Jesus, whose lives were lived in the ethos of Scripture, saw more clearly than we do today. Likewise, in each of the evangelists' portrayals there are redactional features that speak of fulfilment: in Matthew, of Jesus as the Jew who recapitulates the experiences of Israel and the one 'like' Moses whom the people are to 'listen' to (cf Dt. 18:15-18); in Mark, of Jesus who leads his people out of the wilderness; in Luke, of Jesus as the prophet of eschatological promise; and in John, of Jesus as the centre of the nation's social and religious life, the fulfilment of what was typified in the nation's festivals, and the true paschal lamb. Paul also carries on such motifs in his portrayals of Christ as the obedient Son whose faithfulness to the Father in the context of Jewish covenantal nomism is the basis for mankind's redemption (e.g. Gal. 4:4-5; Rom. 5:19).

Much has been written on each of the passages and themes referred to above (see appended bibliography for some helpful books and articles), and much more need be said for any full treatment. The point to be made here, however, is that the concept of fulfilment in the NT is broader and more profound than usually thought. Certainly it includes direct prediction and explicit verification. We would be surprised if it didn't. But direct prediction that explicitly comes to pass is only one factor in a biblical understanding of fulfilment - and one not as prominent or prevalent as is often popularly thought. To be included as well are matters having to do with the clarification of the enigmatic, with corporate solidarity, and with typological correspondences in history, as we have suggested above.

Yet behind all our analyses of individual passages and basic to any proposed characterization of what is taking place in the NT's use of the OT stands a vitally important couplet of ideas that needs to be brought to the fore if we are ever to understand what fulfilment in a biblical sense signifies: (1) that God's plan for mankind has to do with 'achieving a truly personal relationship between himself and his people', and (2) that 'God's personal relations with man assume, for those who are sensitive to personal values, a recognizable pattern' (quoting C. F. D. Moule, 'Fulfilment-Words in the New Testament', New Testament Studies 14 [1968], pp. 194, 198). What the NT tells us is that in Jesus of Nazareth the early Christians saw the culmination or fulfilment of God's redemptive purposes for mankind, not principally because they could verify each of the prophecies recorded in their Scriptures but 'because they found reflected in Jesus a perfect filial relationship with God' (ibid., p. 298). So they were able to look back over God's pattern of personal relationships in the past - particularly those with his covenant people Israel - and see all of those relationships coming to finality in the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus. Or, as Moule aptly puts it: 'They had come to estimate Jesus, in his ministry, his crucifixion, and his resurrection to life, as the climax, the coping-stone, of an entire edifice of relationship. He was the inaugurator of a new and decisive covenant' (ibid.).

Having, then, such a view of God's purposes and their culmination, the early Christians looked to their Scriptures for prefigurements of what they had seen and experienced in Jesus. In so doing, they spelled out those prefigurements in terms of what we have categorized as (1) direct prophecy explicitly verified, (2) enigmatic passages clarified, (3) corporate solidarity, and (4) typological correspondences in history - though, admittedly, such a precise demarcation of categories would have seemed to them overly pedantic. In effect, they began with Jesus as the epitome of the divine pattern of personal relationships and worked from that estimate of him to prefigurements of such a pattern in the OT. From their Christocentric and so new revelational perspective they laid stress on 'fulfilment' - with fulfilment being understood to include everything from direct prediction precisely enacted on through typological correspondences in history.

II. Exegetical procedures of early Christians

In addition to understanding the concept of fulfilment in the NT, it is necessary to give attention to the exegetical procedures used by early Christians in working out their convictions. Scholarship of late has focused more and more on the exegetical methods of the NT vis-à-vis those of early


Judaism. And this is entirely as it should be. For though the gospel is supra-historical in its origin and effect, it comes from a God who always incarnates his word (as witness the incarnation par excellence, Jesus Christ) and who uses current historical modes as vehicles for his grace (as witness, for example, the sacraments). Why, then, should it be thought unusual or un-Christian for early believers in Jesus to have interpreted their Scriptures by means of the hermeneutical canons then at hand? Indeed, how could they have done otherwise?

Jewish exegesis of the first century can generally be classified under four headings: literalist, midrashic, pesher and allegorical. Admittedly, such a fourfold classification highlights distinctions of which the early Jewish exegetes themselves may not have always been conscious. In dealing with a system of thought that thinks more holistically, functionally and practically than analytically - one that stresses precedent over logic in defence of its ways - any attempt at classification must necessarily go beyond that system's explicit statements as to its own principles. Nevertheless, we still maintain, Jewish interpretations of Scripture fall quite naturally into one or other of these four categories.

A literalist (peshat) type of exegesis is to be found in all strands of early Jewish interpretation. While midrashic exegesis may characterize the Talmud, rabbinic literature also contains many examples of Scripture being understood in a quite straightforward manner, with the result that the natural meaning of the text is applied to the lives of the people - particularly in applying deuteronomic legislation. The situation is somewhat similar in the Dead Sea Scrolls, where preoccupation with pesher interpretation so overshadows all other types of exegesis that one could easily get the impression that the men of Qumran never understood Scripture literally. Yet the opening lines of the Manual of Discipline commit the members of the community to a literal observance of both 'the rule [order, serek] of the community' and what God 'commanded through Moses and through all his servants the prophets' (1QS 1.1-3). Deuteronomic legislation, in fact, while adapted somewhat to their unique situation, was taken by the Qumran covenanters, for the most part, quite literally - even hyperliterally. Likewise Philo, while known most for his allegorical interpretations, understood certain biblical passages in a literalist fashion. Most familiar in this regard is his insistence that though allegorical exegesis is proper, it must not set aside the literal practice of the Law (De Migrat Abr 89-94). Philo believed, for example, that circumcision should be allegorically understood, yet practised literally (De Migrat Abr 92); he insisted on the eternality of the Law (De Vita Mos 44) and rebuked those who did not keep it (De Exsecrat 138-139).

The central concept in rabbinic exegesis, and presumably that of earlier Pharisees as well, was 'midrash'. The word comes from the verb derash ('to resort to', 'seek'; figuratively, 'to read repeatedly', 'study', 'interpret'), and strictly denotes an interpretive exposition however derived and irrespective of the type of material under consideration. In the Mishnah, the Palestinian Gemaras, and the earlier Midrashim the verbs peshat and derash are used in roughly synonymous fashion, for the earlier rabbis (the Tannaim) did not see any difference between their literal interpretations and their more elaborate exegetical treatments. Only among the Amoraite rabbis, sometime in the fourth century CE. were literalist exegesis and midrash exegesis consciously differentiated. But while not recognized as such until later, midrashic exegesis can he seen in retrospect to have differed from literalist exegesis among the Pharisaic teachers of the NT period.

Midrashic exegesis ostensibly takes its point of departure from the biblical text itself (though psychologically it may have been motivated by other factors) and seeks to explicate the hidden meanings contained therein by means of agreed upon hermeneutical rules (e.g. Rabbi Hillel's seven Middoth; Rabbi Ishmael ben Elisha's later set of thirteen: or Rabbi Eliezer ben Jose ha-Galili's thirty-two). The purpose of midrashic exegesis is to contemporize the revelation of God given earlier for the people of God living later in a different situation. What results may be characterized by the maxim:

'That has relevance for This' - i.e. what is written in Scripture has relevance for our present situation. In so doing, early Judaism developed what George Foote Moore once aptly defined as 'an atomistic exegesis, which interprets sentences, clauses, phrases, and even single words, independently of the context or the historical occasion, as divine oracles: combines them with other similarly detached utterances; and makes large use of analogy of expressions, often by purely verbal association' (Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era, I. 248).

The expositions in the texts from Qumran are usually introduced by the term 'pesher', which stems from the Aramaic word pishar meaning 'solution' or 'interpretation'. There are also instances where 'midrash' appears in the texts (e.g. 1QS 6.24; 8.15, 26; CD 20.6; 4QFlor 1, 14), though in these cases the word is used in a non-technical sense to mean only 'interpretation' generally. The Dead Sea sectarians considered themselves to be the elect community of the final generation of the present age, living in the last days of 'messianic travail' before the eschatological consummation. Theirs was the task of preparing for the coming of the Messianic Age. And so to them applied certain prophecies in Scripture that were considered to speak of their present situation.

While the rabbis sought to contemporize Holy Writ so as to make God's Torah relevant to their circumstances, the Dead Sea covenanters looked upon Scripture from what they accepted was a revelatory perspective (based on the interpretations of the Teacher of Righteousness) and emphasized imminent, catastrophic fulfilment. Their maxim seems to have been: 'This is That' - i.e. our present situation is depicted in what is written in Scripture. Qumran's pesher interpretation of the OT, therefore, is neither principally 'commentary' nor 'midrashic exegesis', though it uses the forms of both. As Cecil Roth pointed out: 'It does not attempt to elucidate the Biblical text, but to determine the application of Biblical prophecy or, rather, of certain Biblical prophecies; and the application of these Biblical prophecies in precise terms to current and even contemporary events' ('The Subject Matter of Qumran Exegesis', Vetus Testamentum 10 [1960], pp. 51-52).

The most prominent Jewish allegorist of the first century was Philo of Alexandria. whose expositions of Scripture were


produced during the life of Jesus and the earliest days of the church. Though a Jew, Philo was the inheritor of Stoic and Platonic ideas. And though a critic of the content of these philosophies, he used their basic categories of thought and methods in presenting to his Grecian audience what he believed to be the truth of the Jewish Torah. So he usually treated the OT as a body of symbols given by God for man's spiritual and moral benefit, which must be understood other than in a literal or historical fashion. The prima facie meaning must normally be pushed aside - even counted as offensive - to make room for the intended spiritual meaning underlying the obvious; though, as noted above, at times he seems willing to consider literalist and allegorical exegesis as having a parallel legitimacy. In the main, however, exegesis of Holy Writ was for Philo an esoteric enterprise which, while not without its governing principles, was to be disassociated from literalist interpretation.

But though Philo was the most prominent Jewish allegorist of the first Christian century, he was not alone. The Letter of Aristeas includes one instance of a mild allegorical treatment in its portrayal of the High Priest Eleazer's defence of the Jewish dietary laws (see 150-170; esp. 150: 'For the division of the hoof and the separation of the claws are intended to teach us that we must discriminate between our individual actions with a view to the practice of virtue'). Jacob Lauterbach has identified two groups of Palestinian Pharisees active prior to the time of Rabbi Judah 'the Prince' (the compiler of the Mishnah in the latter part of the second century CE), the Dorshe Reshumot and the Dorshe Hamurot, who used a type of allegorical exegesis in their interpretations of Scripture ('Ancient Jewish Allegorists', Jewish Quarterly Review I [1911], pp. 291-333, 503-531). And Joseph Bonsirven and David Daube have presented significant data in support of the thesis of an early Pharisaic allegorical exegesis within Palestine itself (Bonsirven, 'Exégèse allégorique chez les rabbins tannaites', Recherches de Science Religieuse 23 [1933], pp. 522-524; Daube, 'Rabbinic Methods of Interpretation and Hellenistic Rhetoric', Hebrew Union College Annual 22 [1949], pp. 239-264). In addition, the Dead Sea Scrolls include a number of examples of allegorical interpretation, representative of which is the treatment of Habakkuk 2:17 in lQpHab 12.3-4: "Lebanon" stands here for the Communal Council; "wild beasts" for the simple-minded Jews who carry out the Law' (see also lQpMic 8-10; CD 6.2-11; 7.9-20). But though allegorical exegesis was widespread amongst Jews of the first century, it was not dominant in Palestine.

The Jewish roots of Christianity make it a priori likely that the exegetical procedures of the NT would resemble to some extent those of then contemporary Judaism. This has long been established with regard to the hermeneutics of Paul vis-à-vis the Talmud, and it is becoming increasingly clear with respect to the Qumran texts as well. Indeed, there is little indication in the NT itself that the canonical writers were conscious of varieties of exegetical genre or of following particular modes of interpretation. At least they seem to make no sharp distinctions between what we would call historico-grammatical exegesis, midrash, pesher, allegory, or interpretations based on 'corporate solidarity' or 'typological correspondences in history'. All of these are used in their writings in something of a blended and interwoven fashion. Yet there are discernible patterns and individual emphases among the various NT authors.

In almost all of the NT authors one can find some literalist, straightforward exegesis of biblical texts. Occasionally some allegorical interpretation is also present. The pesher method, however, dominates a certain class of material, namely that representative of Jesus' early disciples: principally Peter's preaching recorded in the early chapters of Acts, the Gospels of Matthew and John, and 1 Peter. Here these authors seem to be taking Jesus' own method of using Scripture as their pattern. By revelation they had come to know that 'this' manifest in the work and person of Jesus 'is that' of which the OT speaks. Yet other NT writers, notably Paul and the author of Hebrews, can be characterized by a midrashic type of biblical interpretation (except where Paul uses a pesher approach in describing his own apostolic calling). Midrashic interpretation in the hands of these authors starts with Scripture and seeks to demonstrate Christological relevance by means of a controlled atomistic exegesis. Thus the interplay of Jewish presuppositions and exegetical procedures on the one hand, with Christian commitments and perspectives on the other, has produced on the pages of our NT a distinctive interpretation of the OT.

Constraints of space and time prohibit any detailing here of the NT's use of the OT as to specifics. That is what I have attempted to do in my Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period (1975), and what can be found in many of the works listed at the end of this article. Suffice it here to say regarding the nature of NT exegesis: (1) that the early Christians used many of the same exegetical procedures as were common within the various branches of then contemporary Judaism, and that they did so quite naturally and unconsciously; (2) that they seem to have looked to Jesus' own use of Scripture as the source and initial paradigm for their own use; and (3) that they believed themselves to be guided by the exalted Christ, through the immediate direction of the Holy Spirit, in their continued understanding and application of the Scriptures.

III. The normativity of then current hermeneutical practices

Any attempt to spell out the nature of the NT's use of the OT raises the question of the normativity of then current hermeneutical practices for Christian faith, both in that day and today. Most evangelicals and many 'constructive' theologians have been at least sympathetic to the view that the NT's exegetical procedures are so bound up with the NT's proclamation that they together constitute one package, so to speak, with both being in some manner normative for the exposition of the gospel in that day and for the church's exegetical endeavours today - though exactly how those exegetical procedures should be considered normative and exactly how they should be worked out is often left unanswered. Recently, for example, S. L. Johnson, Jr, in taking up my question of 1970, has insisted (in somewhat extreme fashion):

'Can we reproduce the exegesis of the New Testament?' Unhesitatingly the reply is yes, although we are not allowed to claim for our results the infallibility of the Lord and His apostles. They are reliable teachers of biblical doctrine and they are reliable teachers of hermeneutics and exegesis. We not only can reproduce their exegetical methodology, we must if we are to be taught their understanding of Holy Scripture. Their principles, probably taught them by the Lord in His post-resurrection ministry, are not abstruse and difficult. They are simple, plain, and logical. The things they find in the Old Testament are really there, although the Old Testament authors may not have seen them fully (The Old


Testament in the New: An Argument for Biblical inspiration [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1980], pp. 93-94, emphases his).

Yet despite Johnson's ringing assurance, I am forced by the data alluded to above to respond: Really? Are we able? Ought we to try?

Evangelical Christians are committed to receiving, defending, proclaiming, and living out the faith and doctrine of the NT. But are we also committed to reproducing the exegetical procedures of the NT? We have always distinguished between the normative and the descriptive in other areas as presented in the NT - for example, in matters pertaining to church government, on the issue of apostolic doctrine and apostolic office, and regarding spiritual gifts and specific charismatic expressions, to name only a diverse few. Furthermore, the authors of the NT themselves at times suggest that their exegesis should be taken as more circumstantial and ad hominem in nature, in accord with their purposes then in view, than universally normative (e.g. Paul's catena of polemically motivated passages in Gal. 3:10-13, or his argument on the generic 'seed' in Gal. 3:16, or his allegorical treatment of Hagar and Sarah and their sons in Gal. 4:21-31).

It is my contention that, unless we are 'restorationists' in our attitude toward hermeneutics, Christians today are committed to the apostolic faith and doctrine of the NT, but not necessarily to the apostolic exegetical practices as detailed for us in the NT. What the NT presents to us in setting out the exegetical practices of early Christians is how the gospel was contextualized in that day and for those particular audiences. We can appreciate something of how appropriate such methods were for the conveyance of the gospel then and of what was involved in their exegetical procedures. And we can learn from their exegetical methods how to contextualize that same gospel in our own day. But let us admit that we cannot possibly reproduce the revelatory stance of pesher interpretation, nor the atomistic manipulations of midrash, nor the circumstantial or ad hominem thrusts of a particular polemic of that day - nor should we try. For various reasons, neither we nor our audiences are up to it. Ours, rather, is to contextualize the gospel in our own day and for our own circumstances, speaking meaningfully to people as they are and think today. Ours is to reproduce the faith and doctrine of the NT in ways appropriate to the apprehension of people today, not to attempt to reproduce - or to feel guilty about not being able to reproduce - the specific exegetical procedures contained therein.

Some helpful books and articles

Baker, D. L., Two Testaments, One Bible: A Study of Some Modern Solutions to the Theological Problem of the Relationship between the Old and New Testaments (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1977).

Bandstra, A. J., 'Interpretation in I Corinthians 10:1-11', Calvin Theological Journal 6 (1971), pp. 5-21.

Black, M., 'The Christological Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament', New Testament Studies 18 (1971), pp. 1-14.

Bruce, F. F., Biblical Exegesis in the Qumran Texts (London: Tyndale, 1960); This is That. The New Testament Development of Some Old Testament Themes (Exeter: Paternoster, 1968).

Caird, G. B., 'The Exegetical Method of the Epistle to the Hebrews', Canadian Journal of Theology 5 (1959), pp.44-51.

Dodd, C. H., According to the Scriptures: The Sub-Structure of New Testament Theology (London: Nisbet, 1952).

Doeve, J. W., Jewish Hermeneutics in the Synoptic Gospels and Acts (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1954).

Ellis, E. E., Paul's Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1957); Prophecy and Hermeneutic in Early Christianity (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978).

France, R. T., Jesus and the Old Testament (London: Tyndale, 1971).

Goppelt, L., Typos. The Typological Interpretation of the Old Testament in the New, trans. D. H. Madvig (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982).

Hanson, A. T., Studies in Paul's Technique and Theology (London: SPCK, 1974).

Hay, D. M., Glory at the Right Hand: Psalm 110 in Early Christianity (Nashville-New York: Abingdon, 1973).

Longenecker, R. N., 'Can We Reproduce the Exegesis of the New Testament?', Tyndale Bulletin 21 (1970), pp. 3-38; Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975); 'Three Ways of Understanding Relations Between the Testaments - Historically and Today', in Tradition and Interpretation in the New Testament (Festschrift E. E. Ellis), ed. G. F. Hawthorne (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987).

Moule, C. F. D., 'Fulfilment-Words in the New Testament: Use and Abuse', New Testament Studies 14 (1968), pp.293-320.

Thiselton, A. C., The Two Horizons: New Testament Hermeneutics and Philosophical Description (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980).

Wenham, J. W., Christ and the Bible (London: Tyndale, 1972).


For those interested in studying this subject further Professor Longenecker recommends his monograph:

Longenecker: Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic PeriodRichard N. Longenecker, Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period. Carlisle: Paternoster Press, 1995. ISBN: 0853647089.

and a parallel article:

Richard N. Longenecker, "Prolegomena to Paul's Use of Scripture in Romans," Bulletin for Biblical Research 7 (1997) 145-68.View in PDF format pdf