Beale on the OT in the NT

Writing in the journal Irish Biblical Studies [Volume 21, November 1999], Greg Beale talks about the use of OT scripture in the NT and says:

I gave the analogy of picking an apple off a tree and making it part of a decorative table arrangement of fruit. The new context does not obliterate the apple’s original identity but it must now be viewed not merely in relation to its original context but in connection to its new context. Old Testament references gain “new significance” but not “new meaning” when placed in a new context. The original “meaning” does not change but the “significance” of that meaning changes.

1 thought on “Beale on the OT in the NT”

  1. The way I explain it is this way: Say you have a glossy, coffee-table picture book of the Grand Canyon. The pictures are beautiful. You can spend hours slowly flipping through the pages, admiring the beauty of the Canyon.

    Then you go the Canyon. If you spend your entire visit at the Canyon onntinuing to look at the picture book and ignoring the oveerwhelming reality that is right in front of you, you are a sad soul indeed.

    To be sure, the book hasn’t changed at all. It’s just that with the reality in front of you, the beauty of the two-dimensional representation of that reality is nothing in comparison. Nonetheless, you may still use the picture book to figure out where to look at the reality that appears in front of you. So it may continue to serve a functional utility, even if the pictures never again seem as beautiful as they were before you saw the reality. But that is only appropriate.

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