Sunday, May 11, 2008

New Testament Use of the Old

So the reason I haven't been around lately is because I have been working on this major paper for my New Testament use of the Old Testament class. The first thing I want to note in this blog post is the injustice of library book restrictions. As an "undergrad", I am only allowed to check out 25 books at a time. Now, to you, this might sound absolutely insane, but it's not. For this paper we have to use at least 20 sources, and that's just not going to happen without, at the least, looking through 30-35 sources. Here is the crazy part: If I was a "graduate" student, then I would be able to check out 50 books.

Why is this injust? Let me tell you... (1) Officially, some of our "undergrad" Bible classes cross-list with "grad" level classes. Like when I took Hermeneutics with Walt Russell, I was one of ten undergrads, and the rest were grad students. (2) NT use of the OT isn't even offered at the graduate level, yet it is one of the most needed areas of study for any "theologian". Dr. Lunde has designed our class to be just like a grad school course...actually, it's a seminar (I had to work my tail off in this class...).

All this to say, I should be allowed to check out 50 books.

Anyway, back to my paper. For the past year, I have been focusing my studies on the area of discipleship, and how this pertains to living righteously in the inaugurated kingdom today. So for this paper, I really wanted to keep my research in this area. The requirement for the paper is to choose a passage in the New Testament, which quotes a passage from the Old Testament, in order to interpret the New Testament passage (hopefully) correctly. You can also choose to do an "allusion", where the NT author might not have directly quoted from the OT, but only alluded to an OT passage or idea. I chose the hard path, an allusion.

There is only two of us who chose to do allusions, and the other guy's was pretty straightforward. Mine...not so much. I chose Romans 6, and I was going to argue that Paul was alluding to Ezekiel 36 because of his use of "impurities" (akatharsia), which is found in Romans and Ezekiel (LXX). I started my research and found myself becoming very interested in N.T. Wright's stuff on Paul alluding to the Exodus event (and various events around the main Exodus event) in Romans (specifically chapters 3-8, but you can begin in chapter 1...). This is where I have ended up. It's been very exciting, but even though I am currently on page 18, I still feel so unlearned in the area. I had Johnny Pepper (definitely one of the smartest guys I know) read over some of it, and luckily he posed some good questions for me. Wanted to make sure I wasn't getting too "New Perspective", and really pushed me hard to think about all of Paul's other usages of "righteousness" since I am arguing that "righteousness" stands for God, and not a meaning in the "ethical" sense. I have a lot of work still to do, but the paper is due tonight (or at least before 9am on Monday morning). My presentation is on Wednesday; I don't feel prepared. I am really praying that tomorrow will be my major "ah-ha" moment where my brain will really wrap itself around everything I am arguing for, so I can withstand the backlash from my peers on Wednesday.

I look forward to sharing my findings with you soon, especially the practical life implications. To give you a little foreshadowing, think of the way the Israelites were slaves to Egyptians and Pharaoh, and were rescued by God through His mediator Moses. Well, I am going to make the argument (indebted to N.T. Wright) that in the same way, we were once slaves to sin, and (now, my idea) were rescued by God through His mediator Jesus Christ. *Obviously, many people have argued that Moses is a "type" of Jesus, but I haven't found anything about this idea specifically dealing with Romans 6*

Are you still wandering in the wilderness?

Have you been rescued from Egypt but constantly desire to go back?

More on this soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your paper sounds really interesting...I hope it turns out as good as you want it to! Just keep swimming!

Love Jessie

P.s. 2 more weeks!