About a decade ago, Wheaton College Graduate School professor Greg Beale had the idea to develop a one-volume commentary that would address every instance a New Testament writer quotes or alludes to the Old Testament. He sought the help of D. A. Carson at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and together they began soliciting the contributions of an all-star cast of biblical experts. Finally, in late 2007, they published the hefty Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Baker, $54.99, 1,152 pp.). CT editor-at-large Collin Hansen spoke with Beale and Carson to learn how this new volume will help Christians understand the Bible as one progressively unfolding story of redemption.
What might surprise readers about how the New Testament writers used the Old Testament?
Beale: It's evident in our book that the New Testament writers use the Old Testament with the context of the Old Testament in mind. That's a real debate between evangelicals and non-evangelicals, but it's also an in-house debate. Some evangelicals would say Jesus and the apostles preached the right Old Testament doctrine but from the wrong Old Testament texts. They believe that what the New Testament writers wrote was inspired, but their interpretative method was not inspired, that it was just as wild and crazy as the Jewish method at the time. Our book proceeds on the presupposition that of course their conclusions are inspired. But we also show that Jesus was not a wild and crazy Jewish interpreter like those at Qumran or elsewhere, but he interpreted the Old Testament in a very viable way.
If you want a good example of someone who would disagree with our method, there's a recent book by Peter Enns called Inspiration and Incarnation. In one of the ...