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But WTS New Testament and biblical theology professor G. K. Beale thinks we shouldn't assume New Testament writers held new ideas that contradicted or diverged from the Old Testament passages they quoted. "The Old Testament writers were aware of an implicit meaning (known completely by God) that New Testament writers expressed more fully and explicitly," he said. The New Testament authors were simply "unpacking" what the Old Testament passages meant, especially in light of the revelation in Christ.

John Walton, professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, says the focus should be on the original intent of the Old Testament authors. "We don't want to ignore that the biblical text is ultimately taking us to Christ. But our first step is to understand its [immediate] context, and that could be totally independent of reading it in light of Christ," he said. "People point to Luke 24, where Jesus says the Old Testament speaks about him. But unless he or the New Testament authors tell us which Old Testament passages speak about Christ, then we don't know what they are."

Not every text is specifically about Jesus, said Walton. "Any given portion of Scripture might be revealing more about God the Father or God the Spirit than God the Son."

* This article has been edited since its first publication to clarify WTS's position, based on information received from the seminary after publication.

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