Skip to content

Paul’s interpretation

At the end of this thread Paul makes bold to interpret my position.

Some might say he needs to add such words because my own have been so confused and inconsistent.  That's certainly a possibility.  But I think if you approach my words with the expectation that I know what I'm saying it'll make more sense.

Some might say that Paul is proclaiming something new.  Well certainly his words convey an insight and depth that is peculiar to him.  But from my perspective he's just saying what I've been saying (because really, I'm just saying what he's always been saying!).

In between my original authorship and his authoritative summary there have been ten days of mixed reception.  Well that happens doesn't it?  It's a blog after all.  But it's been interesting that occasionally a commenter has gotten the wrong end of the stick about what I'm saying.  But when that's been corrected their response has been to impugn the original clarity of my position.  Apparently I've needed to progress in my revelation of these thoughts.

Well that's a possibility.  But another possibility is that I was clear and consistent in the beginning and the confusion has come in the reception not the revelation.

The bottom line is whether the original author can stand up and say of the authoritative summary: Yes indeed, this is what I was always on about.

And indeed I can.  Here's Paul's summary.

As far as I can see, Glen’s proposal is clear enough. The issue is not that everybody or even most people trusted Jesus as Moses and the Prophets intended them to do. The faithful remnant might have been a very small remnant.

I don’t think that is the main point… but I may have misunderstood this.

As far as I can see, the issue here is about a correct exegesis of the Hebrew Scriptures. The simple claim is that the apostles preached Jesus *out* of the Hebrew Scriptures rather than preaching Him *into* those Scriptures.

Glen is saying that Jesus is *exegeting* the Scriptures as Moses and the Prophets originally intended. In other words, Jesus is not reading meaning *back* but reading meaning *out*.

The reason that myth 2 is a problem is that it gives support to and is typically consciously joined to the notion that Jesus was not the Messiah that the Hebrew Scriptures intended. I remember recently hearing a speaker who with great passion and excitement claimed that Jesus, in a brilliant creative move, joined together ideas of suffering/sacrifice with triumph/glory in a way that *nobody had ever seen before*. This was intended as a kind of compliment to the creative genius of Jesus… and yet if it is true it means that Jesus was wrong in His little Bible Overviews.

As far as I can see, Jesus seems to say that His reading of the Hebrew Scriptures is the one that everyone must take and that was held by Moses and the Prophets.

As we have often said in this thread, Jesus Himself, both before and after His crucifixion/resurrection summed up the Hebrew Scriptures with a clear statement about His own life of suffering, death, resurrection and glory –

“see Matthew 16:21; Matthew 26:24; Matthew 26:53-54; Mark 8:31; Mark 9:12; Mark 9:31; Mark 10:32-34; Mark 10:45; Mark 14:21; Luke 9:22; Luke 18:31-33 – “Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.” Luke 24:6-7; Luke 24:25-27; Luke 24:44-45.”

Again, as we have said in this thread, Peter says that the ancient saints were looking forward to the sufferings first and then the glory of Christ.

Over the years I have been in different conferences and forums when I have said something like “The Hebrew Scriptures teach that Christ will suffer, die and then be resurrected. This is the Biblical Faith of the Old Testament church and it is still the faith of the church today.” Nearly every time that I have said that kind of thing, somebody [and sometimes many people] come up to me or post after me that this was *not* the faith of the Old Testament and that they didn’t know or intend or understand those things about Christ. Usually they point to Biblical or extra-Biblical examples of teaching/people who did not think like Jesus about the Scriptures. Yet, again, that isn’t the point. We all know of many, many, many examples of teaching about Jesus/Hebrew Scriptures in every age that is different to His own teaching about Himself.

The claim is that Jesus’ own simple Bible Overview is a *correct* statement of Hebrew Scriptures as they were originally intended… and that this understanding of Christ is what He Himself expects from His people in every age. He expected the church of His own day to trust Him in that way… regardless of whether many did.

Jesus is angry about other views of the Scriptures/Himself [no matter how embalmed in tradition or popular they are] because He is the object of saving faith.

If someone says that the Hebrew Scriptures were not *intended* to be about Jesus but we should preach them as if they are about Jesus, then I’m left really confused.

As far as I can see, Glen is not saying anything more than Jesus Himself is saying in His simple Bible Overviews. Glen is not making any massive claims about the views of *everybody* at any point in history. He doesn’t seem to be saying anything about the kind of extra-biblical teaching that might or might not have been around at any time in history.

He simply seems to be saying that Moses and the Prophets intended to speak about Jesus Christ in the way that Jesus Himself understood them… and that this understanding was expected of the church in every age. How many people or what percentage of the visible church really did trust Christ in this saving way… who knows?


6 thoughts on “Paul’s interpretation

  1. codepoke

    > But another possibility is that I was clear and consistent in the beginning and the confusion has come in the reception not the revelation.

    You work awful hard to make sure the fault is on everyone else.


  2. Glen

    youch. or maybe I was making a not-very-funny play on 'the progressive revelation' theme - i.e. I was playing the part of the prophets, Paul B is playing the part of the prohpets etc, etc. Indeed it's a bit strained when I'm putting myself in Isaiah's shoes, but I was trying to be humourous.

    Anyway, I'd better not try to clear my name any further lest I prove your charge!

  3. Hin-Tai

    Hi Glen - just to concur, your words did sound a bit snarky to me too when I first read it, although as I was halfway through Paul's comment I suddenly realized 'oh, maybe he's making a clever play on the whole theme!' - or is this progressive revelation on our part a whole new extra layer of the joke as well...? bravo, sir.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Twitter widget by Rimon Habib - BuddyPress Expert Developer