Any Old Port in A Storm
We’re still on the ‘Conversations on the Porch’ objection to the first of my Forty Reasons why the OT is not reinterpreted by the NT, since according to my three protagonists, if this first one falls, they all fall.
There are always stock passages that are referred to by proponents of reinterpretation. For example, 1 Peter 1:10-12 says this:
Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.
The first thing to take notice of here is what Peter himself tells us he is talking about; and it is decidedly not the use of the OT in the NT. It is the subject of salvation. In particular it has to do with Christ’s passion and what it would bring about. The passage therefore has nothing to say about my 40 Reasons. It surely does not say anything about my first reason, which concerns whether or not the Apostolic authors give clear instructions for us to reinterpret the meaning of OT passages.
But the first Reason went on to assert that, “No Apostolic writer felt it necessary to place in our hands this hermeneutical key, which they supposedly used when they wrote the NT.” What about that? The guys on the Porch have a reply: “The hermeneutical key is the way the NT writers interpret the OT.” Well, there’s no key in 1 Peter 1. There’s a deduction that Peter is giving permission to reinterpret the OT with the New when he isn’t writing on that issue.
After this we’re taken to Galatians 3 and informed that, “Paul is telling us how this Abrahamic covenant is fulfilled.” I dealt with this issue in a series of posts, Galatians 3, the Land, and the Abrahamic Covenant, (which I want to update), but what is significant here is that one of these objectors admits that the Apostle quotes only one of the promises within the Abrahamic covenant. Well, that gives the farm away. That is exactly what I claim. Ergo, Galatians 3 does not deal with the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant en toto, but only with the provisions for blessing to the nations (Gen. 12:3).
Acts 2, Acts 15, and Galatians 4
The podcast mentions Acts 2 and Acts 15 as examples of fulfillment texts which encourage us to view fulfillments in unexpected ways. I covered some of the Acts 2 issues here. I will not repeat myself. Patently, the things described in Joel did not occur in Acts, although they might have done. But that takes us too far afield. Even many non-dispensationalists admit that there is more going on theologically in Acts 2 than people like G.K. Beale and my objectors will admit. And it is passing strange that Beale will insist on being a “literalist” in Acts 2:16 when it permits him to spiritualize the verses surrounding it. This falls foul of “Rule 9” of my Parameters of Meaning (not that it is a rule for anyone save myself.) Here it is:
Parameters of Meaning – Rule 9: If a literal interpretation leads you into wholesale allegorizing, or causes head-on conflicts with other clear texts, which then have to be creatively reinterpreted, it is an illegitimate use of “literal”. There will always be another literal meaning available which preserves the plain-sense of the rest of the passage in its context. (N.B. I promise I will complete that series)
In Acts 15:14-19 James uses Amos 9 to prove that Gentiles turning to God was always God’s intention. He does not say that Amos 9 was fulfilled in Acts 15.
The three NCT’s then venture into the allegory in Galatians 4:21-31 to prove, well, that the Apostle is taking the liberty to reinterpret the Scripture! Closer inspection will reveal that Paul is illustrating the way inclusion into either the Mosaic covenant or the New covenant results in bondage to the one or freedom in the other. It is an allegory, not a green card into the reinterpretation of the covenants themselves. (more…)