Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"Why do we study the O.T.?"

At a Presbyterian college, my wife had an Old Testament professor ask why we study the Old Testament. His answer?

"Because it's two-thirds of the Bible." Do check out a great post at Canterbury Tales that points in another, more meaningful direction. Reading outside the pond of Presbyterian thought has brought to my attention the wealth that is typological exegesis.

I do have lingering doubts and concerns, however. When I start piecing together what this or that in Daniel or Revelation "really" means, I get that sinking feeling - do I sound like that guy on Channel 99 talking about how Russia will attack Israel from the North before the Savior's return? I guess I'll just have to stay in line.


Amy said...

Why? To understand the NT. The people at the time were expecting the Messiah to appear at any moment. How did they know that, and how were they supposed to recognize him? You have to read and study the OT to find out :)

You also miss most of what's going on in the NT if you don't understand the references that are made to the old. Think of Jesus on the road to Emmaus - he explained to the two apostles where He was in the OT, beginning with Moses (Pentateuch) and the prophets (end of the OT), so He explained the ENTIRE OT to them. Tim Gray's book, "Mission of the Messiah" is a study of the book of Luke that goes very heavily into the OT typology explained in the gospels.

Thos said...

Amy, well said. Your answer is what my wife's Professor SHOULD have said (and maybe went on to say, I wasn't there) - it's to understand the NT. Where Reformed Protestants seem to differ from OrthoCaths is in our reluctance to use Typology. That's why I said that about my angst over the guy on Channel 99 prophesying... But Typology is rich, and I'm a big sucker for it (as long as it doesn't get into prophecy).