Sailhamer on the Relationship between the Testaments

Sailhamer on the dynamic b/w studying OT + NT on their own and in relation: 
“By acknowledging its place alongside a NT, OT theology confesses that its scope is not narrowly circumscribed around its own canonical borders. Its line of sight extends beyond itself to something more—the NT. OT theology anticipates the study of NT theology and there is no possibility of working without this anticipation. To fail to see this is to run the risk of being blind to our most basic assumptions. OT theology can only be complete as the first part of a biblical theology, one that includes both an Old and a New Testament theology in a final integrated whole.” 

At the same time and with the same force: 
"If we can speak of an Old Testament over against a New Testament, then it must also be the case that the OT has its own identity. As a whole, it has a shape and fits together. It makes sense. We don't need to suppose that something must be added to it before it can be understood. . . . Implicit in the opposition that we have set up in the labels Old and New is the notion that the Old can stand on its own alongside the New." 

"To acknowledge the loyalty between the Old and the New Testaments, then, is not to do so at the expense of the wholeness and meaningfulness of the Old Testament in its own right. It is the burden of OT theology to find the answer to the theological meaning of the OT and its relation to that of the NT. It is the responsibility of NT theology to wait on this answer." 

"There is a true distinction between the Old and the New Testaments and each can be considered in its own right, though neither would retain its identity alone. The OT not only stands on its own, but the NT stands on its shoulders."

Biblical Theology
May 17, 2024


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