Archive

Archive for the ‘Hermeneutics’ Category

Example 3-Of how the Old Testament is cited in the New

April 14, 2015 2 comments

Arthur PinkIn Romans 4:11-18, we have a remarkable example of apostolic reasoning from two short passages in Genesis, wherein God made promise unto Abraham that he should be a father of many nations (17:5) and that in his seed should all the nations of the earth be blessed (22:18). Since these assurances were given to the patriarch simply as a believer, before the Divine appointment of circumcision, Paul drew the logical conclusion that they pertained to Jews and Gentiles alike, providing they believed as he did and thereby had imputed to them the righteousness of Christ, that the good of those promises belonged unto all who “walk in the steps of his faith.” Therein we are plainly taught that the “seed” of blessing mentioned in those ancient prophecies was essentially of a spiritual kind (cf. Galatians 3:7-9; 14:29), including all the members of the household of faith, wherever they be found. As Stifler pertinently remarked, “Abraham is called father neither in a physical sense nor a spiritual: he is father in that he is head of the faith clan, and so the normal type.” In Romans 9:6-13, the apostle was equally express in excluding from the good of those promises the merely natural descendants of Abraham. Romans 10:5-9, supplies a striking illustration of this principle in the way that the apostle “opened” Deuteronomy 30:11-14. His design was to draw off the Jews from regarding obedience to the Law as necessary unto justification (Romans 10:2, 3). He did so by producing an argument from the writings of Moses, wherein a distinction was drawn between the righteousness of the Law and the righteousness of faith. The Jews had rejected Christ because He came not to them in the way of their carnal expectations, and therefore refused the grace tendered by Him. They considered the Messiah was far off, when in fact He was “nigh” them. There was no need, then, for them to ascend to heaven, for Christ had come down from thence; nor to descend into the deep, for He had risen from the dead. The apostle was not merely accommodating to his purpose the language of Deuteronomy 30, but showing its evangelical drift. As Manton said, “The whole of that chapter is a sermon of evangelical repentance” (see vv. 1, 2). It obviously looked forward to a time after Christ’s ascension when Israel would be dispersed among the nations, so that the words of Moses there were strictly applicable to this Gospel dispensation. The substance of verses 11-14 is that the knowledge of God’s will is freely accessible, so that none are required to do the impossible.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Example 2-Of how the Old Testament is cited in the New

Arthur PinkConsider next how Christ used the Old Testament to refute the materialists of His day. The Sadducees held the notion that the soul and body are so closely allied that if one perishes the other must (Acts23:8). They saw the body die, and therefrom concluded that the soul had also. Very striking indeed is it to behold incarnate wisdom reasoning with them on their own ground. This He did by quoting from Exodus 3, where Jehovah had said unto Moses, “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” But wherein were those words to the point? What was there in them which exposed the error of the Sadducees? Nothing explicitly, but much implicitly. From them Christ drew the conclusion that “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Matthew 22:32). It was not that He had been their “God,” but that He was so still—“I am their God,” therefore they still lived. Since their spirits and souls were yet alive, their bodies must be raised in due course, for being their “God” guaranteed that He would be to them and do for them all that such a relation called for, and not leave a part of their nature to be a prey of corruption. Therein Christ established the important principle of interpretation that we may draw any clear and necessary inference from a passage, provided it clashes not with any definite statement of Holy Writ.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Example 1-Of how the Old Testament is cited in the New

March 31, 2015 2 comments

Arthur PinkIn Matthew 8:16, we are told that on a certain occasion Christ “healed all that were sick,” and then under the guidance of the Holy Spirit the evangelist added, “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet [namely in 53:4], saying, Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses.” Such a use of that Messianic prediction is most illuminating, intimating as it does that it had a wider signification than the making of atonement for the sins of His people, namely that during the days of His public ministry Christ entered sympathetically into the condition of the sufferers, and took upon His spirit the sorrows and pains of those to whom He ministered, that His miracles of healing cost Him much in the way of compassion and endurance. He was personally afflicted by their afflictions. Christ began His mediatorial work of removing the evil which sin had brought into the world by curing those bodily ailments which were the fruits of sin, and by so doing shadowed forth the greater work He was to accomplish at the cross. The connection between the one and the other was more plainly indicated when He said alternatively to the sick of the palsy,

“Thy sins be forgiven thee” and “arise, take up thy bed and go unto thine house” (Matthew 9:2,6).

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

The right laws of interpretation may be obtained by observing the manner in which the Old Testament is cited in the New

March 24, 2015 2 comments

Arthur Pink2. The second principle which the expositor must make a most careful study of is that of scriptural quotation. Not a little help in ascertaining the right laws of interpretation may be obtained from diligently observing the manner in which and the purpose for which the Old Testament is cited in the New. There can be little room for doubt that the record which the Holy Spirit has supplied of the way in which our Lord and His apostles understood and applied the Old Testament was as much designed to throw light generally on how the Old Testament is to be used by us as it was to furnish instruction on the particular points for the sake of which passages in the Law or the prophets were more immediately appealed to. By examining closely the words quoted and the sense given to them in the New Testament, we shall not only be delivered from a slavish literalism, but be better enabled to perceive the fullness of God’s words and the varied application which may be legitimately made of them. A wide, but generally neglected, field is open for exploration, but instead of endeavoring here to make a thorough canvass of the same, we shall simply supply a few illustrations.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

There is a fundamental harmony between Judaism and Christianity

March 17, 2015 2 comments

Arthur PinkThat there must be a fundamental harmony between Judaism and Christianity appears in the fact that the same God is the Author of both, and is unchanging in His perfections and the principles of His government. The former was indeed addressed more to the outward man, was transacted under visible forms and relations, and had respect primarily to a worldly sanctuary and earthly inheritance; nevertheless, they were all of them a “shadow of heavenly things” (Hebrews 8:5; 10:1).

“In the New Testament we have a higher, yet very closely related, exhibition of truth and duty than in the Old, which involves both the agreements and differences of the two covenants. The agreements lie deeper and concern the more essential elements of the two economies; the differences are of a more circumstantial and formal nature” (Fairbairn).

Personally, we would say that the principal variations appear in that in the one we have promise and prediction, in the other performance and fulfillment: first the types and shadows (the “blade”), then the reality and substance or “full corn in the ear.” The Christian dispensation excels the Mosaic in a fuller and clearer manifestation of God’s perfections (1 John 2:8), in a more abundant effusion of the Spirit (John 7:39; Acts 2:3), in its wider extent (Matthew 28:19, 20), and in a larger measure of liberty (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:2-7).

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Christ always drove his arguments home with an appeal to Old Testament scripture

March 10, 2015 4 comments

Arthur PinkWhether the speaker is Christ or one of His apostles, at almost every vital point he clinches his argument by an appeal to the Old Testament scriptures, proof-texts therefrom being found in almost every page in the New. Innumerable examples might be adduced to show that both the ideas and the language of the former have given their impress to the latter— more than six hundred expressions in the one occurring in the other. Every clause in the “Magnificat” (Luke 1:46-55) and even in the family prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) is drawn from the Old Testament. It therefore behooves the student to give equal attention to both of the principal divisions of the Bible, not only thoroughly familiarizing himself with the latter but endeavoring to drink deeply of the spirit of the first, in order to fit him for understanding the second. Unless he does so, it will be impossible for him to apprehend aright much in the Gospels and Epistles. Not only is a knowledge of the types necessary to comprehend the and-type — for what would “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7) mean to one ignorant of Exodus 12; and how much in Hebrews 9 and 10 is intelligible apart from Leviticus 16? but many important words of the New Testament can be correctly defined only by referring back to their usage in the Old Testament: such as “firstborn, redeem, propitiation,” etc.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

The New Testament is a continuation of and a complement to the Old

March 3, 2015 1 comment

Arthur PinkIn many respects the New Testament is a continuation of and a complement to the Old. The difference between the old and new covenants referred to in Hebrews is a relative and not an absolute one. The contrast is not really between two opposites, but rather between a gradation from the lower to the higher plane—the one preparing for the other. While some have erred in too much Judaizing Christianity, others have entertained far too carnal a conception of Judaism, failing to perceive the spiritual elements in it, and that under it God was then as truly administering the blessings of the everlasting covenant unto those whom He had chosen in Christ as He is now, yea, that He had done so from Abel onwards. Rightly, then, did Calvin rebuke the madness of our modern dispensationalists when reproving those of their forerunners who appeared in his day, saying, “Now what would be more absurd than that Abraham should be the father of all the faithful, and not possess even the lowest place among them? But he cannot be excluded from the number, even from the most honorable station, without the destruction of the Church.”

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 967 other followers