Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament

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Nathan | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Oct 1 2011 1:47 PM

I have been thinking about purchasing this resource.  Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament  I've read some good reviews, but not sure its worth the $60 to me.

Since there are no previews for it (not that I could find) I wonder what it might have about Romans 11:25?  (A verse I have been looking at today.)

Please feel free to share any other little tidbits you found particularly interesting!  

Thx,

Nathan

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Jerry M | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 1 2011 2:03 PM

Hi Nathan, the remarks flow from verse to verse, so I hope this except doesn't leave you hanging.

In the first two subsections Paul has described the salvation of fallen Israel as the hope of the world and has drawn out its implications for the life and thought of his Gentile addressees. In this final unit he sets forth the underlying theo-logy of this hope, beginning with Scripture (11:25–27), continuing with theological explication (11:28–32), and concluding with a doxology that not only draws the conclusion of this unit but also serves as the conclusion of the whole of his presentation of the gospel (11:33–36). The apostle voices for the believing community the thanksgiving and praise that belong to the Creator, the thanksgiving and praise that idolatrous humanity refuses to return to God (1:18–23).

Paul does not want the believers in Rome to be ignorant of a certain “mystery,” which here he unfolds. As his opening announcement of the gospel (1:16–17) and his closing doxology show (16:25–27), “mystery” here signifies the disclosure of truth to which the Scripture already bears witness. In other words, the knowledge of a “mystery” entails insight into the message of Scripture, which, although present, formerly was hidden and unknown. As is clear from both this text and the other pair, this knowledge of the Scripture entails the knowledge of the ways of God as Creator and Redeemer. Paul’s citation of Scripture here, perhaps the most interpretive and theologically dense reading of Scripture in the entire letter, by its very nature reflects Paul’s purpose of explaining “this mystery,” a “mystery” that is distinct from that of the gospel: it announces the fulfillment of promise and hope in “the coming of the Redeemer from Zion.”

Paul’s unfolding of this mystery of Scripture reinforces the warning that he has issued already to his Gentile readers: they are not to imagine themselves to be wise (11:25b [cf. 11:18–20]). The claim to possess wisdom, the essence of rebellion and idolatry (1:22), which manifests itself in a false trust and boasting in the law (2:17–29), is alien to the very nature of the gospel (3:27–28). Faith in the gospel, worked by God alone, must not become the basis of a false boast on the part of Gentiles.

The “mystery,” Paul explains, is that a hardening, in part, has come upon Israel. This “hardening in part” also has a limited time: “until the fullness of the Gentiles has entered in” (11:25c–d). This statement is most naturally understood as an expression of Paul’s argument thus far in chapter 11. The “hardening in part” is something of a litotes that describes the divine judgment on the nation that preserves a not inconsiderable “remnant” as a sign of the coming salvation of Israel as a whole (11:1–9, 14). Paul already has made it clear that Israel’s “fall” is not final, that God will finally accept them again (11:11–16). He now makes clear that they will be ingrafted again into “their own olive tree”—that is, into the community of faith that proceeds from Abraham (11:23–24). The Gentiles, too, will be cut off, once their “fullness has entered in” (11:22, 25). Just as “the fullness” of Israel signifies the eschatological salvation of the nation as a whole (11:12), the “fullness of the Gentiles” likely signifies their acceptance by God in full numbers—there had always been proselytes—an eschatological event that has come about through the gospel (11:25). They now are entering into salvation, into the people of God. Perhaps Paul’s language of “entering in,” which as a soteriological term appears here as a hapax legomenon (cf., however, 5:12), suggests that the Gentiles now are entering into Zion, vaguely recalling Isa. 2:2–5; Mic. 4:1–4; and similar passages (cf. Isa. 30:29 LXX; Isa. 26:2; see Wilk 1998: 68–70). However, the Gentiles’ time will come to an end, and when it does, the “hardening” of Israel will end as well. Interpreters often suppose that here Paul, under the force of circumstances, inverts the scriptural order of the pilgrimage of the nations and the deliverance of Zion. It is more likely, however, that he regards Israel’s salvation as proleptically accomplished in the risen Christ, the seed of David according to the flesh, the root of Jesse, who has risen to rule the Gentiles and in whom the Gentiles hope (1:3; 15:12 [Isa. 11:10]). Indeed, the apostle’s appeal to Isa. 52:7 (10:15: “How beautiful are the feet of those who proclaim the good news”) and Isa. 53:1 (10:16: “Lord, who has believed our report?”) signals the arrival of salvation, the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel in the risen Jesus. Paul’s following reference to an altered form of Isa. 59:20 likewise presents the Redeemer coming forth from the heavenly Zion. Israel’s salvation has been accomplished. Salvation awaits the nation as a promise already fulfilled. Paul does not cast aside his affirmation of the priority of Israel: salvation remains “for the Jew first, and also for the Greek.”

As Paul’s subsequent citation of Isaiah will make clear, his next statement is fundamental to the “mystery” that he announces: “And in this manner all Israel shall be saved” (11:26). This contested utterance is most naturally understood in the light of Paul’s prior argument. The salvation of the Gentiles serves God’s purpose of provoking Israel to jealousy (10:19; 11:11–16). Paul is not concerned to indicate precisely how in human terms this provocation shall work. His present zeal as apostle to the Gentiles serves only as anticipation of the larger event in which not merely “some” of his own people, but rather the nation as a whole, will believe (11:13–14). It is through delay, through God’s temporary preference of the Gentiles, that “all Israel” will be saved. As Paul will make clear, the people of Israel have been rendered disobedient in order that now they might be given mercy (11:31). Paul’s point here is not that every last member of Israel in all of time will be saved; if that were the case, his deep lament, with his willingness to suffer his own condemnation for Israel’s sake, would be pointless. “All Israel” does not signify every descendent of Abraham for all time; rather, as an allusion to Scripture, it speaks of Israel as a corporate reality (e.g., Deut. 1:1; 5:1; 29:2; 31:11; Josh. 3:7; 1 Sam. 7:5). Paul is concerned instead about Israel as a nation, as a people with a history, as an ethnic reality. Christ alone remains the way to salvation, but Israel’s way to Christ will differ from that of the nations that hear the gospel: Israel will see and believe in him as the coming Redeemer, as Paul himself did. The final act in the drama of redemption is not the formation of a church that consists largely of Gentiles, but the creation of salvation for the people of Israel. The gospel of Christ does not stand at odds with his coming as Redeemer, but rather announces it. Before that coming, then, Paul hopes to save “some” of his people. As the larger dynamic of the passage makes clear, the surprising turns in the path of God’s purposes are by no means arbitrary. God’s untraceable ways reassert his right over us as our Creator, who acts in the freedom of mercy.

This pattern of Israel’s final salvation will take place “just as it is written”:

 

  There shall come forth from Zion the Redeemer; he shall turn away ungodly deeds from Jacob. This shall be the covenant from me for them, when I take away their sins. (11:26–27)

 

Paul draws the first part of his citation from Isa. 59:20–21a LXX, and the latter part from Isa. 27:9 LXX. However, his wording here is his own, a theological distillation rich in echoes and nuance.

The first clause varies from both the MT and the LXX of Isa. 59:20. Whereas the MT speaks of the Redeemer coming “to” Zion (so also Targum Isaiah), and the LXX speaks of the Redeemer coming “on account of” Zion, Paul speaks of the Redeemer coming “from” Zion. F. Wilk (1998: 39–40) argues that Paul is dependent on a septuagintal version that bore ek (“from”) as a misreading of eis (Heb. lĕ-, “to”) from a prior version. This twofold process is possible, but the text form eis is hypothetical, the LXX witnesses to ek are likely dependent on Romans (the reading ʿal ṣîyyôn in 1QIsaiah is not relevant), and Paul’s reading is probably theologically motivated, since his entire citation of the text is highly interpretive.

In this case, then, Paul’s variation is theologically significant (see Wagner 2002: 284–86). His citation echoes various texts that speak of God sending forth help for Israel from Zion, especially Ps. 14:7 (cf. Ps. 53:6), which speaks of the Lord sending forth from Zion “the salvation of Israel” (yĕšûʿat yiśrāʾēl; 13:7 LXX: to sōtērion tou Israēl ), of the Lord “turning back the captivity” of his people (šûb … šĕbût ʿammô; 13:7 LXX: en tō epistrepsai tēn … aichmalōsian tou laou autou [cf. Rom. 11:26b: apostrepsei asebeias apo Iakōb]), and of the resultant rejoicing of Jacob (cf. Rom. 11:26b). That the Redeemer comes “from Zion” for Israel implies that Israel is in exile, a setting that the allusion to Ps. 14 accentuates: God saves his people who are in captivity. Likewise, the text of Isa. 59:20 describes God as “the Redeemer,” who savingly comes to his exiled people—a prominent characterization of God in Isa. 40–55 (MT: gōʾēl; LXX: ho lytroumenos; ho rhyomenos, ho rhysamenos [see Isa. 43:14; 44:6, 22, 23, 24; 47:4; 48:17; 49:7, 26; 54:5, 8]).

Paul’s citation of Isaiah here consequently serves as the conclusion to the story of God’s dealings with Israel in the gospel of Christ, a story that Paul introduces in 9:27 with a citation of Isaiah (Isa. 10:22 [with Hos. 1:10]; 28:22; 1:9). The apostle’s Isaianic lament speaks of judgment and disaster, and ultimately of exile that has come anew upon Israel (see discussion of 9:27–29 above). The subsequent announcements of judgment and disaster drawn from Isaiah, Deuteronomy, and the narrative of Elijah complement Paul’s opening lament (see discussion of 9:33; 10:19–21; 11:1–10 above). Paradoxically, the gospel, the word of God’s promise to Abraham come to fulfillment in Christ, has worked not faith in Israel, but rather disobedience. Yet in 9:27 Paul places the hope of Israel’s salvation within Isaiah’s lament, inserting Hos. 1:10 (“The number of the sons of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea”) into the word of judgment (Isa. 10:22). Now, drawing again on the Isaianic promise of salvation through judgment, Paul announces the “mystery” of God’s way with Israel: the present divine judgment and rejection of Israel through the proclamation of the gospel to the nations will finally end in the coming of Israel’s Redeemer from Zion.

Paul undoubtedly refers to Christ as the coming Redeemer, whom he here again identifies with God through his use of the Isaianic text (see, e.g., 1 Cor. 11:26; 15:23; 16:22; 1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; on redemption, see Rom. 7:24). Christ, the stumbling-stone whom God has placed in “Zion” and with whom God himself is identified (Isa. 8:14; Rom. 9:33), will come forth from the heavenly Zion as the Redeemer of Israel (see Gal. 4:26–27 [Isa. 54:1]; see also discussion at Rom. 9:33). Paul’s unique use of the preposition ek (“from”) is likely intentional. In context the Isaianic promise speaks of conflict between the nations and the Lord, who comes triumphantly to deliver his people (Isa. 59:15b–20). Paul’s prior warning to Gentiles, “since you also shall be cut off” (11:22), may also faintly anticipate a final confrontation between the Lord and the unbelieving nations, which would then continue in this citation. One need not imagine a complicated eschatological scenario but only the hostility of the world against the gospel, of which Paul speaks elsewhere (cf. Phil. 1:28; 2 Thess. 1:6–10; 2:3–12). In any case, the salvation of Israel by the coming of the Redeemer from Zion will be, according to Paul, the resurrection of the dead, the final salvation of all who believe (11:15).

Although Paul’s reading of the second clause of Isa. 59:20 (11:26b) reflects that of the LXX, his reading of the text differs significantly from that of the LXX. The Hebrew text speaks of the Lord coming to Zion not “to turn away ungodly deeds from Jacob,” but rather “for those in Jacob who turn from iniquity.” The absence of the LXX’s kai (“and”) at the beginning of the clause, which is perhaps intentional on Paul’s part, sets apart the following third clause for particular emphasis (Wilk 1998: 57; see below). Isaiah 59:2 LXX speaks of the Lord “having turned away [apestrepsen] his face from you [Israel] on account of your sins so as not to have mercy” (MT: “your sins have hidden his face”). After the prophetic confession of Israel’s sins and transgressions, however, when the Lord sees that there is no judgment (krisis; MT: mišpāṭ), he is said to have “defended them with his arm and established (them) with mercy” (59:16 LXX). The Lord thus repays the adversaries with reproach (59:18 LXX); he will come as a violent river, and wrath from him will come with anger (59:19 LXX). According to 59:20 LXX, when the Lord comes “for the sake of Zion” (heneken Siōn) and “turns away ungodly things from Jacob,” he brings wrath on Israel’s adversaries. The LXX thus reads 59:20 in terms of the monergistic, divine mercy, which it inserts into the text at 59:16; but unlike Paul’s text, the “removal of ungodly things” here signals not a change in Israel, but rather the defeat of Israel’s enemies. This theme recurs significantly in the latter part of the book of Isaiah (e.g., 45:14–15; 46:1–2; 47:1–15; 49:22–26; 54:1–17; 60:1–22). As we have noted, it may express itself in another way in Paul’s own reading of the text: the salvation of Israel brings the resurrection of the dead.

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 1 2011 2:04 PM

Here is the part on Romans 11:25:



11:25–36
In the first two subsections Paul has described the salvation of fallen Israel as the hope of the world and has drawn out its implications for the life and thought of his Gentile addressees. In this final unit he sets forth the underlying theo-logy of this hope, beginning with Scripture (11:25–27), continuing with theological explication (11:28–32), and concluding with a doxology that not only draws the conclusion of this unit but also serves as the conclusion of the whole of his presentation of the gospel (11:33–36). The apostle voices for the believing community the thanksgiving and praise that belong to the Creator, the thanksgiving and praise that idolatrous humanity refuses to return to God (1:18–23).


Paul does not want the believers in Rome to be ignorant of a certain “mystery,” which here he unfolds. As his opening announcement of the gospel (1:16–17) and his closing doxology show (16:25–27), “mystery” here signifies the disclosure of truth to which the Scripture already bears witness. In other words, the knowledge of a “mystery” entails insight into the message of Scripture, which, although present, formerly was hidden and unknown. As is clear from both this text and the other pair, this knowledge of the Scripture entails the knowledge of the ways of God as Creator and Redeemer. Paul’s citation of Scripture here, perhaps the most interpretive and theologically dense reading of Scripture in the entire letter, by its very nature reflects Paul’s purpose of explaining “this mystery,” a “mystery” that is distinct from that of the gospel: it announces the fulfillment of promise and hope in “the coming of the Redeemer from Zion.”


Paul’s unfolding of this mystery of Scripture reinforces the warning that he has issued already to his Gentile readers: they are not to imagine themselves to be wise (11:25b [cf. 11:18–20]). The claim to possess wisdom, the essence of rebellion and idolatry (1:22), which manifests itself in a false trust and boasting in the law (2:17–29), is alien to the very nature of the gospel (3:27–28). Faith in the gospel, worked by God alone, must not become the basis of a false boast on the part of Gentiles.


The “mystery,” Paul explains, is that a hardening, in part, has come upon Israel. This “hardening in part” also has a limited time: “until the fullness of the Gentiles has entered in” (11:25c–d). This statement is most naturally understood as an expression of Paul’s argument thus far in chapter 11. The “hardening in part” is something of a litotes that describes the divine judgment on the nation that preserves a not inconsiderable “remnant” as a sign of the coming salvation of Israel as a whole (11:1–9, 14). Paul already has made it clear that Israel’s “fall” is not final, that God will finally accept them again (11:11–16). He now makes clear that they will be ingrafted again into “their own olive tree”—that is, into the community of faith that proceeds from Abraham (11:23–24). The Gentiles, too, will be cut off, once their “fullness has entered in” (11:22, 25). Just as “the fullness” of Israel signifies the eschatological salvation of the nation as a whole (11:12), the “fullness of the Gentiles” likely signifies their acceptance by God in full numbers—there had always been proselytes—an eschatological event that has come about through the gospel (11:25). They now are entering into salvation, into the people of God. Perhaps Paul’s language of “entering in,” which as a soteriological term appears here as a hapax legomenon (cf., however, 5:12), suggests that the Gentiles now are entering into Zion, vaguely recalling Isa. 2:2–5; Mic. 4:1–4; and similar passages (cf. Isa. 30:29 LXX; Isa. 26:2; see Wilk 1998: 68–70). However, the Gentiles’ time will come to an end, and when it does, the “hardening” of Israel will end as well. Interpreters often suppose that here Paul, under the force of circumstances, inverts the scriptural order of the pilgrimage of the nations and the deliverance of Zion. It is more likely, however, that he regards Israel’s salvation as proleptically accomplished in the risen Christ, the seed of David according to the flesh, the root of Jesse, who has risen to rule the Gentiles and in whom the Gentiles hope (1:3; 15:12 [Isa. 11:10]). Indeed, the apostle’s appeal to Isa. 52:7 (10:15: “How beautiful are the feet of those who proclaim the good news”) and Isa. 53:1 (10:16: “Lord, who has believed our report?”) signals the arrival of salvation, the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel in the risen Jesus. Paul’s following reference to an altered form of Isa. 59:20 likewise presents the Redeemer coming forth from the heavenly Zion. Israel’s salvation has been accomplished. Salvation awaits the nation as a promise already fulfilled. Paul does not cast aside his affirmation of the priority of Israel: salvation remains “for the Jew first, and also for the Greek.”


Beale, G. K., & Carson, D. A. (2007). Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament (672–673). Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic; Apollos.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

Posts 846
Eric Weiss | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 1 2011 2:08 PM

Nathan Barnes:

I have been thinking about purchasing this resource.  Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament  I've read some good reviews, but not sure its worth the $60 to me.

Since there are no previews for it (not that I could find) I wonder what it might have about Romans 11:25?  (A verse I have been looking at today.)

Please feel free to share any other little tidbits you found particularly interesting!  

Thx,

Nathan

It's well worth it, but call your sales rep (I usually call David Kaplan) and see if you can get a special - maybe $40. Or if you don't need it today, it may be discounted near the Christmas holidays, I'd think.

This book is the kind of resource that begs to be used in electronic form so you can have Hebrew and Greek OT windows open in addition to this book and the Greek NT, at a minimum.

 

Optimistically Egalitarian (Galatians 3:28)

Posts 1355
Edwin Bowden | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 1 2011 5:06 PM

Eric Weiss:

It's well worth it, but call your sales rep (I usually call David Kaplan) and see if you can get a special - maybe $40. Or if you don't need it today, it may be discounted near the Christmas holidays, I'd think.

This book is the kind of resource that begs to be used in electronic form so you can have Hebrew and Greek OT windows open in addition to this book and the Greek NT, at a minimum.

It was on my "wish list" for some time. I snatched it up when it was on sale (don't remember which sale). It is an excellent resource that I am really glad to have in my library.

Posts 56
AA7163 | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 1 2011 5:18 PM

The value of this book is up to you.  I got it cheaper than $60, but it is a book I have turned to time and time again.  I highly recommend the purchase. There are many times we dont' even see the OT parallels in a text or fail to understand them.  This book isn't exhaustive, but it gives you a great starting place for any study into the way the authors are using the OT and sometimes even the apocrypha or other works pre-NT.

Posts 557
John Kaess | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 1 2011 7:13 PM

I use this commentary and the IVP NT Background Commentary on almost every lesson i prepare from the NT.  I highly recommend it.  Many believers just don't know much OT stuff and this commentary helps bring that information in a practical and helpful way.  I consider myself pretty competent in OT, but still make use of this very often.

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