Preaching Christ in the Old Testament: A Look Forward to the Upcoming Table Talk with Dr. Scharf and Dr. Luy

This post was originally published at Rolfing Unshelved.


On Wednesday, November 11 from 12-1:15 pm at the front of the library, Dr. Scharf and Dr. Luy will be facilitating a discussion on preaching Christ in the Old Testament. We will be examining some of the different perspectives and issues involved in that endeavor. Because of the complexity of this topic and the many subjects it raises to our attention, Dr. Scharf and Dr. Luy will begin the Table Talk by making some brief introductory comments. These initial remarks will serve to focus subsequent discussion. And after discussing these matters in groups, we look forward to a time of interaction with Dr. Luy and Dr. Scharf on further questions and group observations.

I hope that you will bring your lunch and join us!

This blog post seeks to introduce you to the subject at hand–preaching Christ in the Old Testament–and to expose you to some of the issues involved in that conversation.


As Dr. Scharf recently wrote me in an email,

The practice of preaching Christ in the Old Testament raises a host of questions and subjects the preacher to significant perils as well as offering great promise. Navigating these waters requires that the preacher have a defensible theology, a valid hermeneutic, and exegetical expertise (enriched ideally by a grasp of the history of interpretation of the preaching text) as well as a love for his or her listeners, the required spiritual gifting, and prayerful reliance upon the Holy Spirit.

You’ll immediately notice from his statement that the issues involved here are multi-faceted.

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Key Bible and Theological Reference Tools: Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS)

This post is a re-blog of my post at Rolfing Unshelved.


This post is part of a series entitled Key Bible and Theological Reference Tools. This series seeks to provide one with an introduction to some key Biblical and theological reference tools. In this series one will find basic explanations, significant examples, and other information about these reference tools.


Basic Description of BHS

Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS) (BS 715 1990) is an edition of the Masoretic Hebrew Old Testament text. It is based on the Lenigrad Codex B19A (the oldest known manuscript of the complete Hebrew Bible), includes a textual apparatus (provides information relevant for textual criticism), and is the most widely used scholarly text of the Hebrew Old Testament.

Gospel and Kingdom by Graeme Goldsworthy

In Gospel and Kingdom by Graeme Goldsworthy, two prominent argument-themes emerge. For that sake of organization, I’ll present this review according to those two categories.

The Kingdom Pattern

The fact that God acts in the history of men and interprets his acts means that these historical events will form a pattern that relates to the purpose of God [pg. 42].

And the central pattern that spans Biblical history, for Goldsworthy, is the concept of kingdom [42].

For Goldsworthy, the kingdom of God involves (a) God’s people, (b) in God’s place, (c) under God’s rule [53-54]. Both the content of the central Biblical covenants and the goal of redemption history is this kingdom of God [53]. Therefore, as an implication, under various Biblical covenants and within various eras of redemption history, different forms or stages of development of this kingdom exist on a trajectory ultimately consummating in the final realization of this kingdom in the Jesus Christ.

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The Revelation of Christ as Revelation on Revelation

The Old Testament (OT) anticipates Christ and is an unfinished story without Him. Christ fulfills the hopes of the OT, which is another way of saying that the OT is about Christ (Lk 24:25-27, 44-45; Jn 5:39-40). Therefore, when the realization (i.e., Christ) of what was anticipated in the OT arrives, it actually illuminates and clarifies the expectation. In other words, Christ’s person and work specify what was anticipated in previous revelation. As such, the revelation of Jesus is a revelation on previous revelation (cf. Heb 1:1-2). Only in this sense is all previous revelation understood with all its implications, in its fullest meaning. In light of progressive revelation culminating in Christ, the significance of OT passages develop, they undergo an organic expansion, and they receive a fuller, but not contradictory, meaning. And as Christians who affirm the centrality of Christ in scripture and desire to read scripture in context, including its ultimate canonical context, we must read the OT in light of its consummation in Christ.

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Understanding the Big Picture of the Bible by Grudem, Collins, and Schreiner

Understanding the Big Picture of the Bible: A Guide to Reading the Bible Well

See a list of and information about the editors and contributors here.

I’ll have to be honest. As I began to read this book, I was initially disappointed. The title of the book, especially the “Big Picture” part, gave me the impression that this book was a introductory Biblical theology of sorts. I was expecting this book to help its readers see how the various parts of scripture (e.g., the Pentateuch, historical books, wisdom literature, etc.) all fit together in the overarching “storyline” of scripture.

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