Thursday, February 14, 2013

G.K. Beale's approach to Matthew's use of Hosea 11

One of the most fascinating issues in biblical studies is the way the New Testament writers use the material from the Old Testament as it relates to the person and work of Jesus Christ. Many modern students who are committed to the grammatical-historical method of interpretation have been troubled by the way that the New Testament writers reference and apply these Old Testament texts. Perhaps the most troubling example is the way that the apostle Matthew applies Hosea 11:1 to Jesus in his gospel.

I came across this lecture on the DBTS blog by G.K. Beale on Matthew's use of Hosea. Beale argues that Matthew's usage and meaning is a proper and sophisticated application of Hosea's writing in its full context. He argues that Matthew is not ignoring the grammatical-historical context of Hosea, but is sensitive to that context, while also linking it with broader historical redemptive themes related to the Exodus and their final culmination in Christ.

The lecture is just over an hour long but anyone interested in the "problem" of how the New Testament writers use the Old Testament will find it is time well invested. I believe that Beale's position that many of the perceived difficulties can be resolved if careful attention is paid the context of the Old Testament material that is quoted is fundamentally right. His presentation is interesting and compelling even if it does not address every complexity. I recommend it to anyone who may have an interest in the topic.

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