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Hearing the Old Testament in the New Testament.

Hearing the Old Testament in the New Testament. Edited by Stanley E. Porter. McMaster New Testament Studies. Grand Rapids, MI, and Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2006. Pp. 316. $29.00, paper.

This volume presents the papers from the H. H. Bingham Colloquium in New Testament, which was held at McMaster Divinity College in 2003. The goal of the colloquium was to examine "Old Testament texts as mediated through the New Testament, and New Testament texts as they interpreted the Old Testament especially in relation to Jesus Christ" (p. vii).

Articles by Stamps and by McLay focus upon foundational issues. The next four discuss the four Gospels one by one. Two more treat the Pauline corpus. The book ends with an article by Richardson on Job in the epistle of James and one by Kostenberger on the epistles and the Book of Revelation, followed with a response by Kostenberger that addresses each essay in the volume.

This is a collection of serviceable essays that is directed to those with an interest in the relationship between the two Testaments. Stamps renders a service in highlighting the difficulty in determining when a New Testament author is actually quoting and when only alluding to the Old Testament (p. 13). Several authors emphasize that, contrary to the common notion that an Old Testament quotation validates the New Testament belief, the situation is actually reversed. Old Testament texts were commonly interpreted and sometimes altered to fit the new reality (Knowles, p. 73; Aageson, p. 156).

Evans, contributing to the ever-growing interest in the New Testament's interface with the Roman Empire, suggests that Mark is challenging the imperial cult of the divine Vespasian. Keesmaat's similar interest in the empire produces the most rewarding essay in the volume, although many scholars would not agree with her acceptance of Ephesians and Colossians as Pauline. She demonstrates that at times the empire language of the Old Testament text is reversed in light of the gospel (Eph. 4:8; Ps. 68:18). However, in her treatment of Isaiah (52:7, 45:23) and the Exodus story, Keesmaat shows that more often the two Testaments stand together against the claims of the empire. In so doing, she provides clear evidence that the relationship of the New to the Old is not reversal but continuity, not rejection but gratitude.

George M. Smiga, St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology, Wickcliffe, OH
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Author:Smiga, George M.
Publication:Journal of Ecumenical Studies
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jan 1, 2008
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