The Presuppositions of the Apostles’ Exegetical Method (according to Beale)

Richard Barcellos is doing a series of posts on the New Testament’s use of the Old, and today’s post includes this from Beale’s seminal essay:

Beale lists five distinctive presuppositions of the apostles’ exegetical method:

  1. the assumption of corporate solidarity or representation.

  2. that Christ is viewed as representing the true Israel of the Old Testament and true Israel, the church, in the New Testament;

  3. that history is unified by a wise and sovereign plan so that the earlier parts are designed to correspond and point to the latter parts (cf. Matt. 11:13-14);

  4. that the age of eschatological fulfillment has come in Christ;

  5. as a consequence of (3) and (4), the fifth presupposition affirms that the latter parts of biblical history function as the broader context to interpret earlier parts because they all have the same, ultimate divine author who inspires the various human authors, and one deduction from this premise is that Christ as the centre of history is the key to interpreting the earlier portions of the Old Testament and its promises.

I’m thrilled to know that Beale’s essay is online: "Did Jesus and His Followers Preach the Right Doctrine from the Wrong Texts?" Themelios 14 (1989): 89–96.

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