Monday, June 18, 2012

Christ, the Focal Point of Scripture

[T]he Jewish context in which the New Testament came to birth, significant though it was, was not what was distinctive or formative in the exegesis of the earliest believers.  At the heart of their biblical interpretation was a christology and a christocentric perspective.… The Old Testament contained certain specific messianic predictions.  But more than that, it was a "messianic prophecy" and "messianic doctrine" throughout when viewed from its intended and culminating focal point.  And from this christocentric perspective, the mission and future of God's "new people," who are made up of both Jews and Gentiles, was laid out.  As C. F. D. Moule has characterized the outlook of the earliest believers: "Upon Jesus converged the whole history of Israel in the past, and from him deployed the whole future of the People of God."

Richard Longenecker, Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period

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