Guest Post: The Central Message of the Old Testament

Joe Tyrpak is my dear friend. He is the assistant pastor of  Tri-County Bible Church, which also makes him my pastor and co-laborer. His insights into the Scriptures are always instructive for me (you can find many of his sermons here), and what follows is no exception. I post it with his permission as part of the growing discussion on Christ in the Old Testament (see this post).

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2 Timothy 3:14-4:2 is one of the more familiar passages in the Bible for Christians. It’s the classic proof text for the Scriptures’ inspiration and sufficiency and for the pastor’s primary responsibility of preaching it. However, what it teaches about the central message of the Old Testament is frequently overlooked. Read it again more closely:

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort with complete patience and teaching” (2 Tim 3:14-4:2).

Did you notice the three terms for the Old Testament? Paul commanded Timothy to “preach the word” (4:2). In the two preceding sentences he had reminded Timothy that “the sacred writings” had brought him to “faith in Christ Jesus” (3:15) and that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable” (3:16).

Although “the sacred writings,” “all Scripture,” and “the word” are interchangeable terms that refer to the same material, the Old Testament, they denote that material in ways that slightly differ from one another. The plural designation “sacred writings” focuses on the Old Testament as a collection of several documents, while the singular designation “all Scripture” focuses on the Old Testament as a single unit. “The word”  further describes the unity of the Old Testament by focusing on its central message, the gospel. As Mounce explains, “‘The word’ [ton logon]…is the gospel” (Pastoral Epistles in WBC, 573). (I count more than 30 NT uses of “the word” to refer to the gospel message. See 1 Peter 1:23-25 for an example with apostolic commentary.)

So the individual books of the Old Testament are part of a single, definitive collection with a single message. What is that single message? According to Paul, the single, central message of the Old Testament is the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ.

What does that mean for how pastors interpret and preach of the Old Testament? I think it’s pretty clear from this text that Timothy was commanded to herald the gospel from the sacred writings, all of which are God-breathed. In other words, he was commanded to preach the overarching message of the Old Testament while preaching all of its texts—to teach the Bible as a whole even as he taught each and every one of its parts. In order for us to be obedient to Paul’s familiar command in 2 Timothy 4:2, it is always necessary for us to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ as we work through any part of the God-breathed Old Testament.

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24 Responses

  1. That’s funny because I was teaching through that passage this week in Sunday School and making the same point. It had never hit me before in all the years prior reading that passage. We miss the forest for the trees sometimes. Another Scriptural argument against the notion that Christ is absent from most of the OT.

  2. James,

    “Great minds think alike.” The opposite is true, too. I’ll let you determine which you think is true of us.

    Actually, the motto that comes to mind after reading your comment is “good Bible study is reproducible.”

  3. Joe,

    I wonder if you might enlarge a bit on how you arrive at the words “single” and “central” from the passage you cite above. I know Mounce says “logon” is “the gospel,” but that seems to fall short of the passage (doctrine, reproof, correction, training in righteousness, reprove, rebuke, exhort, etc.), unless the gospel has been so enlarged as to incorporate all of that. I would think that would weaken what the gospel actually is, as defined in the NT.

    It seems to me that there is sizable distance between saying that the OT makes us wise to salvation in Jesus and saying that salvation in Jesus is the “single, central message.”

    Is it possible that there are other messages, like God’s sovereignty, God’s kingdom, God’s judgment, God’s plan for Israel, etc? If these other things can be called themes (and I would be interested in an argument as to how they would be any thing else), I would suggest that perhaps “single, central message” is an overstatement.

  4. I’m with Larry. I had a much stronger response planned, but this is just specious exegesis. The terms that follow ‘word’ are the same terms that follow ‘Scripture’ in 3.16. To suggest such a narrow definition for the use of ‘word’ here is not warranted by the context. It doesn’t matter that 30 references limit ‘word’ to the gospel, it matters what it means here, and there is no contextual warrant to take that meaning.

    Mounce is no authority, he’s just another opinion.

    Not well done.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  5. I think you are missing something in your discussion here. Timothy was clearly living in the age of grace – after Pentecost. Those within that age were not relying solely upon OT Scripture. They already had additional revelation in the form of Christ’s first advent. Therefore, the Apostles passed on this revelation orally, and they relied upon a wise use of the OT to prove the point of Christ.

    Certainly there are Messianic passages in the OT. Furthermore, the OT believers had salvation through faith in God. But their faith was not “faith which is Christ Jesus.” At best the OT believers knew God was sending a Messiah (certainly we could flesh that out a little more). But their understanding was very limited. If I said, “I have a great friend whom I would like you to meet,” all you would know is that I have a great friend I would like you to meet. Understanding that friend would have to wait until you met him. Even the disciples during Jesus’ earthly ministry, had a hard time accepting the Messiah as God (Jo 13:18-20; 14:5-7, 20; and others), and the necessity of His death. Both of these ideas were solidified in their thinking after the fact, which underscores the idea of progressive revelation.

    To use the Timothy passage to prove “Christ in the OT” is clearly overlooking the fact of progressive and unfolding revelation. Furthermore, you are using a newer revelation (NT) to read back into the older (OT) in order to try to understand how much of Christ is mentioned in the OT. But to use the Timothy passage to inform us as to what OT believers believed is inappropriate to the discussion. You have to go to the OT and see what revelation they had.

    The Timothy passage does not say “the single, central message of the Old Testament is the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ.” The passage says that the OT was used by God to bring Timothy to faith in Christ. But again, you have to consider the fact that they already had more revelation than the OT, and they were proclaiming that additional revelation as well.

    Furthermore, to use your understanding of the Timothy passage (the central message of the OT being Christ) as a pattern for preaching means that preaching involves adding NT thought into the OT. The OT documents stand on their own and they mean exactly what they meant when they were first penned.

  6. Just to be clear, “specious exegesis” is not my term.

    My concern is with two things: (1) the idea of “single” and (2) the textual basis for this declaration of “single central message.”

  7. Exegetically, my post boils down to a central question: “What does Paul mean by ‘preach the word’?”

    To answer that question, I think you must first answer two more fundamental questions: (1) “What does ‘the word’ mean?” and then (2) “How does ‘the word’ relate to ‘all Scripture’ and ‘the sacred writings’?” My answers are as follows:

    (1) As in most places of the New Testament, “ton logon” could be glossed “the message” or more fully “the message about Christ”/”the gospel.” I quoted Mounce because he’s succinct, but others could be cited as well. For example, Hendrickson writes, “The somewhat timid Timothy must never be afraid to herald the word, that is, the gospel (see on II Tim 2:8, 9; cf. Mark 1:14; 16:15; 1 Thess 2:9). It is the true message of redemption in Christ, and as such stands over against all falsehood (see verse 4)” (Thessalonians, the Pastorals and Hebrews, 310).

    The basic issue here is on the specificity of the term “ton logon,” whether Paul is saying more generally (a) “preach the Bible”–which, I think, most people assume–or whether he’s saying more specifically (b) “preach the basic message of the Bible.” How “ton logon” is used throughout Acts (i.e., 4:4; 6:4-7; 14:46; 15:7; 17:11; 18:5, and many other places), the rest of Paul’s writings (i.e., Eph 1:13; Php 1:14; Col 4:3; Tit 1:9, and many other places), and even this letter (2 Tim 2:8-9), argues that he is here referring to the more specific (b) central message of the Old Testament. Sometimes Paul refers to the central message of the Scriptures as “the word of truth,” “the word of grace,” “the word of life,” “the word of Christ,” “the word of the gospel,” or simply, as here in 2 Tim 4:2, “the word.”

    What “the message” includes is a topic for another post…suffice it to say, I think it includes more than “God’s Simple Plan of Salvation,” though it doesn’t include less than that. I think “the message” means something more like “The Person and Work of Jesus Christ.”

    (2) “The word” is not something fundamentally different from “the sacred writings” and “all Scripture.” In other words, Paul is NOT saying, “Preach the message as opposed to the Old Testament.” Instead, “the word” is roughly synonymous with “the Old Testament.” It’s just highlighting the reality that the Old Testament has a central thrust, just like the term “sacred writings” draws attention to the Old Testament’s multiplicity of books.

    To answer the central question of the post, Paul’s command to Timothy to “preach the word” is really an extension of saying, “continue in the things you’ve learned and been assured of…continue in the sacred writings that brought you to faith in the Messiah…continue in the God-breathed Scriptures which are able to save and sanctify” (3:14-17). So when Paul says, “preach the word,” he means, “preach the basic message of the Old Testament.”

    Therefore, I think it’s fair to deduce this: the OT can be said to have a central message. It’s not the only theme, but it is the central thrust.

    I’d be interested in your less “specious” answers to these exegetical questions. :)

  8. Joe, I’m with you to this point:

    It’s just highlighting the reality that the Old Testament has a central thrust, just like the term “sacred writings” draws attention to the Old Testament’s multiplicity of books.

    I don’t think you can make the idea of a central thrust of the OT stick from this passage. If we can specify what ‘the word’ means here, it is a reference to the whole counsel of God.

    I also would disagree with the idea that the central thrust of the OT is the person and work of Jesus Christ. While the OT teaches on the person and work of Christ, it is not preoccupied with it and you cannot preach it fully from the OT alone.

    In defense of your exegesis, you haven’t really dealt with the terms of the passage itself, except to contrast the three terms used. You need to do more than that.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  9. Hmmm.

    Don, I guess I’d encourage you to answer for yourself both (1) and (2) above.

    Restated: (1) What does Paul mean by “the word”? Give NT support. (2) How does “the word” relate to “the sacred writings” and “all Scripture”? I think we would agree that the last two clearly refer to the OT?

  10. Joe,

    Thanks for your input in this discussion. However, my comments about progressive revelation still stand. Notice the context, where Paul said in verse 10: “you have carefully followed my doctrine…” and then in verse 14: “you must continue in the things which you have learned.”

    Paul received and declared additional revelation because of His office. Paul was not limiting Timothy to OT teaching here but allowing for the oral teachings and the developing NT (Timothy already had received two letters from Paul personally).

    Therefore, Paul could say “all scripture is given” because Paul knew he was writing Scripture. It was this “all Scripture” which Timothy had the responsibility in declaring.

  11. Joe, I don’t have time to get into a lot of detail on this. However, I’ll give a few answers.

    First, I think my good friend Darren has a worthy point to make. Remember that 2 Timothy is written very late, very close to AD 64 or so. MOST of the NT has been written by this point. Maybe only 2 Peter, Jude, Hebrews and the writings of John are left. Peter will call Paul’s writings ‘scripture’ in 2 Pt 3.16. The date of 2 Peter is unclear, but it isn’t that far off from 2 Tim, and you see the apostles acknowledging each other as writing Scripture.

    So your case that 2 Tim refers exclusively or almost exclusively to the OT is suspect at best.

    Second, I would dispute that the plural ‘scriptures’ in 2 tim 3.15 refers to individual books (although I would acknowledge that what Timothy was reading as a child was the OT). But it is ‘gramma’ here, the ‘letters’ of Scripture and might refer to the very sense of Timothy’s learning to read by reading the Scriptures as a young child.

    2 tim 3.16 refers to the ‘graphe’, the writings and views, I think, all the books already acknowledged as Scripture by the church. See also 1 Tim 5.18 as well as the 2 Pt noted above. Note here that the graphe are profitable for ‘teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness’ and then see that in 4.2 the ‘word’ is to be used to ‘reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching’ … very similar words to 3.16, including one identical word.

    The ESV study Bible says of 4.2: “Reprove, rebuke, and exhort means the communicating of all that Scripture includes—doctrine, instruction, correction, and encouragement.”

    To limit the use of ‘word’ to ‘the gospel’ is an unreasonable limitation of its use in the context, in my opinion, and to make the leap from there that this is somehow the central message of the OT is quite a stretch, in light of the date of writing and the fact that NT books are being acknowledged as Scripture by the apostles themselves.

    That’s all for now.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  12. Darren and Don,

    I’m certainly in agreement with you that the NT writings bear the same God-breathed quality as the OT and therefore should be preached with the same authority as the OT. I’m also in agreement that the NT perfectly completes the OT (i.e., the apostolic message perfectly accorded with the OT writings). In other words, everything Paul says here about the OT can be extended/applied to the NT. But, it’s pretty clear and widely agreed on that Paul’s terms “the sacred writings” and “all Scripture” are technical terms that refer to the OT, and do not include any NT oral tradition or writings. Your position on those terms is unsupported and (I think) unsupportable.

    Also, if 2 Timothy was written in the 60s ad, how did Timothy know the NT (or even oral traditions) since his “infancy”?

    Lastly, Darren, your argument based on the words “is given” is based on words that don’t appear in Greek, but are supplied by English translators. The Greek simply reads “All Scripture [is] God-breathed….” There’s not a present tense sense (this is happening right now) like you suggest.

    Let me be clear: I don’t think the argument I’ve made here (based on 2 Tim 3:14-4:2) for the centrality of the gospel in the OT is the strongest argument there is, nor is it the only argument. But I think it’s a small, often overlooked, exegetical detail that confirms it.

    I’ll let you keep wrestling with givings answers to (1) and (2) above that are rooted in the text and supported by context, lexicons, and commentators.

    I’m glad to see that you and others have been investigating these matters. I’m thrilled to have this discussion about these exegetical matters, and I think those who keep considering these matters will come to see that redemption through Christ is the main focus of both Testaments. But I’m not sure that any further “driving down these comment roads” will be profitable for us, Don and Darren. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  13. A few comments:

    “widely agreed” and “unsupported”? So what? Those are opinions, with no Scripture to support them. All opinions, including mine, are pretty well of equal value.

    However, I don’t think it is widely agreed and unsupported. Here is another opinion, again from the ESV Study Bible:

    “All Scripture would refer first to the OT but by implication also to at least some NT writings, which by this time were already being considered as Scripture (see 1 Tim. 5:18 and note; 2 Pet. 3:15–16”

    I conceded above that 3.15 would primarily refer to the OT when Timothy was a child, but certainly can’t be limited to that for 3.16 in AD 64.

    Regarding the tense, I believe Gk grammar requires you to add a present tense linking verb in a sentence where no verb is present. If not, then what verb would you add to the rest of the sentence:

    All Scripture _____ profitable…

    Last, I take it by your last comment you are conceding already…

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  14. A quick response and then I will be done here unless something is directed to me or something is irresistible. (Or unless I get a word of knowledge.) I am admittedly going to speak in some generalities here, so I am not targeting anyone specifically (aside from a few comments directly to Joe). Most of this is about the broader issue.

    “The word” is not something fundamentally different from “the sacred writings” and “all Scripture.”

    Joe, I think this quote answers your question. The “word” is not the “gospel.” It is the sacred writings, all Scripture, the things which teach, correct, reprove, and train in righteousness. It is the things which reprove, rebuke, and exhort. I can’t see how we can limit that just to the message about Christ or the gospel.

    The “gospel” or the “word about Christ” has a pretty specific content in the NT. It is not open-ended. To make “the gospel” equal to the “sacred writings,” “all Scripture,” or “the Word” is, I think, to rob “gospel” of the very meaning that the NT gives it … the good news of salvation in Christ.

    You (Joe) in 2 Tim connect it to other NT uses in a way that makes your point, but I think there are other uses, particularly the context that point in another direction. (I think that is the danger of word studies … we tend the pick the comparable passages that make the point we want to make, or to put it differently, we tend to see what we are looking for).

    You seem to be claiming that since the sacred writings make us wise unto salvation, that all they talk about is the gospel or Christ. I don’t think that can be sustained either from Luke 24 or 2 Tim.

    Here’s an example: The fact that a map tells us how to get from point A to point B doesn’t mean that that’s all a map tells us. A map tells us a great deal more.

    So the OT, while certainly telling us about Christ and the gospel in a way that should lead to belief (cf. John 3), it also tells us more.

    I think as true trinitarians, we cannot confine our attention only, or even primarily, to One of the Three. We cannot make One of the Three more central or more important than the other Two. That leads to functional henotheism, I think.

    In fact, I have suggested privately (not publicly until now) that I fear that this Christocentric hermeneutic is running the risk of turning us into functional henotheists. We profess to believe in the Trinity of equal essence, but we preach like only One of them really matters.

    Consider it this way: We question (criticize) a message from the OT that doesn’t mention Jesus, but we don’t even notice a message from the OT that doesn’t talk about the Spirit. And this in spite of the fact that there are OT texts that talk about the Spirit and don’t mention Jesus.

    And for some reason, some feel like they can’t talk about the sovereignty of God without somehow tying Jesus into it, even though the text gives us no reason to do that. But is the sovereignty of God not enough for a message? Must Jesus be added into make it acceptable? I don’t think so.

    I am not suggesting you believe that or do that, but I think that is where this ends up. We can’t preach on the Holy Spirit for the sake of the Holy Spirit. We have to work Christ into there.

    I would also suggest this has something to do with preaching the text. If we are going to preach the text as the authoritative word of God, then why do we need to go outside the text to make the point the text is making? Did God not give us enough in that text to make his point? If not, what were the original readers supposed to do with it?

    This is not to say that we interpret a text in isolation, but we certainly interpret it first for what it says, and then illumine that understanding by antecedent revelation (things already known prior to the time of writing).

    So anyway, those are my concerns. I think we can and should preach Jesus from the OT where he appears. And we can go to Jesus when the text shows us (in this age) in need of Jesus. But I don’t think that is everywhere.

  15. Don,

    No, I’m not “conceding,” but you’re welcome to think that.

    Larry,

    I know it can seem like I’m speaking out of both sides of my mouth when I say that “the word” is both “not fundamentally different from” and at the same time “a different concept from” “the Old Testament.”

    I’ll expand on your map illustration to try to more clearly express what I’m getting at. If I were traveling from Cleveland to Detroit, I could print off a map and show it to my wife with three different phrases: “Honey, here’s the route we’re talking,” or “Honey, here are the directions for how to get there,” or “Honey, here’s the map for our trip.”

    “The route,” “the directions,” and “the map” all refer to the same material, but one term focuses more on the big picture (map), one on the multiple turns we’ll make (directions), and the other on the central path (route). The terms certainly overlap, to the point that we can rightly say that they’re generally synonymous, but each has a different shade of meaning.

    It’s not a perfect illustration, but what I’m trying to point out is that Paul’s synonymns here are instructive. To use the terms from the illustration, Paul’s generally synonymous terms reveal that the map is not simply a map with lots and lots of information, but that the map has a primary route.

    I agree with you that the OT has many themes (like God’s sovereignty), all of which are important (just like a typical map gives a lot of other helpful, necessary information). That doesn’t negate the fact that when Paul tells Timothy to continually “herald the message” he telling him to preach the central thrust of the Scriptures.

    “Preaching the word” or “heralding the message about Christ from the OT” is consistently modeled in the preaching throughout the book of Acts. (Further, I would argue that the NT letters show us how that central message is used by the apostles to rebuke, exhort, and encourage the churches.) Throughout the book of Acts, Luke keeps on repeating his refrain: “they proclaimed the word,” “more believed the word,” “the word kept increasing,” the word kept advancing,” “the word kept multiplying,” “the word prevailed mighily.” Luke is clearly describing how the “proclamation of the word” (frequently, Paul’s preaching of the word) was advancing from Jerusalem to Rome. I think it’s pretty clear that the typical usage of “the word” refers not to the advance of the OT Scriptures generally, but to the message about Christ which is the heart of the OT Scriptures. Not only is Luke referring to Paul’s ministry in Acts, but Paul’s writings consistently evidence the same terminology.

    Paul could be using “the word” with absolutely no distinction in meaning from “the sacred writings,” but that’s not the way he (or other NT writers like Luke, James, and Peter) consistently use “the word.” Paul’s consistent usage of the term refers not simply to the Bible, but to the central message of the Bible: the gospel.

    Maybe that’s committing a word study fallacy, but I’m not convinced of a better understanding of “the word” in this context. Maybe I’m just unwilling to see one. :)

    I’ll have to address your concerns regarding “henotheism” at another time. I would guess that we’re quite similar in our concerns that the current trend toward Gospel-centeredness/Christ-centeredness has some problematic interpretive, homiletical and practical imbalances and overboard tendencies.

  16. Joe T.,

    I’ve been mulling over the last sentence of your article since it was first posted: “In order for us TO BE OBEDIENT to Paul’s familiar command in 2 Timothy 4:2, it is ALWAYS NECESSARY for us to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ as we work through ANY PART of the God-breathed Old Testament (emphasis added).”

    In the comment section of Dr. Snoeberger’s post “A Country Drive in the Old Testament,” which, I think, led to some of these follow-up posts, he explained a few sermons that he preached from the Old Testament. For example, from I Kings 18 he preached on “the exclusivity of God and his incredible sovereignty in the face of all rivals.”

    This is not a defense of Dr. Snoeberger, as he certainly needs no defense, least of all from me, but your statement begs the question: How is that exegesis of I Kings 18, using that sermon as an example, disobedient to “Paul’s familiar command…to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ as we work through any part of the God-breathed Old Testament”?

  17. Chad,

    Great questions. I’ve not heard Mark’s message, so I’m not ready to say whether he was right or wrong. Here are my immediate responses to your questions:

    First, how and what you preach are going to be dependent on how much of 1 Kings 18 you preach, whether you’re focusing on just one or two of the passages themes (like “relating to false prophets”), who your audience is (children, teens, unbelievers, new Christians, adults at a Bible conference, etc.). What follows assumes that you’re wanting to preach a thorough overview of the chapter for Christians in one sermon.

    (A) I’d make sure I consider the closer context. 1 Kings 18 falls into the context of 1 Sam – 2 Kings. Broadly speaking, the central themes being worked out in the narrative are Israel’s failure to keep the law (esp. Deuteronomy) and the anticipation of realizing God’s promises to David. Throughout the narrative, the author is consistently leading the reader to look for a king who has a heart that responds to God’s word like David (not like Jeroboam). Both of these issues (i.e., Israel’s failure to keep the law and the anticipated Davidic king) are fundamentally Christocentric.

    (B) Wider context. I’d also want to make sure I could state in a line or two how this passage fits into the wider OT context and wider biblical metanarrative (Gen-Rev), a storyline which I think is fundamentally Christocentric. (I really need to write another post arguing for this more fully.)

    (C) I’d want to examine NT themes/allusions. Would you agree that good exegesis is going to ask the question, “Did the NT writers ever quote from or interpret the passage I’m preaching?” I would want to see how they think about Elijah, false prophets, spiritual warfare, calling fire from heaven, etc. In this case, thorough sermon prep may lead you to wrestle with Elijah’s prominence in the NT, how Elijah (as the “representative” of the OT prophets) points to a greater prophet (see Elijah’s prominence in Luke 4 and Matt 17 pointing up Christ’s glory), the episodes of “calling fire from heaven” (e.g., Luke 9, Rev. 11), and how Elijah’s prayer is a model for our elders who pray for healing of those in Christ’s church (James 5). Not that all of those mini-studies would show up in your sermon, but they help you sort through how Christ taught his apostles to think about issues that are significant in 1 Kings 18.

    (D) Contemporary Application. I’m not sure how you could you rightly apply a sermon on 1 Kings 18 to believers today without mentioning Jesus Christ, i.e., our relationship with God through Him. Where we are historically in relation to the person and work of the Messiah is going to make a difference in how you apply what faithfulness to Yahweh looks like today, how you apply Elijah’s killing of 850 prophets, how you apply praying for fire to fall from heaven, how you identify false prophets, how you relate the apostacy of Israel to your audience, etc.

    Let me say it clearly: a responsible preacher of 1 Kings 18 doesn’t have to preach “God’s Simple Plan of Salvation” from this text. Nor does he have to preach on “The Glories of the Resurrection” from 1 Kings 18. I’m not talking about creative, inventive exegesis, nor am I suggesting allegory one bit.

    But a responsible preacher does have to show how this text fits in the Bible and how it applies to his audience. And, both how it fits into the context and how it applies to believers today have to do with the Messiah. In other words, I need to “preach the word” as I “continue in…the sacred writings.”

  18. Thanks, Joe for that explanation…I found it quite helpful and think it serves as a great reminder for anyone preparing sermons from the OT!

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