Christological Interpretation of the Old Testament in Early Christianity
Library of Early Christology
Imprint: Baylor University Press
205 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
- Published: July 2017
While the relationship between Second Temple Jewish exegesis and early Christian exegesis as demonstrated in the New Testament is universally recognized, the reasons for their similarities and differences are often elusive. Donald H. Juel in Messianic Exegesis seeks to unknot this tangled web of interpretation.
Juel’s thesis is simple: Christianity’s origins are rooted in the earliest Christian interpretations of Israel’s Scriptures. The difficulty resides in showing how these distinctive interpretations arose. Juel argues that the events of Jesus’ life form the fulcrum for the Christian re-reading of Jewish Scripture. In particular, Juel shows how Christian belief in a crucified and risen Messiah guided both the selection and appropriation of Old Testament texts—texts like 2 Samuel 7, Daniel 7, and Psalms 2 and 110. With the confession "Jesus is the Messiah" as the central claim of Christianity, Juel is able to show the fluidity of contemporary Jewish exegesis while also making the anomalous uses of Scripture within the early Christian community understandable. Christians proclaimed Jesus as Messiah throughout their exegesis and thereby defined their emerging community through the way they read Scripture.
An accessible presentation not only of an important, indeed essential, way of understanding early Christian theological use of the Bible but of much formative and recent scholarship.~Mary Rose D’Angelo, Horizons in Biblical Theology
A brilliant work of disciplined imagination.~Rowan A. Greer, Journal of the American Academy of Religion
A major contribution…[and] a considerable achievement.~David M. Hay, Journal of Biblical Literature
One seldom gets the chance to see a scholar pursuing a simple but consequential thesis through a book-length monograph with such tenacity, clarity, and deftness. A major contribution...~Joel Marcus, Catholic Bible Quarterly