It’s not often that you come across a book that genuinely deserves to be on every pastor’s shelf, but almost never can we say of a new book that it really ought to be on every pastor’s desk, ready at hand always for use in every sermon preparation. Beale and Carson’s Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament is without question such a book. There is just no other book that can offer what this book does – and does very well.
Every sermon and lesson preparation involves interpretation of the biblical text, and at virtually every turn the passage at hand entails some kind of connection between the Old Testament and the New. Understanding the nature of that connection is vital, and exposing that connection makes preaching and teaching live. And this, in brief, is what Beale & Carson’s tome provides. It’s a new kind of commentary and one that every interpreter wants to have ready at hand always.
When we preach through an Old Testament passage, we need – in order to handle the passage responsibly – to see how that passage may be understood and employed by New Testament writers. And when we preach through a New Testament passage, we need – in order to handle the passage responsibly – to see if and how that passage makes use of the Old Testament. The Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, as the title implies, works through the New Testament book by book and passage by passage, tracking any connections – quotations, allusions, themes, whatever – providing commentary on those connections for faithful exposition.
Editors Beale and Carson have assembled a world-class team of biblical scholars for the work and have encouraged them to keep the following considerations in mind as they approach each next New Testament passage:
1. What is the NT context of the citation or allusion?
2. What is the OT context from which the quotation or allusion is drawn?
3. How is the OT quotation or source handled in the literature of Second Temple Judaism or (more broadly yet) of early Judaism?
4. What textual factors must be borne in mind as one seeks to understand a particular use of the OT?
5. Once this groundwork has been laid, it becomes important to try to understand how the NT is using or appealing to the OT. What is the nature of the connection as the NT writer sees it?
6. To what theological use does the NT writer put the OT quotation or allusion?
This kind of study of course requires painstaking hours of careful study, but it is enormously fruitful. This is a commentary that was long overdue, and once you begin to use this resource you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it. Available in hardcover and in Kindle, but in this case I think most will find the “real book” more useful. Keep it on your desk, close at hand, and use it every time you study. It is a rare resource indeed.
This really is a new sort of commentary! For the first time we are given a continuous exegetical reading of the way each New Testament book quotes, alludes to, and evokes the Old Testament Scriptures. This volume will be an immensely useful resource for all kinds of study of the New Testament.
Beale and Carson have given us a volume that will certainly become a standard for all serious Bible readers, ministers, and scholars. We are in their debt. As a preacher, I would especially encourage other preachers to use this volume in honing their understanding of God’s Word and in leading their congregations to better understand the Old Testament, the same Scriptures that Jesus taught his disciples. I’m even planning on using this to help select appropriate Scripture readings for public services.
Thomas R. Schreiner
Finally we have a work that examines the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament and covers the entirety of the New Testament in a single volume. Pastors, students, and scholars will profit from the careful attention to both the Old and New Testament contexts in which the citations occur, and they will be enriched by the theological depth represented in this important book.
Great Christmas present for your pastor.
Buy the books
Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament