Beale on Typology

One of the most controversial and potentially difficult issues within the realm of biblical interpretation is that of typology.  How are the people, places, events, and circumstances of the Old Testament text to be interpreted and understood insofar as their connection to subsequent people, places, events, and circumstances is concerned; especially as they relate to Christ and the church?

Greg Beale, in his forthcoming book, Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament: Exegesis and Interpretation (Baker Academic, 2012), provides a helpful definition for considering that which may be properly understood as having typological significance.  He defines biblical typology as:

The study of analogical correspondences among revealed truths about persons, events, institutions, and other things within the historical framework of God’s special revelation, which, from a retrospective view, are of a prophetic nature and are escalated in meaning. (p. 14)

After defining biblical typology, he offers two helpful points of clarification regarding “escalation” and “retrospection”.

Beale notes, “By “escalation” is meant that the antitype (the NT correspondence) is heightened in some way in relation to the OT type.  For example, John 19:36 views the requirement of not breaking the bones of the Passover lamb in the OT epoch to point to a greater reality of the bones of Jesus not being broken at the crucifixion…”  Additionally, “…escalation would be the correspondence of God providing literal manna from heaven for physical sustenance and providing the manna of Christ from heaven for spiritual sustenance.”  Clarifying “retrospection”, Beale says, “By “retrospection” is meant the idea that it was after Christ’s resurrection and under the direction of the Spirit that the apostolic writers understood certain OT historical narratives about persons, events, or institutions to be indirect prophecies of Christ or the church.” [Please read the qualification Beale cites regarding the “retrospective” characteristic of biblical typology, noted in the “Comments” section.]

While some interpreters are extremely leery of deeming anything in Scripture a “type” that isn’t expressly stated as such, Beale’s definition and subsequent study promises to be handled with scholarly precision and care, and, undoubtedly, a reverence for both God and his Word.

  • WTSbooks.com has a sample chapter and audio lecture available, as well as some overall info on Beale’s forthcoming work.
  • Amazon.com has the book for a deeply discounted pre-order price of $9.67 (Reg. $17.99)
  • Baker Book House is offering the opportunity to win a copy of the book this week at their blog (Giveaway ends, Friday, August 17, 2012, at 6AM EST).  I’m hoping to win a copy myself, so I can continue the study above! 🙂

Baker Book Giveaway

Baker Academic is giving away a copy of G.K. Beale’s latest book, Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament: Exegesis and Interpretation, at their blog. The giveaway runs until Friday, August 17, at 6AM EST.  CLICK HERE to be redirected to the giveaway.

Here’s a little info about the book:

Read inside (PDFs): Sample Pages

Publisher’s Description: This concise guide by a leading New Testament scholar helps readers understand how to better study the multitude of Old Testament references in the New Testament. G. K. Beale, coeditor of the bestselling Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, focuses on the “how to” of interpreting the New Testament use of the Old Testament, providing students and pastors with many of the insights and categories necessary for them to do their own exegesis. Brief enough to be accessible yet thorough enough to be useful, this handbook will be a trusted guide for all students of the Bible.

Contents:
Introduction
1. Challenges to Interpreting the Use of the Old Testament in the New
2. Seeing the Old Testament in the New: Definitions of Quotations and Allusions and Criteria for Discerning Them
3. An Approach to Interpreting the Old Testament in the New
4. Primary Ways the New Testament Uses the Old Testament
5. Hermeneutical and Theological Presuppositions of the New Testament Writers
6. The Relevance of Jewish Backgrounds for the Study of the Old Testament in the New: A Survey of the Sources
7. A Case Study Illustrating the Methodology of This Book

208 Pages
Published September 2012

BOOKS I GOT FOR X-MAS.

I had a good time celebrating Christmas with friends and family this past weekend.  It was my first Christmas as a married man, so the amount of travel was increased exponentially.  Although, it was a joy to celebrate Christmas with twice the family!

My parents, my in-laws, and my sister combined to generously provide me with the following books.  All of which I’m eager to work through in the coming year!  I’ve provided the publisher’s description for each of the titles to give you an overall summary of the book’s content/purpose (…if you’re interested…):

Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just by Timothy J. Keller

It is commonly thought in secular society that the Bible is one of the great hinderances to doing justice. Isn’t it full of regressive views? Didn’t it condone slavery? Why look to the Bible for guidance on how to have a more just society?

But Timothy Keller, pastor of New York City’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church sees it another way. In Generous Justice, Keller explores a life of justice empowered by an experience of grace: a generous, gracious justice. Here is a book for believers who find the Bible a trustworthy guide as well as those who suspect that Christianity is a regressive influence on the world.

In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life by Sinclair B. Ferguson

Noted theologian, pastor, and educator Dr. Sinclair B. Ferguson explores aspects of the person and work of Jesus in his latest book, In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel-Centered Life. This collection of articles is designed to help believers gain a better understanding of their Savior and the Christian faith, and to live out that faith in their day-to-day lives. In Christ Alone is packed full of nuggets of Scriptural truth that will spark and fan the flames of the believer’s love for the Savior who is so beautiful in His person and so faithful in His work on behalf of His beloved sheep.

The Discipline of Grace: God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges

Remember that your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace, nor are your best days ever so good that you are beyond the need of it.

We know we need grace. Without it we’d never come to Christ in the first place, but being a Christian is more than just coming to Christ. It’s about growing and becoming more like Jesus—it’s about pursuing holiness. The pursuit of holiness is hard work, and that’s where we turn from grace to discipline—and often make a big mistake.

Grace is every bit as important for growing as a Christian as it is for becoming a Christian. “The pursuit of holiness,” writes Jerry Bridges, “must be anchored in the grace of God; otherwise it is doomed to failure.” Grace is at the heart of the gospel, and without a clear understanding of the gospel and grace we can easily slip into a performance-based lifestyle that bears little resemblance to what the gospel offers us.

According to Bridges, many Christians don’t have a good grasp of what the gospel message is. In The Discipline of Grace, he offers a clear and thorough explanation of the gospel and what it means to the believer. Bridges discusses how the same grace that brings us to faith in Christ also disciplines us in Christ, and how we learn to discipline ourselves in the areas of commitment, conviction, choices, watchfulness, and adversity.

If you’ve ever struggled with what your role is and what role God takes in your growth as a Christian, this book will comfort and challenge you as you learn to rest in Christ while vigorously pursuing a life of holiness.

The Essence of the Reformation by Kirsten Birkett

Corruption in the church. Political turmoil and intrigue. A clash of new ideas and ancient pagan religions. Courageous and extraordinary individuals. Doctrinaldisputes that were matters of life and death.

Welcome to ‘the Reformation’, that explosive period of European history from 1517 to the turn of the century. The Reformation determined the shape of our modern world, and yet many people today, even Christians, have very little idea of even the basic events and people involved.

In this introductory book, Kirsten Birkett brings us the essence of the Reformation—the social and religious soil in which it grew, the events and people that shaped it, and the ideas and doctrines for which many of them died.

This new edition includes three classic works from the Reformation: Martin Luther on freedom, John Calvin on prayer, and Thomas Cranmer on salvation.

The God Who Is There: Finding Your Place in God’s Story by D.A. Carson

It can no longer be assumed that most people–or even most Christians–have a basic understanding of the Bible. Many don’t know the difference between the Old and New Testament, and even the more well-known biblical figures are often misunderstood. It is getting harder to talk about Jesus accurately and compellingly because listeners have no proper context with which to understand God’s story of redemption.

In this basic introduction to faith, D. A. Carson takes seekers, new Christians, and small groups through the big story of Scripture. He helps readers to know what they believe and why they believe it. The companion leader’s guide helps evangelistic study groups, small groups, and Sunday school classes make the best use of this book in group settings.

The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship by Robert Letham

When it comes to the doctrine of the Trinity, evangelicals have underachieved. In The Holy Trinity Robert Letham helps to redress this shortcoming. He offers a well-researched volume about “the One who is utterly transcendent and incomprehensible.” After examining the doctrine’s biblical foundations, the author traces its historical development through the twentieth century, and engages four critical issues: the Trinity and (1) the incarnation, (2) worship and prayer, (3) creation and missions, and (4) persons.

Did you get any books for Christmas?! I’d be interested to hear what was on your list this year!