Re: NT quotes of OT passages

Brian Neuschwander (
Tue, 18 Nov 1997 22:18:29 -0800

Karen G. Jensen wrote:
> Mon, 17 Nov 1997 07:03:35 -0800, Brian Neuschwander wrote:
> >Karen G. Jensen wrote (re: NT paraphrases of OT passages):
> > showing that they understood the implications as
> >> well as the words of the individual passages.
> >>
> >
> >There is possibly a lesson for us in the ancient hermeneutic. Is it to
> >stand back and find the meaning more in the whole, than in the minutia,
> >as we are so naturally inclined to do as the progeny of Descartes,
> >Locke, and other Western minds?
> >
> >Just some Monday thoughts. Your additions always most welcome.
> >
> Yes, it is a refreshing lesson for us with Western minds.
> I came face to face with this one when repeatedly asking a Hebrew teacher
> (a real, Jewish one) what the exact meaning of some word or passage was...
> and he just ambivilated (if I may coin a word) until I finally realized
> there was no exact way to say it. I was being too "Greek" about it. Greek
> has its explicit verb tenses and the like, but Hebrew is much more laid
> into the context. Most of us with Western minds are too "Greek" about
> Scripture.
> Shalom
> Karen

IMO much more Christian scholarship should have been done in this area
over the past decades (even centuries) to break the grip of Modernism.
Why did the Church leave that task to the 20th century French
philosophers? It is a shame, because their deconstructive postmodernism
is so totally bankrupt, when it is the Church that has real meaning and
answers to offer. Although some work has been done, the Church did not
seem to have the scholarly horsepower to competitively advance its

When King David of the Scriptures said "The Heavens declare the Glory of
God" he was stepping back, taking in the biggest of pictures, and
declaring one of the grandest truths, yet without one bit of the detail
Western minds deem so necessary. It is all context: Observer, Universe,
God, Relationship.

Not that we should toss out all of empiricism or any of the details
derived from inquiry, but we should rather understand their proper role
in epistemology. Your Hebrew teacher, I think, was miles ahead of most
of us.

Thanks, Karen, for the insights.

Brian W. Neuschwander