Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Old Testament's Revelation of Christ [Pt. I]

by Rudolph P. Boshoff

§ I. Introduction

I.a Background

There has been an increasing trend in Christian Scholarship that the Old Testament Scriptures is not a central revelation of Jesus Christ or His divinity. Marcus Borg (2000) evidently finds Jesus to be a sage but not a divine and Bart D. Ehrman (Bird 2014) speculates what it meant when we spoke of Jesus as being Lord over all.

Some evangelical Scholars have been of the opinion that the very central focus of the Old Testament was essentially Jesus Christ. In this study I will show that Scholars affirm how Jesus was significant to the Old Testament context and then press on to look at two key Scriptures that would affirm that very fact. In conclusion, we will show that the story of God was indeed the story of the revealed Jesus Christ.

I.b Objective and Key Questions

The primary objective in this paper will be to explore the Old Testament references to Jesus Christ. I shall attempt to answer three key questions:
1. What have theologians, both historical and contemporary, taught about Jesus Christ in the Old Testament? 
2. What does Scripture teach about Jesus Christ in the Old Testament? 
3. Based on the evidence of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament, who is he?
I.c Thesis Statement

The Old Testament reveals a picture of Christ that shows him to be the Messiah, Angel of the Lord and ultimately divine.  

I.d Methodology

The introductory part of the paper will (a) state the research problem, (b) highlight three key questions, (c) define vital terms and (d) conclude with a tentative practical supposition of the antecedent clause of the thesis statement.
Step 1: This step will describe current views within Christianity about Jesus Christ in the Old Testament including important features that will develop the basis of my investigation. Each view will utilize the works of significant scholars like Bates (2015), Bauckham (2008), Bird (2014), Borland (1978), Charlesworth (1988), Geisler (2002), Haasbroek (2004), Horbury (1998), Lee (2005), Loader (2001), Longenecker (2001), Rosen (2006), Robinson (2013), Stephen (1998), Talbot (1942), Walvoord (1969), Wright (1992). I will show what each scholar’s perspective stipulates in Old Testament prophecy, typology, and Theophany concerning the preincarnate Christ. 
Step 2: This step will focus on the Biblical teaching concerning Jesus Christ as revealed in the Old Testament with the focus on the Son of Man (Daniel 7:13-14) and Jesus as Immanuel, God with us (Isaiah 7:14). For the book of Daniel, I will use Bauckham (2008), Gowan (2011), Hammer (1976), Horbury (1998), Longenecker (2001) and Macleod (1998). For the Book of Isaiah I will use Bruce (2008), N├Ągelsbach (1980), and Wiersbe (2002).
Step 3: This step will conceptualise a theology extracted from the key ideas and applicable passages in Scripture by showing how the New Testament authors found what they believed about Christ in the Old Testament Scriptures. I will then also construct a Biblical perspective that will show that Jesus Christ was more than just the coming Messiah of the Old Testament was and that the story of God is the story of Christ.
In conclusion, I will show that Christian scholars have positively affirmed the deity of Christ in the Old Testament Scriptures and that we can show biblically with absolute assurance who the God of the Bible is in the Old Testament because of the revelation of Jesus Christ.

[Continued in Pt. 2]