THEOLOGY & How did the Early Church Read the Old Testament (and how does it impact the way we read the entire bible)?

by Scot McKnight, Jesus Creed, Pathos, 5/1/17.

Here’s the big picture: Those educated today in typical schools learn to think in what is called the historical-critical method. That is, students in theology and Bible are taught to think like a historian, to think critically over against the received traditions, and to base their theology on the evidence (the Bible). The goal, then, is to determine the intent of the author. They are taught not so much to say What does God say in Matthew 5:17-20 but instead, What does the author of Matthew intend to communicate with this text in his historical (Jewish) context?

That form of interpretation is not 1st Century and derives from developments following the Renaissance and the Enlightenment and, ironically enough, the interplay of tradition and history in the orthodox-fundamentalist vs. the who-cares-about-the-orthodox and modernist stream of thinking.

Jesus, the apostles and the early church did not read the Bible in the historical-critical method.

Greg Boyd, in The Crucifixion of the Warrior God, examines in chp 3 “Finding Jesus in the Old Testament” with the subtitle “The Christocentric Hermeneutic of the Early Church.”

…When it comes to how the early church read the Bible, the new book by Hans Boersma, Scripture as Real Presence, is a new and exciting study.

Boyd offers a christocentric reading of the Bible; the issue is if a christocentric reading is the way of the church and not the way of the historical critical method. At issue also is that theological interpreters of Scripture may just not have the same theology that governs a reading of the Bible. Is that the point of tension? [Yes]

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