Preaching Christ from the Old Testament: A Contemporary Hermeneutical Method

Preaching Christ from the Old Testament: A Contemporary Hermeneutical Method

Preaching Christ from the Old Testament: A Contemporary Hermeneutical Method

Preaching Christ from the Old Testament: A Contemporary Hermeneutical Method

Synopsis

Arguing for the need both to preach Christ in every sermon and to preach regularly from the Old Testament, Sidney Greidanus develops a christocentric method that will help preachers do both simultaneously.

Greidanus challenges Old Testament scholars to broaden their focus and to understand the Old Testament not only in its own historical context but also in the context of the New Testament. Suggesting specific steps and providing concrete examples, this volume provides a practical guide for preaching Christ from the Old Testament.

Excerpt

When, after a twenty-five-year absence, I returned to my alma mater to teach preaching, I polled the faculty regarding the elective courses I should prepare. Of the six suggestions offered, the highest number of votes by far went for a proposed course entitled “Christocentric Preaching from the Old Testament.” Unfortunately, I was unable to find a suitable textbook that explored this particular topic in depth. In fact, I was surprised to discover that since Wilhelm Vischer published Das Christus Zeugnis des Alten Testaments in 1936 very few authors have written books on the topic of preaching Christ from the Old Testament. Was it because Vischer strayed into the minefield of allegorizing that biblical scholars became disenchanted with this topic? Or did biblical scholarship turn against any form of christological interpretation of the Old Testament? Or were contemporary methods in biblical studies more appealing?

Since the late 1960s, biblical scholars have been exploring the Bible using exciting new methods such as rhetorical criticism, narrative criticism, and canonical criticism. They have been, and still are, gaining many new insights into the meaning of biblical texts. Although I much appreciate the value of these new methods for biblical preaching (see The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text, 48-79), I am increasingly concerned that the exclusive use of these new tools for interpretation will cause us to miss the heart of Scripture. Preachers trained in these methods may know how to say many interesting truths about biblical texts, but will they know how to preach the Truth, Jesus Christ? The primary aim of this book is to provide seminary students and preachers with a responsible, contemporary method for preaching Christ from the Old Testament. A secondary, but no less important, aim is to challenge Old Testament scholars to broaden their focus and to understand the Old Testament not only in its own historical context but also in the context of the New Testament.

While I am aware that it has become fashionable in scholarly circles . . .

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