October 31, 2020

The Council

Proclaiming the truth to the world.

I was reading an exchange between Dr. Bowen and Robert Rowe and found the exchange was missing the real issue. I won’t reproduce the whole exchange that occurred, but I will provide a link. Rowe was defending Hugh Ross’s concordism by using Matthew quoting Hosea. The issue is that Robert’s case seems to misses the real issue or rather the right solution:

I still think this form of concordism is misunderstood. I keep repeating that I don’t nullify the clear ANE context of these passages. But neither do I ignore the sensus plenior nature of the text (that the entire NT sees as a valid pesher of the OT; look at the way Jesus is applied to OT texts). If Matthew can concord Hosea 11:1 to be about Jesus, why can’t the OT concord with many other things (that was clearly practiced throughout Church history from the NT era onward)?

i) The issue is that Robert can’t see his own flaws. He views the NT writers in strange fashion rejecting the historical-grammatical meaning of the text and abandoning the meaning of the Old Testament. That is a common liberal trope, but we think the use of Matthew applies Hosea is actually consistent with the original meaning. The issue is to distinguish between prophecy and prediction. Prediction is a subset of prophecy. Matthew is stating that the Old Testament is typological for Christ to be its eschatological fulfillment. Even the book of Hosea is filled with Exodus typology. Matthew usage of Hosea comports with the theology of Hosea.

The verb “fulfill” has broader significance than mere one-to-one prediction (see Introduction, section 11. b; comments at 5: 17). Not only in Matthew but elsewhere in the NT, the history and laws of the OT are perceived to have prophetic significance (see comments at 5: 17– 20). The letter to the Hebrews argues that the laws regarding the tabernacle and the sacrificial system were from the beginning designed to point toward the only Sacrifice that could really remove sin and the only Priest who could serve once and for all as the effective Mediator between God and man. Likewise, Paul insists that the Messiah sums up his people in himself. When David was anointed king, the tribes acknowledged him as their bone and flesh (2Sa 5: 1); i.e., David as anointed king summed up Israel, with the result that his sin brought disaster on the people (2Sa 12, 24). Just as Israel is God’s son, so the promised Davidic son is also Son of God (2Sa 7: 13– 14; cf. N.   T. Wright, “The Paul of History,” TynBul 29 [1978]: esp. 66– 67). “Fulfillment” must be understood against the background of these interlocking themes and their typological connections. 3. It follows, therefore, that the NT writers do not think they are reading back into the OT things that are not already there germinally. This does not mean that Hosea had the Messiah in mind when he penned Hosea 11: 1. This admission prompts W.   L. LaSor (“ Prophecy, Inspiration, and Sensus Plenior,” TynBul 29 [1978]: 49– 60) to see in Matthew’s use of Hosea 11: 1 an example of sensus plenior, by which he means a “fuller sense” than what was in Hosea’s mind but something nevertheless in the mind of God. But so blunt an appeal to what God has absolutely hidden seems a strange background for Matthew’s insisting that Jesus’ exodus from Egypt in any sense fulfills the Hosea passage. This observation is not trivial. Matthew is reasoning with Jews who could say, “You are not playing fair with the text!” A mediating position is therefore necessary.

Carson, D. A.; Carson, D. A.. Matthew (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary) (Kindle Locations 4948-4964). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

ii) Beale unpacks that further here:
Hays unpack it here: “Out of Egypt”.

That doesn’t contradict Hosea’s meaning. Hosea himself has a typological understanding of redemptive history. He recast the threatened Assyrian deportation in terms of second Egyptian bondage followed by a second Exodus. That’s in play in the very chapter Matthew quotes (Hos 11:5,11), as well as other passages in Hosea (cf. 2:14-15; 7:16; 8:13; 9:3,6).

Therefore, Hosea already understood that the same past event can foreshadow an analogous future event(s).

Likewise, “divine sonship” in OT usage can have both a collective referent (Israel) and an individual referent (David or David’s heir). Furthermore, in covenant theology, an individual can represent others. So the individual and collective aspects can (and often do) merge.

Matthew is operating with the same typological principle as Hosea. A past event (the Exodus) foreshadowed an analogous future event (the childhood of Christ). Likewise, Christ is the Davidic son who embodies Israel.

iii) Even if it was using “Sensus Plenior” use of the Old Testament doesn’t allow us to arbitrarily read our beliefs onto the Old Testament. How does Rowe distinguish the two? Why suppose we can read quantum mechanics or any modern physics back into the OT text?

iv) Lastly, they discussed the legitimacy of Isaiah 53 to be referring to Jesus as the Messiah. Here is a link:

Is The Servant Of Isaiah 53 Israel Or A Remnant? So What?