Abstract

This article first demonstrates that the writers of the canonical Gospels employed figural reading in their interpretations of Israel’s Scripture and then addresses the concern that figural exegesis might undercut confidence in the inspiration of Scripture. Several examples of figural reading are offered, drawn from Luke 7, John 2, Matt 2, and Luke 13; these texts illustrate retrospective reading and do not presuppose a model of predictive prophecy. Next, the essay identifies three NT texts (from Acts 2, 1 Peter 1, and John 12) that do assert intentionally predictive prophecy in the OT. A final section of the essay discusses what is at stake theologically in this examination of intertextual hermeneutics, particularly with regard to the work of the Holy Spirit in inspiring fresh imaginative Christological interpretation of Scripture.

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