Augustine on the Relationship between the Old and New Testaments

I just came across this helpful quote from Augustine while reading David L. Baker, Two Testaments, One Bible: The Theological relationship Between the Old and New Testaments (IVP, 2010, p. 38):

To the Old Testament belongs more fear
just as to the New Testament more delight;
nevertheless in the Old Testament the New lies hid,
and in the New Testament the Old is exposed.

This more famously comes to us in the poetic form,

The New is in the old concealed,
the Old is in the New revealed.

While Augustine is not infallible, I think he really got it right with this one.

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5 Responses to Augustine on the Relationship between the Old and New Testaments

  1. Peter Goeman says:

    I really enjoyed this book. Did you read the whole thing? Have any concluding thoughts?

  2. Hi Peter! Yes, I read the whole thing and I really enjoyed the book as well. The relationship between the New and Old Testaments is an area I am personally very interested in, and I thought Baker’s book does an excellent job highlighting the spectrum of views from modern times. The only two critiques I would make to the book would be 1) I just don’t buy (as of yet) the idea that the New Covenant is a “renewed” form of the Old Covenant (for a number of reasons). 2) Maybe it is because he is not writing for American audiences, but when dealing with the relationship between the Testaments, it is hard to know why dispensationalism didn’t even get a footnote. Whether you agree or disagree with it, dispensationalism has played a huge role popularly in how we (at least Americans) view the relationship between the Testaments. Other than that, I thought his book was one of the best I have read on the topic. His six important themes for a biblical solution to the relationship between the Testaments was right on: his discussions on Christology, Salvation history, typology, promise-fulfillment, continuity/discontinuity and covenant were excellent. Not everyone will appreciate the fact that he is dealing with scholarly types (unless you are a student of theology you probably won’t recognize many of the people he is talking about). Nevertheless, I thought the book was excellent and can’t recommend it more.

    • Peter Goeman says:

      I think you are spot on in your assessment of the book. Given that you are interested in nt use of old, as am I, do you have any additional helpful articles or books you have come across?

      • Probably the most helpful resources I have found are the following:

        Greidanus, Sidney. Preaching Christ from the OT (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans), 1999.

        Beale, G. K. Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker), 2012.

        Goldsworthy, Graeme. Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans), 2000.

        Greidanus and Goldsworthy are more practical; Beale is more academic. Obviously the Baker book is up there too. Have you read any of those? What books or articles have you found to be helpful?

      • Peter Goeman says:

        I really like Sidney Greidanus’ work. I have only read his Ecclesiastes volume, but have heard great things about the others.

        I did glean some important principles from Walt Kaiser and his book on NT use of the OT. He is takes a similar approach to Beale, although Beale winds up Amil.

        One forthcoming work which I assume will become an essential work on the subject is Abner Chou’s book from Kregel, “The Prophetic Hermeneutic, The Aposotlic Hermeneutic, and The Christian Hermeneutic: Learning Biblical Interpretation from the Writers of Scripture.” It should be available Nov, 2014. It is primarily concerned with the NT use of the OT and demonstrates its approach practically through some of the most difficult passages (use of Hos 11:1; Hab 2:4; and a few others). I got to read a couple chapters before it was sent off to the publisher and am very excited for it. I will be getting it as soon as it comes out. This will likely be a very popular work.

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