The State of New Testament Studies: Matthew Bates on Old in the New

The State of New Testament Studies: Matthew Bates on Old in the New October 8, 2019

We are continuing out short interviews with contributors of The State of New Testament Studies (Baker Academic, coming Nov 2019). 

Matt and I have been friends for several years now. We share interests in the apostle Paul, enjoying Portland (which he sometimes visits), and we both spent very little time on styling our hair in the morning. If you want to hear Matt’s soothing voice on a regular basis, check out OnScript podcast.

NKG: Matt, why are you interested in the subject of the NT use of the OT?

MB: Ever since I first became a serious reader of Scripture, I’ve been fascinated by how our NT authors interpreted their scriptures, our Old Testament. On the one hand it is challenging to try to uncover the interpretative mindset and principles of our NT authors as they interpreted. On the other, the theological results are frequently fascinating and rich.

NKG: How has this discipline changed over the last 20 years?

MB: There has been a shift away from seeing “the use of the OT in the NT” as a distinct, isolated sub-discipline of research and a movement toward seeing it within wider frameworks of meaning-making and interpretation.

NKG: Can you recommend an important book on this subject?

MB: Frances M. Young’s Biblical Exegesis and the Formation of Christian Culture is stellar. She shows how “allegory,” “typology,” “the literal sense,” and the like functioned within early Christian and pagan culture in ways that stretch our understanding of what “the use of the OT in the NT” can and should mean.

NKG: What else are you working on?

MB: Keep your eyes peeled for a book that just released, Gospel Allegiance. I’m presently writing a book that extends the core “gospel-allegiance model” I develop there to other matters related to salvation. It’s fantastic stuff! Well, at least I am excited about it.




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