Jan 28, 2010

The Psalms in the New Testament

Hans-Joachim Kraus offers the following advice concerning the study of how the Psalms are used in the New Testament.

"In the whole inquiry there is a primary exegetical task, the goal of which is to identify and explain the biblical-theological contexts in which the quotations were used. It would hardly be in the interest of such a procedure to present the processes of understanding which are involved in the quotations behind the texts, but the intention that is contained in the texts themselves must be explicated. What are the steps that are to be followed? (1) The context of each psalm quotation is to be investigated to determine the intention of its kerygma. This includes a precise determination of the place of the quotation in this specific context. (2) From the New Testament context we should identify the purpose for which the psalm has been quoted. Then we must identify the kerygmatic scope of meaning which the Old Testament text has helped to advance. (3) We should also reflect on the character which the New Testament context has given to the quotation in its relationship to the way the text was understood in the Old Testament This will lead us to investigate whether the early Christian kerygma has discovered in this new use made of the text anything of relevance for our understanding of the witness borne by the Old Testament itself."

Hans-Joachim Kraus, Theology of the Psalms , trans. Keith Crim (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1986), 177.

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