Issue No. 33

1 - 7 September  2008


G.K. Beale, D.A. Carson (eds) Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, (Baker/Apollos, 2007).

This book has been brought to my notice by Dr Ng Liang Wei (our alumnus, presently preparing himself to work in Indonesia) in June when I was preparing for our HE101 course. We did not have this book then, so I asked him to review it. We have it in our library as well as for sale in our bookshop.' (Augustine Pagolu)

This commentary is unique in that its focus is on the New Testament’s (NT) use of the Old Testament (OT). The Commentary works on direct quotations, allusions, possible typological use, verbal patterns and analogies that provided the mental framework for the NT writers. The use of the OT is then set in the theological intent of the NT texts.

To succeed in this gargantuan task, the contributors go through each chosen NT text by first looking at the context of a particular text in the NT. They then review the OT context of the quotation or allusion. This is followed by a discussion on the usage of the OT text in early Judaism which provides a glimpse into the mental hermeneutical framework roughly contemporaneous to NT times. Differences in interpretations and dependence on early Judaism are also set out. A brief textual criticism section discusses pertinent points especially where the NT quotation varies from the Maseoretic text or the LXX. This is followed by a section on how the NT writer perceived the OT text. The commentary then rounds off by looking into the theological usage in the NT text.

I found this commentary to be useful in the following ways. Firstly, it is a one volume work which combines material across various disciplines. While this sort of material is available in various commentaries on specific NT books, the one-volume nature shows forth the breadth in the number of ways that the NT writers use the OT text. Further, the integrative approach allows the reader to appreciate the issues behind the text in a relatively short amount of time. Secondly, the inclusion of the contributions of early Judaism provides possible alternatives to standard Christian interpretations and forces us to relook at the text. Thirdly, the apologetics orientation of the NT writings is well brought out. They were urging their Jewish mental framework audience to rework some of their ideas in the light of Christ. Correspondingly, the Gentiles were encouraged to realize that their faith arose from God’s work from Genesis. The new faith was both old and new. The writers have helpfully looked at the theological implications and this helps us bridge the gap between text and theology without resorting to a historical textual conflation.

I have often been somewhat troubled by the way that “hermeneutical rules” were laid out. The NT writers did not seem to follow them very often. This commentary lays out this issue neatly and approaches it in a logical manner. Using the OT in ministry has also been troublesome as there is a constant need to look at the OT in the light of the NT for our purposes. This commentary goes a long way to minimizing time spent on such research. To this end, I would have appreciated some overarching thematic articles in this commentary to ease modern day ministry usage. One topic might be on why the NT writers seem to favour certain OT books more than others. Deuteronomy seems to be a hot favourite. This could have an impact in the planning of teaching or sermon schedules. Secondly, a reference index on OT passages used in the NT could have been provided. All in all, I consider this my star buy of the season and highly recommend it.

- Dr Ng Liang Wei

Available at BGST Bookshop

Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old by G.K. Beale, D.A. Carson (eds), (Baker/Apollos 2007)


For enquiries and orders, please call 62276815.

Introducing Our Council Members

Liew Cheng SanThere are unseen hands behind things at BGST. We would like to make them a little more visible by allowing them to introduce themselves. Meet the men and women who sit on the BGST Council and who provide the vision and direction of the School. They are …

Mr LIEW CHENG SAN is a member of Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church where he is a member of Local Church Executive Committee and conductor of English service choir. He is also a Lay Preacher and coordinates the lunchtime worship, a ministry of the church to working adults. After retirement from a multinational oil company, took on the appointment of Honorary Pastoral Assistant at Telok Ayer CMC. In his words "In God's economy, there's no real retirement, only re-tyre-ment".

In preparation for his new role, Cheng San studied at BGST and obtained a Grad Dip CS in 2003. He is married to Winnie and they have three children. Cheng San was formerly an HR professional and currently oversees HR policies and matters in BGST. 

Introducing our Recent TENT Graduates

Ms Crystl Foong Chooi Yee 
Crystl has seven years of working experience in the banking industry as a Financial Analyst. She is currently serving in the outreach committee in Church of Singapore (Marine Parade) and preparing to leave for the mission field.

Dr Ong Lay Siang
Lay Siang has been working as a doctor since 2000. He joined Mission Medical Clinic (at Upper Serangoon) in November 2007. He had also spent about five years helping in educating and training undergraduates in the FES missions programme. He is currently serving as head of the youth ministry in Foochow Methodist Church. His favourite verse is Philippians 3:10: ‘that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.’ Lay Siang desires “to know Christ and make Him known.”


Weekly Highlights

Chapel This Week. Chapel speaker for 3 September will be BGST alumni Mr Andrew Lee (Dip CS 2000, MCS 2002, MDiv 2005). 

Last Week’s Chapel speaker. Mr Ben Pwee spoke on the life of Abraham, taking us through Genesis 12 to 15. It was a fresh reading from the point of a businessman. He painted Abraham as a real human being with flesh and blood and not as we traditionally hear of him as the father of the faithful, humble and subservient. Abraham was one who focused on raising his livestock and doing business with his neighbours, involving even in a war rescuing Lot with 318 young men trained in his home. He did not bother much when God’s promise of a son was delayed, but faced God with hard questions when God came to renew his promise saying, ‘what, you have not given me a child so far?’. It was equally businesslike and it paid off. Now see who Abraham has been in history and tradition!

Our new programme student.
Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies - Mr Tan Wee Ngee is a member of Hinghwa Methodist Church. As a lay leader, he is actively involved in the Adult Ministry and Worship Service Planning Team. He is a Graduate of National University of Singapore, Australian National University and has served as Director of Unit in MINDEF.

Courses Commencing in September to November 2008

Facilitating Adult Learning 
(ECF512, 1.5cr),
starting Sept 9 (Tue 7.15-10.15pm).
Lecturer: Dr Ng Peh Cheng 

New Testament Theology & Biblical Theology 
(MTh532, 2cr) 
starting Oct 3 (Fri 7.30-10.00pm)
Lecturer: Dr Aquila Lee

Business & Mission 
(MM256, 1.5cr)
starting Oct 8 (Wed 7.15-10.15pm)
Lecturer: Mr Ben Pwee

*Research Methods & Ministry: Quantitative 
(ECF521, 3cr) 
starting Oct 9 (Thur 7.15-10.15pm).
Lecturer: Mrs Katherine Yip
Coordinator: Dr Ng Peh Cheng.

*Spiritual Retreat: Nature, Purpose & Dynamics (ECF504, 3cr)
starting Oct 20 (Mon 7.30-10pm).
Residential Retreat Nov 28-30 (Additional Cost)
Lecturer: Mr Chong Ser Choon
*Courses marked with an asterisk are not offered on audit basis.


TENT Modules
Personal Ministry Skills: Practical Considerations for a Tentmaker’s Ministry starting Sept 23 (Tue 7.20-10pm)
Lecturer: Mr Toh Kai Hua

Understanding Culture 
starting Oct 14 (Tue 7.20-10pm) 
Lecturer: Dr Ng Peh Cheng

Coping With Stress 
starting Nov 14 (Tue 7.20-10pm)
Lecturer : Mr Yam Keng Mun

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