Hebrews 1.8-11 – The Old Testament in the light of the New Testament
Posted: 7 May 2011 in Hebrews

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;

The above passage from Hebrews consists of a couple of quotes from psalms 45 and 102. It seems to me that, implicit in them, is an important principle; namely that the Bible is its own authority in interpreting itself. If you read psalm 45, it is easy to see why the author of Hebrews thought it was an appropriate quotation, but it is wholly likely that liberal sscholars would debate whether that psalm really contained a prophesy of Christ, before coming to the conclusion that it didn’t. However, the writer of Hebrews clearly believed the quoted verses to be prophesies of Christ, and since scripture is divinely inspired we must necessarily share his opinion.

Of course, that does not necessarily mean that the Old Testament authors were consciously writing about Christ. Probably they were not; at most they might have been conscious of writing about the Messiah of Jewish expectations. Nevertheless, divine inspiration means that it is not only right, but incumbent upon us, to share the New Testament authors’ understanding of Old Testament texts.

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