Intertextuality Over Tradition: Three Examples of How Letting Scripture Interpret Scripture Helps Us See the Theological Goals of the New Testament Writers

The “Naked Bible” brand is so named because of the value placed on interpreting the Bible in its own contexts, not by means of Jewish or Christian traditions or denominations, however laudable those may be. One important context for interpreting Scripture apart from post-biblical traditions involves observing how biblical writers utilized the content of other biblical writers as they wrote. Scholars refer to this as intertextuality. In this session, we’ll look at three examples of intertextuality that are routinely overlooked in popular Bible interpretation and which have received scant attention even in biblical scholarship. These passages illustrate how the New Testament recasts and inverts important Old Testament concepts: the rebellion at Babel and the resulting “Deuteronomy 32 worldview” (Gen 11:1-9; Deut 32:8-9 [DSS, LXX]), the birth of Israel and her messiah, and the concept of the people of God.