What Did the OT Writers Know? Another Controversy Erupts at WTS

What is genuine Christian interpretation of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible has always been a vital and somewhat vexed issue. I’m not from the Calvinist tradition, but here is a repost regarding a recent controversy at Westminster Theological Seminary, and not the first by any stretch. Being sympathetic to an Antiochene approach to OT interpretation, that honours each chapter in the redemptive story in its own right, and doesn’t try to cram the christological climax into every episode, but allows the story of God’s dealing with humanity to unfold at its own pace, I tend toward sympathy toward the OT teachers involved.


Bill Evans head shot

By now the news has spread regarding the forced “retirement” of Dr. Douglas Green, Professor of Old Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. After being examined in 2009 by the WTS Board regarding his view of the institution’s “Affirmations and Denials Regarding Recent Issues” (a document framed in the context of the controversy involving another WTS OT Professor, Peter Enns) and passing muster, we learn that in November of 2013 the Board reversed itself and decided that Green’s response is “no longer acceptable.” The key issue, we are told, is that Green has “expressed agreement with a ‘christotelic’ hermeneutical method that severs the organic link between the Old Testament and the New Testament.” Here we see that the NT use of the OT is at the center of this discussion.


At this point, I should insert a personal disclaimer. Dr. Green and I were fellow students at WTS in…

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