Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Christ canon

Jason Engwer recently plugged Michael Rydelnik’s The Messianic Hope: Is the Hebrew Bible Really Messianic?

I see, upon reading the book, that this is actually a twofer. Building on the work of other scholars, Rydelnik argues that the OT canon is messianically structured.

As such, he is not only making a case for Messianic prophecy in the OT canon, but simultaneously making a case for the OT canon itself. This is an intertextual argument for the OT canon, where Messianic prophecy functions as a unifying principle and even a selection criterion.

Moreover, he also discusses the NT appropriation of some representative oracles from the OT. And that type of argument lays the groundwork for an intertextual argument for the Biblical canon as a whole, since it’s a bridging device, connecting each Testament to the other.  

Not only is this useful it its own right, but it’s useful in Protestant apologetics. Evidence for the canon of Scripture can be Scriptural as well as extrascriptural. Due to the intertextual fabric of Scripture, there is no tension between sola Scriptura and the canon of Scripture.

(Mind you, the use of extrascriptural evidence is not inherently opposed to sola Scriptura, for Scripture itself refers to various events outside itself.)

Rydelnik’s treatment of the subject is illustrative rather than exhaustive. But he presents the basic principles.   


  1. Agreed. I'd have been happy if the book were twice as long, but what it had was (I thought) terrific, informative, thought-provoking, helpful.

  2. Glad to hear it. The book just came in the mail today.