The Institute of Midrashic Studies of the New Testament

End of First Quarter Update 2023

The Institute of Midrashic Studies of the New Testament Update – 
Bridging a Gap Academically

Since the inception of the Institute in October 2021 the Academic Director, David Pitcher and the Fellows have met together over 75 times on a weekly basis and the Director and the CEO of Root Source, Gidon Ariel have met in an equal number of weekly visits. Over 1200 lecture slides have been generated. Fourteen articles have been submitted to academic theological journals. Nine are still being peer reviewed and one has been accepted.

Over the last century, many authors have published books and articles describing some elements of Jewish hermeneutics in the New Testament but none have described a reconstructed methodology. Though the ancient Hebrew and Greek languages have been reestablished for modern scholars to use in study, the New Testament writers’ hermeneutics has not been. Jewish scholars have recognized and understood that the New Testament writers’ exegetical methods may assist in an understanding of early second century Jewish writers’ methods. Christian scholars have not wholeheartedly stepped onto that bridge yet. 

For instance, William W. Klein, Craig l. Blomberg, and Robert L. Hubbard, Jr., Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic, 2017) and Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. and Moisés Silva, Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics. The Search for Meaning, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic, 2007), two well-known biblical hermeneutics textbooks do not have a description of Jewish exegetical methods within their text although the latter and the shorter of the two dedicated two pages (259-260) to the principles of Hillel though not using their accepted transliterated names. Of the eight volumes and 3,200 pages of text in Zondervan’s Scripture and Hermeneutics Series published in 2004 there is mention of qal wahomer in one sentence (Andrew T. Lincoln, “Hebrews and Biblical Theology,” in Out of Egypt. Biblical Theology and Biblical Interpretation, Vol. 5, Scripture and Hermeneutics Series, eds. Craig Bartholomew, Mary Healy, Karl Moller, and Robin Parry (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004), 318. 

A long range goal (December, 2025) of the Institute is to compile a multivolume treatise regarding the “midrashic hermeneutics of the New Testament.”

The Institute is about to “break the ice!” In the last quarter, the following articles have been submitted to either Bibliotheca Sacra or The Scottish Journal of Theology:

  • Ezra the Scribe’s Midrashic Hermeneutic. The Jewish Marriage & Betrothal Ceremony Targumistic Midrashic Hermeneutic Unifying the Jewish and Christian Bibles: The Bridegroom Threads, Part I
  • Ezra the Scribe’s Midrashic Hermeneutic. The Jewish Marriage & Betrothal Ceremony Targumistic Midrashic Hermeneutic Unifying the Jewish and Christian Bibles: The Bridegroom Threads, Part II
  • The Unrecognized Allegorical Enthymeme in Galatians 4:21-5:1: A Hellenistic Jewish Midrash Discovered with Comparative Paradigmatic Analysis
  • The Genesiology of the Messiah in Hebrews 7 using Word Association, Hekesh and Midrash
Of note, the first article above lists Hillel’s seven principles of midrash and makes the connection between the Second Temple era of Ezra to the writers of the New Testament.
 
The second article builds on that foundation. 
 
The third article reports on a discovery that solves a controversy in Paul’s use of the word “allegory” and lays the foundation for the “allegory” he saw in the Torah.
 
The fourth article shows Paul’s use of word association mirrors an elaborate word association in Genesis.
 
Two of the diagrams from the article are included here to demonstrate the quality of the work being submitted.
 
 

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