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Carson addresses Old Testament usage in the New Testament at Union Bible conference

D.A. Carson addresses how the New Testament writers used the Old Testament during a plenary session address as part of the Word Within the Word conference. (Photo by Morris Abernathy)
D.A. Carson addresses how the New Testament writers used the Old Testament during a plenary session address as part of the Word Within the Word conference. (Photo by Morris Abernathy)

JACKSON, Tenn.May 4, 2009 – The New Testament and Old Testament are tightly connected, and New Testament authors use the Old Testament properly despite surface appearances to the contrary, D.A. Carson said at Union University April 24-25.

“If you’ve never been troubled by the way the New Testament quotes the Old, you’ve never read the New Testament and looked up the texts it actually quotes,” Carson said. “There are a lot of them that area really quite hard to understand.”

Carson, a New Testament scholar, was the keynote speaker for the Word Within the Word conference sponsored by Union’s R.C. Ryan Center for Biblical Studies. Carson is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Ill., and the author or editor of more than 50 books, including such titles as “The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism,” “How Long, O Lord? Reflections on Suffering and Evil,” “A Call to Spiritual Reformation” and “Christ and Culture Revisited.”

In his three plenary session addresses, Carson examined three passages in the book of Hebrews that quote the Old Testament: Psalm 2:7 and 2 Samuel 7:14 in Hebrews 1:5, Psalm 95 in Hebrews 3-4 and Genesis 14 and Psalm 110 in Hebrews 7.

“It was a wonderful privilege to have Dr. Carson with us as our plenary speaker,” said Ray Van Neste, director of the Ryan Center and associate professor of Christian studies at Union. “Few people combine such breadth and depth of knowledge with an ability to communicate with a broad audience.”

Union President David S. Dockery praised Carson’s three addresses as “not only edifying and uplifting, but they were exemplary models of how to do the work of serious Bible study and biblical theology. It was a genuine blessing to welcome one of the premier evangelical scholars of this generation to the Union campus.”

Union student Katie Holloway said listening to Carson’s addresses was a delight.

“I felt like he effectively addressed the wide spectrum of his audience, ranging from distinguished Bible scholars who have written extensively on the exact topic being discussed to undergraduate students who have barely completed their first few semesters of higher education,” Holloway said. “All of his talks were extremely edifying and encouraging.”

In addition to Carson’s messages, the conference also featured breakout sessions led by Ray Clendenen of B&H Publishing Group, Greg Spears of Mid-South Baptist Association and members of Union’s Christian studies faculty.

David and Sally Michael, of Children Desiring God in Minneapolis, Minn., also led three separate breakout sessions on teaching the Bible to children.

“I want to commend Ray Van Neste for his superb leadership for the work of the Ryan Center at Union University,” Dockery said. “These efforts continue to strengthen Union’s relationships with the churches throughout this region, for which we are so very grateful.”

Audio from the conference is available for free at www.uu.edu/events/wordwithintheword/audio.cfm.

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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