[T]he New Testament in relating the message of the Gospel to the Jewish Scripture goes far beyond asserting its relationship in terms of a historical sequence. Although the various writers make very clear that Jesus appeared at a given historical moment in the life of Israel—Gal 4.4 speaks of the “fullness of time”—this temporal orientation does not rule out at the same time moving the discourse to an ontological plane. According to John 1.1 Jesus Christ was the eternal Word who was with God in the beginning. Col. 1.15f. Speaks of his being “the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created.” Rev. 13.8 makes mentions of “the lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (“Does the OT Witness to Jesus Christ?” 60)The question then, is how to relate the two. Childs talks of different contexts in which Scripture functions.
In the first instance, one seeks to hear the historic voice of Israel in its literal/plain sense. ... These witnesses are often fragmentary, at times contradictory, and always veiled in obscurity. Nevertheless, a literal and historical interpretation of the OT is exegetically crucial, especially in reveialing how fragmentary, mysterious, and obscure was the nature of God's messianic promise to Israel which, even following the exile, continued to expand in a host of diverse directions.
In the second instance, one is using Scripture as an authoritative collection of sared writings which has assumed a unique shape and been given a special role within the Christian community of faith as the continuing vehicle of divine manifestation. In this role the text of Scripture, when infused by the Spirit with the full ontic reality of God, resonates with a fresh voice, and evokes from its readers the response of praise and wonder. This voice which transcends its original historical origins calls forth the hymns, liturgy, and art of the church in ever-changing forms of grateful response. This is the genre of prise. The same words of Scripture now perform a different role in instructing the church toward an obedient and joyful life. To project this depth of meaning and experience back into the past as if this interpretation must be coexstensive with an original textual intention is not only a basic confusion of genre, but it falsely dehistoricizes the canonical witness of the two discrete portions of the Christian Bible. However, to speak o f Christuszeugnis in the sense being proposed is to describe a text oriented hearing of Scripture by a Christian community of faith which allows biblical texts to resonate from the force of divine reality gained through an encounter with the entire Christian Bible. This approach is far removed from Vischer's in that its genre is confession not apologetics, its function is worship not disputation, its content is eschatology not time-conditioned history, and its truth is self-affirming not analytical demonstration.(63)What do people think? Does that make sense? Does it work?