As Dr. Michael Vlach ends a remarkable 15-year career teaching theology at The Master’s Seminary, he dedicated his latest book, The Old in the New: Understanding How the New Testament Authors Quoted the Old Testament, to a group of students he holds in high regard.
“To the students at The Master’s Seminary who took the class: ‘New Testament Use of the Old Testament.’ Much in this book is the result of our study together.”
When asked about that connection between the classroom and his new book, Dr. Vlach said, “The students and I had a great time looking at example after example of NT use of the OT. And the students were writing great papers and projects, so I was learning from them as well. The discussions and the interactions were invaluable.”
Through that class and its students, Dr. Vlach realized that this important topic was rarely discussed. Even consistent students of Scripture may not realize how much of the Old Testament is quoted, or alluded to, in the New Testament.
“There are about 360 quotations of the OT in the NT and many more allusions.” Dr. Vlach said. “But so little has been written on the topic.”
Dr. Vlach hopes this book will be helpful for pastors as they seek to explain the Word of God clearly and accurately to their congregations. Every New Testament book either quotes the Old Testament or alludes to it, so to understand the author’s intended meaning, pastors are going to have to understand why the apostle Paul, Peter, John, and other New Testament writers refer to the Old Testament, and how they use those quotes and allusions in their New Testament context.
“You can’t understand the Bible unless you have a right view of how the New Testament quotes the Old Testament.” Dr. Vlach said. “The more you understand how the NT uses the OT, the more you will grasp the storyline of the Bible.”
The Old in the New: Understanding How the New Testament Authors Quoted the Old Testament is the sixth book Dr. Vlach has written since he became a TMS professor in 2006.
“When Dr. Richard Mayhue offered me the professor position in 2006, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and excitement. The chance to teach alongside men who had taught me when I studied at TMS from 1992-95 was such a great honor.” Dr. Vlach said. “Working alongside the great men of God on the faculty and staff has been a highlight. I’ve also had so many wonderful opportunities to teach and get to know men from all over the world. TMS makes an impact internationally and I have Ioved being part of that. At TMS, I have met so many great people that I never would have gotten to know if I didn’t teach at TMS. I will always remember the relationships.”
This fall, Dr. Vlach will join the faculty at Shepherd’s Seminary in Cary, North Carolina. There he will continue to teach theology and serve God’s people through his writing.
“Michael Vlach was a cherished part of our faculty for fifteen years” said Dr. Nathan Busenitz, Senior Vice President and Dean of Faculty at The Master’s Seminary. “We are so grateful for his influence on our students, both inside and outside the classroom. He will be deeply missed. We wish him God’s best in his future ministry endeavors.”
In the coming years, Dr. Vlach is planning on publishing a book on the New Creation. He is also studying Jesus’s view of Law in Matthew 5 and planning on writing a booklet about that topic.
“At Shepherds, I hope to keep teaching on the topics I love and look for even more opportunities to write books and articles” Dr. Vlach said. “I look forward to what lies ahead, but I will miss TMS very much. My TMS colleagues and students will always be dear to me and I plan on keeping in touch with them.”