I was writing the chapter “Son of David” for my book recently, and I was studying an interesting passage from Matthew:
Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,
`The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put thy enemies under thy feet’?
If David thus calls him Lord, how is he his son?” And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did any one dare to ask him any more questions. (Matthew 22:41-45)
What I found so interesting is that this is a rare example of Jesus himself interpreting the Scriptures. However, if you examine his methodology, you cannot help but think that his method of interpretation would be ridiculed and scorned by most Biblical scholars today:
- First, he assumes that David himself wrote Psalm 110. Everyone today knows that any traditional attribution of authorship was an attempt to project authority on a text.
- Second, he states plainly that the Psalm was “inspired by the Spirit.” Really? An “objective” interpreter would never make such a claim.
- Finally, he views the Psalm as a clearly predictive one, rejecting the view of most modern scholars that this was simply a grandiose song of praise to a king by a court scribe, not a prediction of a coming Messiah.
All in all, Jesus would have flunked most Old Testament 101 classes offered today if he tried to push this shoddy interpretation on his professor. Clearly he needs to return to remedial Scripture class.