Jesus the Messiah

May 27, 2013 | Comments Off on Jesus the Messiah

Jesus the Messiah

Did you ever wonder what Jesus’ contemporaries understood about the Messiah or how they missed him? With the advantage of hindsight, it seems so obvious that he was the fulfillment of all the prophesies. How did they miss it?

But we start deductively, knowing who Jesus is from the NT and therefore seeing the clear proof in the Old Testament prophesies. Jesus the Messiah: Tracing the Promises, Expectations, and Coming of Israel’s King begins with an inductive approach, looking at the texts and seeing where they lead us. In examining the evidence, Jesus the Messiah assumes that the NT has not been written (giving us the deductive advantage). Rather, it uses only Hebrew writings, asking how those passages of promise were read in light of the whole. It provides a gradual unfolding, moving progressively from implicit to explicit. It wasn’t until the time of Jesus that all of the key elements were in place to make a unity of it all. Jesus’ life, teaching, death, resurrection, and ascension finally completed the messianic puzzle. It just wasn’t clear until Jesus pulled it together.

The book is divided into three parts, which together make an excellent case for the messiahship of Jesus :

*Promises of a King, with contextual and canonical trajectories from the OT.

*Expectations of a King, focusing on the messianic promises evident in later extra-biblical but Jewish writings.

* Coming of a King, concentrating on christological readings of the First Testament.

This is not a book for just anyone, although it is for anyone who is willing to invest a little sweat equity. It wrestles with the historical, theological, and literary aspects of prophesy. At a minimum, you need to be fairly well versed in Scripture and hermeneutics. The authors’ goal is to help readers comprehend and appreciate the dynamics of messianic prophesy and fulfillment. Every messianic passage is exegeted, providing an excellent reference for pastors, Bible study leaders, and the curious. So far I’ve used to to simply check out a prophesy in a passage I’m teaching. It’s a great reference if you don’t want to wade through the entire thing.

I must confess that I had a love/hate relationship with this book. It’s gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous, with a high quality semi-slick paper and color illustrations, charts, and maps. It’s well foot-noted and just excellent. But it’s so excellent that I had a hard time reading it. I read with a pencil, ruler, and post-it notes, thoroughly annotating as I go. This book was just too pretty to deface. But I got over it, and loved it. Thanks Kregel Academic.








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