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New Studies in Biblical Theology (41 vols.)

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Learn about the individual and often challenging themes interwoven across the Bible through biblical theology. The New Studies in Biblical Theology (NSBT) series helps you carefully and sensitively address key issues in a clear biblical theology approach. By simultaneously instructing and edifying, interacting with current scholarship, the NSBT points the way forward. Drawing from well-respected biblical scholars such as D.A. Carson, Craig L. Blomberg, and G.K. Beale, this series represents the elite in biblical theology.

Each NSBT volume focuses on these three areas:

  • The nature and status of biblical theology, including its relationship to other disciplines
  • The articulation and exposition of the structure of thought from a particular biblical writer or text
  • The delineation of a biblical theme across the biblical corpus

While the NSBT volumes interact with the best of recent research, they avoid untransliterated Greek and Hebrew or too much specialist jargon. They are written within the framework of confessional evangelicalism, but they also engage a variety of other relevant viewpoints and significant literature.

Key Features

  • Contains scholarly and accessible volumes written by well-respected Biblical scholars
  • Includes notes that interact with the best of recent research and significant literature
  • Engages the immense challenges facing today’s church
  • Offers new insights and challenges established positions
  • Encourages Christians to better understand their Bibles through biblical theology

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In the Logos editions, these volumes are enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Possessed by God: A New Testament Theology of Sanctification and Holiness

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The passion for holiness expressed by writers and preachers in former generations has become a neglected priority throughout the modern church generally. It is a specifically a fading glory in today’s evangelical world. Serious teaching about this theme is rarely heard in churches.

David Peterson challenges the common assumption that the New Testament views sanctification as primarily a process. He argues that its emphasis falls upon sanctification as a definitive event, “God’s way of taking possession of us in Christ, setting us apart to belong to him and to fulfill his purpose for us.” Simply to identify sanctification with growth and holiness, he contends, obscures the emphasis and balance of New Testament teaching and creates unrealistic expectations. Throughout this study, Peterson builds his case on the careful exegesis of relevant passages, with a keen eye for the pastoral implications of his findings.

Peterson’s treatment is far from hackneyed or trivial. His aim is to show that much of the New Testament treatment of sanctification stresses what used to be called ‘positional sanctification’ or the like—and that much godly living, Christian assurance, stable faith and Christian maturity stem from a firm grasp of what the Bible says in this regard.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

David Peterson was senior research fellow and lecturer in New Testament at Moore Theological College, Sydney, where he still teaches part time. He served as principal of Oak Hill College, London, from 1996 to 2007. He has written books including Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Acts of the Apostles, Engaging with God, and Hebrews and Perfection.

God’s Unfaithful Wife: A Biblical Theology of Spiritual Adultery

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The Biblical theme of spiritual adultery stands in all its bluntness for a deeply offensive sin—the unfaithfulness of God’s covenant people in departing from Yahweh, their husband, and going after false gods.

Raymond C. Ortlund Jr. shows how the Genesis vision of human marriage provides the logic and coherent network of meanings for the story of Israel’s relationship with Yahweh. He traces the specific theme of marital unfaithfulness, first through the historical books of the Old Testament and then through the prophets, particularly Hosea, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. Turning to the New Testament, he also shows how the sad story of Israel’s adultery is transcended by the vision of the ultimate reality in Christ and his church—the bridegroom and the bride.

This book was previously published under the title Whoredom.

Not only does the development of this theme link large swathes of the canon together, but it simultaneously discloses the profoundly personal nature of God’s covenanted love, exposes the odium of spiritual adultery, and conversely, enriches our view of marriage.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Raymond C. Ortlund is senior minister at Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee. He has pastored churches in California, Oregon, and Georgia. He was formerly professor of Old Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He has written books books including A Passion for God and Isaiah: God Saves Sinners.

Jesus and the Logic of History

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At the heart of the Christian faith stands a man, Jesus of Nazareth. Few people seriously question whether Jesus existed in history. But many, influenced by the more skeptical scholars, doubt that the Christ of orthodox Christianity is the same as the Jesus of history.

Historian Paul W. Barnett lays these doubts to rest. He uncovers the methodological weaknesses present in some forms of critical scholarship, which demonstrates a failure to account for important early evidence about Jesus. Once the evidence is properly marshalled, a picture of Jesus emerges that fits well with orthodox belief in him.

Barnett offers important contributions to the manner in which we may responsibly work as both historians and theologians to understand not only the nascent Christian church, but also the historical Jesus whom they confessed . . . [His} work deserves wide dissemination.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Paul W. Barnett was until his retirement Anglican bishop of North Sydney, Australia. He remains a visiting fellow in ancient history at Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia) and research professor at Regent College. He has written books including The Message of 2 Corinthians, Finding the Historical Christ, and Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times.

Hear, My Son: Teaching & Learning in Proverbs 1-9

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Even a cursory reading of the book of Proverbs reveals that it is dominated by the subject of education, or personal formation. The voice of the teacher addressing his pupils resounds from its pages. A wide array of topics is presented, and frequent exhortations challenge the learner to hear and heed the teacher’s instruction. This material, however, comes, for the most part, without recognizable order or sequence. Much of Proverbs consists of apparently random collections of maxims. As readers, we see many individual pieces, but the puzzle as a whole remains unclear.

Daniel J. Estes synthesizes the teachings of the first nine chapters of Proverbs into a systematic statement of the theory of education and personal formation that lies behind the text. Working from the Hebrew text and building upon an extensive analysis of exegetical works, he organizes his study of Proverbs 1–9 into seven categories typical of pedagogical discussion: worldview, values for education, goals for education, curriculum for education, the process of instruction, the role of the teacher, and the role of the learner. His work agrees with but also transcends the original purpose of the text by revealing the foundational theory of intellectual and moral formation embedded in this important section of Scripture. It also has valuable things to say about constructing a biblically informed philosophy of education today.

It is the holistic vision of ‘instruction’ . . . that occupies the attention of Dr. Estes. His work not only illuminates some important chapters of the Old Testament but serves as a salutary reminder for the people of God today to keep certain fundamental priorities clear.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Daniel J. Estes is professor of Bible and dean of the school of biblical and theological studies at Cedarville University in Ohio. He has written books including Teach the Text Commentary: Job and Handbook on the Wisdom Books and Psalms.

Original Sin: Illuminating the Riddle

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We live in a world shot through with evil. The twentieth century has witnessed suffering and human cruelty on a scale never before imagined. Yet, paradoxically, in recent years the doctrine of original sin has suffered neglect and ridicule.

Henri Blocher offers a robust response in this philosophically sophisticated treatment of the biblical evidence for original sin. Interacting with the best theological thinking on the subject, he shows that while the nature of original sin is a mystery—even a riddle—only belief in it makes sense of evil and wrongdoing. After a general survey of the biblical evidence, he moves on to discuss the two key texts. First, he considers the relation of the Eden story of Genesis 2 and 3 to modern scientific, literary, and theological thinking. Then, he offers a new and groundbreaking interpretation of Romans 5, where Paul discusses Christ and Adam. From this exegetical foundation, he goes on to show how the doctrine of original sin makes sense of the paradoxes of human existence. In the final chapter, he discusses the intellectual difficulties that some feel remain with the doctrine itself.

Blocher’s short and pungent book addresses the central issues [of original sin] in an imaginative and constructive way. . . . Much wisdom is compressed into these pages along with a gentleness of touch that belies the weightiness of the subject.

The Expository Times

Henri Blocher . . . is able to think through the interlocking contributions of historical theology, biblical theology and systematic theology, and come to fresh conclusions in the light of Scripture, without overturning all that is valuable from the past. . . . This is a book to be read and thought through with great care.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Henri Blocher was appointed in October 2003 to the Guenther H. Knoedler Chair of Theology at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. Since 1965, he has served as professor of systematic theology at the Faculté Libre de Théologie Evangélique in Vaux-sur-Seine near Paris, France. A leading evangelical theologian and statesman, he was a member of the Lausanne Committee on World Evangelization, served the World Evangelical Fellowship/Alliance in a number of capacities, and taught in schools in Europe, Australia, Africa, Canada, and the US. He is currently president of the Fellowship of European Evangelical Theologians. Blocher has written several books and articles including Evil and the Cross: Christian Thought and the Problem of Evil and In the Beginning: The Opening Chapters of Genesis.

Now Choose Life: Theology and Ethics in Deuteronomy

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Though written thousands of years ago, the book of Deuteronomy is unmatched in its relevance for the affluent Western church of today. Moses’ words were meant to equip God’s people for living godly lives in a prosperous, pluralistic world. The cultural changes now taking place in our own social setting make the parallel between Israel and the church—and what Deuteronomy has to say—both pertinent and instructive.

J. Gary Millar explores Deuteronomy’s ethical teaching in the light of its most important theological themes: covenant, journey, law, the nations, and human nature—showing the major contribution that Deuteronomy makes to our understanding of the Bible as a whole. His perceptive analysis reveals the power with which Deuteronomy calls God’s covenant people, from ancient Israelites to modern-day Christians, to hear God’s voice and do his will. He offers a significant study of Deuteronomy that recovers this Scripture’s vibrant message for the contemporary Christian community.

This study helps make sense of the book of Deuteronomy. . . . Dr. Millar also includes tantalizing hints about the ways in which the theology of Deuteronomy should be integrated into the entire canon. This volume will benefit not only serious students of Scripture but also preachers who want to work their way through Deuteronomy in the course of their regular ministry.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

J. Gary Millar is associate minister of Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church in Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland. He is the author of Time and Place in Deuteronomy.

Neither Poverty nor Riches: A Biblical Theology of Possessions

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“Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread” (Proverbs 30:8). One of the most difficult questions facing Christians today is that of the proper attitude toward possessions. In wealthy nations such as Britain and the USA, individuals accumulate much and yet are daily exposed to the plight of the poor, whether the homeless on their own city streets or starving children on their TV screens. What action should we take on behalf of the poor? What should we do with our own possessions?

Craig Blomberg asks what the Bible has to say about these issues. Avoiding easy answers, he instead seeks a comprehensive Biblical theology of possessions. And so he begins with the groundwork laid by the Old Testament and the ideas developed in the intertestamental period, then draws out what the whole New Testament has to say on the subject, and finally offers conclusions and applications relevant to our contemporary world. This is one book that all should read who are concerned with issues of poverty and wealth.

On a subject as sensitive as this one, it is extraordinarily rare to find balance and prophetic voice rolled up in one. In my view, this is now the best book on the entire subject.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Craig L. Blomberg is Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary in Denver, Colorado. He has written books including Interpreting the Parables, Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey, Making Sense of the New Testament: Three Crucial Questions, Preaching the Parables, and commentaries on Matthew and 1 Corinthians.

Slave of Christ: A New Testament Metaphor for Total Devotion to Christ

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The New Testament finds many ways to depict the relationship of Christians and their Lord. They are his disciples, sons, daughters, and friends. But it is perhaps too little recognized that they are also his slaves.

Murray J. Harris sets out to uncover what it means to be a slave of Christ. He begins by assessing the nature of actual slavery in the Greco-Roman world and the New Testament’s attitude towards it. Drawing insights from this, he goes on to unfold the metaphor of slavery to Christ. Among the topics discussed are slavery and spiritual freedom, lordship, ownership, and privilege.

I hope that you are familiar with InterVarsity Press’ series titles New Studies in Biblical Theology. . . . I would like to introduce it to you by previewing one of the volumes that has greatly impacted my view of the Christian life. I appreciate the help in working through the Biblical data provided here by Murray J. Harris. I highly recommend this study to you.

—Jason Button, TheoSource

Combines meticulous scholarship and the careful unpacking of a biblical theme that is widely neglected. . . . A most valuable work.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Murray J. Harris is professor emeritus of New Testament exegesis and theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Formerly, he was warden of Tyndale House at Cambridge University in England. He is the author of Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus, The Second Epistle to the Corinthians, and Prepositions and Theology in the Greek New Testament.

Christ, Our Righteousness: Paul’s Theology of Justification

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Since the time of the Reformation, considerable attention has been given to the theme of justification in the thought of the apostle Paul. The ground-breaking work of E.P. Sanders in Paul and Palestinian Judaism, published in 1977, introduced the “new perspective on Paul,” provoking an ongoing debate which is now dominated by major protagonists. Foundational theological issues are at stake.

Mark Seifrid offers a comprehensive analysis of Paul’s understanding of justification, in the light of important themes including the righteousness of God, the Old Testament law, faith, and the destiny of Israel. A detailed examination of justification in the letter to the Romans is followed by a survey of the entire Pauline corpus. He incorporates a critical assessment of the “new perspective” by challenging its most basic assumptions. He provides an evaluation of the contribution of recent German scholarship. He reaffirms the “Christ-centered” theology of the Reformers. In this wide-ranging exposition of the biblical message of justification, he provides a fresh, balanced reworking of Pauline theology.

Seifrid understands that the issues turn not only on minute exegesis, but on exegesis that is grounded in central biblical themes and terminology. But he is no slave to mere traditionalism. . . . This book has a prophetic quality.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Mark A. Seifrid is professor of New Testament interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He is a graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and he received his Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the author of a commentary on 2 Corinthians in the Pillar New Testament Commentary series.

Five Festal Garments: Christian Reflections on the Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and Esther

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These five Old Testament books, traditionally known simply as “the Scrolls,” are among the most neglected parts of the Christian Bible. In Judaism, the Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther were eventually adopted as lectionary readings for five of the major festivals. In Christian tradition, however, no consensus has emerged about their proper use. Each book presents particular difficulties with regard to how it relates to the rest of Scripture, and how it should be understood as the Word of God for us today.

Barry Webb offers a Christian interpretation of these problematic writings. He allows each book to set its own agenda, and then examines each in relation to the wider Old Testament and to the New Testament gospel with its basic structure of promise and fulfillment. In this way, Webb presents fresh and illuminating perspectives on these five “festal garments” of love, kindness, suffering, vexation, and deliverance.

This volume will not only help thinking Christians understand their Bibles better, and therefore the God of the Bible, but (I cheerfully predict) it will form the substance of not a few sermons delivered by preachers who will for the first time dare expound the Five Scrolls.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Barry G. Webb is senior research fellow in Old Testament at Moore Theological College in New South Wales, Australia. He also serves as assistant editor of Reformed Theological Review. He has written several books including The New International Commentary on the Old Testament: The Book of Judges and The Book of the Judges: An Integrated Reading.

Now My Eyes Have Seen You: Images of Creation and Evil in the Book of Job

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“Now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5). Few Biblical texts are more daunting, and yet more fascinating, than the book of Job—and few have been the subject of such diverse interpretation.

For Robert Fyall, the mystery of God’s ways and the appalling evil and suffering in the world are at the heart of Job’s significant contribution to the canon of Scripture. He offers a holistic reading of Job, with particular reference to its depiction of creation and evil, and finds significant clues to its meaning in the striking imagery it uses. He takes seriously the literary and artistic integrity of the book of Job, as well as its theological profundity. He concludes that it is not so much about suffering per se as about creation, providence, and knowing God, and how—in the crucible of suffering—these are to be understood. He encourages us to listen to this remarkable literature, to be moved by it, and to see its progress from shrieking protest to repentance and vision.

Fyall’s study uncovers references to Canaanite mythology that have long been hidden in favour of more naturalistic interpretations of the text. The discussions are quite technical, but the subject matter is well worth the effort. I’ll never read the book of Job the same way again.

—Stephen Barkley, pastor, Wellington Street Pentecostal Church

We do not begin to gain a real grasp of the message of the book of Job, and of its contribution to the canon, apart from a more detailed grasp of its imagery and drama. Here Dr. Fyall is a sure-footed guide: not only does he lecture in Old Testament, but he preaches regularly in a church that draws several hundred university students—something that does not usually happen unless the preacher has something to say from the Bible, and says it well. In this book many more can listen with pleasure and profit.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Robert Fyall is Senior Tutor in Ministry for the Cornhill Training Course in Scotland. He was director of Rutherford House—a research, training, and publishing center in Scotland for church leaders. He taught Old Testament at St. John’s College in Durham, England, in addition to pastoring a church there. He has written books including Teaching Amos: Unlocking the Prophecy of Amos for the Bible Teacher and Daniel: Tale of Two Cities.

Thanksgiving: An Investigation of a Pauline Theme

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“Be thankful” (Colossians 3:15). This is a recurring exhortation in the letters of the apostle Paul. No other New Testament writer gives such a sustained emphasis on thanksgiving—and yet, major modern studies of Paul fail to wrestle with it.

David Pao aims to rehabilitate this theme by showing how, for Paul, thanksgiving is grounded in the covenantal traditions of salvation history. He states that to offer thanks to God is to live a life of worship and to anticipate the future acts of God, all in submission to the lordship of Christ. He makes a claim that ingratitude to God is idolatry. He shows a link between theology, including eschatology, and ethics. Here he provides clear insights into the passion of an apostle who never fails to insist on the significance of both the gospel message and the response this message demands.

Very few treatments of this theme in Paul comprehensively reflect on the theology of thanksgiving and how such theology is deeply embedded in Paul’s thought, and in the gospel itself. Pao supplies the lack, and does so in a way that is both informed and edifying. His study is not only the stuff of biblical theology and grist for many sermons but will prove to be the occasion for self-examination, repentance and a new resolve to be thankful.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

David W. Pao is assistant professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is the author of the commentary on Colossians and Philemon in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (8 vols.).

From Every People and Nation

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“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language ....” (Revelation 7:9). The visions in the book of Revelation give a glimpse of the people of God at the consummation of history—a multiethnic congregation gathered together in worship around God’s throne. Its racial diversity is expressed in a four-fold formula that first appears in Genesis 10.

J. Daniel Hays suggests the theme of race runs throughout Scripture, constantly pointing to the global and multi-ethnic dimensions inherent in the overarching plan of God, in response to the neglect of this theme in much evangelical Biblical scholarship. As well as focusing on texts which have a general bearing on race, he demonstrates that black Africans from Cush (Ethiopia) play an important role in both Old and New Testament history. This careful, nuanced analysis provides a clear theological foundation for life in contemporary multiracial cultures and challenges churches to pursue racial unity in Christ.

Hays’ book is an important step in both compelling us to embrace Scripture’s vision of multi-ethnic people of God as well compelling us to work for practical expressions of this vision in our own churches.

Evangelical Review of Theology

J. Daniel Hays is able simultaneously to make us long for the new heaven and the new earth, when men and women from every tongue and tribe and people and nation will gather around the One who sits on the throne and the Lamb, and to make us blush with shame when we recognize afresh that already the church of Jesus Christ is to be an outpost in this fallen world of that consummated kingdom. This book deserves the widest circulation and the most thoughtful reading, for it corrects a fair bit of erroneous scholarship while calling Christians to reform sinful attitudes.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

J. Daniel Hays is chair of the department of biblical studies and theology at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. He and his family have worked previously as missionaries in Ethiopia. He is author of The Message of the Prophets, and coauthor of Grasping God’s Word and Dictionary of Biblical Prophecy and End Times.

Dominion and Dynasty: A Biblical Theology of the Hebrew Bible

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Christian theologians rarely study the Old Testament in its final Hebrew canonical form, even though this was very likely the Bible used by Jesus and the early church. However, once read as a whole, the larger structure of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) provides a “wide-angle lens” through which its contents can be viewed.

Stephen G. Dempster argues that, despite its undoubted literary diversity, the Hebrew Bible possesses a remarkable structural and conceptual unity. The various genres and books are placed within a comprehensive narrative framework which provides an overarching literary and historical context. The many texts contribute to this larger text, and find their meaning and significance within its story of “dominion and dynasty,” which ranges from Adam to the Son of Man, from David to the coming Davidic king.

Dempster’s reading of the story line of the Old Testament is fresh, provocative, helpful—and doubtless will prove to be the stuff of many sermons and lectures. His closing chapter points to some of the links that bind the Old and New Testaments together, an obviously urgent goal for the Christian preacher and teacher.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Stephen G. Dempster is the Stuart E. Murray Professor of Religious Studies at Atlantic Baptist University in New Brunswick, Canada. He is a contributor to the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology and Biblical Theology: Retrospect and Prospect.

Hearing God’s Words: Exploring Biblical Spirituality

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Many discussions of Christian spirituality draw on a range of traditions and “disciplines.” Little attention, however, appears to have been given to the Bible itself for its teaching on this theme or as a source of spirituality. Similarly, it is commonly assumed that, when it comes to spirituality, the evangelical tradition has little to offer.

Peter Adam, in response, urges us to renew our confidence in a Biblical model of spirituality and to test our spirituality by the Bible. Drawing on a selection of Old and New Testament texts, along with significant insights from the Christian tradition (including John Calvin and the Puritans), he expounds the shape and structure of a gospel-centered “spirituality of the Word” through which we know God Himself and receive the life that He gives.

By appealing both to the Bible and to influential voices in the history of the church (notably John Calvin), Adam manages to combine biblical theology and historical theology in an admirable synthesis. His academic training, years of pastoral ministry and now principalship of a theological college ensure that this book simultaneously informs the mind, warms the heart and strengthens the will.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Peter Adam is principal of Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia. He was formerly vicar of St. Jude’s in nearby Carlton. He has written books including The Message of Malachi: ‘I Have Loved You’ Says the Lord in the The Bible Speaks Today: Old Testament series, and Speaking God’s Words: A Practical Theology of Preaching.

The Temple and the Church’s Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God

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“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.... And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem.... And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man’” (Revelation 21:1-3).

G.K. Beale argues that the Old Testament tabernacle and temples were symbolically designed to point to the end-time reality that God’s presence, formerly limited to the Holy of Holies, would be extended throughout the cosmos. Hence, John’s vision in Revelation 21 is best understood as picturing the new heavens and earth as the eschatological temple. His stimulating exposition traces the theme of the tabernacle and temple across the Bible’s story-line, illuminating many texts and closely-related themes along the way. He shows how the significance and symbolism of the temple can be better understood in the context of ancient Near Eastern assumptions. He offers new insights into the meaning of the temple in both Old and New Testaments.

Beale has written a comprehensive (and to my mind, convincing) biblical theology, centering on the role of the temple both in Scripture and in the Ancient Near East.

—David Renwick, Lexington Theological Quarterly

I recommend this work for anyone wrestling with eschatological issues of fulfillment or handling temple texts that are dealt with in this book. As for me, I intend to have the book handy anytime I approach biblical theology as a guidebook in methodology.

—Tim Barker, Truth on Fire

"[Beale’s] exegesis and theological insights will provoke [readers] in their own study of the Temple.


The importance of this book lies not only in the competent handling of its chosen theme but in three other things: its evocative unpacking of the theme of the temple and its relations to broader structures of thought, including the kingdom of God; its modeling of the way biblical theology is to be done; and its capacity to cause readers to perceive fresh and wonderful things in the Scriptures, and to bow in worship and gratitude.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

The Cross from a Distance: Atonement in Mark’s Gospel

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“They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha. . . . And they crucified him. . . . Some women were watching from a distance” (Mark 15:22, 24, 40). At the climax of Mark’s Gospel, Jesus of Nazareth is put to death on a Roman cross. The text tells us, in that lonely hour, that a group of women were watching the crucifixion “from a distance.” In a sense, they are given a stance toward the cross that we can share.

Peter G. Bolt explores why the cross is so prominent in Mark’s Gospel. He asks what contribution Mark’s teaching can make to our understanding of the atonement. He shows how this teaching can inform, correct, and enrich our own preaching of the gospel in the contemporary world. He helps us to stand in wonder before God who has come close to us in the cross of Jesus Christ and to live in hope for the better things to come.

In this study of the Gospel of Mark, Dr. Peter Bolt is an enormously engaging and informed guide. Section after section of the Gospel comes into sharper focus, as more and more of Mark is read in the light of the movement and direction of its thought. Interwoven with the exegesis is a great deal of useful interaction with a wide range of well-chosen literature, and incisive meditation on what this cross-saturated text says to us today. Dr. Bolt combines careful reading and profound theological synthesis. . . . The result is a book that will stimulate and edify any serious Christian reader.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Peter G. Bolt is lecturer in New Testament at Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia.

Contagious Holiness: Jesus’ Meals with Sinners

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One of humanity’s most basic and common practices—eating meals—was transformed by Jesus into an occasion of divine encounter. In sharing food and drink with His companions, He invited them to share in the grace of God. He revealed His redemptive mission while eating with sinners, repentant and unrepentant alike. Jesus’ “table fellowship” with sinners in the Gospels has been widely agreed to be historically reliable. This consensus, however, has recently been challenged, for example, by the claim that the meals in which Jesus participated took the form of Greco-Roman symposia—or that the “sinners” involved were the most flagrantly wicked within Israel’s society, not merely the ritually impure or those who did not satisfy strict Pharisaic standards of holiness.

Craig L. Blomberg engages with the debate and opens up the significance of the topic. He surveys meals in the Old Testament and the intertestamental period. He then examines all the Gospel texts relevant to Jesus’ eating with sinners. He concludes with contemporary applications.

This book was honored in 2006 as a “Year’s Best Book for Preachers” by Preaching Magazine.

[Offers] an enlightening analysis of Jesus’ table fellowship for Christian academics and laypersons alike. . . . Citing his own experiences overseas, the outreach efforts of the ‘Scum of the Earth’ church in Denver (of which he is a member), and other Christian ministries, Blomberg’s application of ‘contagious holiness’ is a promising resource for Christians living in a post-9/11 age.

—Linda MacCammon, Theological Studies

A pivotal book for understanding how meals fit into the mission of Jesus and the church.


Dr. Blomberg not only addresses current disputes about the ‘table fellowship’ practices of the historical Jesus, but also traces out the historical and theologically laden implications of table fellowship across the canon of Scripture, and issues a call to contemporary Christians to reform their habits in this matter.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Craig L. Blomberg is Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary in Denver, Colorado. He has written books including Interpreting the Parables, Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey, Making Sense of the New Testament: Three Crucial Questions, Preaching the Parables, and commentaries on Matthew and 1 Corinthians.

Shepherds After My Own Heart: Pastoral Traditions and Leadership in the Bible

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“I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15). Most of Israel’s pastoral imagery is grounded in two traditions: Moses as God’s under-shepherd and David as shepherd-king.

Timothy S. Laniak explains these traditions provided prototypes for leaders that followed. He forms the background for the ministry of Jesus, the good shepherd. He argues the pastoral role was central to the ongoing life of local churches in the Christian movement, and today’s pastors are still called to be shepherds after God’s own heart to lead his people, living on the margins of settled society, to their eternal home. He draws on a wide range of Old and New Testament texts to develop the Biblical theology of “shepherd” imagery. He concludes with some principles and implications for contemporary pastoral ministry.

This book is a must-read for both ministers and scholars.

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

Timothy Laniak is associate professor of Old Testament and coordinator of the Urban Ministry Certificate Program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina. He has written books including Handbook for Hebrew Exegesis, Finding the Lost Images of God, and “Esther” in Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series: Old Testament (18 vols.)).

A Clear and Present Word: The Clarity of Scripture

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By almost any measure, a bold and confident use of the Bible is a hallmark of Christianity. Underlying such use are a number of assumptions about the origin, nature, and form of the Biblical literature concerning its authority, diversity, and message. However, a lack of confidence in the clarity or perspicuity of Scripture is apparent in Western Christianity. Despite recent, sophisticated analyses, the doctrine is ignored or derided by many. While there is a contemporary feel to these responses, the debate itself is not new.

Mark Thompson surveys past and present objections to the clarity of Scripture. He expounds the living God as the Guarantor of his accessible, written Word. He engages with the hermeneutical challenges and restates the doctrine for today.

. . . a solid and clearly written introduction to the biblical and theological issues that frame the conversation.

John R. Franke, Religious Studies Review

. . . Timely and relevant in a climate where attacks on the character of Scripture as God’s word are radical and far-reaching.

—Gordon Cheng, The Briefing

Certainly there are few topics more pertinent in the first decade of the twenty-first century.... The ‘perspicuity of Scripture’ (often designated claritas Scripturae) has fallen on hard times. Dr. Thompson’s clearly written and robust articulation of the clarity of Scripture will help many people think about these matters knowledgeably, crisply, faithfully, pointedly. The purpose... is to handle Scripture itself with greater wisdom and confidence.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Mark D. Thompson is academic dean and lecturer in theology and church history at Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia. He has several books including The Gospel to the Nations (as co-editor) and A Sure Ground on Which to Stand.

Adopted into God’s Family: Exploring a Pauline Metaphor

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The relationship between God and his people is understood in various ways by the biblical writers, and it is arguably the apostle Paul who uses the richest vocabulary. Unique to Paul’s writings is the term huiothesia, the process or act of being “adopted as son(s).” It occurs five times in three of his letters, where it functions as a key theological metaphor.

Trevor Burke argues that huiothesia has been misunderstood, misrepresented, or neglected through scholarly preoccupation with its cultural background. He redresses the balance in this comprehensive study, which discusses metaphor theory. He explores the background to huiothesia. He considers the roles of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He examines the moral implications of adoption and its relationship with honor. He then concludes with the consequences for Christian believers as they live in the tension between the “now” and the “not yet” of their adoption into God’s new family.

Without question, Burke has provided a valuable contribution to a fuller understanding of this vital Pauline metaphor. He has also raised the contribution of the adoption metaphor such that it now necessarily must be included in the larger metaphorical framework of soteriology.

—James M. Howard, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

Burke offers a clear, precise and coherent study of what emerges as a major Pauline metaphor that has long been overlooked.... I believe this to be a very valuable addition to Pauline studies, one that I recommend to students and scholars alike.

—Mary L. Coloe, Review of Biblical Literature

Not only the importance of God’s family, but also the enormous privilege of belonging to it, are powerfully underscored by Paul’s understanding of what it means to be the adopted sons of God. With such themes in view, a wide array of pastoral implications soon springs to light. In other words, this volume not only probes a neglected theme—it also edifies.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Trevor J. Burke is professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute, Chicago. He was previously lecturer in New Testament and head of the department of biblical studies at Pacific Theological College, Suva, Fiji. He has written books including Paul as Missionary and A Biblical Theology of the Holy Spirit (as co-editor).

Sealed with an Oath: Covenant in God’s Unfolding Purpose

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“I will make an everlasting covenant with you . . .” (Isaiah 55:3). “Covenant” is a major theme in the Bible, and many Christian thinkers across the centuries have made it the organizing principle by which they understand the Old and New Testaments. The biblical material is undoubtedly plentiful, but some specific texts are also much disputed.

Paul R. Williamson offers fresh readings of many passages that contribute to the theme of covenant. He highlights its significance for biblical theology. He explores its role within God’s unfolding purpose. He concludes that covenant is essentially “a solemn commitment, guaranteeing promises undertaken by one or both parties, sealed with an oath,” and that its primary function is to advance God’s creative purpose of universal blessing from its inception in the primeval period to its consummation in the new heavens and the new earth. He is not afraid to challenge established positions. One example is his dual-covenant approach to God’s dealings with Abraham.

Sealed with an Oath is a ‘must read’ for anyone exploring the covenants of the Bible. Whereas other works survey the various biblical covenants and explore their similarities and dissimilarities, this work’s focus on the appropriate linkages among the different covenants makes it especially useful in understanding how covenant may be read through the entire Bible.

Randall C. Bailey, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

While other books undoubtedly offer a more approachable introduction to covenant in biblical theology, Sealed With an Oath is a helpful addition. This book will particularly benefit pastors teaching and seminary students studying divine-human covenants. Laypersons interested in learning more after reading Robertson or Dumbrell will find much complementary material in Williamson’s excellent book.

—Jason Button, TheoSource

Few will be the readers who will not learn a great deal . . . and who will not appreciate the firm but respectful way Dr. Williamson disagrees with his dialogue partners. And perhaps some of those who are much too indebted to atomistic exegesis, unable to see how the Bible hangs together, will glimpse something of the comprehensiveness and wholeness of God’s self-disclosure in Scripture, and find their worship of the covenant-making God enhanced.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Paul R. Williamson is Lecturer in Old Testament and Hebrew at Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia. He has written books including Abraham, Israel and the Nations. He has contributed to The Land of Promise, the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology and the Dictionary of the Old Testament.

Father, Son and Spirit: The Trinity and John’s Gospel

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From the patristic period until today, John’s Gospel has served as a major source for the church’s knowledge, doctrine, and worship of the triune God. Among all New Testament documents, the Fourth Gospel provides not only the most raw material for the doctrine of the Trinity, but also the most highly developed patterns of reflection on this material—particularly patterns that seek to account in some way for the distinct personhood and divinity of Father, Son, and Spirit without compromising the unity of God.

Köstenberger and Swain offer a fresh examination of John’s trinitarian vision. While there have been recent, fine studies on aspects of John’s doctrine of God, it is surprising that none summarizes and synthesizes what John has to say about God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In order to fill this gap, they bridge that divide. They situate John’s trinitarian teaching within the context of Second Temple Jewish monotheism. They examine the Gospel narrative in order to trace the characterization of God as Father, Son, and Spirit, followed by a brief synthesis. They deal more fully with major trinitarian themes in the Fourth Gospel, including its account of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and mission. They discuss the significance of John’s Gospel for the church’s doctrine of the Trinity. They conclude with a brief summary of some practical implications.

Kostenberger and Swain have written an accessible and practical volume that provides a stimulating overview to both current trinitarian thought and the broader scholarly debates within the field of Joahnnine studies. This work will prove useful for thoughtful pastors, seminary students, and informed laypersons. It fills a lacuna in the field of biblical studies by providing a biblical survey and theological overview of the Trinity as it is presented in the Gospel of John.

J. Brian Tucker, Bulletin for Biblical Research

In the midst of the Trinity debates in evangelicalism today, Father, Son and Spirit is a welcome contribution that provides a solid biblical-theological study of one of the most important biblical books on the triune nature of the Godhead.

—Philip R. Gons, Themelios

I highly recommend this volume for pastors as well as those interested in more technical debates regarding the Trinity. The conclusions and theological reflections will provide the reader with a solid basis to begin thinking critically about issues such as missions and evangelism. The book will also provide small group leaders and Sunday school teachers with great curriculum ideas.

—Jason Button, Sharper Iron

Andreas J. Köstenberger is professor of New Testament at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in North Carolina. He has written books and articles including Encountering John, A Theology of John's Gospel and Letters, and Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: John.

Scott R. Swain is associate professor of systematic theology and academic dean at Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando). He is the author of Reformed Catholicity and Trinity, Revelation, and Reading.

God the Peacemaker: How Atonement Brings Shalom

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In the midst of a troubled world, Christians believe in a good God who, as the Creator, has never lost interest in His broken creation. The key evidence for, and the chief symbol of, this divine commitment is the cross of Christ. This God, revealed in Scripture, has a project. Central to the divine strategy is Christ, His coming, and His cross. The troubles and calamities will end. The cross—which has been scandalous from the start—touches the individual, the church, and the wider creation. The cross makes peace, and brings shalom. The canon of Scripture presents a “divine comedy,” where the story of Jesus, His cross and empty tomb, are set in the framework of God’s plan to restore the created order.

Graham Cole takes the broad approach, but not in a way that masks “peace dividend” of the cross works itself out at the personal, corporate, and cosmic levels. He asks how we are to live if these things are really so.

Few if any themes are more central to the Bible than atonement. . . . My hope and prayer is that this volume will become a ‘standard’ contribution in the field, informing and enriching its readers as to what God achieved by sending his dear Son to the cross on our behalf. Eternity itself will not exhaust our wonder at these truths. This book, I am sure, will establish many in the right direction.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Graham Cole is Anglican Professor of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, Alabama. Previously he served as professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and principal of Ridley College, Melbourne. He has written books including Engaging with the Holy Spirit, He Who Gives Life, and numerous articles in periodicals and books.

A Gracious and Compassionate God: Mission, Salvation and Spirituality in the Book of Jonah

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The book of Jonah is arguably just as jarring for us as it was for the ancients. Ninevah’s repentance, Jonah’s estrangement from God and the book’s bracing moral conclusion all pose unsettling questions for today’s readers. For biblical theologians, Jonah also raises tough questions regarding mission and religious conversion.

Daniel Timmer embarks on a new reading of Jonah in order to secure its ongoing relevance for biblical theology. After an examination of the book’s historical backgrounds in both Israel and Assyria, he discusses the biblical text in detail, paying special attention to redemptive history and its Christocentric orientation. He then explores the relationship between Israel and the nations—including the question of mission—and the nature of religious conversion and spirituality in the Old Testament. He concludes with an injunction for scholars and lay readers to approach Jonah as a book written to facilitate spiritual change in the reader.

This book is highly recommended for laypeople, students, and ministers who desire to move beyond the flat reading of Jonah found in much popular-level Christian literature.

—Jerry Hwang, Themelios

Daniel C. Timmer is associate professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary. Previously he served as dean and professor of biblical studies at FAREL Reformed Theological Seminary in Montreal, Canada. He has written books including Creation, Tabernacle, and Sabbath.

The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus: Luke’s Account of God’s Unfolding Plan

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When the book of Acts is mentioned, a cluster of issues spring to mind, including speaking in tongues and baptism with the Holy Spirit, church government and practice, and missionary methods and strategies. At the popular level, Acts is more often mined for answers to contemporary debates than heard for its natural inflections.

Alan Thompson argues that Acts is an account of the “continuing story” of God's saving purposes. Instead of using Acts as a proof-text, he brings a biblical-theological framework to the account to expose Luke’s major themes as they relate to the book as a whole. Consequently, we find that Luke wants to be read in light of the Old Testament promises and the continuing reign of Christ in the inaugurated kingdom. Read in this way as a snapshot of God’s dynamic, unfolding kingdom, the book of Acts begins to regain the deep relevance it had in the first century.

No one should teach or preach from the Acts of the Apostles again without first reading this book.

Douglas S. Huffman, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

This is a very helpful book which I have read with great appreciation. Thompson provides exactly what he sets out to do: a clear framework for reading Acts which takes careful account of many major themes and issues, and a framework which equips his readers to explore further themselves.

Steve Walton, Evangelical Quarterly

This book will help readers further appreciate the organic and progressive nature of revelation and understand the narrative flow and canonical function of the book of Acts. The connections made with previous revelation . . . are very illuminating and will stimulate much thought whether one agrees or disagrees with Thompson’s conclusions. I recommend the book highly.

—Richard C. Barcellos, Reformed Baptist Theological Review

Alan J. Thompson is lecturer in New Testament at Sydney Missionary and Bible College, Croydon, New South Wales, Australia. He has written books including One Lord, One People: The Unity of the Church in Acts in Its Literary Setting.

The God Who Makes Himself Known: The Missionary Heart of the Book of Exodus

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The Lord’s commitment to make Himself known throughout the nations is the overarching missionary theme of the Bible and the central theological concern of Exodus.

Ross Blackburn counters scholarly tendencies to fragment the text over theological difficulties by contending that Exodus should be read as a unified whole, and that an appreciation of its missionary theme in its canonical context is of great help in dealing with the difficulties that the book poses. For example, how is Exodus 6:3 best understood? Is there a tension between law and gospel, or mercy and judgment? How should we understand the painstaking detail of the tabernacle chapters? From a careful examination of Exodus, he demonstrates that the Lord humbled Pharaoh so the world would know that only God can save, that the Lord gave Israel the law so that its people might display His goodness to the nations by living in a state of order and blessing, and that the Lord dealt with Israel’s idolatry severely, yet mercifully, for His goodness cannot be known if His glory is compromised. In the end, Exodus not only sheds important light on the church’s mission, but also reveals what kind of God the Lord is, one who pursues His glory and our good, ultimately realizing both as He makes himself known in Christ Jesus.

Blackburn deserves our thanks for skillfully steering us through the whole of Exodus, enabling us to see not only the trees but also the forest itself. Not only does the text of Exodus come alive in a new way, but the God of whom it speaks becomes more clearly known. To this end, Blackburn truly guides his readers to the missionary heart of Exodus.

T. Desmond Alexander, Evangelical Quarterly

Blackburn’s book is a stimulating study that will provide those who plan to preach or teach through the book of Exodus with much useful material.

Vox Reformata

I recommend this book to anyone with a desire to better understand the book of Exodus, especially the missionary theme of Exodus.

—Kadija Hedley, Missiology

W. Ross Blackburn serves as the rector of Christ the King, an Anglican Fellowship in Boone, North Carolina, and teaches biblical studies at Appalachian State University.

A Mouth Full of Fire

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“I am putting my words as a fire in your mouth; these people are tinder and it will consume them” (Jeremiah 5:14). In the book of Jeremiah, not only is the vocabulary of “word” and “words” uniquely prevalent, but formulae marking divine speech also play an unprecedented role in giving the book’s final form its narrative and theological shape. Indeed, “the word of the Lord” is arguably the main character and a theology that is both distinctive and powerful which can be seen to emerge from the unfolding narrative.

Andrew Shead examines Jeremiah’s use of “word” language. He sees the prophet’s formation as an embodiment of the word of God. A Mouth Full of Fire examines Jeremiah’s covenant preaching and the crisis it precipitates concerning the recognition of true prophecy. Shead shows, in the “oracles of hope,” how the power of the word of God is finally made manifest. He forces this reading of Jeremiah to bear on some issues in contemporary theology, including the problem of divine agency and the doctrine of Scripture. He then engages Jeremiah’s doctrine of the Word of God in conversation with Karl Barth, and concludes that the prophet’s major contribution emerges from his careful differentiation of “word” and “words.”

This is a very significant book for the study of Jeremiah specifically, as well as for its contributions to biblical theology and the doctrine of Scripture.

Ray Van Neste, Preaching

Shead’s book is an important contribution to the theological interpretation of the Bible. Those in the evangelical and confessional wings of the church will especially appreciate this illuminating engagement of the World of God in Jeremiah.

Larry R. Helyer, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

Andrew G. Shead is head of Old Testament at Moore College, Sydney, where he lectures in Hebrew, Old Testament, and music. He has written books including The Open Book and the Sealed Book: Jeremiah 32 in its Hebrew and Greek Recensions and numerous articles, essays, and reviews.

The God Who Became Human: A Biblical Theology of Incarnation

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Is incarnation an anomaly? Was incarnation part of the hope of Israel?

Graham Cole addresses these questions. He begins by exploring the purpose of creation in terms of God fashioning a palace-temple for dwelling with the creature made in the divine image. He follows God’s acts in Israel’s history to redeem a people of His own among whom He can dwell. He examines theophanic language: God is presented as a person who speaks, acts, and feels as though embodied. He considers Israel’s messianic hope and the testimony of the New Testament, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14), in the person of Jesus Christ. Cole also addresses the question raised by Anselm–“Why did God become man?”, and finds abundant New Testament answers to Anselm’s question. He concludes with a consideration of the theological and existential significance of the incarnation.

This book was listed as one of “The Preacher’s Guide to the Best in Bibles and Bible Reference for 2014” in the theology category by Preaching Magazine.

Although considerable effort in biblical theology has been devoted to such messianic themes as the Davidic monarch, the priesthood, and the temple, relatively little has been devoted to the incarnation. This volume by Dr. Graham Cole takes steps to fill the need . . . it is immensely satisfying to find an able systematician wrestling with the biblical texts.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Graham Cole is Anglican Professor of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, Alabama. Previously he served as professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and principal of Ridley College, Melbourne. He has written books including Engaging with the Holy Spirit, He Who Gives Life, and numerous articles in periodicals and books.

Paul and the Law: Keeping the Commandments of God

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“For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God” (1 Corinthians 7:19). The apostle Paul’s relationship to the Law of Moses is notoriously complex and much studied. Difficulties begin with questions of definition (of the extent of Paul’s corpus and the meanings of “the law”) and are exacerbated by numerous problems of interpretation of the key texts. Major positions are entrenched, yet none of them seems to know what to do with all the pieces of the puzzle.

Brian Rosner argues that Paul undertakes a polemical re-evaluation of the Law of Moses, which involves not only its repudiation as law-covenant and its replacement by other things but also its wholehearted re-appropriation as prophecy (with reference to the gospel) and as wisdom (for Christian living). Inextricably linked to Paul’s view of the law is his teaching concerning salvation history, Israel, the church, anthropology, ethics, and eschatology. Understanding this book is critical to the study of the New Testament, because it touches on the perennial question of the relationship between the grace of God in the gift of salvation and the demand of God in the call for holy living. Misunderstanding can lead to distortions of one or both. This book is something of a breakthrough, bringing neglected evidence to the discussion and asking different questions of the material, while also building on the work of others.

Brian Rosner shows how fruitless it is to ask ‘What was Paul's attitude to the OT Law?’ without first clarifying ‘The law as what? The law functioning in what capacity?’ Answering these questions, he shows that it is not only possible but essential to take with full seriousness Paul’s negative and his positive words about the law, which otherwise seem so puzzlingly contradictory. In that way he helps us out of a particularly unnecessary and divisive argument today around issues of justification and sanctification, by taking at full biblical gospel strength both the free grace of God’s salvation and the call for holiness of life on the part of those who have received it—or what Paul probably meant by ‘the obedience of faith.’

Christopher J.H. Wright, international ministries director of Langham Partnership

One of the great frustrations of scholars is that even when they think they have made a valid and valuable point, sometimes it seems as if no one is listening. This complaint, however, could never be made against Brian Rosner and his new book on Paul and the Law. The book is in part a response to my lament that his previous work did not explicate the various ways Paul viewed the Mosaic law and the Mosaic covenant. Rosner has responded to this complaint with gusto, providing us with one of the best overall treatments of Paul and the Law I have ever seen. Unlike some treatments, Rosner does not try to oversimplify or oversynthesize the various things Paul says about the Law, but rather allows the complexity and variety of Paul’s views on the subject to shine through plainly. His insight that Paul reads the Old Testament, including the Law, as both prophecy and wisdom that is of value and help to Christians is crucial.

Ben Witherington III, Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary

This is a fresh solution to a difficult puzzle that may sadly be overlooked by its publication in a readable-level series rather than in a technical reader-unfriendly one with a maze of references and footnotes. It fully deserves to be placed alongside such profound classics as C.H. Dodd’s According to the Scriptures, which is written in the same limpid manner.

I. Howard Marshall, professor emeritus of New Testament, University of Aberdeen

Brian S. Rosner is Principal of Ridley Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia. He formerly taught at Moore Theological College, Macquarie University and the University of Aberdeen. He is co-author of The First Letter to the Corinthians. He is co-editor of the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology and Mending a Fractured Church: How to Seek Unity with Integrity.

With the Clouds of Heaven: The Book of Daniel in Biblical Theology

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“And behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom.” (Daniel 7:13-14).

James Hamilton perceives a hole in evangelical biblical theology that should be filled with a robust treatment of the book of Daniel. He takes this chance to delve into the book’s rich contribution to the Bible’s unfolding redemptive-historical storyline. By setting Daniel in the broader context of biblical theology, he helps move us toward a clearer understanding of how we should live today in response to its message. First, he shows how the book’s literary structure contributes to its meaning. He then addresses key questions and issues. He concludes by examining typological patterns. He argues that the four kingdoms prophesied by Daniel are both historical and symbolic—that the “one like a son of man” seen by Daniel is identified with and distinguished from the Ancient of Days in such a way that would be mysterious until Jesus came as both the Son of David and God incarnate. He elaborates that the interpretations of Daniel in early Jewish literature attest to strategies similar to those employed by New Testament authors. He shows those authors provide a Spirit-inspired interpretation of Daniel that was learned from Jesus. He highlights how the book of Revelation uses Daniel’s language, imitates his structure, points to the fulfillment of his prophecies, and clarifies the meaning of his “seventieth week.”

This is an important book and a welcome addition to an excellent series (NSBT), and I commend it for all biblical disciplines. I benefited from reading Hamilton’s book, and I am grateful for his commitment to doing robust theology and exegesis for the benefit of the church.

—Joshua M. Philpot, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

James M. Hamilton is associate professor of biblical theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and preaching pastor at Kenwood Baptist Church. He has written books including God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment, God’s Indwelling Presence, and Revelation: The Spirit Speaks to the Churches in the Preaching the Word commentary series.

Covenant and Commandment: Works, Obedience and Faithfulness in the Christian Life

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The heirs of the Protestant Reformation have emphasized salvation by grace in general and sola fide (“by faith alone”) in particular. It was important for the church to recover the central biblical truth that we are justified by God, that this is an act of God’s grace, and that faith–apart from works–is the means by which we are justified. A related issue is the nature of works–obedience or faithfulness–in the Christian life. Evangelicals generally agree that a person enters into a covenant relationship with God by grace (even solely by grace) apart from works, but there is often much disagreement over how to construe the nature of works, or obedience, inside this covenantal relationship.

Bradley Green shows, from a close study of key Old and New Testament texts and interaction with historical and contemporary theologians, that in the new covenant, works–or obedience–will be a real and necessary God-elicited part of the Christian life. In short, “works” are “necessary” for salvation, because part of the “newness” of the new covenant is real, grace-induced, and grace-elicited obedience by its true members.

For the Christian, to know Jesus, to confess him as Lord, entails obeying him. But how does this reality relate to a plethora of complementary themes? Dr. Green addresses this question by soundings in an impressive diversity of topics... The canvas on which he paints is large enough to draw in a wide range of readers, all of whom will find themselves stimulated to think about these issues more precisely.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Bradley G. Green is associate professor of Christian studies at Union University. His varied background includes serving as Latin instructor and Sunday school teacher. He has written a number of articles for various publications including Churchman, Touchstone Magazine, Chronicles Magazine, and The International Journal of Systematic Theology. He has written books including The Gospel and the Mind: Recovering and Shaping the Intellectual Life and Colin Gunton and the Failure of Augustine.

Bound for the Promised Land: The Land Promise in God’s Redemptive Plan

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Just as the Old Testament book of Genesis begins with creation, where humans live in the presence of their Lord, so the New Testament book of Revelation ends with an even more glorious new creation where all of the redeemed dwell with the Lord and his Christ. The historical development between the beginning and the end is crucial, for the journey from Eden to the new Jerusalem proceeds through the land promised to Abraham. The Promised Land is the place where God’s people will once again live under His lordship and experience His blessed presence.

Oren Martin demonstrates, within the redemptive-historical framework of God’s unfolding plan, how the land promise advances the place of the kingdom that was lost in Eden. This promise also serves as a type throughout Israel’s history that anticipates the even greater land, prepared for all of God’s people, that will result from the person and work of Christ and that will be enjoyed in the new creation for eternity.

While various studies have focused on the theme of land in the Pentateuch and Joshua, not many carry the theme through the Davidic Covenant and the prophetic literature, let alone the New Testament. Martin’s work thus seeks to trace the land theme throughout the entire Bible, rooted in fundamental assumptions about Scripture’s authority, theological continuity and the need for a grammatical-historical method of interpretation with a view toward canonical fulfillment.

—Andrew J.W. Smith, Towers

Theologies of ‘the land’ of Israel have taken various forms. One thinks of earlier works, such as the magisterial tome by W.D. Davies that was descriptively rich but did not attempt a biblical synthesis. Of course, there have also been many contributions that attempt to tie the various ‘land’ promises to the re-founding of the nation of Israel more than half a century ago. Dr. Martin paints his biblical theology of the land on a grander scale. He argues that the land promises constitute part of a trajectory that begins with the loss of ‘land’ at the expulsion from Eden and ends, finally, in the new heaven and the new earth. The resulting synthesis of the land promises, kingdom promises and eschatology is thought-provoking and sometimes moving.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Oren Martin is assistant professor of Christian theology at Boyce College at Southern Seminary. Previously, Martin served as professor of theology at Northland International University. Additionally, he has served as a minister and on staff for the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Martin has written articles and book reviews for various publications including the Journal of Evangelical Theological Society, Trinity Journal, the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and the Gospel Coalition. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society.

‘Return To Me’: A Biblical Theology of Repentance

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“Return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you” (Zechariah 1:3). Repentance concerns the repair of a relationship with God disrupted by human sin. All the major phases of church history have seen diversity and controversy over the doctrine of repentance. The first of Luther’s famous ninety-five theses nailed to the church door in Wittenburg in 1517 stated that “the entire life of believers should be one of repentance.” In recent times, two divisive debates within evangelicalism over “lordship salvation” and “hypergrace” have had repentance at their core. The theme of repentance is evident in almost every Old and New Testament corpus. However, it has received little sustained attention over the past half-century of scholarship, which has been largely restricted to word studies or focused on a particular text or genre. Studies of the overall theology of the Bible have typically given the theme only passing mention.

Mark Boda, in response, offers a comprehensive overview of the theological witness of Scripture to the theme of repentance. The key to understanding is not simply to be found in word studies, but also in the broader meaning of texts as these communicate through a variety of words, images, and stories. The importance of repentance in redemptive history is emphasized. It is fundamentally a return to intimate fellowship with the triune God, our Creator and Redeemer. This relational return arises from the human heart, and impacts attitudes, words, and actions.

Mark Boda has shown himself to be a master of exegetical analysis and theological reflection. He traces repentance in both its relational and behavioral dimensions, both of which call for faith and trust. As he unfolds the richness of biblical teaching about repentance and its significance, we are called again to ‘return to the Lord.’ Pastors will be motivated by this book to engage their congregations in a study of repentance and a recommitment to it.

John H. Walton, professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College and Graduate School

In ‘Return to Me’ Mark Boda does an outstanding job of explicating the oft-neglected theme of repentance, moving across the canon as he demonstrates the important role of this theme within biblical theology. A welcome new addition to the New Studies in Biblical Theology series. I recommend it heartily.

J. Daniel Hays, dean of the Pruet School of Christian Studies and professor of biblical studies, Ouachita Baptist University

In ‘Return to Me’ Mark Boda has made his immense scholarship on repentance and penitential prayer accessible to all who want to study this critical biblical-theological concept in Scripture. As he moves from Genesis to Revelation, his stimulating study is exhaustive and demonstrates the richness and extensive scope of the theme. All serious students of the Bible, but particularly pastors and seminarians, will benefit from his impressive work.

Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College

Mark J. Boda is professor of Old Testament at McMaster Divinity College and professor in the Faculty of Theology at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. He has written books including Praying the Tradition and A Severe Mercy, a commentary on 1 & 2 Chronicles, and studies of Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. He is co-editor of the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets and Seeking the Favour of God.

Identity and Idolatry: The Image of God and Its Inversion

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Genesis 1:26–27 has served as the locus of most theological anthropologies in the central Christian tradition. However, Richard Lints observes that too rarely have these verses been understood as conceptually interwoven with the whole of the prologue materials of Genesis 1. The construction of the cosmic temple strongly hints that the “image of God” language serves liturgical functions.

Lints argues that “idol” language in the Bible is a conceptual inversion of the “image” language of Genesis 1. These constructs illuminate each other, and clarify the canon’s central anthropological concerns. The question of human identity is distinct, though not separate, from the question of human nature; the latter has far too frequently been read into the biblical use of ‘image’.

Lints shows how the “narrative” of human identity runs from creation (imago Dei) to fall (the golden calf/idol, Exodus 32) to redemption (Christ as perfect image, Colossians 1:15–20). The biblical-theological use of image/idol is a thread through the canon that highlights the movements of redemptive history.

In the concluding chapters of this New Studies in Biblical Theology (34 vols.) volume, Lints interprets the use of idolatry as it emerges in the secular prophets of the nineteenth century, and examines the recent renaissance of interest in idolatry with its conceptual power to explain the “culture of desire.”

Begin with the imago dei. . . . Work that out across the canon, and you discover that light shines on many topics, not least the nature of idolatry. This book manages to blend some elements of systematic theology with careful biblical theology to produce a study that is wonderfully evocative.

D. A. Carson, editor, New Studies in Biblical Theology series

In Identity and Idolatry, Richard Lints shows himself to be an exceptional thinker who combines the sensitivities of a theologian with that of a philosopher and interpreter of the Bible. He not only speaks of ideas in the abstract but shows how these ideas forge the way we think and act. I recommend this book to all thoughtful Christians.

Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College

Richard Lints is the author of Renewing the Evangelical Mission. Dr. Lints has overlapping interests in systematic theology, biblical theology, philosophy and cultural studies. He is ordained in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), and is Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts.

Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord? A Biblical Theology of the Book of Leviticus

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In many ways, this is the fundamental question of Old Testament Israel’s cult—and, indeed, of life itself. How can creatures made from dust become members of God’s household “forever”? The question of ascending God’s mountain to his house was likely recited by pilgrims on approaching the temple on Mount Zion during the annual festivals. This entrance liturgy runs as an undercurrent throughout the Pentateuch and is at the heart of its central book, Leviticus. Its dominating concern, as well as that of the rest of the Bible, is the way in which humanity may come to dwell with God. Israel’s deepest hope was not merely a liturgical question, but a historical quest.

Under the Mosaic covenant, the way opened up by God was through the Levitical cult of the tabernacle and later temple, its priesthood and rituals. The advent of Christ would open up a new and living way into the house of God—indeed, that was the goal of his taking our humanity upon himself, his suffering, his resurrection and ascension.

In this stimulating volume in the New Studies in Biblical Theology, Michael Morales explores the narrative context, literary structure and theology of Leviticus. He follows its dramatic movement, examines the tabernacle cult and the Day of Atonement, and tracks the development from Sinai’s tabernacle to Zion’s temple—and from the earthly to the heavenly Mount Zion in the New Testament. He shows how life with God in the house of God was the original goal of the creation of the cosmos, and became the goal of redemption and the new creation.

Many Christians who try to read through the Bible stumble when they get to Leviticus because they don’t understand what is going on. They then skip the book that is at the structural and theological heart of the Torah... If you enjoy books that help you grasp the meaning of Scripture and provide numerous ‘Aha!’ moments, put this book on your reading list.

—Keith Mathison, professor of systematic theology, Reformation Bible College

Michael Morales has written an excellent book, Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord? A Biblical Theology of Leviticus, that I hope will help people to better understand the purpose of Leviticus, and in particular the nature of true biblical worship. Highly recommended.

—Mark Jones, Reformation 21

Morales convincingly reads Leviticus as solving these problems through the Levitical approach to the house of God (Leviticus 1–10), cleansing of the house of God (11–16), and meeting with God (17–27). Levitical worship is obsolete today, but Morales demonstrates its significance to those entering God's presence through a better way.

—Caleb Nelson, World Magazine

L. Michael Morales is professor of biblical studies at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Taylors, South Carolina. Previously he was provost and professor of Old Testament at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida. He is the author of The Tabernacle Pre-Figured: Cosmic Mountain Ideology in Genesis and Exodus.

Calling on the Name of the Lord: A Biblical Theology of Prayer

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From this first mention of prayer in the Bible, right through to the end, when the church prays “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20), prayer is intimately linked with the gospel—God’s promised and provided solution to the problem of human rebellion against him and its consequences.

After defining prayer simply as “calling on the name of the Lord,” Gary Millar follows the contours of the Bible’s teaching on prayer. His conviction is that even careful readers can often overlook significant material because it is deeply embedded in narrative or poetic passages where the main emphases lie elsewhere.

Millar’s initial focus is on how “calling on the name of the Lord” to deliver on his covenantal promises is the foundation for all that the Old Testament says about prayer. Moving to the New Testament, he shows how this is redefined by Jesus himself, and how, after his death and resurrection, the apostles understood “praying in the name of Jesus” to be the equivalent new covenant expression. Throughout the Bible, prayer is to be primarily understood as asking God to deliver on what he has already promised—as Calvin expressed it, “through the gospel our hearts are trained to call on God’s name” (Institutes 3.20.1).

This New Studies in Biblical Theology volume concludes his valuable study with an afterword offering pointers to application to the life of the church today.

J. Gary Millar is principal of Queensland Theological College, Australia. Previously he served as a minister in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. He is the author of Now Choose Life, coauthor of Saving Eutychus and a contributor to His Mission: Jesus in the Gospel of Luke.

The Book of Isaiah and God’s Kingdom: A Thematic-Theological Approach

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The book of Isaiah has nourished the church throughout the centuries. However, its massive size can be intimidating; its historical setting can seem distant, opaque, varied; its organization and composition can seem disjointed and fragmented; its abundance of terse, poetic language can make its message seem veiled—and where are those explicit prophecies about Christ? These are typical experiences for many who try to read, let alone teach or preach, through Isaiah.

Andrew Abernethy’s conviction is that thematic points of reference can be of great help in encountering Isaiah and its rich theological message. In view of what the structure of the book of Isaiah aims to emphasize, this New Studies in Biblical Theology volume employs the concept of “kingdom” as an entry point for organizing the book’s major themes. In many respects, Isaiah provides a people living amidst imperial contexts with a theological interpretation of them in the light of YHWH’s past, present and future sovereign reign.

Four features of “kingdom” frame Abernethy’s study: God, the King; the lead agents of the King; the realm of the kingdom and the people of the King. While his primary aim is to show how “kingdom” is fundamental to Isaiah when understood within its Old Testament context, interspersed canonical reflections assist those who are wrestling with how to read Isaiah as Christian Scripture in and for the church.

Andrew Abernethy is assistant professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College (IL). He is the author of Eating in Isaiah: Approaching Food and Drink in Isaiah’s Structure and Message and coeditor of Isaiah and Imperial Context: The Book of Isaiah in Times of Empire.

Unceasing Kindness: A Biblical Theology of Ruth

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The Old Testament book of Ruth is understandably a firm favorite in the church for small-group study and preaching: a heart-warming story of loyalty and love, a satisfying tale of a journey from famine to fullness. In the academy, the book has been a testing ground for a variety of hermeneutical approaches, and many different ways of interpreting it have been put forward. However, the single interpretative lens missing is the one that is most beneficial for the church: biblical theology. While commentaries have adopted a biblical-theological approach of one form or another, there has not been a detailed treatment of the themes in Ruth from that perspective until now.

Peter Lau (PhD University of Sydney) is lecturer in Old Testament Studies at Seminari Theoloji Malaysia and an honorary research associate at the University of Sydney. He is the author of Identity and Ethics in the Book of Ruth (BZAW) and co-editor of Reading Ruth in Asia (IVBS).

Gregory Goswell (PhD University of Sydney) is academic dean and lecturer in biblical studies at Christ College, Sydney. He is the author of Ezra-Nehemiah (EP Commentary Series).

Preaching in the New Testament: An Exegetical and Biblical-Theology Study

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Many Christians share the assumption that preaching the word of God is at the heart of God’s plans for the gospel in our age, that it is vital for the church’s health, and that it is the central task of the pastor-teacher. Many helpful books on preaching are available. The vast majority are concerned with “how-to,” but relatively few focus primarily on the character and theology of preaching according to Scripture.

Two key, interrelated questions need to be addressed. First, is there such a thing as “preaching” that is mandated in the post-apostolic context—and, if there is, how is it defined and characterized? Second, how does post-apostolic “preaching” relate to the preaching of the Old Testament prophets and of Jesus and his apostles?

In this New Studies in Biblical Theology volume Jonathan Griffiths seeks answers to these questions in the New Testament. In Part One he gives an overview of the theology of the Word of God, surveys Greek terms related to preaching, and looks at teaching concerning the scope and character of other word ministries in the life of the church. In Part Two his exegetical studies concentrate on teaching that relates especially to the post-apostolic context. In Part Three he summarizes the exegetical findings, sets them within the context of biblical theology, and proposes a number of broader theological implications.

Griffiths’s accessible, scholarly investigation will be of value to scholars, pastors, preachers, and Bible teachers.

This volume addresses the need for a biblical theology of preaching by focusing on some foundational matters before closely studying a handful of passages in Paul and in Hebrews. Considering how much preaching is done week by week around the world, it is good to have a study that requires us to reflect on what we are doing.

—D. A. Carson

Jonathan Griffiths is lead pastor of the Metropolitan Bible Church in Ottawa, Canada. Previously he served on the staff of the Proclamation Trust in London, England, where he taught the Cornhill Training Course. He is editor of The Perfect Saviour: Key Themes in Hebrews.

God’s Mediators: A Biblical Theology of Priesthood

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There are many investigations of the Old Testament priests and the New Testament’s appropriation of such imagery for Jesus Christ. There are also studies of Israel’s corporate priesthood and what this means for the priesthood of God’s new covenant people. However, such studies are less frequently connected with each other: key interrelations are missed, and key questions are not addressed.

In this New Studies in Biblical Theology volume, Andrew S. Malone makes two passes across the tapestry of Scripture, tracing these two distinct threads and their intersection with an eye to the contemporary Christian relevance of both themes in both Testaments.

Malone shows how our Christology and perseverance as God’s people in an unbelieving world are substantially enhanced by the way the book of Hebrews pastorally depicts Christ’s own priesthood. Furthermore, Christians better understand their corporate identity and mission by discerning both the ministry of individual Old Testament priests and Israel’s corporate calling. Combining the various biblical emphases on priesthood in one place provides synergies that are too easily disregarded in atomizing, individualistic Western societies.

Among the many strengths of Andrew Malone’s impressive work, this book fills out both individual and corporate priesthood themes.... It carefully surveys the voluminous biblical material on the Levitical priesthood, but it does not ignore how the Melchizedekian priesthood intersects with the Levitical priesthood in ways that make sense only where there is a sensitive biblical-theological reading of the data.

—D.A. Carson

Andrew S. Malone is lecturer in Biblical Studies and dean of Ridley Online at Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of Knowing Jesus in the Old Testament? and numerous essays and journal articles.

About D.A. Carson

D.A. Carson is one of the most renowned New Testament scholars in the world. A respected teacher, author, and speaker, he is currently research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and the president of The Gospel Coalition.

Carson lectures in academic and church settings around the world, and is the author of more than 50 books, including Exegetical Fallacies, Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Gospel according to John, The Gagging of God, Showing the Spirit: A Theological Exposition of 1 Corinthians 12–14, and The Intolerance of Tolerance. He is the editor of the Pillar New Testament Commentary series, and coeditor of the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament with G.K. Beale, and the Studies in New Testament Greek series with Stanley Porter.


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  1. Larry Craig

    Larry Craig


    It seems I'm missing one volume here, but it doesn't tell which one.
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