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Interpreting the Old Testament Theologically: Essays in Honor of Willem A. VanGemeren

, 2018
ISBN: 9780310535089



How should Christians read the Old Testament today? Answers to this question gravitate between two poles. On the one hand, some pay little attention to the gap between the Old Testament and today, reading the Old Testament like a devotional allegory that points the Christian directly to Jesus. On the other hand, there are folks who prioritize an Old Testament passage’s original context to such an extent that it is by no means clear if and how a given Old Testament text might bear witness to Christ and address the church.

This volume is a tribute to Willem A. VanGemeren, an ecclesial scholar who operated amidst the tension between understanding texts in their original context and their theological witness to Christ and the church. The contributors in this volume share a conviction that Christians must read the Old Testament with a theological concern for how it bears witness to Christ and nourishes the church, while not undermining the basic principles of exegesis.

Two questions drive these essays as they address the topic of reading the Old Testament theologically.

  • Christology. If the Old Testament bears witness to Christ, how do we move from an Old Testament text, theme, or book to Christ?
  • Ecclesiology. If the Old Testament is meant to nourish the church, how do scriptures originally given to Israel address the church today?

The volume unfolds by first considering exegetical habits that are essential for interpreting the Old Testament theologically. Then several essays wrestle with how topics from select Old Testament books can be read theologically. Finally, it concludes by addressing several communal matters that arise when reading the Old Testament theologically.

Resource Experts

Key Features

  • Explores the tension between understanding texts in their original context and their theological witness to Christ and the church
  • Examines the main issues and questions of theological interpretation
  • Honors the works and influence of Willem VanGemeren


Theological Witness Gleaned Through Interpretive Practices

  • Introduction
  • Original Context and Canon
  • Genre and Theological Vision
  • What Is the Message from the LORD?
  • The TriPartite Old Testament Canon and the Theology of the Prophetic Word
  • The Old Testament as Part of a TwoTestament Witness to Christ
  • Theological Interpretation as a Traditional Craft
  • The Presence and Absence of God in Jeremiah
  • Messianic Expectations in Zechariah and Theological Interpretation
  • Psalms 8: A Christological Perspective
  • The Prayer of Daniel 2:20–23 in the Two-Testament Scriptures

Theological Significance and Modern Relevance

  • The Missional Impact of Old Testament
  • The Family in the Old Testament as a Theological Model for Covenant Community
  • Typological Trajectories in the Epistle to the Hebrews
  • The Pagan Context of Abrams Call and the Mission of the Church
  • Reading the Ritual Law in Leviticus Theologically
  • The Fear of YHWH as Allegiance to YHWH
  • Setting the Table for Christ in the Elisha Narratives in 1 and 2 Kings
  • A Theological Interpretation of the Cyrus Passages in Isaiah
  • Toward a Theological Old Testament Theology? A Systematic Theologians Take
  • But Its Poetry A Pastors Reflection on the Relevance of Old Testament Poetry


  • Andrew T. Abernethy
  • Richard E. Averbeck
  • Daniel L. Block
  • I. Daniel Carroll R.
  • Stephen B. Chapman
  • Stephen Dempster
  • Mark Futato
  • Dana M. Harris
  • Ron Haydon
  • Richard S. Hess
  • James K. Hoffmeier
  • Carol M. Kaminski
  • Bo H. Lim
  • John Monson
  • Anthony R. Petterson
  • Richard Schultz
  • Daniel C. Timmer
  • Kevin J. Vanhoozer
  • Gregory Waybright
  • Lissa M. Wray Beal
  • Christopher J. H. Wright

Product Details

  • Title: Interpreting the Old Testament Theologically: Essays in Honor of Willem A. VanGemeren
  • Editor: Andrew T. Abernethy
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Pages: 352
  • Resource Type: Festschrift
  • Topic: Theological Interpretation

In the Logos edition, this volume is 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.

Andrew Abernethy (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is associate professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College (Illinois). He is the author of Eating in Isaiah: Approaching Food and Drink in Isaiah’s Structure and Message, The Book of Isaiah and God’s Kingdom, and coeditor of Isaiah and Imperial Context: The Book of Isaiah in Times of Empire.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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  1. Bobby Terhune

    Bobby Terhune