What does it mean to be created in God’s image? How has this image been affected by the fall? Who are the people of God?
Addressing these core questions about spiritual identity, From Adam and Israel to the Church examines the nature of the people of God from Genesis to Revelation through the lens of being created and formed in God’s image. Benjamin Gladd argues that living out God’s image means serving as prophets, priests, and kings, and he explains how God’s people function in these roles throughout Scripture—from Adam and Eve to the nation of Israel, from Jesus to the church. The consistent call of the people of God is to serve as God’s image-bearers in the world.
This first volume in Essential Studies in Biblical Theology lays a foundation for subsequent volumes, introducing key biblical-theological themes such as temple, king, priest, prophet, creation, and redemption.
“My main concern in this project is to examine the nature of the people of God from Genesis to Revelation through the lens of being in God’s ‘image.’” (Page 4)
“The word here for ‘naked’ is related to the Hebrew word for ‘crafty’ (Exodus 21:14; Joshua 9:4; Job 5:13). A few verses earlier, in Genesis 3:1, the serpent was described as ‘more crafty than any of the wild animals.’ The point is that, as a result of the fall, the couple is beginning to take on characteristics of the serpent.3 Instead of representing God on the earth, Adam and Eve are now beginning to represent the serpent.” (Pages 24–25)
“As we will discover below, humanity is fashioned to dwell in God’s presence and tasked with the responsibility to bring his glory to the ends of the earth.” (Page 6)
“They are now kings without a kingdom, priests without a temple, and prophets without the intimate voice of God. The” (Page 29)
“Israel and the church were not separate but were unified in the person of Christ. Jesus of Nazareth is the true Israel of God, who reconstituted the people of God in himself. So, the church, composed of believing Jews and Gentiles, is the restored people of God, true Israel, because of their identification with him.” (Page xi)
The main storyline and big message of the Bible can be told from many different angles. Benjamin Gladd’s book takes a surprising approach, insisting that not only is Jesus God’s prophet, priest, and king—we too, as those created in God’s image and being conformed to the image of Christ, are to live as prophets, priests, and kings. The book is a remarkably comprehensive and compelling description of God’s work in the world.
—Brian S. Rosner, principal, Ridley College, Australia
Rare is the resource that brings together substantive biblical reflection with ecclesial sensitivity and relevance. That’s why I’m delighted to see the launch of the Essential Studies in Biblical Theology series. Each volume expounds a central biblical-theological theme in a way that helps pastors, students, and laypeople alike not lose the forest of Scripture’s overarching story line from the trees of its myriad of motifs and subplots. And what better way to kick off such a promising series than with Benjamin Gladd’s fine study of the nature of the people of God from Genesis to Revelation through the lens of being in God's image. Highly recommend!
—Todd Wilson, president of the Center for Pastor Theologians
An ambitious undertaking that makes an immense amount of biblical theology accessible to readers at any level. Gladd’s study of the people of God is clearly grounded in the biblical text, uses covenant theology with a light but precise touch, and seamlessly integrates practical application. Despite its focus on a single theme, it integrates numerous other themes along the way, and so is almost a whole-Bible theology in miniature.
—Daniel Timmer, professor of biblical studies in the doctoral program, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, professeur d’Ancien Testament à la Faculté de Théologie Évangélique, Montréal
Benjamin L. Gladd received a PhD in Biblical and Theological studies from Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi, and previously served as an adjunct faculty member at Wheaton College, teaching New Testament exegesis and interpretation, Greek, and introductory courses on the Old and New Testaments. Gladd is the author of Revealing the Mysterionand lives with his wife and two children.