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The Messianic Vision of the Pentateuch

ISBN: 9780830852642
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Did Moses write about Jesus? Jesus himself made this bold claim (recorded in John 5:46). Yet while most readers of the Bible today recognize a few Messianic prophecies in the Pentateuch, they don’t often see them as part of its central message. In The Messianic Vision of the Pentateuch, Kevin Chen challenges the common view of the Pentateuch as focused primarily on the Mosaic Law, arguing instead that it sets forth a coherent, sweeping vision of the Messiah as the center of its theological message.

Each Messianic prophecy in the Pentateuch contributes to the fuller vision of the Messiah that emerges when it is appropriately related to the others and to the Pentateuch as a whole. Giving priority to exegesis of the author’s intent, Chen’s approach focuses on the meaning of the Old Testament on its own terms more than typological arguments do. Building on the work of John Sailhamer, he sheds new light on the topic of the Messiah using compositional exegesis of the Pentateuch as a unified literary work.

From the prophecy about the “seed of the woman” in Genesis 3 to Moses’ climactic blessing in Deuteronomy 33, careful examination of key passages reveals the intrinsic Messianic glory that shines through the Pentateuch and its compositional strategy. For Bible scholars, pastors, and thoughtful lay readers, The Messianic Vision of the Pentateuch provides a fascinating study and an exegetical basis for a Christ-centered biblical theology.

  • Focuses on the Messiah as the center of the Pentateuch’s theological message
  • Uses compositional exegesis of the Pentateuch to demonstrate its literary unity
  • Examines Messianic allusions and prophecies
  • The Seed of the Woman
  • The Seed of Abraham in the Patriarchal Narratives
  • The Lion of Judah
  • Passover and the Song of the Sea
  • Shadows at Sinai
  • The Bronze Snake and Balaam’s Oracles
  • The Prophet Like Moses
  • The Blessing of Judah
  • The Repeated Breaking of the Sinai/Deuteronomic Law as Backdrop for the Messianic Vision of the Pentateuch
Stepping on the shoulders of his mentor John Sailhamer, Kevin Chen has charted his own course in showing the importance of the Messiah to the Pentateuch. Particularly clear is his reinforcement and solidification of Sailhamer’s distinction between the Pentateuch and Sinai/Deuteronomic Law. The Pentateuch’s message is Gospel, as it looks to the future salvation of the Messiah. While scholars will not always agree with Chen’s conclusions, his writing is clear, insightful, stimulating, and well researched. Using apt illustrations, Chen challenges us to take a new look at old texts, and the results speak for themselves.

—Stephen G. Dempster, professor of religious studies, Crandall University

In this carefully researched work, Kevin Chen insightfully adapts and expands the methodology of John Sailhamer to illuminate the meaning of The Messianic Vision of the Pentateuch. This widely engaging book contends that the network of Messianic prophecies found in the writings of Moses can be understood as a complex array or interrelated lenses designed and intended to project a coherent, sweeping vision of the Messiah at the center of their theological message. While wrestling with an array of complex hermeneutical issues associated with his approach, Chen thoughtfully contends that these intertextual relationships point to the presence of an authorially intended, unified Messianic theology in the Pentateuch. Offering perspective on matters of prophecy, typology, progressive revelation, and repetition, this volume offers readers much to consider with the hope of enabling biblical interpreters to read, understand, teach, and proclaim the Word of God in a more coherent and faithful manner.

—David S. Dockery, president, Trinity International University/Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Years ago I set out to understand the meaning of the Pentateuch as a follower of Jesus. After reading several commentaries on each of the books of the Pentateuch, I was disappointed to find precious little comment by scholars on the Messianic hope, suggesting to me that the Messiah had little if any place in the scholarly discussion of the grammatical-historical interpretation of the book. Dr. Chen’s book represents a persuasive scholarly defense of the Messianism as part and parcel of the literal meaning of the Pentateuch. I highly commend this book for laymen and scholars alike.

—Seth D. Postell, academic dean, Israel College of the Bible, Netanya, Israel

  • Title: The Messianic Vision of the Pentateuch
  • Author: Kevin S. Chen
  • Publisher: IVP
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Pages: 310
  • Resource Type: Biblical Theology
  • Topic: Pentateuch

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.

Kevin S. Chen is associate professor of Old Testament at Christian Witness Theological Seminary in San Jose, California. He completed his PhD in biblical studies under the late John Sailhamer at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary and taught for nine years at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. He is the author of Eschatological Sanctuary in Exodus 15:17 and Related Texts, and he contributed the study Bible notes on the Old Testament for the Worldview Study Bible.


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  1. Rohintan Mody

    Rohintan Mody


Enjoy June's Monthly Sale


Digital list price: $27.99
Regular price: $21.99
Save $6.60 (30%)