Two leading biblical scholars and bestselling authors offer a fresh approach to the question of the unity of the whole Bible. This book shows that God’s desire to be with his people is a thread running from Genesis through Revelation. Duvall and Hays make the case that God’s relational presence is central to the Bible’s grand narrative. It is the cohesive center that drives the whole biblical story and ties together other important biblical themes, such as covenant, kingdom, glory, and salvation history.
Think of being able to walk through the web of themes that make up the whole Bible and have them make sense as a coherent whole. God’s Relational Presence is a great step in that direction. It introduces you to all the sections of Scripture and to the synthetic discussions of what links them all together. I enthusiastically recommend this book.
—Darrell L. Bock, executive director of cultural engagement and senior research professor of New Testament studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
What a wonderful gift to the church! This is great teamwork by an Old Testament and a New Testament scholar. It is the fruit of years of interaction with and meditation on the Scriptures, to which their many published works attest. I had a hard time putting this book down. Duvall and Hays engage in the search for the holy grail of biblical theology--the elusive center. While many scholars will not agree that they have found the center, they have come very close. Beginning in the garden with the uninterrupted communion between God and the first human community and ending in the garden-city with that same communion, Duvall and Hays explore the plotline of the Bible through the fall, the call of the patriarchs, the exodus, Sinai, the conquest and the kingdom, the exile, the prophetic hope and the realization of those hopes in Christ, the church, and the eschaton. They argue that this cohesive center is not like the hub of a wheel, where the spokes perfectly align, but more like the center of a spider web, where the threads are more asymmetrical, connecting sometimes directly and other times more indirectly. Exegetically sound and comprehensive in research, this book becomes essential reading for biblical theology!
—Stephen G. Dempster, professor of religious studies, Crandall University
Duvall and Hays make a clear and convincing case that the relational presence of God is indeed the central theme of biblical theology. The book is full of those ‘Well, of course!’ and ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ moments. Just consider the biblical story: Human beings were created to be in relationship with God. That relationship was broken by the fall. The rest of the Bible describes the restoration and renewal of that relationship, climaxing with God dwelling with his people in the book of Revelation. ‘Well, of course this is the central theme of the Bible!’ With such a simple yet profound thesis, so well written and comprehensively executed, this volume is destined to become a classic.
—Mark L. Strauss, Bethel Seminary
In the Logos edition, this valuable volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English Bible translations, and important terms link to a wealth of other resources in your digital library, including tools for original languages, dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, and theology texts. 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.
J. Scott Duvall (PhD, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is professor of New Testament and J. C. and Mae Fuller Chair of Biblical Studies at Ouachita Baptist University. He is the author or coauthor of many articles and books, including The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook and Revelation in the Teach the Text Commentary Series.
J. Daniel Hays (PhD, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is dean of the School of Christian Studies and professor of biblical studies at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. He is the author or coauthor of many articles and books, including Grasping God’s Word and The Dictionary of Bible Prophecy and End Times. A former missionary to Ethiopia, Hays has also done mission work in Niger, Jordan, Myanmar, and Indonesia.