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Bearing God’s Name: Why Sinai Still Matters

ISBN: 9780830848362

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Have you ever wondered what the Old Testament—especially the Old Testament law—has to do with your Christian life? You are not alone. Some Christian leaders believe we should cast off the Old Testament now that we have the New. Carmen Joy Imes disagrees. In this warm, accessible volume, Imes takes readers back to Sinai, the ancient mountain where Israel met their God, and explains the meaning of events there. She argues that we’ve misunderstood the command about “taking the Lord’s name in vain.” Instead, Imes says that this command is about “bearing God’s name,” a theme that continues throughout the rest of Scripture. Readers will revisit the story of Israel as they trudge through the wilderness from a grueling past to a promising future. The story of Israel turns out to be our story too, and you’ll discover why Sinai still matters as you follow Jesus today.

Resource Experts
  • Examines the theme of bearing God’s name
  • Explores the meaning and signifigance of the events at Sinai
  • Revisits the story of Israel as they travel through the wilderness
  • Introduction: An Invitation and Word to the Skeptic

Part 1: Becoming the People Who Bear His Name

  • Leaving Egypt
  • Surprised at Sinai
  • Major Deal
  • A Plan for Success
  • Leaving Sinai
  • Intermission: Window Versus Painting

Part 2: Living as the People Who Bear His Name

  • Striking Out
  • What Yahweh Sees
  • Just Give Me Jesus
  • Blob Tag
  • Who Let You In?
  • Conclusion: All We Were Meant to Be

Top Highlights

“Israel’s laws are the fences within which life can flourish. They make possible a distinctive way of life so that other nations can see what Yahweh is like and what he expects. The law was never the means by which Israel earned God’s favor. The Israelites were saved the same way we are—by grace through faith. But their obedience expressed their covenant commitment, or allegiance, to Yahweh. And it kept them in a position to experience the benefits of the covenant relationship.” (Page 35)

“At Sinai, Yahweh claims this nation as his very own and releases them to live out their calling. That calling is to bear Yahweh’s name among the nations, that is, to represent him well.” (Page 51)

“This law is a gift. It’s good news. Yahweh speaks. And he sets up boundaries so that his people can experience the joy of living in freedom.” (Page 36)

“Remember—the Israelites had already been rescued from Egypt when they were given the law. God did not say to them, ‘Do all these things and I will save you from slavery.’ He saved them first, and then gave them the gift that goes with salvation, instructions on how to live as free men and women. Moses and the psalmist both realized that they were better off for it. They realized that true freedom requires clearly communicated boundaries. They recognized the grace of God’s law. It was a gift!” (Page 35)

“In the case of Israel’s covenant, only one deity can ensure the covenant faithfulness of both parties: Yahweh. For that reason, both copies of the treaty will be placed in the most holy place of the Israelite tabernacle, under God’s watchful eye. The duplicate tablets indicate that both parties—Yahweh and Israel—are bound by the covenant between them.” (Page 42)

Warm, witty, wise, and winsome; theologically rigorous, rhetorically convincing, and pastorally helpful, this book is not to be missed. Taking the reader through the narrative of the exodus, Carmen Joy Imes shows us that it is our story, not an arcane, ancient document as dry as last year's bird nest. The genre of Law speaks today. You will see the name Carmen Joy Imes regularly in the future as she continues to bless the church with accessible and edifying scholarship.

—Jeffrey D. Arthurs, Haddon Robinson Professor of Preaching and Communication, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Rarely do we encounter scholars who are able to distill the essence of complex notions and recast them in forms that are both accessible and compelling for lay readers. Carmen Imes’s skills in this regard are extraordinary. In the academy, people who have read her published technical monograph on bearing God’s name have been quick to celebrate the stellar quality of her work. In this volume Carmen introduces lay readers and serious students of Scripture to her major findings through writing in engaging and persuasive prose—with plenty of ideas for application. For readers who long to recover the life-giving message of grace in the Torah, this book will be a great place to start.

—Daniel I. Block, Gunther H. Knoedler Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Wheaton College

Carmen Joy Imes is helping us to relish once again the wondrous depths of truth and challenge that are there for us Christians in that great epic narrative of Old Testament Israel—whether those stories are familiar to us already or not. . . . I trust that reading this book will give you a deeper and more biblical understanding of what it ought to mean to bear God’s name, and not to bear it in vain.

—From the foreword by Christopher J. H. Wright, author of The Mission of God

  • Title : Bearing God’s Name: Why Sinai Still Matters
  • Author: Carmen Joy Imes
  • Publisher: IVP
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Pages: 192
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Topic: Pentateuch

Carmen Joy Imes (PhD, Wheaton College) is associate professor of Old Testament at Prairie College in Three Hills, Alberta. A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, she is the author of Bearing YHWH's Name at Sinai. She is also a regular contributor to The Well and serves on the board of directors of the Institute for Biblical Research. She is also a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Society of Biblical Literature.


7 ratings

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  1. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith


  2. Tarjei Dalene
  3. Steve E Rice

    Steve E Rice


    Ever since i was introduced to Dr Imes via Dr Heisers podcast the "Naked Bible Podcast," I have been so interested in her works. I absolutely loved this book and am currently reading her new one. She does not disappoint! I have learned and continue to learn so much from her. Her weekly episodes on her Youtube channel is such a breath of fresh air to me as a student well. She is amazing, I just love her and her work !!!
  4. Sean Andrew David Ashfield
  5. Thomas Mitchell
  6. Zak Feacher

    Zak Feacher


  7. Mads Valencia Osen


Digital list price: $21.99
Save $9.00 (40%)