Leading scholar Daniel Block helps students of the Bible understand the big picture of God’s covenants with humanity as they play out in both the Old and New Testaments.
After fifty years of teaching and preaching experience around the globe, Block brings a lifetime of study and reflection on the Old Testament and relationship with God to this comprehensive volume. The book focuses on God’s covenants as the means by which God has reached out to a fallen humanity. It examines the heart and history of God’s redemptive plan and shows why the covenants are essential for our understanding of the Bible.
“And God said to Noah and to his sons with him, saying,’ and he closes it with a shift in subject from ‘God’ to ‘the sons of Noah’ in verse 18. We find seven of the twenty-seven occurrences of the term bĕrît (covenant) in Genesis in this short passage, thus highlighting the notion of covenance as the theme of 9:1–17.” (Page 37)
“To return to the metaphor of the drama of redemption, the Scriptures do not offer two distinct dramas. This is one grand story in which Act 4 represents the climax of an account that began in Act 1 and has taken us through Acts 2 and 3.” (Page 10)
“Since God is spirit and utterly formless in his essence (Deut. 4:15–20), obviously Adam was not cast as a physical representation of God. Nevertheless, for the watching world to recognize in him something of the person of the Deity required some links, at least in function, between this ‘replica’ (dĕmût) and the divine original. Perhaps this is where the proposals of theologians apply: human moral consciousness, spirituality, rationality, intellectual freedom, and relational ability are necessary to be able to function as God’s image, and they derive from the God whose breath animates humans (Gen. 2:7).” (Page 49)
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen’ (Heb. 13:20–21 NIV).” (Pages 5–6)
“First, this project involves a biblical theology of covenance. The Christian Scriptures, made up of the First Testament (the Hebrew Bible treasured by our Jewish friends) and the New Testament, provide our source of information on the covenants.” (Page 5)
This is one of the most nourishing books of biblical theology that I have read. The accumulated fruit of a half century of faithful and scholarly Bible study and teaching is evident on every page. While completely familiar with every nuance of critical scholarship, Daniel Block refreshingly allows the Bible to speak for itself without detours and debates. With courageous exposure of the damaging ways by which different Christian tribes--including evangelical ones--have relegated, negated, or simply ignored the First Testament, Block showcases the glorious redemptive coherence and missional hope of the grand covenantal narrative structure of Scripture. Every chapter is enriching, with illuminating exegesis from all over Scripture--a feast of good things to which the only adequate response is the last word of the book: 'Hallelujah!'
—Christopher J. H. Wright, Langham Partnership; author of The Mission of God
This book, the fruit of a lifetime of careful study of the Bible, expresses Dan Block's understanding of the way the entire Bible fits together. Regretting the tragic division between the First Testament and the New Testament that has come to characterize much of evangelical Protestantism's biblical interpretation and proclamation, he uses the theme of covenant to show how the Bible is telling one story in five acts. In a tour de force of biblical exegesis, he demonstrates that God's goal from creation onward has been for humans, sharing God's righteous character, to live in harmony with God and the cosmos. He then shows how, when that goal seemed out of reach due to human sin, YHWH devised a scheme of covenants that culminated in the Davidic covenant, by which the original goal will be achieved. Anyone who loves the Bible will be richly satisfied by this banquet Block has set before us.
—John N. Oswalt, visiting distinguished professor of Old Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary
This fascinating and beautifully written study of biblical covenants from First Testament to New Testament will be valuable to a wide range of readers. Everyone interested in the Bible will benefit from Block's wise reflection on the theological unity of the Bible's diverse texts. Students, pastors, and scholars will find in this book a treasure trove of insight from years of study and meticulous research.
—Frank Thielman, Presbyterian Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University
Dr. Daniel Block, professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, has been teaching God’s Word for more than 30 years.
It has been a special joy for Dr. Block to watch students, who often take introductory courses in Old Testament only because they are required to do so by the curriculum, suddenly awaken to the fact that the Old Testament is understandable and its message is both life-giving and relevant for modern, everyday life.
Dr. Block has published a number of books and essays in scholarly journals. The paradigm for his research and ministry is set by Ezra, as described in Ezra 7:10: he committed himself to the study the Torah of Yahweh, to put it into practice, and to teach his revealed will in Israel. This means constantly asking serious questions of the Scriptures: What does the text say? Why does the text say it like that? What did the text mean to the original audience? What does the text have to say to me today? In order to answer these questions, one needs to understand both the worlds out of which the biblical texts arose and the worlds in which modern people live.