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Mission in the Old Testament: Israel as a Light to the Nations, 2nd ed.

ISBN: 9781441253354



Walter Kaiser questions the notion that the New Testament represents a deviation from God’s supposed intention to save only the Israelites. He argues that—contrary to popular opinion—the older testament does not reinforce an exclusive redemptive plan. Instead, it emphasizes a common human condition and God’s original and continuing concern for all humanity. Kaiser shows that the Israelites’ mission was always to actively spread the Good News of the promised Messiah to gentiles. This new edition adds two new chapters, freshens material throughout, expands the bibliography, and includes study questions.

Perfect for pastors, teachers, and laypeople seeking scriptural answers to contemporary issues, Mission in the Old Testament provides sound, biblical insight and scholarship. All Scripture passages in this volume link to your favorite Bible translation in your library. You can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, pastors, and theologians have to say.

  • Explains the missionary message of the Old Testament
  • Argues that the older testament does not reinforce an exclusive redemptive plan
  • Includes study questions for further discussion
  • God’s Preparation for Missions in Genesis 1–11
  • God’s Plan for Missions in the Patriarchal and Mosaic Eras
  • God’s Promised Person for All—The Davidic King of Promise
  • God’s Purpose for Missions in the Psalter of Israel
  • God’s Use of Individuals to Reach Gentiles in the Old Testament
  • God’s Call to Israel to Be a Light to the Nations
  • God’s Persuasion of Jonah to Be His Witness with Other Prophets from Israel
  • God’s Call to the Missionary Paul Based on the Old Testament
Mission in the Old Testament challenges the axiom that the Gospel mandate begins with the New Testament. Dr. Kaiser rightly begins with Genesis 1–11 as the opening drama of redemptive history that explains the subsequent developments in the story of salvation. The connecting point between the Testaments is God’s promise to Abraham to include all the clans of the earth in his blessing. The book offers great insights for all concerned with the direction of the church.

Willem A. VanGemeren, professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

In the best tradition of Richard De Ridder, John Stott, Arthur Glasser, John Piper, and Roger Greenway, this book is a much-needed resource for all . . . who want to understand God’s missionary purpose for the church as found in the Old Testament. . . . Clearly, concisely, and captivatingly written, [it] will make a wonderful resource for Bible study groups. It is must-reading for members of congregational outreach, evangelism, and mission committees, and is an outstanding resource for pastors to preach and teach on mission in the Old Testament. . . . The reader will [also] find excellent sources for further study in the footnotes and bibliography. . . . When members of our churches in North America read this book, they will be moved to recommit themselves to God’s mission of world evangelization.

Charles Van Engen, Arthur F. Glasser Professor of Biblical Theology of Mission, School of Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary

Kaiser’s work is a welcome contribution to the literature that hopefully will correct popular evangelicalism’s sole reliance upon the New Testament for its mission theology.


Kaiser paints with broad strokes and at the same time provides finer details. His book needs to be read carefully with an open Bible to absorb the rich panorama of God’s mission heart. Christians who study this book will more fully understand the wonder of God’s grace and gain a fuller appreciation of the continuance of God’s mission of love from Old Testament times into our contemporary era.

Evangelical Missions Quarterly

The book reflects the fact that it is written by a seasoned Old Testament professor and writer. He knows how to make his case so that students and churchmen will appreciate it. . . . The book is a helpful introduction to missionary themes in the Old Testament. Its brevity, its price, and its language should make it attractive to prospective readers.

Ashland Theological Journal

  • Title: Mission in the Old Testament: Israel as a Light to the Nations
  • Author: Walter C. Kaiser Jr.
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 128
Walter C. Kaiser Jr.

Walter C. Kaiser (1933–) is an evangelical Old Testament scholar, writer, speaker, and educator. He earned degrees from Wheaton College and Brandeis University.

Kaiser taught Bible and archaeology at Wheaton College and taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in several capacities. He currently serves as the Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Old Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2006 retired as their President.

Kaiser has contributed to numerous publications like Journal for the Study of Old Testament and Westminster Theological Journal. He has also written over 30 books including Toward an Exegetical Theology and A History of Israel: From the Bronze Age through the Jewish Wars.


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