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Products>Shepherds After My Own Heart: Pastoral Traditions and Leadership in the Bible (New Studies in Biblical Theology, vol. 20 | NSBT)

Shepherds After My Own Heart: Pastoral Traditions and Leadership in the Bible (New Studies in Biblical Theology, vol. 20 | NSBT)

, 2006
ISBN: 9781844741274
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“I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15). Most of Israel’s pastoral imagery is grounded in two traditions: Moses as God’s under-shepherd and David as shepherd-king.

Timothy S. Laniak explains these traditions provided prototypes for leaders that followed. He forms the background for the ministry of Jesus, the good shepherd. He argues the pastoral role was central to the ongoing life of local churches in the Christian movement, and today’s pastors are still called to be shepherds after God’s own heart to lead his people, living on the margins of settled society, to their eternal home. He draws on a wide range of Old and New Testament texts to develop the biblical theology of “shepherd” imagery. He concludes with some principles and implications for contemporary pastoral ministry.

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Key Features

  • Contains scholarly and accessible volumes written by well-respected Biblical scholars
  • Includes notes that interact with the best of recent research and significant literature
  • Engages the immense challenges facing today’s church
  • Offers new insights and challenges established positions
  • Encourages Christians to better understand their Bibles through biblical theology


  • Metaphors for the Moment
  • Shepherds in the Ancient World
  • Shepherd Rulers in the Ancient World
  • YHWH, Moses, and the 'flock' of God in the Wilderness
  • YHWH, David, and the Royal Traditions
  • Isaiah: The Davidic Messiah and a Way in the Wilderness
  • Jeremiah: Righteous Shepherds
  • Ezekiel: The Faithful Shepherd
  • Zechariah: The Militant and Suffering Shepherd
  • Mark: The Shepherd King and the Second Exodus
  • Matthew: The Compassionate Davidic Shepherd
  • Luke: The Seeking and Saving Shepherd
  • John: The Self-Sacrificing Shepherd and Passover Lamb
  • 1 Peter: On Being Aliens and Shepherds
  • Revelation: The Slain Lamb and Ruling Shepherd

Top Highlights

“The condition and growth of a flock depends greatly on the care, attentiveness and skill of the shepherd. The primary verbs for shepherding (Heb. rā‘āh; Gk poimainō) can mean feeding, leading (i.e. to pasture) and general tending (oversight).” (Page 53)

“One of the primary metaphors by which biblical authors conceptualized leadership is shepherding.” (Page 21)

“Each in their own way, the Gospels depict a shepherd who has come to lead God’s flock in the promised new kingdom. Mark focuses on the shepherd of the second exodus. Matthew reveals the compassionate Davidic shepherd. Luke presents the seeking and saving shepherd. John describes the self-sacrificing shepherd.” (Page 25)

“To face these various challenges a shepherd carried two simple but versatile implements. His staff (maṭṭeh) was useful for support, picking off branches, snagging a trapped animal with the crook, or redirecting misbehaving members of the herd. The staff became a symbol for the protective presence of the shepherd (Ps. 23:4).” (Page 56)

“The second point is closely related. Bad or ‘false’ shepherds are those who use their position to serve their own needs. They forget whose flock they serve.” (Page 248)

Praise for the Print Edition

This book is a must-read for both ministers and scholars.

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

  • Title: Shepherds after My Own Heart: Pastoral Traditions and Leadership in the Bible
  • Author: Timothy Laniak
  • Series: New Studies in Biblical Theology
  • Volume: 20
  • Publishers: IVP, Apollos
  • Print Publication Date: 2006
  • Logos Release Date: 2015
  • Pages: 313
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Leadership › Biblical teaching; Pastoral theology › Biblical teaching; Pastoral theology (Judaism)
  • ISBNs: 9781844741274, 1844741273, 0830826211, 9780830826216
  • Resource ID: LLS:NSBT20
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T01:53:55Z
Timothy Laniak

Dr. Timothy Laniak has been the academic dean of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Charlotte Campus); professor of Old Testament since 1997.

Dr. Laniak served as a missionary in 15 countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, as the director of the International Fellowship House in Boston, and as a welfare housing manager for elderly immigrants in Brookline, MA. He launched the Urban Ministry Program at the Charlotte campus and directed it for eight years.

Dr. Laniak has fostered a lifelong interest in the intersection of cultures and Scripture. His publishing began with a social-scientific commentary, Shame and Honor in the Book of Esther. He spent two years studying in Israel, including one year of research that formed the basis for his books Shepherds After My Own Heart and While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks. While researching, he was the annual professor at the Albright Institute for Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. He periodically leads study tours to the region. He is also on the Chairman's Advisory Council of the Overseas Council, an organization dedicated to furthering the training of Christian leaders worldwide.

Dr. Laniak also holds other leadership positions in both public and church-based education. He is a founding board member of the Union Academy Charter School in Monroe, NC. He is also the director of Shepherd Leader Ministries, a ministry focused on equipping leaders to think biblically about their roles.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


2 ratings

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  1. Dapo Olaoye

    Dapo Olaoye


  2. Allen Browne

    Allen Browne


    Timothy Laniak provides an impressive survey of the shepherd metaphor in the ANE world, in Israel under Moses and the Davidic kings, in the hope of restoration of the postexilic prophets, in the person of Jesus, and in his servants who live and die in the service of his people as did “the slain Lamb and ruling Shepherd.”


Digital list price: $29.99
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