Just as the Old Testament book of Genesis begins with creation, where humans live in the presence of their Lord, so the New Testament book of Revelation ends with an even more glorious new creation where all of the redeemed dwell with the Lord and his Christ. The historical development between the beginning and the end is crucial, for the journey from Eden to the new Jerusalem proceeds through the land promised to Abraham. The Promised Land is the place where God’s people will once again live under His lordship and experience His blessed presence.
Oren Martin demonstrates, within the redemptive-historical framework of God’s unfolding plan, how the land promise advances the place of the kingdom that was lost in Eden. This promise also serves as a type throughout Israel’s history that anticipates the even greater land, prepared for all of God’s people, that will result from the person and work of Christ and that will be enjoyed in the new creation for eternity.
Get the newest volumes in the NSBT series with the New Studies in Biblical Theology Upgrade (2 vols.).
“Crucial to understanding why the canon ends with an Eden-like picture of the eschaton is that Eden is depicted as the prototypical place on earth where God dwells with his people. In short, God’s original creation is the archetype of a final—and better—creation to come. That is, God’s original creation reaches its eschatological fulfilment in the new heaven and new earth.” (Page 32)
“Thirdly, typology stresses escalation as the Old Testament story line moves forward to its New Testament fulfilment.56” (Page 26)
“Secondly, the land is described as a new paradise.24” (Page 83)
“Because God is completely sovereign over history, all Old Testament-era saving events, institutions, persons, offices, holidays and ceremonies served to anticipate the final saving event, the final saving person, the final saving ceremony, etc.’51 For example, Old Testament prophets anticipated and looked for a new David, a new exodus, a new covenant and a new city of God: the old had thus become a type of the new and was important in pointing forward to it.52 Subsequently, the New Testament authors saw in Christ and his work the fulfilment, or antitype, of these prophetic hopes.” (Pages 25–26)
“This examination will show that the land promised to Abraham is consistently presented within the Old Testament as a type or pattern of a future and greater reality.” (Page 63)
Theologies of ‘the land’ of Israel have taken various forms. One thinks of earlier works, such as the magisterial tome by W.D. Davies that was descriptively rich but did not attempt a biblical synthesis. Of course, there have also been many contributions that attempt to tie the various ‘land’ promises to the re-founding of the nation of Israel more than half a century ago. Dr. Martin paints his biblical theology of the land on a grander scale. He argues that the land promises constitute part of a trajectory that begins with the loss of ‘land’ at the expulsion from Eden and ends, finally, in the new heaven and the new earth. The resulting synthesis of the land promises, kingdom promises, and eschatology is thought-provoking and sometimes moving.
—D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
While various studies have focused on the theme of land in the Pentateuch and Joshua, not many carry the theme through the Davidic Covenant and the prophetic literature, let alone the New Testament. Martin’s work thus seeks to trace the land theme throughout the entire Bible, rooted in fundamental assumptions about Scripture’s authority, theological continuity, and the need for a grammatical-historical method of interpretation with a view toward canonical fulfillment.
—Andrew J.W. Smith, Towers
Oren Martin is assistant professor of Christian theology at Boyce College at Southern Seminary. Previously, Martin served as professor of theology at Northland International University. Additionally, he has served as a minister and on staff for the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Martin has written articles and book reviews for various publications, including the Journal of Evangelical Theological Society, Trinity Journal, the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and the Gospel Coalition. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society.