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.
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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
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