JESUS THE MESSIAH
Herbert W. Bateman IV, Darrell L. Bock, Gordon H Johnson
2012, 527 pages Grand Rapids, Michigan
Just looking at this book is impressive. The Publisher has done an outstanding job in layout and printing. Normally such books as this are not printed in color. This is an exception. Not only this, but the graphic charts, sidebars, and maps are remarkable, and really aid the reader in understanding the concepts. Even the headings are also printed in color. This is done all at a reasonable price.
The content is likewise impressive. It traces the idea of messiahship throughout the Bible. The book is divided into three sections, with a different author writing the section.
Gordon Johnson writes section one: “The Promise of a King,” which consists of the first seven chapters of the book. It centers upon the contextual and canonical trajectories through the Old Testament. He carefully deals with the progressive stages of revelation of the Messiah. He follows the trail through the major sections of the Old Testament from the patriarchs to the prophets. He sees the concept of messiah as rooted, not with the fall of man, but with the promises given to Abraham and the patriarchs. He sees both far and near elements (fulfillments) to the promises, with the ultimate fulfillment as messianic. He deals with the major messiah passages in a fair and balanced way, yet completely evangelical in his approach. He treats Genesis 3:15 under an appendix of its own which he sees as not an explicit messianic text. To me this is one of the most interesting chapters in the book, and worthwhile whether you agree or disagree with his view.
Herbert Batemen is the author of section two: “Expectation of a King.” In this section he deals with the concepts of messiah during the second
This period is from 515 BC to 70 AD. He starts with obstacles needed to be
overcome to get a clear understanding of the concept during this period; such
as limited resources, our blurred vision of the period, and the lack of
historical and social sensitivities. However, in spite of the obstacles, there
is a clear line of anticipation of a coming messiah inherent in this period. This
period enriches our understanding of the concept of messiah, and the life of
Darrell Bock takes on the messianic concept in the New Testament under the last section “The Coming King.” Interestingly he starts with Revelation and works backwards, describing his reasoning on pages 333-334. He points out that the New Testament clearly points out that Jesus is the Messiah who came and is coming again.
This book is a must read for anyone studying the subject of messiahship. It is reader friendly and understandable not only for the scholar, but for the laymen. The value of the approach is that it is exegetical as well as theological. The authors have done an excellent job and a great service in such a presentation without becoming overly technical. It should be in every Bible students and teachers library.
Thanks to Kregel publishers for a copy of this book for my unbiased review.