Monday, February 18, 2013


Herbert W. Bateman IV, Darrell L. Bock, Gordon H Johnson
Kregel Academic, Grand Rapids, Michigan 2012, 527 pages  

Jesus the Messiah: Tracing The Promises, Expectations,  and Coming of Israel's King  -     
        By: Herbert W. Bateman, Gordon H. Johnston, Darrell L. Bock
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 Temple period. 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 Jesus.

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.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How to Magnify Christ

I like the commentaries by Robert Gromacki. Was reading the one on Philippians: STAND UNITED IN JOY. Read Phil. 1:20. He reminded me of 5 elements needed to magnify Christ:
  • Boldness. It is not easy to speak for Christ. May we speak up for Christ with boldness (cf. Eph. 6:20).
  • Consistency. We are not to vacillate in our speaking for Christ. We need to be consistent in all areas of life, not just our speech.
  • In cooperation and empowerment with the Holy Spirit. We cannot do it in the flesh.
  • The sphere is the body. We magnify Christ by Holiness and purity in life.
  • Faithfully magnify Him in life and death. Someone has pointed out it is not how you started that counts, but how you finish.