For Paul, Christ died and rose “in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3–4). Peter said that the prophets spoke of the “suffering of Christ and the subsequent glories” (1 Pe 1:10–12). Jesus himself affirmed that — “as it is written” — ”the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead” (Luke 24:46). But Christian scholars today disagree on exactly if and how Christ should be found in the Old Testament. I’m grateful for Brian J. Tabb and Andrew M. King for gathering together some of these perspectives in Five View of Christ in the Old Testament.
Category: Old Testament (page 1 of 14)
Contrary to critical scholarship, the church has long held that the Psalms are the book of Christ. In the introduction to his commentary on Psalms 101-150 in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible, Jason Byassee bemoans the tendency, even found among Christians, to read the Psalms and not find Christ. Rather, with the heart of a preacher, he states that “I read scripture in an effort to discover Christ, and having discovered him, I then try to present him anew to his people” (p. xxi).
In the past few decades Psalms scholarship has begun to consider the Psalter as an intentionally arranged collection even with a overarching message or structure. Doing so has highlighted that the Davidic covenant takes pride of place, particularly in Psalm 89 which questions the state of this covenant. The role of David and the Davidic covenant is interpreted differently among scholars, so an in-depth study of the covenants in the Psalter is welcome. Thankfully, Adam Hensley’s published PhD dissertation at Concordia seminary—Covenant Relationships and the Editing of the Hebrew Psalter—addresses this very topic. Adam Hensley seeks to defend and articulate “… the largely unexplored idea that the Psalter presents David as [sic] Moses-like agent of covenant renewal between YHWH as the community” (p. 211).
I must admit I’ve delayed writing this review. It’s not that I didn’t like Stephen Dempster’s Micah commentary; in fact, it was the opposite. I liked it so much that I was intimidated to review it (even after writing so many reviews). It’s just that good. Micah all the expected features of a commentary in the Two Horizons series. A 50-page introduction discusses usual issues such as authorship, setting, and structure as well as Micah’s placement in the Book of the Twelve (interestingly, Micah’s prediction of the temple’s destruction is at the very center of the Twelve). A 120-page commentary follows; one that somehow doesn’t feel as brief as it may look. A 70-page theological reflection concludes the commentary, in which Dempster considers Micah’s themes (e.g. justice, land, temple, messiah), contribution to Biblical theology, and contemporary relevance (e.g. cheap grace, justice, idolatry).
This review first appeared in Kesher Journal, with small modifications. Paul persists as a polarizing and puzzling figure within and without the church and academy. Judging by the book of Acts, this was no less true in the first century! But are we stumbled by the same things as his contemporaries? Paula Frederiksen, author of Paul: The Pagans’ Apostle, insists that we misread Paul if we neglect his thorough Jewishness and imminent apocalyptic expectations; “racing on the edge of the End of time” (xii).
What if the Psalms capture the very words of Jesus addressing his Father?