I’m teaching a new class at CCBCY called Christ and the Cross, and you can read more about it here. In a follow up post I’d like to recommend some resources that have been helpful for me in studying the titles of Christ and biblical metaphors for the work of Christ. Each of these topics is like a deep ocean full of treasure to be found within, but perhaps it’s also a little intimidating to first dive in. That is my purpose for offering the class, and for posting these resources. Having just finished up the first half of the class, Christ’s titles, I thought I’d share what I’ve found useful.
It’s worth mentioning that though I recommend these books that doesn’t mean that I agree with everything the authors say or believe on other topics. Also, I would welcome any additional recommendations, since I’m always on a quest for more!
Of course commentaries are invaluable, but here are some bigger works that helped me immensely in both topics.
Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem. This class is more Biblical Theology than Systematic Theology, but Grudem was helpful for the Prophet, Priest and King session.
New Testament Theology by Thomas Schreiner. I love Schreiner and this book is always consulted in my weekly preparation since he has a significant section on Christology.
Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament by various authors. A big focus in my class is in showing how Christ’s NT titles have a huge OT background to them. I can’t recommend this work highly enough for any pastor or teacher of the Word. Its purpose is simple, explaining any quotation or allusion to the OT in the NT. This is such a rich topic and I love the approach of the authors in this book since they don’t believe the NT authors just ripped OT texts out of their context, which unfortunately is a popular view even amongst evangelical scholars!
Resources on the Titles of Christ
Pauline Christology by Gordon Fee. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. This revolutionized Christology for me and tethered it tightly to the text of Scripture. This work is highly academic (with a lot of Greek), but Fee is somehow able to blend academic and devotional at the same time. He is never dry. Of course this is limited only to Paul’s letters.
Contours of Christology in the New Testament by various authors. This is a collection of essays by excellent scholars. I found Donald Hagner’s chapter on Hebrews and Richard Baukham’s chapter on the Gospel of John both very helpful. I haven’t had a chance to read anything else yet, but it all looks good.
Jesus the Son of God by D.A. Carson. If only there were more books like this! This is a short book devoted to explaining the title Son of God in its biblical context. I only wish Carson wrote a bigger book for each Christological title since his approach is exactly what I am after!
Father, Son and Spirit by Andreas Köstenberger and Scott Swain. This is an examination of Christology in the Gospel of John by a Johannine expert (Köstenberger) and a systematic theologian (Swain). It was helpful in this class but not as much as the other books.
Name Above all Names by Sinclair Ferguson and Alistair Begg. This is more of a devotional book, but it was still very useful. I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to explore the titles of Christ for themselves because it is warm and practical.
The Servant King by T. Desmond Alexander. This is another book I’d recommend to anyone. It is short and sweet, but should not be neglected either. Alexander traces the promise of the Messiah through the OT an NT in an amazingly concise and clear way!
From Eden to the New Jerusalem by T. Desmond Alexander. This is a collection of chapters tracing biblical themes from Genesis to Revelation. Again, highly recommended to anyone.
The Temple and the Church’s Mission by G.K. Beale. This book may stick out as a sore thumb since it’s not about Christology per se but since one session was on Christ as the temple, it was very fitting. This is an intense work out, but worth the effort!
These were my recommendations for a study of the Titles of Christ, like that found in my Christ and the Cross class. I’ll post again with resources for studying the Cross in a few weeks.