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Dominion and Dynasty: A Theology of the Hebrew Bible (New Studies in Biblical Theology #15)

4.39  ·  Rating Details ·  298 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
In this stimulating New Studies in Biblical Theology volume, Stephen G. Dempster argues that, despite its undoubted literary diversity, the Hebrew Bible possesses a remarkable structural and conceptual unity. The various genres and books are placed within a comprehensive narrative framework which provides an overarching literary and historical context. The many texts contr ...more
Paperback, 267 pages
Published December 7th 2003 by IVP Academic (first published January 1st 2003)
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Brian Pate
Sep 12, 2013 Brian Pate rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
I wish I could give this book 10 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed Dempster’s approach to OTT.

He explores the theological themes of the OT as presented in the Hebrew canon. The genius of his interpretation is not based on the order of the Hebrew books (though he may differ). I felt that his connections between the sections of the Tanakh were forced and not that helpful. However, the way he developed the redemptive story line of the OT was beautiful. The best parts of the book were the Torah and the F
Jun 07, 2012 Anna rated it it was amazing
Book fifteen in the New Studies in Biblical Theology series, Stephen Dempster’s Dominion and Dynasty: A Theology of the Hebrew Bible offers a compelling biblical theology of the Old Testament. Following the order of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh), Dempster submits two, overarching propositions. First, he maintains that the Bible must be seen as a Book – one book made up of many books, but not without a startling unity. Second and more specifically, he argues for a dual-theme theology of “dominion” ( ...more
Mar 01, 2012 Brian rated it it was amazing
Dempster traces the twin themes of geneology and geography (seed and land/dynasty and dominion) throughout the Old Testament Hebrew canon (the order of the books in Hebrew is different from our English canon) and shows them to be the unifying themes of the Old Testament.

Dempster's book did something more for me than even Graeme Goldsworthy's excellent book Gospel and Kingdom (which hitherto has been my favorite book on the Old Testament). Goldsworthy's book gave me an understandable outline of r
Nov 30, 2011 Scott rated it really liked it
This was a great book.

Recommended via a blog post by Jim Hamilton, I picked this book up a couple of weeks ago and really loved his treatment of the Tanakh and specifically the typological themes of "seed" (dynasty) and "rule" (dominion) throughout the OT. These books (biblical theology) are especially fruitful in their weaving together various books, passages, genealogies, etc. in the canon that can be sometimes hard to understand in an isolated reading.

I only docked a star because sometimes,
SO good. Dempster walks through the entire Hebrew Bible, developing the internal themes that Scripture itself develops and connects, emphasizing the ideas of dominion (essentially land) and dynasty (seed or descendants). He connects inter-textual themes so well and lets them happen naturally, never forced. The section on the Pentateuch is especially good. The chapter on Genesis alone is worth the price of the book. Fantastic stuff.
Josue Manriquez
Feb 14, 2014 Josue Manriquez rated it it was amazing
This is a most excellent book, which summarizes the books of the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament), showing how it coheres as one united Book. If you'd like to have a big picture understanding of what the Old Testament is about without getting lost in all the tiny details, then I highly recommend reading this book!

(Keep a dictionary handy, as there are a handful of "big" words)
Micah Lugg
Nov 21, 2013 Micah Lugg rated it it was amazing
No book has helped me see the unfolding of progressive revelation through the Old Testament like this book. It has changed how I view the OT.
Nov 02, 2016 Jonathan rated it it was amazing
One of the best Biblical Theology books out there. I could not put it down.
Clayton Sanderson
Feb 08, 2017 Clayton Sanderson rated it it was amazing
Dempster has served us well with this volume. He demonstrates how the Hebrew canon clearly narrates the twin themes of geography (dominion) and genealogy (dynasty). Great resource for seeing the storyline of the Old Testament .
Joel Zartman
Jun 08, 2016 Joel Zartman rated it really liked it
This book is an explanation of the thematic coherence of the Old Testament. There are several objections to this approach, which Dempster engages in his first chapter. The gist of that is that one gets what one is looking for. Because the book must be interpreted and is a large one, conflicting interpretations can be made, including those that argue for an incoherent collection. But Dempster’s argument is that the book is one whole not only because it has one Divine author who speaks through man ...more
Dec 07, 2016 SearchofKings rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
Part of the New Studies in Biblical Theology series (NSBT), this seems to be the highest rated of all the books. I only own three in the series and by far, this is the best of the three. What Dempster expresses in this theological work is nothing new. However, how he expresses these concepts places his work in a league of its own.

First off, Dempster argues for a literary approach to the Bible. While recognizing it is Gods Word, we cannot forget that God wrote it for man to read. I am personally
Spencer R
Jun 04, 2015 Spencer R rated it it was amazing
My full review can be found here at:

If the Bible is a unity, but how do they all fit? How does Proverbs fit in context with Kings? Isaiah with Chronicles? Leviticus with Ecclesiastes? Stephen Dempster writes an OT theology on the final form of the canon. He reads the OT through a 'wide-angle lens' and looks at the overarching story of the OT.

Dempster begins the book discussing approaches to the OT made by other OT theologians along with his rationale for his approach, to v
Oct 12, 2015 Timothy rated it really liked it
Shelves: old-testament
Part of the New Studies in Biblical Theology series (NSBT), this seems to be the highest rated of all the books. I only own three in the series and by far, this is the best of the three. What Dempsey expresses in this theological work is nothing new. However, how he expresses these concepts places his work in a league of its own.

First off, Dempsey argues for a literary approach to the Bible. While recognizing it is Gods Word, we cannot forget that God wrote it for man to read. I am personally i
An excellent Christological biblical theology of the OT. An important book on biblical theology for laymen, pastors, and scholars for how we interpret scripture and how we interpret the Old testament Christologically rather than as a book of moral maxims and proverbs. Dempster traces the motifs of Dominion and Dynasty through the Old Testament along with other motifs such as the Exodus and the temple. He lets scripture interpret scripture as his hermeneutic and explicitly denies a rational enlig ...more
Feb 03, 2012 Sonny rated it it was amazing
In his hermeneutics text, “Understanding and Applying the Bible,” Robertson McQuilkin offers three principles for understanding Scripture. The essence of the second of these principles is: “Since Scripture is God-breathed…, the unity of its teachings must be sought.” In his book Dominion and Dynasty, Stephen Dempster seeks to do just that. He takes a somewhat unique approach to helping the reader understand the Bible by studying the Old Testament in its Hebrew canonical form, or Tanakh. His cont ...more
Matt Pitts
Dec 18, 2013 Matt Pitts rated it really liked it
When you tell a story, the order of the events matter. If I tell you that John drove down the highway, then got pulled over by the police, and then went to the bank you will read those events very differently than if I tell you that John went to the bank, then drove down the highway, and then got pulled over by the police. The sequence of events matters. Dempster's book Dominion and Dynasty puts that idea to work in examing the Old Testament.

One of the main contributions of Dempster's book is th
Mar 07, 2014 Trevor rated it it was amazing
This book will forever change the way you read and understand the Old Testament as a whole. Stephen Dempster goes book by book through the OT and shows how each book contributes to one grand story of Dominion and Dynasty which will find its greatest realization on the person of Jesus as the final chapter indicates. The first chapter can be a little challenging as lays some ground work for the rest of the book, but if you persevere through to the rest of the book you will be richly rewarded. I re ...more
Dave Courtney
Apr 22, 2013 Dave Courtney rated it really liked it
A great addition to any library related to theological exploration, specifically Old Testament theological discourse. Dempster outlines the two distinctives in his approach to reading the Hebrew scripture, first that the Hebrew Bible is meant to be read as a single book and is meant to be understood through the freedom of literature and composition. And secondly, that this book is unified by two central themes dominion (land) and dynasty (rule/geneology). His work on bridging the prophets with t ...more
Jan 06, 2009 Mark rated it it was amazing
This is a phenominal book for understanding the Old Testament in the school of Biblical Theology. Not only does Demptster have profound insights into the biblical text, but his whole approach to understanding the Bible is something any biblical interpreter needs to grasp. For example, not only does he explain the theological meaning and significance of the specific details of a biblical book such as the book of Ruth, but also what the whole book means in the context of the Old Testament Canon. ...more
Oct 20, 2008 Jacob rated it really liked it
Let's face it, for many Christians the Old Testament is the part of Scripture which we have a hard time understanding. God seems mean. There are strange rituals. There are lots of geneologies and listing of kings and stuff. However, Dempster makes a great case for the unity, imporantance, and readablity of the Old Testament, especially when it comes to the themes of Dominion and Dynasty. Now it should be mentioned that this is an academic book, but give it shot and I suspect that it will expand ...more
Tyler Cox
Feb 20, 2016 Tyler Cox rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Traces Old Testament redemptive history through the typological structure of geology and genealogy, or Dominion and Dynasty. Really great book. One of my favorites I've read on the Old Testament.
The story concludes with, "Thus, when Jesus beings his minister, he, as the new Adam and the new Israel, succeed where the old Adam and the old Israel failed. Hence he recapitulates in his life the history of Adam and Israel. He trumps over the satanic enemy and announces the kingdom of God, a domain tha
Ryan Linkous
Oct 01, 2013 Ryan Linkous rated it it was amazing
This book does a wonderful job showing the literary structure of the OT around the twin themes of dominion (land) and dynasty (descendants). Especially helpful is Dempster's use of the original structure of the Hebrew Bible (particularly the placement of Chronicles). Brilliantly written.

The one area this book is week is in it's presentation of the 12 minor prophets and some of the wisdom literature.
Jan 22, 2014 Alyssa rated it it was amazing
This OT Theology is amazing because it is short enough to assign for a class. An OT Theology under 500 pages is rare and this one is under 250! And in those pages it still covers every OT book and draws them into unity through the themes of Dominion and Dynasty. I would have added a third theme: Blessing. Sometimes missing that theme makes his readings of texts feel forced. But that is a small critique.
J.M. Noble
Jan 10, 2015 J.M. Noble rated it it was amazing
Although, this is not as dense as many other Old Testament theology books out there, it is one of the best I've ever read. Informative enough to lead the reader to any areas of individual interest, yet concise enough to make it a quick and exciting read for all. The author clearly presents Scripture in its proper context and against the backdrop that its early Jewish readers would have seen it against. A great addition to any biblical theologian's library.
Heath Waldeier
Jul 15, 2014 Heath Waldeier rated it it was amazing
This book was really good. It helped put the old testament together in a way that makes good sense. The idea of Dominion and Dynasty run thru the old testamanet and culminate in the new testament. I highly recommend this book, especially to Christians who are intimidated by reading the old testament and making sense of it.
Thomas Foster Foster
Nov 24, 2012 Thomas Foster Foster rated it really liked it
A book about the story of God's purpose and promises worked out through the lineage and inherited of land. More academic than my other recent reading, and a stutter half way through meant it took a LOT longer to finish than should have done. But enjoyed seeing key themes worked out across the whole canvass of the Old Testament. A book which built me up.
Trevor Bryant
Dec 06, 2013 Trevor Bryant rated it really liked it
Dempster does a good job at showing the unity of the Tanakh, but he has such a strong view of the "forest" that he misses some of the "trees." Great job explaining the historical books, little justice done to the Writings or the Prophets. Definitely worth a read though as long you recognize that he has an idea and reads that into the Writing and Prophets to a greater degree than is really there
JR Snow
I nor my professor agreed with Demster's main thesis in the book, but it was a useful read for looking at the Old Testament from afar instead of up close like we are wont to do mosttimes. I read this for my Biblical Theology I (Old Testament) class at Reformation Bible College.
Chris Armer
Jan 21, 2014 Chris Armer rated it really liked it
The author does a good job pointing out the overarching themes of seed and land (David and Zion) found in the Old Testament. The book is a worthy read for providing one of the many probable perspectives of a biblical theology of the Old Testament.
Matt Moran
Dec 10, 2013 Matt Moran rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology, ot-theology
Strong, helpful OT Theology - definitely a book that I will be happy to refer back to.

Emphasizes a literary reading of the OT and the unity of the Hebrew Bible. This book will alert even an experienced reader of the OT to recurring redemptive themes.
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