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The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament
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The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  278 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Beginning with Adam and Eve and closing with the last of the prophets, Dr. Clowney takes a fascinating walk through the Old Testament, revealing Christ in places where he is usually overlooked.
Paperback, 202 pages
Published February 1st 1989 by P & R Publishing (first published 1989)
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Oct 15, 2013 Mathew rated it it was amazing
Dr. Edmund Clowney’s The Unfolding Mystery is a classic text originally published in 1989. It’s only now reaching its second edition which is a shame. Biblical theology is coming into its own on a popular and scholarly level (rightly so) and Clowney well deserves to be heard and read widely. Maybe the circles I previously ran in didn’t value Clowney or were just unaware, but that should be remedied. It’s a text both reformed Baptists, Presbyterians, or anyone seeking Christ in the Old Testament ...more
Roger Leonhardt
Aug 28, 2013 Roger Leonhardt rated it really liked it
I have heard a lot of good things about Edmund P. Clowney but this is the first chance I have had to read one of his books. It will not be the last.

Here we have a sort of survey of the whole Old Testament. The difference here, than other surveys, is the focus on Christ. The Old Testament was not just written to give us the history of the nation of Israel. It is God's story of “God in the flesh”, Jesus.

Clowney takes us from one event to another and shows us how they relate to the Savior. From Ada
Drew Miller
Jul 04, 2015 Drew Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
One of the things engrained into your brain by reading the old saints is that Christ is in all of the Old Testament. Seeing that for yourself is often like walking through a house at night with no lights on. Edmund Clowney turns the lights on in Unfolding Mystery. I found myself saying "Oh man, that makes so much sense" several times while reading this book. I highly recommend this book to everyone as we all need a better understanding of how the Old Testament points us to Jesus. One of the more ...more
Baylee King
Mar 25, 2016 Baylee King rated it it was amazing
This book has done so much to stir my affections for Christ and appreciate all that his life, death, and resurrection brought to fulfillment. The way I read the bible, (specifically the OT), has been forever altered so that I am now searching for how the imperfect character that God uses point towards the perfection that is to come in Jesus.
Philip Mcduffie
Jun 18, 2015 Philip Mcduffie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: preaching
I have greatly enjoyed this book. Keller recommended it in his newest preaching book and it for good reason that he did. Clowney walks through the OT rightly portraying God as glorious and Christ as the theme and substance of all of Scripture. This book incited me to worship God the Father and to ponder in amazement at Christ, the hope of glory!
Aug 13, 2013 Jimmy added it
Recently there have been several books published on the topic of Jesus in the Old Testament. While technically not a new book, P&R will be releasing the 25th Anniversary edition of The Unfolding Mystery on August 28th 2013. In the introduction Edmund Clowney makes the point that it is possible to know a story from the Bible and yet miss the Bible’s story. I agree with Clowney of the importance of seeing the Scripture as a whole pointing us towards Jesus Christ whether prophetically, typologi ...more
Oct 23, 2009 Jason rated it it was amazing
It is a difficult thing for many modern Christians to even see the relevance of the Old Testament to their daily Christian life. There are a variety of reasons for this. Biblical higher criticism has rendered a lot of doubts about the veracity of the Old Testament narrative. The way, especially modern, Western individuals learn is a lot more didactic and rote learning than following a narrative. Perhaps the biggest reason why the relevance of the Old Testament is outside the scope of a lot of Ch ...more
If you've been hanging out in Evangelical Land lately (especially in the section known as YoungRestlessReformed World), you know that "Christ-centered" preaching is the soup du jour. Well, like a good hipster, Edmund Clowney was doing it before it was cool.*

Here Clowney takes us on a tour of the Old Testament, pointing out sightings of Christ (types, pre-incarnate appearances, and the like). If you enjoy Tim Keller's preaching, you'll love Clowney - he was one of Keller's mentors, and they share
Adam T Calvert
Feb 26, 2011 Adam T Calvert rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
Probably the father of modern Christo-centric preaching, Edmund Clowney is a brilliant theologian as well as a masterful story-teller.

This book in particular is interesting in that Clowney gives you a real sense of how Christ can be seen so clearly foreshadowed in the Old Testament. It's as if the entire Old Testament is pointing to Him! An incredible thought, but this is something that seems to be greatly lacking in modern theology. Yet the New Testament church seems to have seen Christ all thr
Jeff Short
May 30, 2014 Jeff Short rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biblical-studies
Edmund Clowney walks us through the Old Testament pointing us to Christ in this excellent book. Consider Jesus's words about the content of the Old Testament scriptures:

Luke 24:27
And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

Luke 24:44
And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, an
Jan 17, 2008 Ray rated it it was amazing
This is a pure joy to read. He illustrates how the Old Testament is as much about Christ as the New Testament is. To see this is to grasp a whole new sense of the relevance and excitement of the Scriptures.
This is a real classic.

My only criticism -- the chapters are long and often rambling, with little sense of an organizing principle. While every word in Clowney is golden, and his style is very lyrical and engaging, one wishes he had a better editor to organize the thoughts in chunks they would
Mike Walker
Dec 22, 2014 Mike Walker rated it liked it
If you really like the study of types and shadows this book is for you. Frankly I didn't get that much out of it. That's not to say it's not a good, well-written book. There were moments of exhilaration, but there were also prolonged periods where it felt like an overdose. Like what happens when you read too many proverbs at one time. Perhaps the book was designed to be read slower, meditatively, but its introductory chapters didn't draw me into that mode of reading like some books do. I've been ...more
Dan Sudfeld
Jul 21, 2010 Dan Sudfeld rated it it was amazing
"The Unfolding Mystery" - where have you been all my life?

Frankly, this book was fantastic. It has definitely entrenched itself in my list of "Top Five Books to Supplement the Bible." I now know why Clowney was so formative in Tim Keller's understanding of the story of redemption. I actually went through two highlighters as I read the book.

The subtitle of tells the story of this book: "Discovering Christ in the Old Testament." Clowney does a masterful job of connecting the dots. He showed me ma
Nov 12, 2015 Bookman143 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Christ is the Center—He is All in All

This book was recommended to me as a foundational text in finding Jesus in the Old Testament. Mission accomplished! This book will bring you to your knees, it will cause your heart to soar in the worship of Him who was from the beginning, through whom are all things, the Promised Messiah who took our sins upon him and saved us who believe unto everlasting life! Read this wonderful book!
Aug 09, 2010 Kay rated it really liked it
Excellent book for preparation for teaching Exodus. "It is possible to know Bible stories, yet miss the Bible story." "The purpose of this book is to...offer a guide to the underlying story of all the stories, so that we may see the Lord of the Word in the Word of the Lord." He does that with clarity and great insight. I was moved by the richness of meaning the Old Testament stories lend to the fulfillment in the New Testament.
Mark A Powell
Aug 11, 2012 Mark A Powell rated it really liked it
Tracing the story of redemption through the Old Testament, Clowney explores the ways in which Christ was foreshadowed and revealed. Because God’s purpose and plan have been eternally set, the Old Testament points to Christ just as much (albeit differently) than the New Testament. Clowney avoids over-reaching to find Christ in any or every passage, but skillfully shows where the Messiah is to be found in the Bible’s first 39 books. A solid work, easily recommended.
This book is a decent introduction not only to the story of the Old Testament but also the foreshadowing of Christ in the people, promises, and events of the first 39 books of the Bible.

I rate it three stars because the book spent too much time re-telling the stories which made the book much longer than it probably should be. Clowney's writing style borders on the desultory at times as well.
Jonathan Seger
Dec 31, 2011 Jonathan Seger rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
For anyone wanting to see Christ proclaimed from every page of the Old Testament, you can't go wrong with this book. Ed Clowney has an unusual gift of clarity thru storytelling. Mr. Clowney helped open up a new realm of Scripture to me that I hadn't really tapped into before- that of Christ proclaimed in the OT. Excellent book!

Listening to his lectures on the subject as well. Awesome!
Shawn Trautman
Apr 12, 2014 Shawn Trautman rated it it was amazing
An excellent and beautifully written book. Edmund Clowney skillfully takes the reader through the Old Testament, pointing out God's plan of redemption through Jesus Christ. This book not only instructed my mind, but moved my affection for God and His sovereign plan.
Mike Awtry
Apr 18, 2015 Mike Awtry rated it it was amazing
An excellent book highlighting the one story of God's redemption and how all the Scriptures point to Christ. This could be a good book for a reading group on reading the OT and understanding Christ from it.
Leslie Fields
Oct 10, 2013 Leslie Fields rated it it was amazing
It's always fascinating to discover again the unity of the Scriptures, which often feel so disparate and sprawling. But Clowney unveils some surprising passages and key moments in the Old Testament when Christ shows up---in one way or another. (I'm currently teaching this book in an adult class.)
David Couch
Jan 02, 2014 David Couch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is an excellent introduction to how the Bible fits together. It highlights how Christ can be seen throughout the Old Testament, and all the things he will therefore fulfill in the new.

The writing style is a pleasure to read. Highly recommended!
Joel Stockstill
Nov 08, 2015 Joel Stockstill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jesus Revealed in the OT

This book brings great insight into the person of Jesus as revealed in the Old Testament. Gives a great foundation for understanding the new covenant.
May 25, 2011 Jacqui rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I have found that gives the overall story of the Bible. Essential for any theological library. Edmund Clowney is the man!
Claude Graves
Jan 19, 2011 Claude Graves rated it liked it
Shelves: typology
Parts of it were really great and insightful, other parts dull and a bit of drudgery to read through.
Erik Spohr
Clowney presents a brief journey through the Old Testament, connecting its themes and individuals to Jesus Christ.
Kathy Weitz
Good selection for our ladies' bible study. Engaging and edifying.

Favorite quote: "True religion does not come from man's quest, but from God's intention."

Jan 24, 2010 Stan rated it it was amazing
An excellent book. Shows the way the OT foreshadows the new. Discovers Christ implicit throughout the Old Testament revelation. Very rich.
Nate Crites
Aug 25, 2012 Nate Crites rated it it was amazing
Opened my eyes to the picture of Christ and how He is the fulfillment of all things in the Old Testament. Just beautiful.
Douglas Wilson
Feb 21, 2009 Douglas Wilson rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
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  • Jesus on Every Page: 10 Simple Ways to Seek and Find Christ in the Old Testament
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  • The Christ of the Covenants
  • The Person of Christ (Contours of Christian Theology, #7)
  • New Testament Commentary Survey
  • The King in His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments
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  • The Creedal Imperative
  • The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story
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  • The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?
  • Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants

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