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The Temple and the Church's Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God (New Studies in Biblical Theology #17)

4.43  ·  Rating Details ·  213 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth… And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem… And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man." (Revelation 21:1-3, ESV). In this comprehensive study, G. K. Beale argues that the Old Testament tabernacle and temples were symbolically designed to point to the end-time reality that God's presen ...more
Paperback, 458 pages
Published October 17th 2004 by IVP Academic (first published June 18th 2004)
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Feb 05, 2014 William rated it really liked it
This book attracted my attention while I was studying recent developments in the study of Genesis as ancient cosmology and especially Walton's "cosmic temple" interpretation of Genesis 1. I wish I'd had this book while engaged in that study. Beale offers an in-depth exegetical study of the temple theme throughout Scripture from Eden to the eschatological temple of the New Testament, showing that the cosmos was created as God's temple and humanity as his priests, with a mission to spread the infl ...more
Jacob Aitken
Aug 04, 2011 Jacob Aitken rated it really liked it
Beale has woven together many facets of biblical theology and presented the church with the task of spreading God's glory throughout his creation.

Beale's thesis is "The old testament temples were symbolically designed to point to the future eschatological reality of God dwelling with his people" (25). Using this as his fulcrum Beale explores the cosmic symbolism of the temple in the OT, its uses, the coming *new* temple in the person of Christ, the temple-drama in Hebrews, and the consummating e
Jan 18, 2013 Joe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own-this
I enjoyed reading Beale. This study is very dense academic reading, so I probably wouldn't read it cover-to-cover unless you had a particular interest in the subject or a lot of spare time. I still recommend this book to anyone with an interest in biblical theology on the basis of two aspects of the book.

1. Topic - the temple is a pervasive feature of the OT and NT alike, and as Beale says, "the image of God's glorious presence in a garden-like temple has formed an inclusio or kind of 'book-end'
Lindsay Kennedy
Jul 25, 2012 Lindsay Kennedy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Serious Bible Students and Seminary students
When was the last time you meditated on the divine purpose for and theology of the temple? Like me, maybe you’ve never given it much thought. However, while reading this book I found myself constantly giving thanks to God for G. K. Beale devoting a 402-page book entirely to the theology of the temple in The Temple and the Church’s Mission. You would be surprised how enlightening and edifying a study of the temple can be!

Beale’s central aim is to show that the tabernacle and the temples were inte
Spencer R
Nov 27, 2013 Spencer R rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
You can read my full review here: spoiledmilks wordpress com

If John sees a new heaven and a new earth in Revelation 21.1, what is the 'holy city, new Jerusalem' that comes down from heaven? 21.3 says the dwelling place of God is with man, and in 21.10-22.3 "he sees a city that is garden-like, in the shape of a temple (p. 23). How does John provide explanation for all this?

Through his book, Beale provides the biblical theological explanation for this. Where did John receive his insight to this?
Jan 15, 2016 Andrew rated it it was amazing
What are the first chapters of Genesis all about? What is going on and what do they mean? And what about Revelation--that mysterious last book of the Bible? For millennia these books have been subject to immense interest and scrutiny. Enter Greg Beale and The Temple and the Church's Mission.

Step by step Beale meticulously builds a case from the whole of the Bible to answer those questions. The first chapters of Genesis focus on creating a cosmic temple for God to dwell in as well as a sanctuary
Steven Wedgeworth
Jun 14, 2011 Steven Wedgeworth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A helpful introduction to "Temple Theology," but ultimately a collection and distillation of other more important works. Go through Beale's citations and check out the major works he's reading.
Eric Abisror
Feb 19, 2015 Eric Abisror rated it really liked it
This was a very helpful book. Although it was pretty dense. Worth the read in the end. I thought the most helpful chapters were chapters 1-5.
Eddie Mercado
May 07, 2017 Eddie Mercado rated it it was amazing
It's been a long time coming, but I finally finished this gem. Didn't read it consistently (i took a couple weeks off in Feb and April), and thus Beale's tendency to repeat what was just stated proved to be helpful. Will I have thought the same if I read it everyday? Eh, probably not. But the content is gooood. Though it can be repetitive, and some might say pedantic, you will never think about the temple the same way again! Highly recommend this work. Great work Beale.
John Kight
Mar 18, 2016 John Kight rated it it was amazing
There are few books that possess the ability to radically alter the way that you read Scripture. The Temple and the Church’s Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God by G. K. Beale is one of those books. But The Temple and the Church’s Mission is not for the academically faint of heart. It is both detailed and comprehensive. Beale leaves no stone unturned as he guides the reader through the biblical narrative and beyond, developing a crystal clear portrait of the dwelling place ...more
Trevor Binkley
Feb 12, 2013 Trevor Binkley rated it it was amazing
Incredibly thorough biblical theology of the temple. The temples purpose was always to be the where and how God's presence dwelt with His people. The Garden of Eden was a proto-temple in that God walked with them in the Garden, but sin forced God to remove His presence from among men. So when God had Moses build the tabernacle His presence dwelt behind the veil to shield the people from judgment, and only thr high priest could enter once day a year to bring the blood sacrifice. The design of the ...more
Laurent Dv
Jul 11, 2016 Laurent Dv rated it it was amazing
Excellent biblical theology of the temple ! The main point of the author is that the entire cosmos (the former and the new that is to come) is the temple in which God wants to extend his special revelatory presence (his presence in the Holy of holies in the architectural temple of the Old Testament), in other words to dwell ; and that God's goal is to extend his presence formerly limited to a restricted area (the garden of Eden, the Holy of holies in the Tabernacle and Salomon's Temple) in news ...more
There's a popular level version of this book: God Dwells Among Us: Expanding Eden to the Ends of the Earth (2014). I imagine it's more readable than this version, which is definitely academic. I chose this over the popular version because some reviewers commented that God Dwells Among Us did not cover as much of Eden (the beginning). The basic points in Beale's discussion are clear enough to get even in his academic discussions and frankly I like that he provides all the evidence he's using rath ...more
Aug 02, 2012 Sonny rated it really liked it
Beale opens his book by noting an apparent problem in chapter 21 of Revelation: why does John see a new heaven and new earth, but then immediately describes “a city that is garden-like, in the shape of a temple?” Beale argues that the Old Testament tabernacle and temple contained symbolic imagery designed to represent God’s plan to fill the entire cosmos with His presence, that the Garden of Eden was the very first temple (dwelling place of God) which Adam was charged to extend to cover the enti ...more
Jan 19, 2009 Mark rated it it was amazing
This book is an old favorite--it is what first gave me a burning desire to immerse myself in biblical theology and it opened my eyes to some of the most significant themes in the Bible such as dominion, the body of Christ as a kingdom of priests and the role of the church in expanding the kingdom of God.
While I would not necessarily recommend this book to everyone because it is more technical and 'heavy' reading than most people like or prefer, if you are interested in putting some hard work in
Jeff Boettcher
Jul 16, 2012 Jeff Boettcher rated it liked it
The idea of this book intrigued me more than the actually reading of it. While I appreciated Beale's work at tracing out the Biblical theology of the mission of the church, I found it to be very technical though, with not much application. Unlike the other books I've read in the NSBT series, this book was extremely dry, which was disappointing for so glorious a topic. I think this book works well as a reference guide, but I wouldn't try to read it cover to cover again.
Excellent work on Temple theology. As a Catholic, it really allowed me to consider the role of the Church in fulfilling the commands of "go forth and multiply" and "go forth and baptize" in a much deeper way. For Catholivs, note that you will have to work to make some of those connections, as Beale writes as a Protestant, however, I think that this is an absolute must read for those interested in considering the mission of both Christ and the Church in an academically inclined manner.
Dec 02, 2013 David rated it really liked it
Wonderful - traces the Temple/sanctuary motif throughout the Old and New Testaments (and ancient Judeo-Christian thought); shows God's presence vis-a-vis the Temple/sanctuary to be a major force in how the Israelites and early Christians thought about God, the world, and themselves. Especially good in connecting what was written about the Eschatalogical Temple by Old Testament Prophets to how early Christians understood what was happening in the New Covenant.
Graham Heslop
Sep 11, 2014 Graham Heslop rated it it was amazing
Hard work at times but worth the effort. Beale presents a tremendous amount of work, from an almost pedantic study of the Scriptures to an immensely broad interaction with 2nd temple literature. But for all his reams of well structured, convincing, and detailed theology he remains readable and avoids reducing the truth to something dense or cold. This is a crucial offering not merely to our understanding of temple language in Scripture, but because of how Beale 'does' biblical theology.
May 15, 2007 BJ rated it really liked it
GK Beale is indeed a master of biblical theology and a wonderful scholar. Not all will agree with his conclusions but his thesis of the climax of temple being God's dwelling place in Himself, His people and His entire new creation is quite compelling. Really one could write much on this book, and all should benefit from its glorious vision.
Brent Barnard
Jun 18, 2012 Brent Barnard rated it liked it
This book is almost too deep to describe! It goes VERY deep into scriptural exegesis pertaining to the temple in the Old and New Testaments. I hope to read it again someday to give you a better idea of its general thrust.
Jan 21, 2012 Daniel rated it really liked it
Sweeping narrative of the whole bible viewed through the lens of the temple. Loved the comparison on the great commission and temple building commission at the end of Chronicles. Readable book, but scholarly sections are quite long if not used to this type of book.
Bill Robinson
Apr 11, 2012 Bill Robinson rated it it was amazing
Another home run for Dr. Beale! If your desire is to learn the Bible, let me put it this way, you don't put a book written by Beale down, without having been made better for having picked it up and read it!
Mar 11, 2014 John rated it really liked it
Would have given 5 stars except the majority of the book reads like a term paper. However the idea of the Temple as a theme that runs throughout the entire Bible is very true, extremely interesting, and very applicable to Christians today. I learned a lot reading this.
Joshua Smith
Mar 06, 2012 Joshua Smith rated it it was amazing
This book radically shifted my center of thinking on worship and life in general. It's in my top 5 ever. It is not an easy book, and Beale is not a master of prose, but his work is really good.
Apr 04, 2012 R.B. rated it it was amazing
Beautiful display of what Biblical Theology should look like. I learned a lot from this treatment on the Temple and it changed the way I read the Bible as a whole. A must read.
Tyler Cox
Aug 27, 2015 Tyler Cox rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of the best theological works I've ever read.
Michael Cannon
Apr 24, 2013 Michael Cannon rated it it was amazing
An amazing book placing the scope of the Bible's teaching on the presence of God within the context if Temple and sanctuary. An excellent and studies resource.
Rob Dalrymple
May 13, 2012 Rob Dalrymple rated it it was amazing
Fabulous. One of my favorites
Jun 05, 2010 Jesse marked it as to-read
These ideas from Gregory Beale get at several fundamental issues going on right now. All creation is a temple, from Genesis to Revelation.
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G. K. Beale (PhD, University of Cambridge) is professor of New Testament and biblical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is the coeditor of the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament and the author of numerous books, including A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New.
More about G.K. Beale...

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