This book is full of excellent content on the doctrine of Christ's descent into the underworld. The OT, NT, and Jewish and Greco-Roman writings are alThis book is full of excellent content on the doctrine of Christ's descent into the underworld. The OT, NT, and Jewish and Greco-Roman writings are all considered. Bass offers a summary and compelling synthesis of the data.
(One point is deducted due to a lack of clarity in his prose at times, as well as several prominent typographical errors. However, the latter could be due to the kindle version as they appeared to be copying errors. Aside from this, the book is 5 stars)....more
The Psalms are rightfully beloved, but many are unaware of its clear and intentional structure. Or if they are, they have not considered the purpose fThe Psalms are rightfully beloved, but many are unaware of its clear and intentional structure. Or if they are, they have not considered the purpose for its structure. Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford’s Introduction to the Psalms: A Song from Ancient Israel, “seeks to provide the reader with a solid introduction to the Hebrew Psalter, one that is informed by an interest in its shape and shaping” (vii). There are many introductions to the Psalms, but a unique feature to this is that it reads the Psalter as a unified, interconnected work.
First, deClaisse-Walford introduces the Psalms, with a discussion of their impact and attempting to date the completed Psalter as we have it today. Chapter one exposes the reader to the features Hebrew poetry, such as parallelism, word pairs, chiasmus, inclusio, and acrostic. Chapter two introduces form criticism, that is, the classification of Psalms types or genres such as hymns, laments, royal, creation, wisdom and enthronement psalms. But the Psalter is not arranged by type, so Chapter three turns to examine the actual shape of the Psalter. Individual Psalms make up larger collections, such as the Davidic (Ps 3-41; 51-72; 138-145), the Asaphite (Ps 73-83) and the Songs of Ascents (120-134). The Psalter consists of five Books compiled over time. Chapter four details the history behind the Psalter’s shaping. deClaissé-Walford’s argues that the Psalter as we have it was completed “late in the postexilic period, perhaps as late the first century of the common era” (p47), and was “shaped into five books which narrate a history of ancient Israel” (p56) that reflects the theological worldview of its editors. Chapters five through nine trace deClaissé-Walford’s understanding of the storyline of the Psalter book by book. Book One depicts “the ‘golden age’ of ancient Israel, when a king of God’s choosing reigned in Jerusalem” (p59). Book Two “continues the story of the reign of King David” (p73), but with other characters such as Asaph, the Korahites and Solomon, and concludes as “Solomon ascends the throne of the nation of Israel” (p83). Book Three “reflects events that took place during the period of the divided kingdoms of ancient Israel” (p85). Book Four describes Israel’s time in exile, where they recognized “the ‘grand experiment’ of kingship in Israel has failed” (p101); they need to look not to a future king, but to Yhwh as king. Finally, Book Five “leads the reader/hearer from the despair of exile in Babylon to the celebration of a new life in the land of Israel with God as king and the Torah as the guide for life” (p128). Chapter ten, the final chapter, retraces the five Books asking the question “how did the post exilic community perceive and use the book of Psalms”? (p129). deClaisse-Walford concludes that a major theme is that Yhwh is king.
There are several clear strengths to this work. First, it is clear and concise; essential for introductions. Second, deClaisse-Walford clearly knows her material, drawing from relevant ANE texts and rabbinic material for supporting illustrations. Third, it is relatively unique through being an introduction to reading the Psalter in light of its shaping. Fourth, several side-bars explain a word or concept in fuller detail. These are helpful, though I think they could have been formatted better to aid clarity in reading, as they share the same font as the text body.
There are a few more quibbles. That the Psalms uniquely capture “for the most part, not the words of God to humanity, but the words of humanity to God” (p3) is true in what it affirms but not what it denies. For the Christian, the Psalter is just as God-breathed as any other Biblical book.
More problematic, however is that deClaissé-Walford’s theology of each Book reveals that subjectivity is a real danger in the canonical approach. While some big-picture elements (Book 3/Ps 89 climaxing in exile) ring true, others seem highly speculative. First, it is not at all clear to me that Book One “tell[s] the story of the life of King David” (p72, emphasis mine), nor that it depicts the “golden age” of Israel (p59). Sure, all Psalms in Book One are Davidic, but no clear story is perceived, and the dominance of laments is at odds with it recording a supposed “golden age”. Second, deClaissé-Walford follows Gerald Wilson in denying that Books Four-Five hold a hope for a future Israelite king. This is seen in her downplaying of David in these Books, going so far as to state that he is “absent in Books Three and Four” (p113), despite Ps 86, 101, and 103 all bearing his name. Ps 89 is apparently about “Israel’s broken covenant with David” (p98), when the covenant was clearly between Yhwh and David, and even Ps 89 itself holds forth a hope in Yhwh’s faithfulness despite human disobedience. Besides these points, the presence of Psalm 110 in Book Five should be enough to challenge her thesis. Third, for deClaissé-Walford, the Psalter tells a finished story; that is, Book Five ends with an encouragement to Israel in her postexilic state as “an identifiable entity within the vast Persian empire” (p128), but with no anticipation of the future. This does not fit the content of Book Five, which, assuming the canonical reading, has all twelve tribes in the land (Ps 120-135) ruled by a priest-king (Ps 110). These remain unfulfilled.
As she set out to accomplish, Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford’s Introduction to the Psalms: A Song from Ancient Israel is a solid introduction to the Psalms from a perspective that takes its shaping seriously. It is recommended particularly for those interested in such an approach, as long as one recognizes that other conclusions have been reached by using the same approach.
Many thanks to Chalice Press for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review....more
A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament: The Gospel Realized is the second Bible introduction released this year from RTS scholars boA Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament: The Gospel Realized is the second Bible introduction released this year from RTS scholars both past and present. As with the OT volume, this introduction is designed for all Christians and unafraid of reading the Bible as a whole and with theological presuppositions.
Each New Testament book receives its own chapter (even Philemon), except surprisingly, 1 and 2 Corinthians are joined and, less surprisingly, 1-3 John are joined. There are also five appendices that examine the NT canon, NT textual criticism, the Synoptic Problem, the NT use of the OT, and a bibliography of the Bible translations used in the volume.
In terms of layout and feel, this volume is much like the corresponding Old Testament introduction that I also reviewed. There is less focus on provenance and scholarly discussions such as text-critical issues. Instead, the focus is on the theological message of the book. The content is aimed at a wide audience and complicated material is discussed in the footnotes. The greatest difference between the two volumes lies in the appendices. In contrast to the OT volume, this has much more directly relevant appendices for a Bible introduction. A smaller difference is that there is less variety in the authors than the OT volume.
Another difference is that the authors’ Reformed persuasions are regularly foregrounded in the New Testament. For example, Covenantal theology, Calvinism, and varieties of eschatology all make more regular appearances. The latter is most clearly seen in the Amillennial reading of Revelation. However, one does not sense the authors attempting to find Reformed theology under every rock; the scholarship of this volume is far too strong to fall into that trap. In other words, Reformed theology is naturally present, but not imposed. This will be more or less of a problem depending on one’s own theological persuasions and patience in reading others’.
In terms of stand-out chapters, Benjamin Gladd’s on Mark and Colossians were particularly conversant with and appreciative of a wide-range of modern and non-Reformed scholarship. I anticipate returning to these. I also enjoyed Charles Hill’s work on 1-3 John and Revelation, the latter being an intelligible and clear (though Amillennial) summary a difficult book. Other chapters contain solid discussions of the books and their contents. I found Simon Kistemaker’s chapter on Hebrews odd because of his repeated insistence that Hebrews alone addresses Jesus’ priesthood. This seems a minor point, but it does appear to drive the chapter, even in dating the book post-70AD, since “perhaps because none of the apostles felt free to discuss the priesthood of Christ” (p412) until “the priesthood came to an end [in AD70]” (p411). This is despite his recognition that “not even John mentions the subject” (p412), though most date his Gospel or at least Revelation later than Hebrews! Of course, this is a small complaint in a large book.
The appendices are all very welcome additions to this book, increasing its overall value. The appendix on the NT canon is by Michael Kruger, a leading scholar (evangelical or otherwise) in this field. The same goes for Charles Hill, who introduces NT textual criticism. The chapters on the Synoptic Problem (the relationship of the first three Gospels) and the NT use of the OT are also clear and readable for such complicated topics. It is fortunate that these issues will reach such a wide audience, as the church at large would benefit from being conversant with them.
The authors of A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament should be proud for releasing a valuable book for readers of all levels. Whenever scholarship benefits the church, it is a thing to rejoice. Even if one is not Reformed, most would happily enjoy and benefit from the majority of this book. Why not buy both OT and NT volumes and go re-read the Bible with these as introductions to each book?
Many thanks to Crossway for providing a review copy....more
Past and present Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) professors came together to produce a new pair of Old and New Testament introductions with Crossway. These “Biblical-Theological” introductions are intended for pastors and general readers, and are made by scholars who are “appreciative of dogmatics” (p10) — that is, unafraid of systematic theology — and who uphold biblical inerrancy and Reformed theology. In this post I will review A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the Old Testament, edited by Miles Van Pelt.
In addition to the above points, what sets apart A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the Old Testament (what a mouthful), is that the authors not only want to present the message(s) of each individual OT book, but to do so “in the context of the whole canon of Scripture”, including the “authoritative witness of the New Testament”, which provides “the full and final message of the Old Testament” (p13). This means that the treatment of individual book incorporates insights from the rest of the OT and the NT, hence the title of the book.
Yet another feature that sets this work apart is the approach of the editor, Miles Van Pelt. Van Pelt has a keen interest in reading the Old Testament as a unity, particularly by following the Hebrew canonical order rather that of modern English Bibles (see more here and here). The Introduction reproduces his material from the excellent and popular BiblicalTraining lectures on the subject. If the very structure of the Bible is significant, then each book’s location is relevant for “[discovering] its full and final significance” (p30). Van Pelt’s material here is excellent and I am glad to see it reach a wider audience. Those in the know may wonder why Van Pelt does not follow the (slightly different and arguably more ancient) order from the Baba Bathra like Dempster and DeRouchie, but unfortunately he does not address this question.
After the Introduction, each OT book is examined, following the Hebrew OT order. Each chapter includes usual topics such as authorship and dating, but most attention is devoted to the book’s message and theology, with some chapters summarizing the book’s contents. Despite Van Pelt’s earnest presentation and defense of the Hebrew OT order, and structuring of the book around this order, the individual authors themselves did not devote much attention to their respective book’s Hebrew-order placement. Most ignored the issue entirely. However, unsurprisingly, Van Pelt’s chapter on Song of Solomon is an exception.
On that note, the chapter on Song of Solomon was undoubtedly my favourite. This is because I have always struggled to understand the book, but Van Pelt’s perspective (known as the three-character view) was eye-opening and has sparked my own study of the book to see if it is the best way to read it.
It goes without saying that a book from Reformed Theological Seminary professors will have all the trappings of Reformed theology, such as Covenant Theology, Calvinism, Infant Baptism, the Tripartite division of the Law, and so on. However, non-Reformed readers should not let this dissuade them. Since this book covers the Old Testament, I did not find myself frustrated on every page despite disagreeing with (while being highly appreciative of) much in Reformed theology.
Odd are the two appendices by Richard Belcher: an exhaustive comparison of approaches to the Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9, and a discussion of the role of heavenly beings in Daniel. Though these appendices are strong in their own right, they seemed parochial and narrow for an OT intro, where topics such as OT textual criticism, the Septuagint, or the Ancient Near East would more broadly useful. In comparison, the companion NT introduction discusses general topics applicable to NT study, such as the NT canon, textual criticism, the Synoptic problem, and the use of the OT in the NT.
A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the Old Testament is a fine addition to the admitted wealth of OT introduction texts available. With a solid lineup, A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the Old Testament is very approachable for the general reader who wants to get to the heart of OT books and their message(s). Those interested in issues such as provenance, textual criticism, and cultural backgrounds will want to find additional resources, but as an introduction to the Old Testament that focuses on the message and theology of the books themselves, A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the Old Testament is a highly recommended addition for any library.
Many thanks to Crossway for providing a review copy through their Beyond the Page program....more
When it comes to tracing the Messiah in the Old Testament, the Psalms are key. Psalm 22 dominates the Passion narratives, Psalm 118 is seen in Jesus’When it comes to tracing the Messiah in the Old Testament, the Psalms are key. Psalm 22 dominates the Passion narratives, Psalm 118 is seen in Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem, Psalm 2 appears at key points in Jesus’ life, and Psalm 110 is the most quoted of any OT passage. However, which Psalms are Messianic? And exactly how are they Messianic? Some see Messianic Psalms as fulfilled typologically, others see direct and exclusive predictions of Jesus. Richard Belcher, in The Messiah and the Psalms: Preaching Christ from all the Psalms, presents a different way of reading, where “all the psalms have some relationship to Christ” (p31).
Chapters 1-3 introduce issues in Psalms interpretation. Belcher’s historical summary begins with the Reformation period, which is unfortunate given the wealth of Patristic writings on the topic. Next, Historical Critical, Literary Critical, and Historical Grammatical approaches are introduced and evaluated before Belcher introduces his own Christological Approach, where, in light of Luke 24:44-47, “all the Old Testament speaks of Jesus in some way, not merely those texts commonly accepted as ‘Messianic’” (p32). So how can Christ be read in all the Psalms? Since the NT uses more Psalms than those traditionally considered Messianic, we ought to broaden our horizons. Several insights help us to do so. First, the Psalm should be read in light of redemptive-history, the grand story from Genesis to Revelation. What’s more, since Jesus is equal to the Father, references to God in the Psalms “also speak of the person of Christ” (p34). Also, as an Israelite, Jesus “would have sung and prayed the Psalms” (p36). In this sense, He internalized all the Psalms. In fact, since “Hebrews places some psalms on the lips of Jesus [it] lays the basis for understanding all the psalms as the prayers of Christ in his role as our Mediator” (p38). In a sense then, all Psalms are Messianic.
In Chapters 4-6, Belcher applies his method to Psalms normally considered non-Messianic, calling these “Indirect Messianic Psalms”. Psalms are divided into three categories: orientation (ch 4), disorientation (ch 5) and new orientation (ch 6). There are a few representative Psalms from each category, examined first in their own context, then in how they apply to Christ. Examples will be given below.
Chapter 7 considers the Royal Psalms, which are defined by clear royal context. Belcher treats the following Psalms: 2, 45, 72, 89, 110, 132, 144. How should we consider these Psalms in relationship to Israel’s kings and the Messiah? There are at least four approaches:
Not originally Messianic. Hyperbolic statements used of historical kings were inspired by God to find literal fulfillment in Messiah. Not originally Messianic. Became Messianic through incorporation into the Psalter, which was produced in a time of Messianic hope. Not originally Messianic. Correspondence and escalation in Psalms applied first to a historical king are fulfilled typologically in Christ. Directly Messianic, as the content cannot apply to any other historical king.
Belcher reads the Royal Psalms typologically, with the exception of Psalm 110 being the only psalm “understood as a direct prediction of the Christ” (p122).
Chapter 8 treats the Direct Messianic Psalms, which are those used in the NT of Christ. Excluding others covered in previous chapters, this is 8, 16, 22, 40, 68 and 118. Fulfillment is found typologically, except for Psalm 16.
Chapter 9 concludes and restates in summary the book’s argument and application of Psalms.
The Messiah and the Psalms has been criticized by some for performing hermeneutical gymnastics on the Indirect Messianic Psalms in order to get to Christ. I think these criticisms are half right. They are wrong in that Belcher is simply providing a paradigm for how to preach Christ from any Psalm. However, they are right when Belcher indicates his approach is a robust hermeneutic for Psalm interpretation. Most of the time Belcher appears to only indicate the former, but then there are exceptions, such as where he adds his approach to the list of other hermeneutical approaches! For preaching, Belcher’s “Christological” approach is insightful and will prove very helpful for teachers and preachers. However, as an interpretative hermeneutic, his approach is unhelpful. Calling every Psalm Messianic blurs the line between all Psalms and then Psalms that (arguably) are intended by the author to refer to the Messiah. In this way, if every Psalm is Messianic, then no Psalm is Messianic. The label becomes redundant.
An example could better illustrate my point. Psalm 19 extols Yhwh’s revelation in creation and Torah. Belcher, applying his “Christological” approach to this “Indirect Messianic Psalm” connects it to Christ by noting that Christ is the ultimate revelation of God (Heb 1:1), the one who in Matt 5-7 reveals the “true meaning of the law” (p54), and that the words praising the Torah can equally describe Christ (Ps 19:7-9). As an illustration of how one can bring a sermon on Psalm 19 around to Christ, this is all useful if done tastefully; however, this is not a proper interpretation of the Psalm itself.
Belcher uses the New Testament use of the Psalms as support for this Christological approach (again, implying that this is not simply a preaching guide). However, I am not convinced by his argumentation. It is illogical to say that if Hebrews presents Christ as the speaker of some Psalms, then we have warrant for reading all Psalms in such a way. What if the author really saw Christ as the speaker of the quoted Psalms?
That said, Belcher’s unique Christological approach only really applies to the Indirect Messianic Psalms in Chapters 4-6. From there on, a more usual typological reading is employed. For example, Psalm 22 describes David’s own suffering, but foreshadows Christ’s.
The typological approach to fulfillment is popular and fruitful, but it has limits. Typology can be utilized blindly to resolve any problem. As the saying goes, if you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Secondly, typology requires correspondence between the type and antitype (e.g. David’s suffering and Jesus’ suffering); however, the NT does not argue for such correspondence. Instead, the NT argues for discontinuity between David and Jesus! In regards to Ps 16 and 110, Peter emphasizes that David was not raised (Acts 2:29-31) and David did not ascend to the Father (Acts 2:34-36). This is the very opposite of typology. What’s more, Belcher is inconsistent in his use of typological approach. Unlike some, he (rightly) reads Psalm 110 and 16 as directly Messianic because the details do not match David’s experience, but then doesn’t apply the Apostolic hermeneutic to obvious cases elsewhere, such as Psalm 22 and 45!
Not all is a loss however. If one is convinced that typological fulfillment of the Messianic Psalms is the norm, then this book will be more valuable. What’s more, Belcher’s treatment of individual Psalms is very fair and level-headed. He regularly presents alternative views when a text can be read multiple ways. Also, he shows familiarity with recent and important Psalms scholarship and his writing is both accessibly studious and pastoral.
Though I was disappointed to see no engagement with Psalm 18 and 102 (both used in the NT), find Belcher’s “Christological” approach largely unhelpful as an interpretative approach, and am hesitant to apply typological fulfillment so thoroughly, The Messiah and the Psalms is useful as a commentary on traditional Messianic Psalms and generally illuminating when providing a method for tracing any Psalm to Christ. With my above caveats, I would recommend The Messiah and the Psalms to any readers interested in the Psalms, in the Messiah in the Old Testament, and particularly for pastors and teachers who want examples of how to preach Christ from the Psalms. As such, this is a very useful resource. Those persuaded by a predominantly typological Messianic fulfillment will find Belcher even more useful. More recent work need to be done on the Messianic Psalms, and so I am grateful for The Messiah and the Psalms.
Many thanks to Christian Focus for providing a review copy....more
G. K. Chesterton tells the tale of of a man who sails out to discover a new land, only to mistakenly return to England and proceed to plant a British flag in this apparently virgin land. For Chesterton, this allegory captures the adventure of discovery and the familiarity of home. I suspect when studying for The Birth of the Trinity, Matthew Bates had a similar experience to Chesterton’s Englishman, as I certainly did when reading his book. The Birth of the Trinity
In The Birth of the Trinity, Matthew Bates attempts to prove that the “specific ancient reading technique, best termed prosopological exegesis, that is evidenced in the New Testament and other early Christian writings was was irreducibly essential” to the doctrine of the Trinity (p2, emphasis italicized in original). In other words, what best explains the origin of the Trinity doctrine? For Bates, the answer is the early church engaging in prosopological exegesis of the OT.
However, aside from being a useful term for impressing one’s audience, what exactly is prosopological exegesis? It is a method of interpreting the Old Testament by discovering and assigning persons to the unnamed speakers and/or addressees. Prosopological exegesis (hereafter PE) begins with the recognition that OT prophets climbed through “a divinely ordained tear between heaven and earth” to overhear divine conversations (Isaiah 6, Daniel 7). PE is seen in Peter’s reading of Psalm 16 (Acts 2:25-32). Peter recognized David was writing the words of Christ as a Spirit-empowered prophet, and so he read the Psalm as “containing a real future conversation between the Father and the Son” (p6). Peter did not read the Psalm typologically, as if Psalm 16 contained David’s own experience and foreshadowed Christ. Rather, he read it prosopologically: David’s own experience was distinctly unlike that of the speaker in Psalm 16 (Acts 2:29), so David must be enacting the person (Gk. prosopon) of another. Discerning these occurrences is the heart of PE.
After introducing PE and its implications for the history of Trinitarian doctrine, The Birth of the Trinity discovers instances of PE in the New Testament and the early church (e.g. Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Ps-Barnabas and Tertullian). Chapter 2 uncovers Trinitarian conversation before creation in Psalm 2, 110, Isaiah 42, and Genesis 1:26. Chapter 3 explores conversations pertaining to the Son’s mission in Psalm 40, Mal 3:1, Isaiah 61:1-2, and Isa 42:1-9. Chapter 4 finds dialogue regarding the Son’s death in Psalm 69, Isaiah 65:1-2, and Psalm 22. In chapter 5, the Son is rescued from death to praise His Father in Psalm 22, Isaiah 8:17-18, Psalm 116, Psalm 18, and Psalm 16. Chapter 6 finds Christ’s enthronement and conquest, in addition to the new creation, in Psalm 2, 110, 45, and 102. Along the way, Bates explores questions related to PE, such as the eunuch’s question regarding the true speaker of Isaiah’s prophecy (Acts 8:32-33; Isa 53:7-8) or the nature of the Son’s forsakenness in Psalm 22. Chapter 7 asks the natural next questions: was this a faithful reading of the Scripture? and even more provocative, ought we emulate it? Bates recognizes that this question is not unprecedented; the early church set forth guidelines for faithful utilization of PE in response to Gnostic PE (yes they did it too!). Bates then answers both questions with a qualified yes, offering his own guidelines. Evaluation
As for the origins of the Trinity doctrine, The Birth of the Trinity has much explanatory power. I eagerly await the ripples the book will cause in scholarship. For one, theologian Fred Sanders already highly praised the work. Bates’ proposal is provocative and I expect to see many others picking up his baton and running further down the unexplored track.
Bates’ PE approach raises some questions as to how we ought interpret the original OT passage. First, must a passage only have one referent? If for example Psalm 18 is David speaking in the voice of the Christ, then what should we make of the Psalm’s appearance in 2 Samuel 22, where it is (apparently) applied to David’s life? Can David not be speaking of himself and the Christ? Second, if PE is a faithful reading of the OT, should (and if yes, then how should) one go back and read the OT passage in light of the NT’s connections with Christ? Third, if the NT reads a portion of a Psalm as about Christ using PE, ought we consider the whole Psalm as about Christ? These questions are not criticisms of the book so much as evidence of a highly stimulating read that ought to provoke fruitful reflection and research.
Aside from my near-absolute praise for The Birth of the Trinity, I have a few small complaints. First, though Bates is to be applauded for staying focused on presenting his unique thesis, I would have appreciated more representation and even critique of differing exegetical conclusions on a given passage before Bates provided his own. This would have helped clarify Bates’ own views whilst undermining the alternatives; poking prevailing interpretations in the eye before delivering the rhetorical KO of Bates’ exegetical blindsides (all done in Christian love, of course). Along with this, how the NT’s interpretations stood in relation, whether agreement or contrast, with prevailing contemporary interpretations of these same passages would be welcome. How did Second Temple Jews interpret these texts? Can we find instances of PE there? Of course, this would have resulted in a much larger book. Lastly, on that note, I just wish the book were longer; I want more! Conclusion
The Birth of the Trinity is clearly written, compellingly argued, and for me, a thrilling and stimulating read. I am thoroughly convinced that the NT uses PE, and this has opened up these texts again for me in a refreshing way. Along with insights into the Trinity, virtually every page has creative and provocative exegetical insights. What’s more, PE has vast implications: including the NT use of the OT, Messianic fulfillment, Christology and Trinitarianism. The implications of Bates’ work are not simply intellectually stimulating, however; they reveal a personal Triune God. They reveal impassioned conversations between a Father who, for example, provides a body for His Son to accomplish redemption (Ps 40), and a Son who willingly substitutes Himself to receive the blows directed at His Father (Ps 69).
The Birth of the Trinity is unique for simultaneously discovering a dusty overlooked interpretative tool and also pioneering a bold way forward in scholarship. Much like Chesterton’s Englishman who discovered England, this is both a deeply rooted, traditional, and orthodox reading, and also a creative and exciting new method with “rich Trinitarian fruit […] that has not yet been plucked by scholarship” (p6-7). The fruit is so abundant that this is without a doubt one of the best books I’ve read this year, and surely to be in my top five reads of the year. Though the Oxford University Press hardback is pricey, be on the lookout for the much more affordable paperback edition in September.
Many thanks to Ofxord University Press who provided a review copy....more