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Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  603 ratings  ·  55 reviews
We cannot know Jesus without knowing his story. Today the debate over who Jesus is rages on. Has the Bible bound Christians to a narrow and mistaken notion of Jesus? Should we listen to other gospels, other sayings of Jesus, that enlarge and correct a mistaken story? Is the real Jesus entangled in a web of the church's Scripture, awaiting liberation from our childhood fait ...more
Paperback, 267 pages
Published April 8th 1995 by IVP Academic (first published November 1st 1992)
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Lorien Johnson
May 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament is an eloquently insightful, although fundamentally flawed, text written by Dr. Christopher J. Wright whose intention was to place Jesus within the intellectually historical context of the Old Testament. The author was raised as a Presbyterian and was later ordained as a minister in the Anglican Church of England. Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament has a thoroughly missiological emphasis which flows naturally from Wright’s experience as an “evangelica ...more
Bret James Stewart
This review is for a previous edition published in 1992. There is no index or footnotes, which I regret, but Wright has done this on purpose to avoid making a "scholarly book." Thus, I did not take away any stars for it. This is a wonderful book that I think all Christians should read. Others interested in the Christian faith and Jesus' identity through the lens of the Old Testament will also find it valuable. A chapter-by-chapter review follows.

Chapter One: Jesus and the Old Testament Story

Nov 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a delightful read. A wonderful look at both the deity of Jesus and the humanity of Jesus. I learned a lot through this reading and was brought to a fuller appreciation for the way the man, Jesus, would have learned about who he was and his mission as he studied the Jewish sacred text. Highly recommend!
Grant Hartley
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is probably one of the most helpful books I have ever read when it comes to understanding Scripture and general biblical literacy. It helped to answer a ton of pressing questions that have been in the back of my mind for basically my whole life of faith until now, questions such as:

How should I, as a believer in Christ, relate to the Old Testament law?

What was, and is, the ultimate purpose of the law, and how does it relate to grace?

To what extent is it possible to "find Jesus in th
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is not your typical “Christ in the OT” book. Rather than proceeding from the OT forward, he uses the Gospels as the primary structure, going back and forth from NT to OT, and vice versa. I found the book helpful in tracing the OT thematic elements through the Gospels. I would have liked to see more focus on the Christological nature of the temple and sacrificial system. Overall, a helpful book.
James Korsmo
This book is phenomenal. Chris Wright has a gift for communicating the content of the Old Testament in clear and compelling language (his The Mission of God is a masterpiece). And in this book, he couples that with a focus on Jesus Christ. Wright doesn't unearth references to Jesus in every verse of the Old Testament. Instead, he looks at how the story, the teachings, and prophecies, and the values of the Old Testament lead inexorably to Christ. This focus sheds beautiful light on the Old Testam ...more
Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In this book, Wright calls us back to the roots of the understanding of the Messiah. In doing this, Wright points out that Jesus was connected to his Jewish history and the Old Testament more than many people realize. Jesus gained much of his identity from the OT (Son of Man, Son of God, etc) Very good book if one is looking for a more holistic understanding of the Jewish identity possessed by Jesus.
Brent McCulley
Nov 29, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ot-studies
Anglican clergyman and prolific author on Old Testament scholarship, Christopher J. H. Wright, offers a unique piece of work in his Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament. The book itself revolves specifically around the figure of Jesus Christ as He is understood through the Tanakh. Wright tries to shed light on specific Old Testament passages and how they relate to the historical Christ –as primarily understood through the gospels –socially, politically, ethically, and theologically.

Withal the
Brandon Beard
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, read this book to really start appreciating the Old Testament. It seems like some reviewers complained that Wright made it seem as if there was not enough supernatural activity between the Old Testament and Jesus. But to me, to make it that perfect, is even more supernatural.

This book has good review questions at the end of each chapter as well. You need to read this at least once.
Peter Bringe
This is a helpful book regarding the continuity between the Old Testament and Jesus. Rather than seeing the Old Testament as a collection of mere predictions, the author seeks to do justice to what Old Testament passages meant in their original context (which leads to a more complete picture of who Jesus was and is). Jesus continues the Old Testament story, "fulfills" OT promises, bears an identity shaped by OT models and paradigms, carries on the OT mission, restores OT values, and is the OT Go ...more
Joel Wentz
Apr 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A highly-readable volume on "Christology" through the Old Testament. I commend Wright for providing such an accessible work, which serves essentially as an intro to systematic theology, though those words are never actually mentioned outright. Someone familiar with work by writers like N.T. Wright and James Dunn will likely not find anything new or surprising here, but it is a clearly-written summary of that strain of thought. I personally found the chapters on ethics and mission very helpful, a ...more
Chet Duke
By far, this is my favorite book I've read this year. Wright guides his reader through the Old Testament with Jesus at the forefront. It is broken down into five parts (Story, Promise, Identity, Mission, Values). Wright goes in depth on theological and historical points and yet keeps the book clear, organized, and interesting. I would consider this an essential read for any theology student, minister/pastor, or interested layperson.
Aug 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian
In this book, Wright’s purpose show how integral Old Testament scripture and prophecy is to Jesus. To accomplish that goal he discusses how Jesus learned about His identity and God’s plan through Old Testament scripture; how Jesus was the culmination of everything in the Old Testament and that does not negate the value of the Old Testament or replace it. Although he does provide many scripture connections and valuable information, a good portion of the book is Wright’s perspective on how Jesus i ...more
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I sit here glancing over my Christian Standard Bible, one sad thing is starkly clear: too many people ignore the first 866 pages of the Bible (Old Testament) and primarily take their residence in the later 254 pages of the Bible. It is sad and hermeneutically disastrous. I will be as bold as to say that the New Testament cannot be rightly understood unless we understand the Old Testament. Consequently, Jesus cannot be properly understood if we hesitate pitching our tent in the Old Testament.

Steven Evans
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is absolutely fantastic. I’d recommend it for anyone to better understand the Old Testament and/or the person and work of Jesus.

The first chapter uses the genealogy in Matthew to give an overview of the Old Testament. It is a really powerful concise summary. He then shows how the New Testament adopts Old Testament themes, such as the Exodus. He also shows how the fate of all nations was tied to the fate of Israel.

The second chapter is provides an overview of the Biblical covenants and
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
I've been searching for a book that ties Jesus into the Hebrew scriptures, and this is the best one yet. It's not just a comparison of the Testaments, but treats it as one cohesive Book—as it's supposed to be. It explains the covenants of God through the Old Testament, which then make it easier to understand why Jesus fulfills them.

For what was the Good News? Nothing other than God's commitment to bring blessing to all nations of humanity, as announced to Abraham.

It spends a lot of time in the H
Phillip Taylor
Apr 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I liked this book. It has some very insightful explanations of various passages as they relate to the topic. I really benefited from chapter 5.

I have two points of criticism. One is the organization. I don't know how I would have organized it differently (or if there even is a better way to organize it), but it was not exactly an organic flow from one concept to the next. The second is some of the Christological inferences made. If I understand Wright correctly, it sounds like he is saying Jesu
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating and thorough look at all we can learn about Jesus through the Old Testament. Given that Jesus was thoroughly familiar with the Jewish scriptures, Wright takes us into how He's the culmination of the Old Testament Story of God's relationship with mankind, fulfilling the promises. Jesus would have drawn his Identity , Mission, and Values from the same scriptures and come to understand God, from his human aspect from these scriptures. I found it to be enlightening and to give a better c ...more
Tim Wiggins
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The point of this book, as Wright himself points out, is to reform our understanding of the Old Testament “so when we read the Old Testament, we do not need to look for forced hints in every text that ‘Jesus must be in here somewhere.’ Rather we should be aware as Christian readers that the God who presents himself to us in these pages of the Old Testament as Yahweh is the God whom we know and see in the face of Jesus in the New Testament.”

Wright’s work has shaped my understanding and interpreta
Damian Leverett
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“Without the Old Testament, Jesus quickly loses reality and either becomes a stained glass window figure-colorful but static and undemanding, or a tailors dummy that can be twisted and dressed to suit the current fashion.”

“To enter the Kingdom of God means to submit oneself to the rule of God and that means a fundamental reorientation of ones ethical commitments and values into line with the priorities and character of the God revealed in the scriptures.”
David Wise
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, theology
Great book at pointing out Jesus in the Old Testament and linking the Old and New Testaments of a Bible. It's a bit deep and technical at points more for seminary students than your average reader but if you are wanting serious bible study of the Old Testament and the relation of Jesus to it, I recommend this book.
John Ben Colvin
Sep 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Wright’s book has some great insights, especially on the role of the covenants in relation to Christ and the New Covenant. However, I think Wright makes a huge mistake by using The beginning of Matthews gospel alone for his view of the OT story. He completely neglects Genesis 1-11 which are necessary for understanding OT Theology especially in relation to the coming Christ and his Kingdom.
Emily Lucas
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Delighting and celebrating in the goodness of God and his faithfulness in upholding his promise and his relentless love for his people. How Jesus completed the story of the Old Testament and how the Old Testament provides the pictures and models which shaped the identity and mission of Jesus.
Brandon Dillingham
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal book that really helped to shape my idea of who Jesus is as a real-life walking human. Super helpful if you want to explore the link between what the Old Testament looks forward to and the actual life and person of Jesus
Dan Mays
Oct 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Christopher Wright is great! This books shows how Jesus is and fulfills the OT. Wright does a fantastic job of helping me see Jesus in his historical context and how Jesus is founded on the Hebrew Scriptures.
Kaelyn Sturgell
Nov 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I personally believe this is a must-read for any Christian, especially those who have a hard time appreciating what we call the Old Testament. Wright gives perspective on how Jesus interacted with the Hebrew Scriptures and how he also fulfilled them. Long, but thorough and easy to read!
Craig Prather
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent approach to an inductive look at Jesus in the Old Testament. Not many Theology books contain information that I haven't already read somewhere else; this one is a pleasant exception.
Rocky Woolery
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great way to see Jesus as these one who was anticipated by so much of the Old Testament.
Tim Liddell
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome to see how "YHWH" is translated in the Greek ot as Lord. and in the NT Jesus replaces "YHWH"
Coram Deo Church
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Christopher J.H. Wright, (born 1947) is a Anglican clergyman and an Old Testament scholar. He is currently the director of Langham Partnership International. He was the principal of All Nations Christian College. He is an honorary member of the All Souls Church, Langham Place in London, UK.

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