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Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament: A Decision-Maker's Guide to Shaping Your Church

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  415 Ratings  ·  33 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

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.
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 B.
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.
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
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
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.
Brian Reagan
Jul 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Wright does an excellent job in this text presenting his thesis that Jesus cannot be known fully without knowing the Old Testament by which his humanity was shaped. Wright presents a systematic analysis of Old Testament covenants, promises, types, values, and fulfillments. He skillfully connects these into an eschatological and missiological whole with practical sociological considerations. He does not proof-text Jesus into the Old Testament, but allows the Old Testament to present its own agend ...more
A great exploration of Jesus' identity, work, purpose, and nature in terms of Israel and the OT.

Wright uses the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew as a platform by which to explore Jesus' relationship to the Old Testament in terms of the story of Israel, the promises God to the Patriarchs and Israel, the predictions made about who the Messiah would be, how the OT informed Jesus' mission and values, and how Jesus and the Gospel authors identify Jesus not only in terms of Israel but also as God in
Anthony Rodriguez
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Chris Wright is one of the best Old Testament theologians around. He's thorough and well-versed but also creative and thoroughly evangelical in his theology. I find it baffling that several users on Goodreads have jumped to some strange conclusions about what Wright believes about Jesus' divinity. I think they haven't quite connected the dots on everything he's saying. Wright has a high Christology, as can be seen in anything else he's written and indeed is pretty plain in this text. He absolute ...more
Jan 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: old-testament
Jesus is my favorite God and the Old Testament is one of my two favorite testaments. Thus it was only a matter of time before I read this book. It is well worth reading! Wright doesn't do what some commentators have done and seek to identify every unnamed angel in the biblical narrative as a pre-incarnational incarnation of Jesus. Instead he thoughtfully examines the old testament story, God's covenant, God's mission and the God's values in the Hebrew Bible and relates it to what Jesus was doing ...more
Jeri Penrod
Nov 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: study-reference
I really struggled with this book. On one level, I was captured by Write's theory and knowledge. On another level, I was very unsettled. It was not until I was writing my critique that I figured out what was unsettling me. Write carefully avoids Jesus as God. He is so subtle in this omission that it is hard to notice. I believe it was the Holy Spirit causing my feeling of being unsettled, to alert me of the false teaching. Write has an excellent process for evaluating the OT, but I believe his i ...more
Sooho Lee
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Christopher J.H. Wright, an Old Testament scholar, has composed a delightful primer about Jesus's indispensable Jewish and Old Testament roots. Jesus's identity, mission, and values tie in with Israel's metanarrative and God's promise in and through them. Written intentionally without footnotes or endnotes (but with a quick spread of his influences in the back), this book is simple and fun. It was first recommended to me as "the best tool for understanding the Gospels' connections with the Old T ...more
The title of Christopher Wright’s book - Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament - triggers the thought of expositional magic work or creative thinking rather than careful and critical exegesis. Yet, it is exactly the careful reflection of Wright over the Old Testament texts that brings light to the person (and even the work) of Christ so that the reader may have a clearer and fuller knowledge of him. Wright profoundly shapes the identity of Jesus Christ through the very same means that the Gosp ...more
Chris Willson
Apr 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: seminary
I really enjoyed this book, Christopher Wright does a fantastic job to help the reader properly understand who Jesus (with the use of the history of the OT duh)

This is not a quick fun read it is a detail study that goes off on some detailed highs to make a point. It truly is a big puzzle that Wright is putting together in front of you.

I believe this has been very helpful in my understanding of the OT from the convents to the foreshadowing of Christ in the OT.
Tim Woody
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theological
Wrights book, Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament had a couple of high points for me. I really enjoyed the chapter on Jesus and His Old Testament Mission, since it unpacked the overarching mission, worldwide renewal, throughout all time. There were some other really good sections. Overall though his writing seemed a bit repetitive to me, which might have been beneficial to a reader whose first encounter with this subject was this book.
R.K. Goff
Jun 30, 2010 rated it it was ok
The basic premise is alright, but the author had some distracting and unprovable assumptions which he kept asserting as fact, a fairly disorganized writing style, and not nearly as much information as I would have preferred. His passion was in the right place, but I got more out of a simple book on intertestamental Jewish culture that drew no conclusions, rather than out of a book which seemed to be mostly conclusions with less information.
G Walker
Dec 13, 2012 rated it liked it
I like this little Trilogy by Wright... Chris Wright is immanently accessible and thoroughly edifying... Good Stuff... all three volumes are helpful and do have good things to say by way of Old Testament studies, Trinitarian studies as well as for devotional or doxological purposes... Kuddos to Mr. Wright!
Bauer Evans
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Chris Wright is one of my favorite writers on biblical theology, Old Testament scriptures ... and this book will make my top 10 list for favorite reads of 2015. His concluding chapter on Jesus & the OT Prophets was one of his best.
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book clearly traces the person and values of Jesus as he can be understood in light of the Old Testament scriptures. Easy to read, interesting, theologically sound and historically accurate, this book does an excellent job of elevating the importance of the Old Testament in light of Jesus.
Mar 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Great book that points the reader to the links between the OT and NT. I especially liked the sections which show that that God always promised to draw all nations to Him and the sections on OT morality.
Apr 21, 2010 marked it as to-read
Christopher Wright has thought deeply and written beautifully about this area of Christ’s life. In Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament,(one of my top three OT books).
May 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
A necessary read for anyone seeking to explore the link between the Old Testament and Jesus. It brings Jesus, and the OT, to life with its exploration of the two and their connectedness.
Christopher Morgan
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Dale Kesterson
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed this book. Fresh balance of different perspectives, but maintains a firm hold on the sovereignty of God.
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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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