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The Messiah in the Old & New Testaments

Author: Stanley Porter (Editor)
Published By: Eerdmans (Grand Rapids/Cambridge)
Pages: 268
Price: £16.99
ISBN: 0 8028 0766 3

Reviewed by Chris Skilton.

This volume of essays is the collection of papers given at a Colloquium of the same name in Ontario, Canada in 2004. There are two Old Testament, two inter-testamental and five New Testament essays exploring the concept of Messiah.

The Old Testament pieces bring an important reminder that in the Pentateuch and Psalms the anointed one always refers to a contemporary human figure, although towards the end of the OT period there is a growing sense of a figure who will ‘one day’ come. The inter-testamental essays provide a helpful survey of lesser known material and emphasise the diversity of views prevailing at the time of Jesus. For example, it is suggested that the reason that many Jews did not recognise Jesus as Messiah was because there was no coherence to Jewish thought at that period.

The highlights of the New Testament material are I H Marshall’s masterly survey of the concept in Matthew/Mark, and Stanley Porter on Luke-Acts. The essays on Paul and the General Epistles try to cover too much ground in too short a space.

The strength of the collection is that it does present a diversity of views and insights, but this is also its greatest weakness in that it would have benefited from a stronger editorial hand on the tiller. A final essay by Craig Evans, responding to the other eleven, addresses points of detail in each essay rather then providing a helpful overview.

I would hope that ministers might want to use this book as part of a study week to explore the concept of Messiah, and it might be used as a resource to dip into in sermon preparation on this subject.

Chris Skilton

Archdeacon of Lambeth and Board Member of Ministry Today

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You are reading Issue 42 of Ministry Today, published in March 2008.

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