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Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament [Paperback]

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Item Number 68926  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   267
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.05" Width: 5.54" Height: 0.83"
Weight:   0.76 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2000
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  0830816933  
EAN  9780830816934  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Tracing the story of Jesus as it is told in the Old Testament, Christopher J.H. Wright introduces the Jesus of history who is also the fulfillment of God's design for his people.

Publishers Description
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 faith so he might speak to our contemporary pluralistic world? To answer these questions we need to know what story Jesus claimed for himself. Christopher Wright is convinced that Jesus' own story is rooted in the story of Israel. In this book he traces the life of Christ as it is illuminated by the Old Testament. And he describes God's design for Israel as it is fulfilled in the story of Jesus.

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More About Christopher J. H. Wright

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Dr. Christopher J. H. Wright is International Director of the Langham Partnership International. He also serves as chair of the Lausanne Movement's Theology Working Group and chair of the Theological Resource Panel of TEAR Fund, a leading Christian relief and development charity. He has written several books, including Living as the People of God (An Eye for an Eye in the US), God's People in God's Land, Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament, Walking in the Ways of the Lord, Deuteronomy in the New International Biblical Commentary, The Message of Ezekiel in the Bible Speaks Today series, Old Testament Ethics for the People of God, The Mission of God, and The God I Don't Understand. Chris and his wife, Liz, have four adult children and six grandchildren.

Christopher J. H. Wright was born in 1947.

Spanish Language Biography: Christopher J. H. Wright es director internacional de Langham Partnership International, donde tomo el cargo que ocupo John R. W. Stott durante treinta anos. Tambien sirve como presidente de la junta directiva del Grupo de Trabajadores del Comite Teologico Lausana y del Panel de recursos teologicos del fondo TEAR, una fundacion lider en la ayuda para cristianos y desarrollo caritativo. Es autor de un sinnumero de libros, incluyendo Conociendo a Jesus a traves del Antiguo Testamento, etica del Antiguo Testamento para log hijos de Dios, y el galardonado La Mision de Dios. Chris y su esposa, Luz, tienen cuatro hijos y cinco nietos.

Christopher J. H. Wright has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Bible Speaks Today
  2. Biblical Theology for Life
  3. Christian Doctrine in Global Perspective

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
level headed reading: Jesus in his own context  Jul 26, 2006
in order to properly understand the Jesus of the new testament, instead of making a Jesus of our own liking, it is necessary to understand Jesus as he himself indicated. Jesus himself, according to the new testament, made constant reference and allusion to the hebrew scriptures, ( old testament ), as he sought to explain himself, his actions, his teachings and his significance. Understanding the old testament is therefore of paramount importance for understanding what Jesus was and is about. This means far more than knowing some of the messianic proof texts or knowing about Noahs ark or the temple and sacrificial system of the ancient hebrews. Understanding the old testament involves knowing the overall aim and purpose of it, and how it all is held together by connected themes that form a unified whole. Christopher Wright's book, Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament, is an absolute Godsend towards getting the drift of the old testament and how it carries forward to the Jesus of the new testament. This book is a little bit technical at times, it is not a devotional work, but reading this book will educate a person to accurately understand what the old testament is about and how it flows into the person of Jesus, thereby expositing the true meaning and intent of Jesus according to the background that Jesus himself referred to. Thanks Chris Wright for this fabulous book. Also, for serious bible study of the best sort, see his excellent magnum opus, The Mission Of God. It is truly outstanding!! For some other great little books on Jesus that are sane and sober, see: Jesus and His World by Peter Walker, The Original Jesus by N.T. Wright, and for a bit of a larger work see Jesus and The Gospels by Craig Blomberg.
looking over Jesus' shoulder as he reads his Jewish Bible  Aug 11, 2005
When scholars write popular books, it is sometimes evident that they are speaking a strange tongue. Chris Wright's semi-popular biblical theology does not suffer this deficiency. Wright wears his scholarship lightly and writes with a good preacher's respect for his audience's intelligence and lack of awareness of the issues that detain and entertain the specialist. The result is a solid and enriching example of a mature hermeneutic that takes the Old Testament seriously in its own right, and then seeks in it a witness to Jesus.

The organization of the book's five chapters underscores the book's unwavering focus on both the Old Testament and on Jesus. Wright names them, respectively, 'Jesus and the Old Testament Story', 'Jesus and the Old Testament Promise', 'Jesus and his Old Testament Identity', 'Jesus and his Old Testament Mission', 'Jesus and his Old Testament Values'. The result is a confessionally Christian biblical-theological treatment of the texts that avoids and occasionally critiques the hermeneutical blunders that bedevil much Christian proclamation of Old Testament texts.

In his first chapter ('... Story', pp. 1-54), Wright presents a fairly conventional survey of Old Testament history and literature. I use the term with no pejorative meaning, for Wright is convinced the average Christian knows little of this material, and so his task is essentially remedial. Indeed, his method has biblical precedent, for example in Peter's speech in Acts chapter seven.

The author takes his cues from the manner in which the gospels frame their protagonist in terms of his relationship to a heritage that we know principally from the pages of the Old Testament. It is evident from the outset that Wright will read Jesus with rather than against the grain of the Old Testament and the Judaism of his own day, an argument that will be developed in the book's final chapter.

Wright gives due attention to the 'inter-testamental literature' and, to this reader's satisfaction, attempts a brief rehabilitation of the Pharisees, a matter that requires attention in the light of his chosen readership of 'typical Christian carol-singers'. Wright is eager to establish that the Old Testament sets the basic definitions of terms like 'redemption', 'salvation', and the like that will be bandied about in the New in the expectation that readers will know to what they refer. He is particularly attentive to the character of the Old Testament as 'story', a tale that will not be fully told by the time the first testament comes to its end, and so points forward to God's subsequent redemptive activity in Jesus himself. Indeed, 'the Messiah was Israel', an affirmation that for Wright seems to hint more at the continuity between the two literary sections of the biblical story than at the discontinuity that is evidenced by them.

The relationship of story to promise is critical for a work of this kind, not least because a popular view of the Old Testament as a context-less 'book of promises' about Messiah is strong among many Christians. The architecture of Wright's book already suggests a more organic link between Old Testament story and promise, a matter to which the author turns in chapter two ('Jesus and the Old Testament Promise', pp. 55-102). Noting the manner in which the Gospel of Matthew cites texts with regard to Jesus that were actually written of Israel, Wright offers this programmatic statement: 'Not only does the Old Testament tell the story which Jesus completes, it also declares the promise which Jesus fulfils.' The singular word `promise' where one might have anticipated 'promises' signals Wright's intention to develop a nuanced and unmechanical view of how Jesus accomplishes this completion and this fulfillment. For Wright, Matthew begins with the experience of Jesus that he shares with his community and works his way back to Old Testament scriptures that are now seen to possess a deeper sense than another reader might have anticipated. The Old Testament is a matrix of promise in that it reveals a God who promises redemption, restoration, healing, and the like. Jesus, in unforeseen ways, becomes the agent of that complex and hope-instilling promise.

Wright accents the personal ('I-Thou') nature of promise, including its need for a response if it to become effectual. He is also eager to establish that promise affirms the history and the people among which it was established in a way that mere prediction cannot. Though Wright does not use this language, this allows the Old Testament to point towards fulfillment in a impressionistic or even 'fuzzy' manner rather than in the mechanical precision that today motivates some Christians to discover mechanical and ludicrous literal fulfillment of a vision never intended for such realism and little adapted to its requirements.

A final section embeds promise in the rich concept of covenant. Wright is surely faithful to his sources when he concludes that 'the overwhelming impression that makes itself felt through all this study of promise and covenant, is God's unwavering intention to bless.'

'Jesus and his Old Testament Identity' (Chapter three, pp. 103-135) probes what scholars call the `messianic self-identity' of Jesus, a topic that might seem odd or even contentious to Christian believers who have not thought seriously about Jesus' humanity. Wright wants to establish the fundamental role that the Hebrew Scriptures played for the 'carpenter's son from Nazareth, who takes upon himself a staggering identity with awesome personal consequence ... by accepting and internalizing three Old Testament figures.' The chief value of this chapter is Wright's extended exploration of typology, a venerable and much-abused element of Christian hermeneutics. For Wright, the typological instinct is valid as `a way of understanding Christ and the various events and experiences surrounding him in the New Testament by analogy or correspondence with the historical realities of the Old Testament seen as patterns or models'. This definition once again locks the two poles of his book (Jesus and the Old Testament) in an embrace without which each loses its meaning, worth, and veracity. An extended discussion of what Jesus and his earliest interpreters meant by the phrase 'son of God, as this was applied to the aforementioned carpenter's son.

'Jesus and his Old Testament Mission' (Chapter four, pp. 136-180) underscores the reality that Jesus' self-identity was inseparably bound to his sense of having been sent by his Father. Palestinian Jewish self-consciousness at the time found expression in the concept of exile. It was a simple thing to transfer the moniker and imperial qualities of biblical 'Babylon' to Rome, a new generation's oppressive presence. Over against this imperial intrusiveness, popular Jewish expectation focused on Israel's restoration.

Both John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth stepped into this cauldron of hope and resentment, in solidarity with the imminent fact of Israel's redemption but with a novel angle on how that was to be accomplished. A number of linguistic and conceptual receptacles were ready at hand to be filled with the content that Jesus would bring to them: son of Man, anointed one ('messiah'), servant of the Lord. With varying degrees of reticence and enthusiasm, Jesus used or allowed these terms to be used of him, typically modifying the accent in surprising directions that the early church, upon further reflection, would transmit in the teaching and proclamation that are the stuff of the New Testament.

Jesus and the apostles were able to discern an ample participation by non-Jews in the 'Israelite' restoration that they perceived occurring in their midst. Paul would work this out into a clearer articulation of his own 'sending' or mission to the gentiles.

Wright's final chapter ('Jesus and his Old Testament Values', pp. 181-252) shows how Jesus life was fully aligned in moral-ethical terms with his Old Testament legacy. This chapter competently indicates the continuity between the testaments, since for Wright Jesus more often underscores or occasionally draws out the fuller implications of Old Testament ethics as they already exist than adds uniquely New Testament-ish ethical instruction.
How Jesus might have figured out he was the Messiah by reading the scriptures  Jun 30, 2005
In this book, Christopher Wright attacks the popular idea that we can know Jesus without knowing the Old Testament (an idea expressed through biblical illiteracy and an emphasis on "New Testament" Christianity). His thesis--"the Old Testament tells the story which Jesus completes" (2)--is well defended on every page. I especially valued his insights into how Jesus rooted his identity in both God's declaration at his baptism as well as scriptural promises regarding Isaac, David, and the "servant of the Lord" (from Isaiah). Highly recommended.
Great detail, though a bit boring  Nov 29, 2004
I had to read this book for an Old Testament class in my seminary studies. It was a great book in that it was full of detail and many verses were used to show the points. However, the sheer quantity of details often left me wondering how in the world it related to the point being made.

If you're looking for a great book that shows how Jesus fulfills the Old Testament as well as how he related to it in everyday life, pick it up. If you're looking for a fun read...I'd suggest trying another.

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