Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament
OBST 515-B07 LUO
September 19, 2013
The bible in its entirety is full of information about the character and works of Jesus. However, to the average Christian the New Testament alone tells the story entire of Jesus and this is what is used to describe his life and works. The average Christian fails, for one reason or another, to make the connection to the words and promises that are spoken throughout the Old Testament to the beautiful picture of the Savior in the New Testament. Moreover, it is this lack of understanding, i.e. what the average Christian does not know, that Wright makes known to all who examine this book. In this paper, I will review these details that Wright has revealed concerning the complete picture of who Jesus is so that all may Know Him through the Old Testament. Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament was published in 1992 for the intent of revealing Jesus in the Old Testament. Wright, who currently serves as International Director of John Stott Ministries, published this book with the purpose of allowing people to go deeper in their understanding of the Old Testament. Wright states, “The deeper you go into understanding the Old Testament, the closer you come to the heart of Jesus.”1 It is this depth that Wright details in this book. Not only does Wright present Jesus to his audience, he skillfully weaves through Old Testament scripture to pull out the deep treasures that lie within. These deep treasures are the topics that are covered throughout this book. Brief Summary
Wright’s book, Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament, presents a picture of Jesus to us in five powerful chapters. There are two main ideas of the book and they are both ______________________
1 Wright, Christopher J. H., Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament (Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press, 1992) 1.
simple. One is to “Know Jesus” and the other is how much do you want to know about Jesus. The approach that Wright takes to make Jesus known is the study of the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in comparison to the Old Testament.
Why can’t we just get on with the story?
Because, says Matthew, you won’t understand that story – the one I am about to tell you – unless you see it in the light of a much longer story which goes back for many centuries but leads up to the Jesus you want to know about. And that story is the history of the Hebrew bible, or what Christians came to call the Old Testament. (Wright 1) 2
These first four chapters of Matthew deal with the coming of the Messiah and this gospel which is the “most Jewish of all four Gospels” reveals these truths to his audience. It is then no surprise that Wright chooses the Gospel of Matthew to explore Jesus, as Jesus himself was a Jew and what better place to look for information concerning Jesus than in a book that is written from a Jewish perspective. The underlying subtopics and themes expressed are done in five powerful chapters. In these chapters Jesus is not only present in every covenant or promise that God details in the Old Testament, but He is the fulfillment of each these covenants. Wright identifies five key areas that focus on Knowing Jesus. These key areas are Jesus and the Old Testament Story, Jesus and the Old Testament Promise, his Old Testament Identify, Old Testament Mission and his Old Testament Values. From these five key areas, Wright builds the case for his readers to know Jesus as the fulfillment of the promise. It is interesting to see Wright’s approach to this case. He does not start where you would imagine most writers would start with the revelation of the promise in the book of Genesis 3:15. He instead starts in the book of the Gospel of Matthew and ______________________
2 Ibid, 1....
Bibliography: Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament: A Decision-Maker 's Guide to Shaping Your Church, http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/165000.Knowing_Jesus_Through_the_Old_Testament
Wright, Christopher J. H., Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament (Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press, 1992)
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