Book Review: Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament

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.

Christopher J. H. Wright has written Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament to encourage us to pitch our tents in the Old Testament on our journey to the great city of the New Testament. He wants us to see Jesus not as a random mixture of Gospel stories but as the Messiah who is soaked and deeply rooted in the Old Testament. In essence, Wright advocates against the butchery and severing of Jesus’ story from its historical Jewish context. He wants us to see Jesus as He saw himself to be. Particularly, Wright wants us to see Jesus as the divine Son who is sent by God the Father and empowered by God the Spirit to fulfil the mission that God commissioned Israel to do. Additionally, Wright wants his readers to really comprehend the radical continuity between the Old Testament and the New Testament and to steer away from the simplistic ‘proof-text’ approach to the Old Testament. It is much needed book for our context.

This second edition builds up on the previous edition. New material include a new chapter on the divinity of Jesus. Further, questions and exercises are added to help the curious minds.

Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament is written for general audience but scholars can also take advantage of this meaty book. Language used is not jargony or complicated. Thus, a lay-person can easily understand and digest the material.

Highly recommeded!

I thank IVP Academic for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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