A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament
examines divine revelation as it appears chronologically through the canon, allowing you to witness God's truth as it has unfolded through the centuries. The 11 chapters are divided this way:
• A Theology of the Pentateuch
• A Theology of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth
• A Theology of Samuel and Kings
• A Theology of Chronicles
• A Theology of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther
• A Theology of Wisdom Books and the Song of Songs
• A Theology of the Psalms
• A Theology of Isaiah
• A Theology of Jeremiah and Lamentations
• A Theology of Ezekiel and Daniel
• A Theology of the Minor Prophets
The highlight of this volume is the scholarship of E. H. Merrill, particularly as he examines the first 5 Old Testament books — the Pentateuch. In searching for the “theological center” of these important books of the Bible, many theologians argue that Exodus 19, the Sinai Covenant, represents the central theme which ties them all together. Many theologians believe this complex series of events — the Jews' miraculous deliverance from Egypt, the establishment of a covenant relationship with them and His challenge to them to be an obedient priestly kingdom — are in themselves the focus of Old Testament Theology. However, Merrill brilliantly argues that the “center” is not ultimately located there, rather it's found earlier in the Bible, at Genesis 1:26-28:
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, " Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
Merrill writes, “Unquestionably the underlying purposes of God for man are bound in His creation of the heavens and the earth… the very priority of creation both historiographically and canonically should point to its theological centrality.” The way Merrill ties these books together around this theme alone makes this reference work fascinating reading and especially worthwhile.