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Sobre l'autor

T. Desmond Alexander (PhD, The Queens University, Belfast) is senior lecturer in biblical studies and director of postgraduate studies at Union Theological College in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Crèdit de la imatge: via Goodreads

Obres de T. Desmond Alexander

Law 1 exemplars
The Kingdom of God 1 exemplars

Obres associades

The New Bible Commentary (1953) — Col·laborador, algunes edicions1,906 exemplars
Sacrifice in the Bible (1995) — Col·laborador — 50 exemplars
Encounter through the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus (2011) — Col·laborador — 2 exemplars

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Coneixement comú

Nom oficial
Alexander, Thomas Desmond
Data de naixement
1955
Gènere
male
Nacionalitat
UK
Professions
Theologian
Organitzacions
Union Theological College, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Biografia breu
Dr Desmond (Desi) Alexander took up the position of Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies and Director of Postgraduate Studies at Union Theological College in Belfast, Northern Ireland in September 2009, having been Director of Christian Training for the Presbyterian Church in Ireland for ten years. He had previously lectured for 18 years in Semitic Studies at the Queen's University of Belfast. He has written and contributed to a wide variety of academic and reference books on the Bible, most recently From Eden to the New Jerusalem (IVP; Kregel). His areas of expertise are the Pentateuch and Biblical Theology. An elder in Fitzroy Presbyterian Church, he is married to Anne, and they have two children, Jane and David.

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Ressenyes

Summary: An exploration of the biblical theme of priesthood and mediation and how Christ fulfills these par excellence.

Throughout scripture, we learn that no one can see God face to face and live. Yet the promise of the New Testament is that one day we all will have the veil removed and see God face to face, and live forever in his presence. How can this be?

T. Desmond Alexander explores this in this sixth volume in the Essentials in Biblical Theology, focusing on the theme of priesthood and mediation throughout scripture, culminating with the portrait of Christ in Hebrews as a priest and mediator superior to all those who have gone before.

Alexander begins with a study of the portable sanctuary that Moses is instructed to erect amid the camp and how it is a model of the heavenly sanctuary, down to the perfect cubicle shape of the Holy of Holies, as is the new Jerusalem, descending from heaven as a cube. It is the place where heaven and earth meet, a footstool, as it were, of God’s heavenly throne. It also reproduces in its outer courtyard, holy place and Holy of Holies, the three zones on Mount Sinai, a new idea to me.

Then Alexander goes more deeply into the concept of holiness, the consecration of priests and of Aaron and the related concepts of clean and unclean, with the sanctuary being holy, the Israelite camp clean, and the world and nations beyond unclean. Yet with all of this, Aaron can only come before the Lord once a year, and not daily. But it is God’s intent, even if it is not yet truly face to face, that this be a tent of meeting, where God, mediated through the priests’ sacrifices, meets his people. He also deals with the “tent of meeting” where Moses talked to God “face to face” as it were, with the barrier of the tent between Moses and the cloud. When Moses asks to see God’s glory, he is told that he cannot see God’s face, lest he die. The mediation of human priesthood can only go so far. And even this is only possible by the daily intercession of Aaron and the priests, dramatically portrayed at one point when Aaron, burning incense, interposes himself between the dead and the living when God strikes Israel with a plague.

Daily sacrifices and incense are burned for the sins of the people, beginning at the outside of the camp and going into the holy place of the tent. Then on the Day of Atonement, the priest passes within the Holy of Holies to offer sacrifice for the people. Alexander shows how this pattern is fulfilled once and for all by Christ who is both priest and sacrifice, who in himself is mediator. Yet how can Jesus, born of the tribe of Judah, and not a Levite, and certainly not a descendent of Aaron, do this? Alexander shows how this is the significance of the reference to Jesus as a priest of the order of Melchizedek, the king of Salem. He is the priest-king, David’s greater son of Psalm 110. Hence he mediates a better covenant as head of a kingdom of priests, devoted to the service of God.

The wonder, as Alexander shows, is that all this is possible through the priesthood and mediation of Jesus, by which we are cleansed, sanctified and perfected. It is not that we must serve God but rather that we may. Our hope is one of being able to boldly approach, looking for forgiveness and cleansing, not only to serve but to rest. Alexander traces all this out, step by step from Sinai and the portable sanctuary and priesthood, to the fulfillment in the Son who more effectively mediates for us and intercedes than any priest. Read this to not only understand all the regulations around the sanctuary and priesthood but to grasp their wondrous fulfillment in Jesus and what this has won for us as his people.

____________________

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher.
… (més)
 
Marcat
BobonBooks | Jan 5, 2023 |
Recommended by Jason Armstrong when visiting him in 12/18

Inspiration
New Dictionary of Biblical Theology D.A. Carson 2000

34 The conviction that Scripture is the word of God was the undisputed tradition of the church until the 17th century. In the 17th century, philosophers and theologians began to challenge the truthfulness and authority of Scripture with reference to human reason (which was increasingly regarded as an independent source for truth about the world) and the nature of history… If on the one hand the insights of human reason are regarded as a priori correct and certain…

35 Biblical theology seeks to present a synthesis of the message of Scripture. It presupposes therefore a coherent and established canon of biblical books.

37 One of the most fundamental biblical assertions about God is that he speaks.

39 Without God taking the initiative in speaking to them, humans have no access to God, as neither experience (enthusiastic religion) nor reason (natural theology) are functioning ‘interfaces’ for communication between humans and God.

40 It is true that the main focus of much of Scripture is practice, the day-to-day, living, of God’s people, which results from their faith in God. But it is not possible to separate matters of faith from matters of history (e.g., the Exodus, or Jesus’ death and resurrection). It is illegitimate to separate the authority of Scripture, or to oppose the one to the other…

40-41 Scripture as a collection of literary texts

1) The narrative books (Genesis to Esther, Gospels and Acts) characterize Scripture as witness: they pass on testimony to events in the history of Israel, of Jesus the Messiah and of his followers. Some have described the entire Bible as ’story’: the story of God the creator and king working out human salvation…
2) The commandments (in the Pentateuch, in the apostolic letters and elsewhere) characterize Scripture as authoritative canon: they stipulate normative behavior for the people of God.
3) The prophetic books characterize Scripture as inspired word: through the prophets God himself spoke…
4) The experiential books (the poetic books, various passages in the NT letters) …

41 The implications of the inspiration of Scripture may be listed as follows. 1) The inspiration of Scripture implies that God may be encountered in the words of Scripture. Since Scripture is the word of God, the ultimate goal of interpretation is primarily encounter with God rather than encounter with human writers of the biblical texts. … 3) … establishes its unity and legitimatizes the attempt to harmonize discrepancies and tensions in the texts.

41 The process of inspiration
Various theories have been suggested to explain the process of inspiration. ‘Plenary inspiration’ …

41 The witness of the Spirit
How are we convinced that the Bible is indeed the written word of God that bears authoritative witness to his redemptive will, and that we should therefore view it as a unity? The answer of the Reformers, taking John 16:13 as the general principle for understanding divine revelation, is still valid: it is God’s Spirit who convinces us that the Bible is holy Scripture.

42 … Scriptures draws its readers into the story and so transforms them.

Worship New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, pgs 855-863

855-6 Nowhere in Scripture is worship actually defined. But when key biblical terms for worship are examined in a variety of contexts it is clear that the central concepts are homage, service and reverence.
Biblical terms for worship
At an early stage, it also came to be used for the inward attitude of homage or respect which the outward gesture represented.
Such fear involved keeping his commandments (e.g. Deut. 5:29; 6:2, 24; Eccl. 12:13), obeying his voice (e.g. I Sam. 12:14; Hag. 1:12), walking in his ways (e.g. Deut. 8:6; 10:12; 2 Chr. 6:31), turning away from evil (e.g. Job 1:1, 8; 2:3; 28:28; Prov. 3:7), and serving him (e.g. Deut. 6:13; 10:20; Josh 24:14; Jonah 1:9).

857 Revelation and redemption: the means of acceptable worship Israel’s relationship with God was not to be at the level of the mysterious and the irrational. They were to enjoy a personal and moral fellowship with the one who gave his ten ‘words’ to them (Ex 20:1-17).
The divine presence in Israel was not to be linked to any kind of image, since they saw ‘no form’ of any kind when the LORD spoke to them at Sinai out of the fire (Deut 4:15-20). Nevertheless, God’s continuing presence with them was to be proclaimed and expressed by this tent-sanctuary.

858 The priests did not derive their authority and function from the community but from God, who set them apart to be his servants, attending to the maintenance of his ‘house’. The LORD consecrated the sanctuary in which the priests would operate by allowing his glory to dwell there in the first place. . . .
It would be wrong to think that people in OT times were wholly occupied with the business of atonement for sins and to regard their worship as a somber and dreary necessity. The Psalms especially testify to the joy of the pilgrims journeying to Jerusalem and the longing of the godly to meet with God and his people in the courts of his temple (e.g. Ps 122; 42; 43; 48; 118:19-29).

Temple and sacrifice in prophetic perspectives Like the tabernacle, the temple was to represent God’s rule over Israel and to be a reminder of his special presence among them, to bless them and make them a source of blessing to the nations.

859 However, there are also texts which speak with approval of future sacrificial activity, portraying a time when God would renew his people and their worship (e.g. Is 19:19-21; 56:6-7; 60:7; Jer 17:24-27; 33:10-11, 17-18; Ezek 20:40-41).

Worship under the new covenant The Gospels give various indications of the way in which Jesus replaces the Jerusalem temple in the plan and purpose of God. For example, Matthew records his claim that ‘one greater than the temple is here’ (12:6). As the incarnate Son of God, Jesus represented God’s royal presence and authority more fully than did the temple . . . .

860 In John 4:20-24, a Samaritan woman inquires about the appropriate place to worship God, leading Jesus to speak more fundamentally about how to worship God acceptably. In contrast with Samaritan worship, Jewish worship was truly based on divine revelation and was therefore honoring to God (v.22). However, ‘the hour is coming and now is’ (RSV), when the OT method of approaching God is to be fulfilled and replaced (vv. 21. 23). The coming ‘hour’ is the time of Jesus’ return to the Father (e.g. John 2:4; 7:30; 12:23; 13:1; 17:1). Through his cross ad resurrection the new temple is raised up (2:19-22) and the Spirit is given (7:37-39). Thus, Jesus becomes the means by which the Father obtains ‘true worshippers’ (Greek, alethinoi proskynetai) from every nation (4:23; cf. 12:32). This expression suggests that the OT pattern of worship prepared for the reality which was to come in Jesus.
Jesus is not the object of worship in John 4 but the means to a God-honoring worship under the new covenant.
The exalted Christ is now the ‘place’ where God is to be acknowledged and honored.
The Greek verb proskynein is used elsewhere in the NT to show that the Son of God himself is to be accorded the homage and devotion due to the LORD God of Israel.
‘Bending over to the Lord’ in NT terms means responding with repentance and faith to the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who are concerned about God-honoring worship will be pre-occupied with bringing people to Christ. Such worship also involves praying to him (e.g. Acts 7:59-60; I Cor. 16:22b; I Thess. 3:11), calling upon his name as Lord (e.g. I Cor. 1:2), and obeying him in all the affairs of life.

860-861 Pauline perspectives on new covenant worship As those who have been brought from death to life, through Hesus’ death and resurrection (cf. Rom 6:4-11), they belong to God as a ‘living sacrifice’. This further described as their (literally) ‘understanding service’ (Gk. logiken latreian), suggesting that the presentation of themselves to God in Christ is the essence of Christian worship.
Acceptable worship is the service rendered by those who truly understand the gospel and want to live out its implications in every sphere of life. In common parlance the word ‘service’ is so linked to Christian gatherings that the Bible’s teaching on the whole of life as the context in which to offer ‘divine service’ is easily forgotten. . . . The notion of worshipping or serving God by means of serving one another is thus implied.
While all ministry must be understood as a response to God’s grace, and not in any sense as a cultivation of his favor, ministry to others is an aspect of our service or self-giving to God.
It may be best to speak of congregational worship as a particular expression of the total life-response that is the worship of the new covenant. . . . Worship and edification can be two different ways of describing the same activity. Ministry exercised for the building up of the body of Christ is a significant way of worshipping and glorifying God.

862 Drawing near to God through Jesus as high priest ‘Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings’ are all set aside by ‘the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all’ (10:5-14 NIV).
The priestly ministry of Jesus is superior because it involved the offering of himself as a pure and unblemished sacrifice to God (7:26-27), securing all the benefits promised in Jeremiah 31:31-34 (cf. Heb. 8:6-13). As a heavenly high priest, ‘he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them’ (7:25). He is willing and able to go on applying the benefits of his once-for-all sacrifice to believers, in the midst of all their trials and temptations (cf. 4:14-16; Rom 8:34; I John 2:1-2). In the argument of Hebrews, the sacrifices, altar and priesthood of the OT all find their fulfilment in the saving work of Jesus Christ, not in some ongoing activity in the Christian congregation.
‘Drawing near to God with confidence’ is at the heart of what it means to be a Christian. . . . In 4:16 it means specifically seeking mercy for past failures and ‘grace to help us in our time of need’.
Gratitude expressed in service is the sign that the grace of God has been grasped and appreciated. However, the writer introduces a more serious note when he asserts that acceptable worship is characterized by ‘reverence and awe’, and supports his challenge with an allusion to the coming judgment of God (‘for our God is a consuming fire’). Hebrews 13:17 shows what this means in terms of practical lifestyle.
His concern in the immediate context is to exhort believers to acknowledge Christ in the world, in the face of opposition and suffering (vv 12-14). . . .

863 The heavenly locus of new covenant worship The whole of life is to be lived in relation to the new Jerusalem and the victory of ‘the Lamb who was slain’ (5:12). Visions of heaven portray the offering of adoration and praise to God and the Lamb, and the language of worship pervades the whole document. Most significantly, the Greek worship term proskynein is used 24 times, in ways that indicate the centrality of this theme to the author’s message.
More than any other NT book, Revelation stresses the importance of praise and acclamation as a means of honoring God and encouraging his people to trust and obey him.
Together with teaching and various forms of exhortation, it can strengthen Christians to maintain their confidence in God and in the outworking of his purposes in a world devoted to idolatry and every kind of God-rejecting activity. Testifying to the goodness and power of God in the congregation of his people can be a means of encouraging faithful testimony before unbelievers in everyday life.

New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Carson
Jesus Christ

The OT as a book about Jesus
592 The OT story
594 Understanding the [OT] story in relation to Jesus
It follows that the OT can hardly be called ‘a book about Jesus’ as if he were the principal subject. Where there is a future hope, it is centered on God himself and in some places on a messianic figure who is not identified. Jesus is not explicitly present. But two positive points can be made.
The first is that the OT bears witness to an ongoing revelation by God and a relationship with *human kind (more especially with the Jews) which from a Christian point of view reaches its culmination in the coming of Jesus and the establishment of the *church.
Thus the OT is seen by the NT writers as the book which looks forward to what was now in process of fulfilment (e.g. Luke 24:46-47).
Second, it may be that some passages were regarded as having been fulfilled at one level in the history of the Jews but then as having a deeper fulfilment in Christian experience.
595 The book that prepares for the coming of Jesus
But if God was so working in them, it follows that the OT is in a sense a Christian book, some parts of which are about Jesus and the church, but that it could not be appreciated as such until the time of fulfilment. A biblical theology of the OT must recognize its dual role, as a book which would be understood on one level (or series of levels) by its original, pre-Christian readers, and on another level by those who had the ‘key’ to a new reading or it.
Accordingly, we see that within the OT there is a select group of passages, mainly in the prophets and the Psalms, which can be interpreted with hindsight as references to Christ on the basis of prophetic or typological fulfilment.
It follows that the OT is perhaps not best described as ‘a book about Jesus’, but it is rightly seen as a Christian book by Christians.
Jesus Christ in the NT
In contrast to the OT, the NT is a book in which Jesus Christ is the explicit subject virtually everywhere and his influence is implicit throughout. Although God is mentioned more frequently and remains the ultimate actor, to whom even Jesus is subject (I Cor 15:28; cf. Phil. 2:9-11), it is Jesus who is everywhere visible, so that the NT is a collection of books about Jesus.
The content of Christian faith is the founder of the religion rather than his message, even if the message and the founder belong inextricably together.
In the letters virtually no attention is given to the events of Jesus’ life, though there are some strong echoes of his teaching; the writers’ interest is in his status as God’s agent and in his death and resurrection, his present position as Lord, and his future role at the end of the world.
596 His announcement was startling, in that he understood the kingdom to be already present and working powerfully in the world towards its consummation, whereas the prophets say it as future.
Thus, although Jesus was not what we would understand as a social and political reformer, his message was very much concerned with social and political righteousness.

598 The Gospel of John
The first three Gospels provide something like a photograph, while John provides an artist’s portrait, in which Jesus is seen more explicitly in the light of who Christians knew him to be after the resurrection.

598 The Acts of the Apostles

599-601 The NT letters
599 If Acts describes in narrative form how the early Christians understood Jesus, the letters tell the same story in a more didactic manner.
In the writings of *Paul there are few, if any, passages the theme of which is ‘Jesus’, even though he is present almost everywhere.
600 Marriage is not only a physical and social union but also a spiritual relationship of love and trust between two people, as a result of which it is possible to talk of ‘the Macdonalds’ or ‘the Patersons’ as a new entity formed by the marriage. In the case of Christ, believers in him form a new entity called his ‘body’: the bond between Christ and every believer creates a mutual relationship between the members of the body (rom 12:4-8; 1 Cor 12:12-27). Christ is accordingly a cosmic figure.
In John also believers are said to be in Christ and he in them (John 14:20); Here the language of mutual indwelling reveals the close relationship between Christ and believers, similar to that between the Father and his Son (John 17:21).
601 In short, Christ became what we are in order that we might become what he is (Irenaeus)….
Jesus is thus an exact copy of God’s being; if the invisible God could be seen, he would look like Jesus.
… (més)
 
Marcat
keithhamblen | Hi ha 2 ressenyes més | May 19, 2019 |
Will the whole world be the Temple (immediate dwelling place of God), or will that be limited to the New Jerusalem (the cubic city)? 45, 74, 99, 107, 171

Great summaries: 73, 74, 98, 115-6, 121, 138, 188-92

World Mountain 52
priestly status 74, 76, 79, 84
Sean 99
Mike Goff 150, 152, 172, 181, Luz 175, 187, L 186
? 105, 111
Millennialism 117
King David 106, 123-4, 189
Leviticus-the holiness of God 140-1
Death/hope 174

Great themes within metanarrative:
kingdom 109-11
throne 75
priesthood 129
Christ 94
priest-kings 96
holy people, tree of life, nations 139

Typo 63; 101/118/etc "secondly/thirdly"; 184 competition
… (més)
 
Marcat
keithhamblen | Hi ha 3 ressenyes més | May 19, 2019 |

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