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MESSIAH IN THE OT PB (Studies in Old Testament Biblical Theology) Paperback – 25 Aug 1995


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Old Testament texts that point to the coming of the Messiah are traditionally interpreted either from the viewpoint of their New Testament fulfillment (evangelicalism) or their linguistic and grammatical distinctiveness within the Hebrew Bible (non-conservative). "The Messiah in the Old Testament" considers another important line of interpretation that has been neglected in building an Old Testament theology. It approaches Israel's concept of the Messiah as a developing theme and shows how a proper grasp of the textual meaning at each stage of Old Testament revelation is necessary for understanding messianic prophecy. Beginning in the Pentateuch and working through the Old Testament to the Minor Prophets, the author delineates texts that are direct messianic prophecies and examines their meaning and development within the flow of God's plan. The reader will gain an understanding of God's process for bringing the Messiah to earth through the nation of Israel, and of his intent to bring the saving knowledge of Christ to the World through them.

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Old Testament texts that point to the coming of the Messiah are traditionally interpreted either from the viewpoint of their New Testament fulfillment (evangelicalism) or their linguistic and grammatical distinctiveness within the Hebrew Bible (non-conservative). The Messiah in the Old Testament considers another important line of interpretation that has been neglected in building an Old Testament theology. It approaches Israel's concept of the Messiah as a developing theme and shows how a proper grasp of the textual meaning at each stage of Old Testament revelation is necessary for understanding messianic prophecy. Beginning in the Pentateuch and working through the Old Testament to the Minor Prophets, the author delineates texts that are direct messianic prophecies and examines their meaning and development within the flow of God's plan. The reader will gain an understanding of God's process for bringing the Messiah to earth through the nation of Israel, and of his intent to bring the saving knowledge of Christ to the World through them.

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x9b4adc9c) out of 5 stars 26 reviews
56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b325738) out of 5 stars Fascinating study of the Messiah in the Old Testament! 22 Nov. 2002
By Donald S. Meador - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Walter Kaiser, Jr. has given us a very rich study regarding the Messiah. His study is very specific and unique. He focuses only on passages that deal with direct prophecies/predictions of the coming Messiah. He steers clear of typology, which can sometimes be too subjective. His approach is chronological. He begins with the Pentateuch and shows us the foundation of predictions of the Messiah that God revealed in the earliest of His revelations. He proceeds to show the reader how subsequent writers of Holy Scripture built upon this foundation and developed themes of the Messiah (e.g. Prophet, Priest, King, Servant, etc.). He follows prophecies of the Messiah through different eras of Israel's history. When he gets to the prophets themselves, he groups them by the century in which they prophesied. So, the earliest parts of this book give us prophesies of the Messiah in the order that they come in our English translations of the Old Testament. The prophets, however, are not necessarily addressed in our biblical order, as their works do not appear in chronological order in our English transations.
I wish I could say this study was for everyone - I do believe it would be beneficial reading for everyone. Kaiser's study is deep, and sometimes technical. It helps to have a basic understanding of hermeneutics (biblical interpretation) before beginning this book. There are a couple of places where he discusses aspects of Hebrew grammar - the gist is attainable if the reader will press on through these brief sections. So, it is readable, but some things will be outside the grasp of the average reader. Kaiser does not overwhelm one with the technical aspects of his research, but it is sometimes present.
There is another aspect of this book that may trouble some readers. Kaiser deals with the Hebrew text. In some places his conclusions are based on personal translations that imply that the English translations are actually mistranslations. Certain groups of Christians, especially the "King James" only crowd, will have problems with this approach. Kaiser seems to tackle the subject with a belief in the inspiration of Scripture, but not with the belief in the inspiration of the translators of Scripture. I agree with him at this point, but am concerned that it may cause difficulties for young believers.
From the other reviews of this book, it is evident that some Jewish people will have problems with this study. It is unfortunate. Kaiser makes little attempt to convert anyone - it is not an overt aspect of his work. He simply examines the evidence and writes about his findings. Some of the passages he examines are obscure, some are more commonly understood as referring to the Messiah. Kaiser is not shy about quoting from the Jewish Targums, those that predate the life of Jesus, and showing where pre-Christian Jewish understandings of the Messiah were.
All in all, this is an excellent study. I came away from this book with a deeper knowledge of how thoroughly God predicted the coming Messiah to the Jewish people. I appreciate more deeply the atoning sacrifice of the Messiah - His death in my place. Kaiser does not connect all the prophecies to their corresponding fulfillments in the New Testament. When I taught a series based on Kaiser's work I traced every New Testament connection that I could find. It is almost overwhelming to see how the New Testament shows Jesus as the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies about the coming Messiah. Such a study will enrich one's faith!
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b3f60d8) out of 5 stars Good survey of the OT messianic prophecies 16 Dec. 2003
By Dr. Marc Axelrod - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a quick survey of the major messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. Actually, I found the first chapter on how to interpret messianic prophecy the most helpful chapter in the book. Kaiser rejects the double fulfillment approach that many have taken with the prophecies of Christ's first coming. He makes a case for the Christocentric interpretation being the the primary interpretation in each case study. I do not always agree with this approach, as his interpretation of Isaiah 7:14 is less than satisfying.
But in most instances, his interpretations are very good, and you can perceive Kaiser's strong evangelical faith in the volume. Recommended.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b3f6f00) out of 5 stars Well Argued on the Merits of the Text 19 Nov. 2011
By Russ White - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are a number of scholars today who claim the Tanach, the Old Testament, does not hold any information about the Messiah. The point being, of course, that if they can untie the Old and New Testaments, they can deal a severe blow to either Christianity in general --by making the New Testament stand without reference-- or they can deal a blow to conservative Christianity, by taking the New Testament as a belief system completely unrelated to Judaism. Dr. Kaiser, in this book, a part of the Old Testament Theology series, takes great issue with this contention.

Dr. Kaiser focuses on reading the Scriptures in a "single meaning," sense.

"Let us begin by admitting that the nontraditionalists have been justified in their insistence on the two criteria that must be used for interpreting prophecies: (1) the meaning of the OT references to the Messiah must reflect the author's own times and historical circumstances, and (2) the meaning must be a meaning that is reflected in the grammar and syntax of the OT text. To deny these two working hypothesis introduces pandemonium into the interpretive process. -Page 23"

Using this methodology, he traces various Messianic prophecies and promised throughout the Tanach. He begins his book with an overview of studying the Messianic texts in the Tanach. The remainder of The Messiah in the Old Testament is arranged based on the Tanach itself; the Pentateuch, the Davidic Monarchy, the Psalms, the ninth and eighth century Prophets, Isaiah, the seventh and sixth century Prophets, and the postexilic Prophets are each covered in their own sections. Any one of these pieces could be made into a book in it's own right, so each chapter is necessarily something of an overview, only diving deep where there is significant controversy or some interesting detail to interact with.

The strongest arguments here come in relation to Noah's prophecy in Genesis 9:27, Abraham's faith in Genesis 22, and Isaiah's prophecy of the child to come by a virgin.

In the case of Noah, Dr. Kaiser concludes that this prophecy can only refer to the Messiah because of the context surrounding the prophecy. No other reading makes sense. In the case of Abraham's faith, Dr. Kaiser argues that Abraham understood the meaning of the Akedah because God revealed it at that time --that Abaraham's statement that he would return with Isaac is a clear indication that he understood resurrection. Finally, in Isaiah's prophecy, Dr. Kaiser shows that a virgin is in view, not just a young woman, and that Isaiah would have clearly understood the near meaning as a sign of the far meaning, rather than as a fulfillment of the prophecy.

Overall, this is an interesting and enlightening defense of the connection between the Tanach and the New Testament. It is complementary to Dr. Kaiser's other work in this area, rather than strictly overlapping. Highly recommended.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b6d945c) out of 5 stars Practical application of Kaiser's promise mega-motif 21 May 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Useful exegesis of Old Testament passages which have a Messianic hermeneutic. Tends to find Messiah in some passages which I would overlook (eg Job's 4 Messianic predictions). But on the whole, a useful and scholarly appraisal of a curly topic.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b5599a8) out of 5 stars Messianic prophecy commentary that everyone can understand. 23 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you are doing a study on the Messianic prophecies fulfilled by Jesus at His first coming, this is one book you want to have in your collection. Approachable, engaging, easy to read and understand, Kaiser gives just enough technical treatment to stretch the average reader - but not too much. Fact is there are not many contemporary books specifically dedicated to this subject. This book is a useful tool, and Kaiser is an authority on the topic.
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