- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Thomas Nelson (August 27, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1400205352
- ISBN-13: 978-1400205356
- ASIN: 1400205344
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 184 customer reviews
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- #47 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Bible Study & Reference > Meditations > Old Testament
- #175 in Books > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > Sacred Writings > Hebrew Bible (Old Testament)
- #242 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Bible Study & Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Old Testament
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Jesus on Every Page: 10 Simple Ways to Seek and Find Christ in the Old Testament Paperback – August 27, 2013
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About the Author
Dr. David Murray is Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He was ordained to the ministry in 1995 and pastored two churches in Scotland for 12 years and still preaches most Sundays at various churches in Grand Rapids and around the country. He is an Associate Member of Heritage Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he currently lives with his wife and four children.
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The book begins by justifying the task of seeking Jesus in the Old Testament. There are 4 chapters devoted to validating this pursuit from the words of Jesus, Paul, John, and Peter. I was staggered by how many New Testament scriptures emphasize that the gospel of Jesus is the main message of the Old Testament. For example, After his resurrection Jesus taught two of his followers how all of the Old Testament was about him:
"And he said to them, 'O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?' And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself." - Luke 24:25-27
Jesus also rebukes the Pharisees for not seeing the gospel of Jesus in the Old Testament:
"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.... For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?" - John 5:39-40, 46-47
These early chapters even include discussions of the sections of scripture that seem to be negative about the Old Testament, which I found especially helpful. Here is a sample:
"There's no question that in parts of Gal. 3-4, Paul seemed to view the Old Testament, especially the Old Testament law, in a very negative light. As I read these chapters more closely, however, I began to see Paul making a distinction between the Old Testament rightly understood and the Old Testament as warped and perverted by Judaizing legalists...the Galatians had been delivered from the bondage of trying to get to heaven by obeying the Ten Commandments and following the ceremonial law. Paul preached a Jesus who had obeyed the moral law for sinners, a Jesus who had suffered the penalty of a law broken by sinners, and a Jesus who had abolished the rituals and ceremonies by fulfilling them." - Jesus on Every Page
After proving the validity of seeking Jesus on Every Page of the Bible, the rest of the book discusses methods to find Jesus in ten different sections of the Old Testament. To be honest, I did not get a lot out of some sections. At some points, Murray is extremely brief, and some of his methods are reduced down to a single sentence or two. This made certain sections of the book a little boring.
However, there were many sections that I found really helpful. The sections on the Law and the Proverbs really helped me to connect those sections of the Bible to my faith in Christ. Also, the section on covenants in the Old Testament was a good refresher for me. It is really encouraging to see the consistency in God's promise for redemption from Gen. 3 all the way through the Bible.
Jesus on Every Page was definitely worth reading. Every Christian who struggles with applying the Old Testament to their life should get this book. David Murray uses a very down to earth, conversational writing style, which makes the book a very easy read. Even if you are not an avid reader, I think that you would enjoy this book.
Murray is basically correct in his approach. He sees Jesus on every page, though not necessarily, it seems, in every verse. That is, every story can be connected to Jesus even if we have to be careful not to press the analogy in every detail. Murray makes a lot of 1 Peter 1:12 (" It was revealed to them [the prophets] that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been reported to you") in arguing that the Old Testament prophets knew about the New Testament era that was coming. The Old Testament "things" is the same as the New Testament "reports".
Murray is spot on at many points. For example, he correctly points out, on the basis of Acts 2:30-31, that in Psalm 16 David was a "believing Christian speaking of Christ as his only hope" (p. 194). I also appreciate Murray's alliteration in arranging his subpoints: his chapter on Jesus and Creation has the headings "The Arrangement of Redemption," "The Arena of Redemption," "The Aim of Redemption," "The Accessories of Redemption," "The Assistants of Redemption," "The Advance of Redemption," "The Analogy of Redemption," "The Advantages of Redemption," "The Apex of Redemption," "The Author of Redemption," and "The Application of Redemption".
There are, however, numerous points at which I disagree with Murray, either because he makes a dubious assertion or because he omits a critical point. I will restrict myself to three examples.
Firstly, Murray tends to see Jesus as doing everything in the Old Testament. For example, he argues that "the Son of God is the usual way God appears to humanity" (p. 76). Yet this has the effect of diminishing the work of the Holy Spirit. If we are going to apportion divine deeds among the different members of the Trinity (and that in itself is fraught with peril), then many Old Testament acts must be seen as the work of the Spirit (e.g. Nehemiah 9:20).
Secondly, in looking at Jesus in the prophetic books, Murray omits the idea that Jesus is the one on whom the judgement falls. He talks about Jesus being the judge of the nations (p. 128) but we can also look at judgement the other way: when Nahum 1:2 says "The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord is avenging and wrathful", we have to remember that this wrath against sin fell on Jesus. This is a glaring omission in what attempts to be a complete catalogue of connections between the Old and New Testaments.
Thirdly, in talking about covenant signs, Murray claims that "the crown on David's head reminded him and all Israel of God's promise of an everlasting king and kingdom" (p. 167). There is, however, no reference to David being crowned until he obtains the crown of the King of Rabbah in 2 Samuel 12:30. David was anointed with oil (2 Samuel 2:4) but the crown is not itself a Davidic symbol. It is used in the Psalms (89:39 and 132:18) to refer to the later monarchy, and perhaps this is where Murray gets the idea.
Thus, Jesus on Every Page is a rather annoying book. It is helpful in many ways, but it could have been so much better. The numerous points of disagreement I had prevent me from recommending it wholeheartedly.