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Through New Eyes: Developing a Biblical View of the World Paperback – July 6, 1999
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About the Author
James B. Jordan served four years as an officer in the United States Air Force, mostly as a military historian. He received his B.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Georgia, and an M.A. and Th.M. in Theology from Westminster Theological Seminary. He has also authored The Law of the Covenant: An Exposition of Exodus 21-23.
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Top Customer Reviews
I have the publication from 1999, and some of the thoughts are not easy to follow, e.g. the author explains that the ages at death of the descendants of Seth correspond to different periods of time (e.g., days of the year, days of a quarter of a year), signifying that they were rulers. His main point is that these details are given to us for a reason, and within context, we can deduce from what we know about these numbers -- and the people described when these numbers are mentioned -- that an ancient literary technique is being employed to give us a clue about what the Bible was indicating when it included that number. (Enoch was 365 years old when God took him. The Bible did not have to tell us the ages of anyone when they died; in fact, it often doesn't. The fact that a measuring unit of a year's time -- that is relative to the movement of a star in our sky (the sun)-- is also the age of a man of God when he died, is an indication of the status of the man of God as a ruler. Why? Because the Bible has already told us that the greater light was given to "rule" the days and the lesser light was given to "rule" the night, and that the stars were given for times, seasons, etc. The Bible is not evoking superstition about a specific number. There is neither magic in the number 365 because of this verse, nor is there some hint about a specific way that we might observe the sun "ruling". The author is trying to point out that the "language" of the Bible is symbolic. We are being simultaneously given "flat" information that also pulls depth out of previous information which corresponds. In this fashion, the message of the text remains context-specific -- if we've been told that stars are "rulers" of time, then numeric language corresponding to the movement and time measurement of the stars may be a typological message about a person that is a ruler.)
Unfortunately, the author sometimes does his own translations of Hebrew text, or states as fact that an item mentioned in the text is symbolic, without telling us about his research on the subject. I think that, in the interest of brevity, this may be the author's way of leaving it to the reader to research his translations and statements on the reader's own time.
I have listened to an extensive number of his lectures, and I can vouch that he is not making up his theology. With some of his conclusions about dominion and fleshing out God's Kingdom on earth, I disagree. This is still an incredible first step in really letting the Bible "speak" for itself.
Jordan's chapters on trees and breaking bread literally blew me away, as did his many diagrams on the tabernacle, temple, garden/land/sea model that can be seen in scripture. This is the first book I've read of his, and I plan on reading his others--especially since the majority of pastors and commentators I follow (Leithart, Wilson, Meyers) have been inspired by him.
My only gripe is, at times, I don't believe Jordan communicates all of his ideas as effectively as he could. Every now and then I found myself getting bogged down in details and having to read a few things over. Nonetheless, this book is well worth it, especially if you want to dig deep into Scripture.
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