Book Review: Christ and the Desert Tabernacle

It’s with thanks to Shaun Tabatt owner of Cross Focused Media, LLC, which serves the Christian publishing community providing social media and literary publicity services, such as book reviews and blog tours, for the opportunity to review J.V. Fesko’s Christ and the Desert Tabernacle (EP Books, 2012) .

Christ-and-the-desert-tabernacleI admit it.  I like reading and seeing the Scriptures from the perspective of redemptive history.  I do.  I know there are those who do not and feel it violates the purpose and intention of the Old Testament writers and that it is in the realm of theology and not bilical studies.  They feel the Old Testament needs to be left to speak for itself and on its own terms.  I understand why folks feel this way.

But (there is always a “but” in there somewhere right?) in light of the life of Christ, I think it is near impossible not to do that.  For even the New Testament authors themselves at times utilized a redemptive historical approach in interpreting the person and work of Jesus Christ.  You could say they may have even done a tinsy winsy bit scripture twisting to get their interpretations across.  The simple fact of the matter is, once Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, everything anyone in that time knew or understood about the Hebrew Scriptures, changed.  I just don’t see a way around it.

In light of this, in reading Fesko’s Christ and the Desert Tabernacle we are able to see the meaning of nearly every aspect of the Tabernacle in the light of Christ, that in fact, each piece is a shadow in some way of the person and work of Jesus Christ.  Fesko does not use the term “redemptive historical” or say that that is the approach he is using but really it is.  In this book he hopes

to be able to show readers, young and old alike, that far from being boring or uninteresting, the Old Testament tabernacle, and later the Temple in Solomon’s day, is a shadowy picture of Christ and the church…. the Old Testament tabernacle is literally an entire world of references, allusions, and foreshadows of Christ and the church.  One not need go very far to uncover the connections between Jesus and the Old Testament tabernacle  – the New Testament reveals them to us (12).

From the first chapter on building materials, to the ark of the covenant, to the bread of presence and the lampstand and oil, to the priestly garments and consecration of the priests, to the altar of incense you will see and learn, and hopefully be ministered to by the ministry of the work of Christ.

We see the Letter to the Hebrews (written by Paul right Dr Dave?  ;-) ) chapters 8-9, the ministry of Christ in the true tabernacle made by God, everything we see in the Old Testement account of the Tabernacle (Exodus 25-31).  The Old Testament Tabernacle was a shadow of the things to come, a type of the heavenly temple.

Hebrews 8:8

Now the main point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent[a] that the Lord, and not any mortal, has set up. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They offer worship in a sanctuary that is a sketch and shadow of the heavenly one; for Moses, when he was about to erect the tent,[b] was warned, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” 

Hebrews 9:

11 But when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come,[h] then through the greater and perfect[i] tent[j] (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), 12 he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.

So, there is good biblical support for looking at things from a point of view of redemptive history and I think Fesko did well with is book and I think it would be a good resource for when preaching through the book of Exodus or on the Tabernacle.

Good book!  Get it.  Read it.  Digest it!  :-)

Blessings,

Psalm of the day: Psalm 130

Psalm 130  (TNIV)

A song of ascents.

Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
    Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.

If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.

The Meaning of the Pentateuch

Stephen Dempster, Professor of Religious Studies at Crandall University in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, gives a good review of John Sailhammer’s magum opus The Meaning of the Petateuch: Revelation, Composition and Interpretation (IVP 2010) on the Themelios blog.

Here is an excerpt:

There is a gold mine of information in this book, which is the result of the author’s many years of painstaking and fruitful study of this part of the Bible. In some ways this book is a compendium for much of the author’s distinctive themes and terminology: text versus event, literary strategy versus literary strata, Pentateuch versus Mosaic Law, Abraham versus Moses, poetic commentary versus narrative progression, Pentateuch 2.0 versus Pentateuch 1.0, big idea versus smaller details. Whatever one thinks of this book, it needs to be part of the conversation of Pentateuchal studies in the future, particularly among evangelicals. Personally, I have found it refreshing to read a volume on the Pentateuch concerned with the final form of the text’s surface structure rather than the layers of literary strata beneath it.

Agree or disagree with Dempster or Sailhammer, I have my copy, do you have yours?  I do need to get Dempster’s book though….

Genesis 3:16 NET Notes

I got my wife an NLT One Year Bible for Christmas (since the new NIV won’t be out for a while) and she seemed taken aback at the NLT’s translation of Genesis 3:16:

Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you. ” (Gen 3:16 NLT)

When most other translations are more like the following:

To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (Gen 3:16 NRS)

I noticed that the NET Bible is similar to the NLT: ‘

To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your labor pains; with pain you will give birth to children. You will want to control your husband, but he will dominate you.” (Gen 3:16 NET)

So, I thought, this was interesting so I wanted to see the exegetical notes for the NET that I have on BW8.  They read as follows:

NET Notes (Gen 3:16)
48 ) tn Heb “and toward your husband [will be] your desire.” The nominal sentence does not have a verb; a future verb must be supplied, because the focus of the oracle is on the future struggle. The precise meaning of the noun hq’WvT. (t®shuqah, “desire”) is debated.

Many interpreters conclude that it refers to sexual desire here, because the subject of the passage is the relationship between a wife and her husband, and because the word is used in a romantic sense in Song 7:11 HT (7:10 ET).

However, this interpretation makes little sense in Gen 3:16. First, it does not fit well with the assertion “he will dominate you.” Second, it implies that sexual desire was not part of the original creation, even though the man and the woman were told to multiply. And third, it ignores the usage of the word in Gen 4:7 where it refers to sin’s desire to control and dominate Cain. (Even in Song of Songs it carries the basic idea of “control,” for it describes the young man’s desire to “have his way sexually” with the young woman.)

In Gen 3:16 the LORD announces a struggle, a conflict between the man and the woman. She will desire to control him, but he will dominate her instead. This interpretation also fits the tone of the passage, which is a judgment oracle. See further Susan T. Foh, “What is the Woman’s Desire?” WTJ 37 (1975): 376-83.
49 )tn The Hebrew verb lv;m’ (mashal) means “to rule over,” but in a way that emphasizes powerful control, domination, or mastery. This also is part of the baser human nature. The translation assumes the imperfect verb form has an objective/indicative sense here. Another option is to understand it as having a modal, desiderative nuance, “but he will want to dominate you.” In this case, the LORD simply announces the struggle without indicating who will emerge victorious.
sn This passage is a judgment oracle. It announces that conflict between man and woman will become the norm in human society. It does not depict the NT ideal, where the husband sacrificially loves his wife, as Christ loved the church, and where the wife recognizes the husband’s loving leadership in the family and voluntarily submits to it. Sin produces a conflict or power struggle between the man and the woman, but in Christ man and woman call a truce and live harmoniously (Eph 5:18–32).

So here was my initial reaction…  :-)   It made me wonder if complementarianism is a consequence of the fall and not God’s ideal?  Because of the indication of a future struggle to desire to control one another, I wondered if just prior to the fall God intended a more egalitarian partnership in both the man and woman relationship and in the care for the earth?  Does the indication of a future struggle mean there wasn’t one before?   Did God intend for each to be equal to each other working together?  Notice too that God had all the animals pass before Adam and he found no equal – til he saw Eve and said “AH, now I have found my equal!”  All kinds of questions for me to think about!  lol!

Now, I fully recognize this could be a completely ridiculous assertion, but I just wonder if it might hold up.

This is why we need to know out bible languages people (or interact with those who do) – it greatly helps in exegetical method!

Book Giveaway: Broadcast Depth Edition

Matt, who blogs at Broadcast Depth, is giving away what looks to be a good resource. He’s giving away James D. Newsome’s Exodus from the Interpretation Bible Studies series. Here’s how to enter:

  1. Write your own blog post promoting the giveaway and provide him with the link.
  2. Comment on the post and tell why you want this book.
  3. Tweet “Win a free copy of Exodus (Interpretation Bible Studies) by James Newsome http://tinyurl.com/l33qcs” and let him know your twitter user name.

That’s it! Head on over and enter NOW!

————-

Why would I want this book? Well, I think Exodus is one of the more important books in the Bible and I would like to know it well.  Also,  I am reading a very interesting work showing the Book of Exodus as the pattern for understanding the Book of Revelation (which is very interesting) – so it would be good to have a pastoral commentary on the Exodus to go along with Durham’s work in the WBC series.   But the problem is I don’t tweet…..

HT: Jason

Preaching through Leviticus

Through Rod Decker’s blog I learned of one Pastor James Schmidt of North Valley Baptist Church (Mayfield/Carbondale/Jermyn, PA) who has been doing just that.  Have you done it?  Are you brave enough to?  Check out Rod’s post about it.  He quotes part of James’ testimony about his experience.

I was scheduled to take a summer class in seminary on Leviticus and was really looking forward to it.  I was super bummed when it got canceled due to low interest (two people signed up).  My OT professor said it was the first time he had that problem.  Instead of taking it independently I ended up taking a class on the Chronicles (which was a good alternative and I learned a lot).

I hope to some day preach the whole Pentateuch.  It is just so foundational to understanding the rest of the Bible (OT and NT).

Why the low interest in Leviticus?