Have you ever wondered what the Old Testament—especially the Old Testament law—has to do with your Christian life? You are not alone. Some Christian leaders believe we should cast off the Old Testament now that we have the New. Carmen Joy Imes disagrees.

In this warm, accessible volume, Imes takes readers back to Sinai, the ancient mountain where Israel met their God, and explains the meaning of events there. She argues that we've misunderstood the command about "taking the Lord's name in vain." Instead, Imes says that this command is about "bearing God's name," a theme that continues throughout the rest of Scripture. Readers will revisit the story of Israel as they trudge through the wilderness from a grueling past to a promising future. The story of Israel turns out to be our story too, and you'll discover why Sinai still matters as you follow Jesus today.

"Warm, witty, wise, and winsome; theologically rigorous, rhetorically convincing, and pastorally helpful, this book is not to be missed. Taking the reader through the narrative of the exodus, Carmen Joy Imes shows us that it is our story, not an arcane, ancient document as dry as last year's bird nest. The genre of Law speaks today. You will see the name Carmen Joy Imes regularly in the future as she continues to bless the church with accessible and edifying scholarship."

Jeffrey D. Arthurs, Haddon Robinson Professor of Preaching and Communication, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

"Rarely do we encounter scholars who are able to distill the essence of complex notions and recast them in forms that are both accessible and compelling for lay readers. Carmen Imes's skills in this regard are extraordinary. In the academy, people who have read her published technical monograph on bearing God's name have been quick to celebrate the stellar quality of her work. In this volume Carmen introduces lay readers and serious students of Scripture to her major findings through writing in engaging and persuasive prose—with plenty of ideas for application. For readers who long to recover the life-giving message of grace in the Torah, this book will be a great place to start."

Daniel I. Block, Gunther H. Knoedler Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Wheaton College

"If you are ready to be transformed by a book, read this one! Like Lucy and Edmund in C. S. Lewis's The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Carmen Imes plunges her reader deep into the world of the Old Testament (and the New). The journey will reshape what you know about God's name, Israel's law, and our identity as Christians who bear God's name."

Beth Stovell, associate professor of Old Testament at Ambrose University and national catalyst for theological and spiritual formation, Vineyard Canada

"Carmen Joy Imes's Bearing God's Name is a marvel. Imagine a scholar who writes for the church, a member of the academy who cares deeply for the parish. However you phrase it, Imes has done it–given the gift of both accessibility and accuracy to the church. I learned much in this text and look forward to returning to it again and again. I suspect your experience will be the same."

Talbot Davis, pastor of Good Shepherd UMC in Charlotte, North Carolina, and author of Simplify the Message: Multiply the Impact

"Carmen Joy Imes is helping us to relish once again the wondrous depths of truth and challenge that are there for us Christians in that great epic narrative of Old Testament Israel—whether those stories are familiar to us already or not. . . . I trust that reading this book will give you a deeper and more biblical understanding of what it ought to mean to bear God's name, and not to bear it in vain."

From the foreword by Christopher J. H. Wright, author of The Mission of God


Introduction: An Invitation and Word to the Skeptic

Part 1: Becoming the People Who Bear His Name
1. Leaving Egypt
2. Surprised at Sinai
3. Major Deal
4. A Plan for Success
5. Leaving Sinai
Intermission: Window Versus Painting

Part 2: Living as the People Who Bear His Name
6. Striking Out
7. What Yahweh Sees
8. Just Give Me Jesus
9. Blob Tag
10. Who Let You In?
Conclusion: All We Were Meant to Be
Discussion Questions
Scripture Index


Carmen Joy Imes (PhD, Wheaton) is associate professor of Old Testament at Prairie College, in Alberta, Canada, and the author of Bearing YHWH's Name at Sinai.

Imes is also a regular contributor to The Well and she serves on the board of directors of the Institute for Biblical Research. She is also a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Society of Biblical Literature. She lives in Alberta, Canada, with her husband, Danny, and two of their three children.

BY Carmen Joy Imes

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