Shepherds After My Own Heart: Pastoral Traditions and Leadership in the Bible, By Timothy S. Laniak

Shepherds After My Own Heart

Pastoral Traditions and Leadership in the Bible

New Studies in Biblical Theology


by Timothy S. Laniak
Series edited by D. A. Carson

Shepherds After My Own Heart
  • Length: 313 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.5 in
  • Published: April 18, 2006
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2621
  • ISBN: 9780830826216

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Scripture says, "I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding" (Jeremiah 3:15).

Most of Israel's pastoral imagery is grounded in two traditions: Moses as God's under-shepherd and David as shepherd-king. These traditions, explains author Timothy S. Laniak, provided prototypes for leaders that followed, and formed the background for the ministry of Jesus, the good shepherd.

The pastoral role was central to the ongoing life of local churches in the Christian movement, and today's pastors are still called to be shepherds after God's own heart, to lead his people, living on the margins of settled society, to their eternal home.

In this New Studies in Biblical Theology volume, Laniak draws on a wide range of Old and New Testament texts to develop the biblical theology of "shepherd" imagery, and concludes with some principles and implications for contemporary pastoral ministry.

A wonderful resource for pastors, teachers and seminary students, as well as readers interested in the study of biblical imagery.

Addressing key issues in biblical theology, the works comprising New Studies in Biblical Theology are creative attempts to help Christians better understand their Bibles. The NSBT series is edited by D. A. Carson, aiming to simultaneously instruct and to edify, to interact with current scholarship and to point the way ahead.

This book is a must-read for both ministers and scholars.

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, November 2007


Series Preface
Author's Preface

I. Background
1. Metaphors for the Moment
2. Shepherds in the Ancient World
3. Shepherd Rulers in the Ancient World

II. Biblical Prototypes
4. YHWH, Moses and the "Flock" of God in the Wilderness
5. YHWH, David and the Royal Traditions

III. YHWH, the Messiah and Promises of a Second Exodus
6. Isaiah: the Davidic Messiah and a Way in the Wilderness
7. Jeremiah: Righteous Shepherds
8. Ezekiel: the Faithful Shepherd
9. Zechariah: the Militant and Suffering Shepherd

IV. The Shepherd Messiah, His Followers and the Second Exodus
10. Mark: the Shepherd King and the Second Exodus
11. Matthew: the Compassionate Davidic Shepherd
12. Luke: the Seeking and Saving Shepherd
13. John: the Self-Sacrificing Shepherd and Passover Lamb

V. Following and Serving the Shepherd-Lamb
14. I Peter: On Being Aliens and Shepherds
15. Revelation: the Slain Lamb and Ruling Shepherd

VI. Concluding Observations and Reflections

Appendix A: Mesopotamian Deities with Shepherd Titles
Appendix B: Mesopotamian Kings with Shepherd Titles and Epithets
Index of Modern Authors
Index of Scripture References
Index of Ancient Sources


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Timothy Laniak is associate professor of Old Testament and coordinator of the Urban Ministry Certificate Program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina. He is author of Shame and Honor in the Book of Esther (Scholars Press, 1998) and "Esther" in Ezra-Nehemiah-Esther (NIBC, 2003).

D. A. Carson

D. A. Carson is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.