The Temple and the Church's Mission
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. . . . And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem. . . . And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man." (Revelation 21:1-3, ESV).
In this comprehensive study, a New Studies in Biblical Theology volume, G. K. Beale argues that the Old Testament tabernacle and temples were symbolically designed to point to the end-time reality that God's presence, formerly limited to the Holy of Holies, would be extended throughout the cosmos. Hence, John's vision in Revelation 21 is best understood as picturing the new heavens and earth as the eschatological temple.
Beale's stimulating exposition traces the theme of the tabernacle and temple across the Bible's story-line, illuminating many texts and closely-related themes along the way. He shows how the significance and symbolism of the temple can be better understood in the context of ancient Near Eastern assumptions, and offers new insights into the meaning of the temple in both Old and New Testaments.
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.
"The importance of this book lies not only in the competent handling of its chosen theme but in three other things: its evocative unpacking of the theme of the temple and its relations to broader structures of thought, including the kingdom of God; its modeling of the way biblical theology is to be done; and its capacity to cause readers to perceive fresh and wonderful things in the Scriptures, and to bow in worship and gratitude."
Beale has written a comprehensive (and to my mind, convincing) biblical theology, centering on the role of the temple both in Scripture and in the Ancient Near East.
I recommend this work for anyone wrestling with eschatological issues of fulfillment or handling temple texts that are dealt with in this book. As for me, I intend to have the book handy anytime I apporach biblical theology as a guidebook in methodology.
. . . One of the finest studies in biblical theology available.
"[Beale's] exegesis and theological insights will provoke [readers] in their own study of the Temple."
Preface by Mary Dorinda Beale
2. Cosmic Symbolism of Temples in the Old Testament
3. The Expanding Purpose of Temples in the Old Testament
4. The Expanding End-Time Purpose of Temples in the Old Testament
5. The "Already and Not Yet" Fulfillment of the End-Time Temple in Christ and His People: The Gospels
6. The Inauguration of a New Temple in the Book of Acts
7. The Inauguration of a New Temple in the Epistles of Paul
8. The Temple in 2 Thessalonians 2
9. The Inauguration of a New Temple in Hebrews
10. The World-Encompassing Temple in Revelation
11. The Temple in Ezekiel 40--48 and Its Relationship to the New Testament
12. Theological Conclusions: The Physical Temple as a Foreshadowing of God's and Christ's Presence as the True Temple
13. Practical Reflections on Eden and the Temple for the Church in the Twenty-first Century
Index of Modern Authors
Index of Biblical References
Index of Ancient Sources