Wonders from Your Law

Wonders from Your Law

Nexus Passages and the Promise of an Exegetical Intertextual Old Testament Theology

by Kevin S. Chen
Foreword by Stephen G. Dempster

Wonders from Your Law
paperback
  • Length: 400 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: September 10, 2024
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: A0320
  • ISBN: 9781514003206

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Finding internal coherence within the Old Testament is a challenging task. Numerous scholars over the centuries have provided various, divergent frameworks to organize the content of the Hebrew Bible. Navigating both the Old Testament itself and the history of its interpretation can feel like a maze of complexity.

Biblical scholar Kevin Chen offers a way of understanding the Old Testament through the orienting lens of what he calls "nexus passages." Such passages pull the material of the Old Testament together through their high connectivity to other Scripture passages. In his thorough textual analyses, Chen shows how these nexus passages serve as lexical, thematic, and theological hubs for understanding the Old Testament. Both exegetical and intertextual, Wonders From your Law gazes deeply into the text for a constructive, evangelical approach to Old Testament theology.

"Where many see the Old Testament as disconnected and disjointed, Kevin Chen demonstrates that its unity can be demonstrated through attention to key passages. His close reading of core passages convincingly shows the unity of the Old Testament's message and the hope that emerges through it. Chen thus provides us with a map that helps us read the Old Testament well."

David Firth, tutor in Old Testament at Trinity College, Bristol

"What Kevin Chen offers here may be described as a stargazer of the entire heavens (the text of the Old Testament) discovering among the vast array ten particularly bright-shining, powerfully gravitational 'nexus' passages. This constellation provides the framework for seeing how all the parts of the Old Testament cohere and connect together."

Ray Lubeck, professor of Old Testament at Multnomah University

"In Wonders from Your Law, Kevin Chen identifies ten key nexus passages in the Old Testament, resulting in an integrative and intertextual approach that honors the literary, textual, and theological unity of the Old Testament. Readers will discover the themes of creation, deliverance, the temple, the Messiah, and his kingdom as well as wisdom, which are all weaved together to form God's story with Israel. The book contributes creatively to Old Testament theology from an evangelical perspective. It invites us to get on the 'subway' of the Old Testament and to be awed by its 'transfer stations' and, ultimately, its destination."

Chloe T. Sun, professor of Old Testament and program director of the Chinese Studies Center, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Kevin Chen's Wonders from Your Law is the result of taking Jesus' hermeneutic seriously. It is an intensive study of the Scriptures, the result of a profound reflection on its content, and a conviction in their authority and claim to be divine revelation. The result is that the concept of the Messiah is not a late construction embraced toward the end of the biblical period as a means of dealing with the disenchantment and disillusion of the Jewish people. Nor is it an invention of early Christianity superimposed on the biblical texts, the result of cognitive dissonance coming to terms with the shock of the death of Jesus. No. There is a story line and a metanarrative in Israel's Scriptures. The Messiah is not just obliquely present but connects many of the details of Israel's Scriptures. He is there from the beginning and throughout the texts as a central theme."

Stephen Dempster, emeritus professor of religious studies at Crandall University, from the foreword
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CONTENTS

Introduction

1. Nexus Passages and the Story of Old Testament Theology as a Discipline
2. Genesis 1–3: Creation and Wisdom (Literature)
3. Exodus 15:1-18: The Exodus According to the Song of the Sea
4. Numbers 24: The Star from Jacob and a 'Deuteroevangelium'
5. Deuteronomy 32: A Song for the Ages
6. 2 Samuel 7: Who is the Son Worthy to Build the Lord's House?
7. Isaiah 52:13–53:12: The Suffering Servant
8. Jonah 2: Exodus 1.5
9. Psalm 72: A Messianic Peak in the Middle of the Psalter
10. Proverbs 8:22-31: Wisdom, the 'Beginning' of the Lord's Way
11. Daniel 9: Daniel, Student of Scripture

Conclusion

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Kevin S. Chen

Kevin S. Chen is associate professor of Old Testament at Christian Witness Theological Seminary in San Jose, California. He completed his PhD in biblical studies under the late John Sailhamer at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary and taught for nine years at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. He is the author of Eschatological Sanctuary in Exodus 15:17 and Related Texts, and he contributed the study Bible notes on the Old Testament for the Worldview Study Bible.