Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 56:4 (Dec 2013)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

The King in His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments. By Thomas R. Schreiner. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2013, xix + 714 pp., $44.99.

In 2000, D. A. Carson wrote of the “mushrooming interest in biblical theology” (Dictionary of Biblical Theology 90). Now, almost 15 years later, it appears to be that the interest in the subject is still mushrooming, despite the diversity of opinions concerning what the discipline biblical theology (BT) actually is. In recent years several biblical theologies have been produced by American evangelicals, including Charles Scobie (2003), Walter Kaiser (2008), James Hamilton (2010), and Greg Beale (2011). With The King In His Beauty, Thomas Schreiner has added his name to the list of those who have taken up the demanding task—especially challenging within an academic climate that prizes narrow specialization—of writing a BT of the entire Bible.

If one were to map out a publishing road map building up to a BT, Schreiner’s writing career would serve as a reasonable model. In addition to several NT commentaries, Schreiner published a Pauline theology (2006) and a NT theology (2008). Maybe the only blemish on the map is that, while two thirds of his book covers OT material, he has not published much on the OT previously. In any case, Schreiner is a seasoned scholar whose ability to interact with the various books and genres of Scripture, including both OT and NT, is displayed in this volume.

It is important to evaluate a book that the author intended to write, not the book one wishes he had written. This is true of any review but especially relevant for the scholars who will be evaluating The King in His Beauty. Schreiner states, “I am also aware that I have barely scratched the surface in terms of secondary sources. I tried to read enough to get a sense of what biblical scholarship was saying about the theology of the various books examined. But I was concerned about being comprehensive; I mainly cite sources that proved to be of help in understanding the theology of the Bible” (p. x). This approach, of course, is not what many scholars—who delight in technical arguments, detailed footnotes, and thorough interaction with contemporary scholarship—will want to hear. Yet, Schreiner explains further, “My hope is that this book will be understandable for college students, laypersons, seminary students, and pastors. It was not intended to be a technical work for scholars” (p. x) Thus, this review proceeds keeping Schreiner’s aim in mind.

Schreiner opens by briefly touching on prolegomena material and manages in just a few pages to explain concisely the approach he has taken. Referring to the current common consensus, Schreiner believes there...

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