Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 06:3 (Summer 1997)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

All Things New: The Significance of Newness for Biblical Theology, Carl B. Hoch, Jr. Grand Rapids: Baker (1995). 365 pages, paper, $17.99.

Carl Hoch has written, without doubt, one of the most important and useful volumes of biblical theology that I have read in years. He is fair, evenhanded in his arguments, and always attempts to remain honest with the text. In addition, he plainly has no theological axes to grind. His love for truth shines brightly as he willingly tests his own presuppositions. This is a rare volume of serious but accessible theology. It should be read by all who are willing to pursue the concept of “newness” in the new covenant.

When Hoch began research several decades ago which eventually led to this volume, he discovered that only one substantial book on the subject of “newness” in the New Testament had been previously written. As productive as the field of biblical theology has been over the last four decades or so, it is quite amazing that this is only the second serious study of this revealed truth to be undertaken by a biblical scholar.

All Things New takes an interesting, and necessary, approach to its subject. It begins with a rigorous analysis of eleven things called “new” which are found within the New Testament. These include—new wineskins, new teaching, new covenant, new commandment, new creation, new man, new song, new name, new Jerusalem, new heaven, and new earth. Hoch rigorously analyzes each of these “new” things through its biblical use and context. He leaves no important stone unturned in the pursuit. The one word which describes his findings throughout would be “uniqueness.”

The New Testament is genuinely “new.” In the Preface Hoch writes:

I was not prepared, however, for the discovery I made when I began to look for scholarly works on the subject of newness and other topics covered in this book. I found that only one substantial work has been devoted to newness, the volume by Roy Harrisville published by Augsburg Publishing House in 1960. It was distressing to find commentaries and other theological literature not developing the theological significance of such basic concepts as new teaching, new covenant, new commandments ... A plethora of literature on the church as a new Israel [hardly a biblical expression] was available, but otherwise discussion was limited to historical and literary concerns.... Recent writing on the new covenant has helped to expand the discussion on that theme. But much work remains to be done on that topic along with other topics addressed in this book (p. 7).

Yes, “much work remains to be do...

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