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Lending Library Book Review

I just finished a short book: A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Loving the Old Testament: One Book, One God, One Story. The long title belies the brief book with short chapters. The author is Alec Motyer, noted Old Testament Scholar and local church pastor. His longer commentary on Isaiah is something perpetually on my “get to it someday” reading list. His shorter commentary is a frequently engaged “go to” resource.

I was thrilled to discover this small book on the Old Testament. Since Motyer is the author, the book is simply about Jesus. And it’s about Jesus by being about the book that is completely about him, the Bible, and its largest section, the portion we call the Old Testament.

A quotation from late in the book illustrates the connections Motyer makes between the person Jesus and the substance of the Old Testament. This passage also shows the depth, detail, and devotion of Motyer’s thought. He describes how Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecy by obeying the Scriptures (what Motyer calls “obedience fulfilment”). I hope the quotation isn’t too long. And I pray it sparks interest in the book and a request to borrow my copy.

Matthew 26:51-4 is crucially important as an illustration of our Lord’s determination to fulfil in himself what he perceived the Scriptures required of him. The Lord Jesus has been arrested in the Garden, and Peter, Peter the bold, Peter the impulsive, drew his sword and sliced off the ear of the High Priest’s servant. . . . The crucial bit comes next: ‘Do you think that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he will provide me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then would the Scripture be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?’ Do you see how he tied himself to the Word of God? If we follow the Lord Jesus Christ, we are following the supreme Bible Man. Don’t ever be ashamed of being thought of a being tied to Holy Scripture. Don’t ever be ashamed of exalting Holy Scripture. You’re following in the steps of Jesus who bound himself to the Word of God, and insisted by his obedience to fulfil what was written of him. (pp. 109-110, emphasis mine)

Moyter’s love of the Lord Jesus and the Word of God are thick through this book. And his words reflect the mature fervor of a man who was both a scholar and a seasoned disciple. The original source material fro the book is a series of lectures. So there's a conversational lilt to the text. It comes across as an exemplary concluding witness from a lifelong teacher and evangelist. I heartily recommend it. Please borrow, read, and return this book. And then let’s grab coffee and talk about it!


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