David Ash
Book Review - The Temple and the Church's Mission

The Temple and the Church's Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of GodThe Temple and the Church's Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God
By GK Beale
`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, Gregory 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, was to be extended throughout the whole cosmos. Hence, John's vision in Revelation 21 is best understood as picturing the new heavens and earth as the eschatological temple.

Professor Beale's stimulating exposition traces the theme of the tabernacle and temple along the Bible's story-line, also illuminating many texts and closely related themes. He shows how the significance and symbolism of the temple can be better understood in the light of contrasts to and similarities with Ancient Near Eastern assumptions, and offers new insights into the meaning of the temple in both Old and New Testaments.

'The importance of this book therefore 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 modelling 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' D. A. Carson

About the Author
Gregory K. Beale is Kenneth T. Wessner Chair of Biblical Studies and Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College Graduate School of Biblical and Theological Studies, Illinois. He is the author of 'The Book of Revelation', (New International Greek Testament Commentary) '1 and 2 Thessalonians' (IVP New Testament Commentary), 'John's use of the Old Testament in Revelation' (JSOT Press), and is a contributor to the 'New Dictionary of Biblical Theology' (IVP). His PhD is from the University of Cambridge.

... you probably can't do better than read this book. Without doubt, the central place of the Jerusalem Temple in the thinking of God's people, not least Jesus' early followers, has been strangely overlooked until recent decades. It's the ideas of the Temple, rather than its marble stones, that permeate the Bible, and I am sure the benefits of reading this book will be with me for years to come. It's helped deepen my intellectual understanding, my spiritual walk and my worship. I am sure this book will lead to more insight into the thought life of early Christianity in particular. Anyone doing academic study concerning the temple in the Bible needs to read this book.

Beale's book traces God's unfolding plan for humanity centering around the temple and the Church, gives an excellent insight into an oft neglected part of scripture, a highly recommended buy!!

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