Wednesday, April 3, 2013

‘Charts on the Books of Hebrews’ by Herbert W. Bateman IV – Book Review

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Being a seminary student, as well as a blogger, I am always on the lookout for review books that will help me in my studies. Such is the case with ‘Charts on the Book of Hebrews’ by Herbert W. Bateman IV, part of the Kregel Charts of the Bible series.

Here is the synopsis of this valuable resource:

The book of Hebrews presents interpretive challenges and theological comparisons unrivaled in the New Testament. Charts on the Book of Hebrews puts this demanding yet rewarding information in an accessible and useful format. The charts fall into four categories:

1. Introductory matters (e.g., authorship of Hebrews)
2. Influences in Hebrews (e.g. Second Temple messianic figures)
3. Theological issues (e.g. words of exhortation)
4. Exegetical concerns (e.g. figures of speech)

Students will find this an invaluable companion to classes on Hebrews. Pastors and teachers will benefit from these insightful charts to quickly clarify difficult concepts while teaching. And all visual learners will find that these charts make Hebrews more comprehensible.

Here is the biography of this author:

Herbert W. Bateman IV is Professor of New Testament at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the author and editor of numerous books. He wrote, along with Darrell L. Bock and Gordon H. Johnson, Jesus the Messiah, the acclaimed book that traces, progressively and canonically, the theme of Messiah through all of Scripture.

In the Preface, Dr. Bateman explains the purpose for his book:

Charts on the Book of Hebrews provides information about Hebrews succinctly in visual format for today’s students and congregant. It is very user-friendly so that the charts may be used as both a foundational tool for study as well as a visual pedagogical and preaching tool. Ultimately it will benefit pastors, teachers, students, and anyone wanting to study as well as teach the Book of Hebrews. (p. 9)

I have always been interested in the Book of Hebrews. One of the main reasons for this fascination is that it is the only book in the New Testament where the author is unknown. I have my theory on who wrote this important book. One of the charts in this book list potential authors and the date they were proposed. The list includes Barnabas, Paul, Clement of Rome, Luke, Apollos, Silas, Peter, Philip, Priscilla and Aquila (Priscilla dominant), and Aristion. (p. 17). My choice is in that list (okay – I think it was Paul!)!

My favorite section of the book is Part 3: Theology in Hebrews. That section takes a closer look at how Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Covenant. One of the most valuable charts, in my opinion, is Chart 66, ‘Titles Ascribed to Jesus in Hebrews and Shared in the New Testament.’ These charts are important in that we can see the consistency and richness of the Bible.

Another interesting chart is Chart 103: ‘Alphabetical Listing of Greek Words Unique to Hebrews.’ I will be starting my Greek classes in the Fall semester. Although it’s ‘all Greek to me’ now, it won’t be for very long!  

Overall, I find this a very important resource that I will be going back to again and again. This is one in a series, and I plan on adding many to my library. I recommend you do the same if you are interested in digging deeper into God’s Word!

This book was published by Kregel Academic, and provided by them for review purposes.

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