In Christian churches the Old Testament rarely gets the attention it deserves. The New Testament is prominently featured in sermons, devotionals, and around the Christmas and Easter holidays. Meanwhile, the Old Testament gets an occasional mention in a sermon, and is viewed as something you must slog through in your yearly Bible reading plan. The only place where the Old Testament is featured is in children’s lessons, where the narratives are reduced to moralistic teachings. In this view, the only relevance the Old Testament has to the Christian is to set the stage, to show why we sin and why we need Jesus.
David Murray, professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, is on a mission to rid the church of this Old Testament prejudice. In Jesus on Every Page: 10 Simple Ways to Seek and Find Christ in the Old Testament, he does an excellent job of showing Christian readers the importance—even necessity—of reading the Old Testament. In this accessible yet powerful book, Murray takes the readers on an expedition through all the sections of the Old Testament, only to discover Jesus around every corner.
The book is divided into two parts. In Part 1, entitled “My Road to Emmaus,” Murray retells his story of discovering Christ in the Old Testament. Like many, he grew up in a church and tradition which tended to downplay the usefulness of the Old Testament. It was only when he started teaching and preaching exclusively on the Old Testament that he saw that the entire Bible was saturated by the grace and love of Jesus Christ.
In Part 2, Murray gets into the practical advice on how to see Christ in the Old Testament. He looks at all the major divisions and genres of the Old Testament, from creation (chapter 7) to the narratives (chapter 11), to even the proverbs (chapter 15) and poetry (chapter 16). He even provides an accessible treatment of typology (chapter 13) and covenants (chapter 14). The thoroughness of these chapters demands either a rereading of the book, or returning to the book when you come across a certain type of OT genre in your Bible readings.
This book is brief, yet packs a punch. Murray’s story of coming to terms with the Old Testament is similar to my own, and will likely remind readers of their own journey. The discussions on how the New Testament authors used the Old Testament is extremely helpful, setting the stage for the rest of the book. His chapters on the Old Testament characters (chapter 8), prophets (chapter 12), and types (chapter 13) were the most profitable for me—both as a Christian and a pastor. At the end of the book there are helpful study questions, perfect for a small group, Sunday School class, or youth group to work through this book.
In a Christian culture where Bible literacy is drastically diminishing, pastors and leaders must become intentional in teaching the basic truths of the entire Bible. David Murray has done the church a great service by writing this book. In Jesus on Every Page, there is a treasure trove of useful and practical advice on discovering the ultimate treasure of the Old Testament: Jesus. This is an extremely helpful book, useful for pastors, lay teachers, and all Christians looking for direction in their Bible reading. I will be buying a few copies to keep in my office so I can give away to students and adults.
- Title: Jesus on Every Page: 10 Simple Ways to Seek and Find Christ in the Old Testament
- Author: David Murray
- Publisher: Thomas Nelson (2013)
- Format: Paperback
- Rating: 5/5