Thursday, January 10, 2008

Jesus and the Kingdom of God
by G. R. Beasley-Murray
460 pages
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (January 1986)

Author: "[P]rofessor of New Testament 1973-1980, was born on October 10, 1916 in London, England... Minister in Ashurst Drive Baptist Church in East London. He guided the church through the tumultuous times of the Second World War and led it in sustained evangelistic mission to a broken country... From 1973 to 1980 he served as James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament at Southern. While at the seminary, Beasley-Murray was able to resume his writing career, which had fallen dormant during his tenure at Spurgeon’s College. He was the author of a number of works on the New Testament, most notably Baptism in the New Testament and The Book of Revelation (New Century Bible Commentary.) Beasley-Murray died on February 23, 2000 in Brighton, England."

Organization: The work is divided into three sections (The coming of God in the Old Testament, The coming of God in the writings of Early Judaism, and The coming of God in the teachings of Jesus). The third section is by far the longest (267 pages versus 33 and 32 for the first two sections). There are two excurses (the Date of the Similitudes of Enoch and The Relation of Jesus to the Kingdom of God in the Present). There are a number of reference sections, including 72 pages of endnotes (keyed by note number and page), a 16 page bibliography, and two indices (authors and Scripture references).

Intention: "This work is offered as a contribution toward clarifying this element [of the kingdom] in the teaching of Jesus and its implications for the question of who Jesus is. The length of this work is a reflection of the complexity and profundity of the instruction of Jesus... Prolonged meditation on the teaching of Jesus concerning the theme that dominated his life produces a remarkably consistent image. To provide an opportunity for such attention to Jesus is the aim of this book" (Beasley-Murray, x).


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