Book Review: Messianic Revelation in the Old Testament

Review of Messianic Revelation in the Old Testament by Dr. Gerard Van Groningen, 2 Volumes, published by WIPF and Stock Publishers, Eugene, OR 9740l. Reviewed by Thomas C. Vanden Heuvel.



Dr. Gerard Van Groningen is a pastor, missionary and professor of Old Testament, currently teaching at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO. What intrigued and inspired him were the words of Jesus in Luke 24:27, 44, that Moses, the Psalms and the prophets spoke of Him. This was also what Jesus said to the wayfarers to Emmaus as He began from Moses telling how the Old Testament witnessed to Him.

These two volumes are a Reformed, covenantal answer to the question of how the Old Testament testifies to Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

The Messianic concept came by revelation. It did not arise from pagan, political and religious settings of near eastern cultures as some liberal Old Testament scholars contend.

These two volumes deserve a wide dissemination. They are especially attractive to preachers and teachers who hold a high view of Scripture. Here we see the unity of the Bible. As a little poem says: The Old is in the New explained, the New is in the Old contained.

God revealed the Messianic concept and progressively unfolded it It is absolutely essential in preaching Old Testament passages to see the Messianic Line through it all.

No one can properly preach on the Old Testament without an understanding of the unfolding cf God’s Messianic concept. We see it especially in Isaiah 53 and ether obvious passages, but it is present throughout. These two volumes are a very helpful resource in opening up the riches of the Old Testament Messianic concept.

Van Groningen points out the erroneous presuppositions, incorrect methods of exegesis and misuse of historical facts by critical scholars.

At the very heart of the Messianic message were the promises of Yahweh to Abraham and Jacob’s descendants that a Ruler would arise among “his brothers” and that he would redeem, shepherd restore and establish foreyer these descendants This promise was made in terms of the life situations existent at the time and of the situations in which it was repeated, explained, expanded, and applied by the various prophetic spokesmen Yahweh called and equipped to speak for Him (p.491).

The author does a great service to the English speaking Reformed community with this superb study of the Old Testament and its Messianic concept.

These volumes present excellent material both for the scholar and the Christian layman who want to understand the Old Testament more clearly.

These volumes are the fruit of many years of preaching and seminary teaching. I can imagine how blessed. the students are who sat at the feet of Dr. Van Groningen as he laid out the Messianic concept in the aid Testament passages studied. These insights give fresh and truly inspiring understanding of the Old Testament

Te see how the Old Testament is fulfilled, in the life, death, resurrection and ascension of our Lord is what Jesus explained to the two wayfarers on the way to Emmaus on that first Easter afternoon. They heard it from Christ Himself and said: “Did not our hearts burn within us as He opened to us the Scriptures?”

What we desperately need in our pulpits and pews today is burning hearts. These volumes will help greatly to that end.