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Posted October 4, 2007

Book: Jesus as Torah in John 1 - 12
Author: Dan Lioy
Wipf and Stock Publishers. Eugene Oregon. 2007. Pp. 307

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

In this study of John 1 - 12, the author develops the thesis that Jesus is the divine, incarnate Torah, and that Jesus as Torah is the conceptual center of the Fourth Gospel. An overarching goal of the treatise is to explore the Evangelist’s portrait of Jesus as the fulfillment of the Mosaic law. Connected with this aim is the central thesis that the Messiah appears in the Gospel of John as the realization of all the law’s redemptive-historical types, prophecies, and expectations. A corresponding major claim is that those who trust in Jesus for eternal life and heed his teaching satisfy fully the requirements of the moral law recorded in Scripture.

An examination of John 1 - 12 substantiates the truth that Jesus is the perfection of the gift of the Tanakh. He existed in the beginning with the Father and Spirit as God. The eternal Torah is light and life, fulfilment and joy, in fellowship with the triune God for all eternity. The divine Tankh, by becoming incarnate, revealed the glory of the Father and made the fullness of God’s grace and truth available to humankind. The living Word not only provides salvation but in so doing unveils the loving and redeeming heart of the Father for all to see. The Son of God is the one to whom all the Old Testament luminaries – such as Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and Isaiah — pointed and in whom all the Old Testament hopes were realized. The Anointed One is greater than and supreme over all the religious institutions once associated with the Jerusalem tabernacle and temple. Even such Jewish festivals as the Feast of Tabernacles, Pentecost, Dedication, and Passover find their fulfillment in the Messiah. This volume is appropriate for personal study and is also suitable as a college and seminary text.

An Excerpt from the Book:

The Suffering and Glorification of Jesus as Torah
(John 12:20-36)

At this point in John’s narrative, the apostle briefly mentioned “some Greeks, who were on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to worship at the Passover feast. The term “Greeks” does not necessarily mean that they were from Greece, nor does it mean that they were Greek-speaking Jews. Instead, they were probably Gentiles who had converted to Judaism. Haenchen notes that for “the Evangelist they represent the Greek world in general, and thus also the pagan world.” Since Jesus as Tanakh generated so much excitement, it is not surprising that both Jews and Gentiles eagerly wanted to see Him. Some of these Greeks approached Philip, hoping to gain an audience with the Savior through a member of His inner circle. John did not say why they asked Philip, though the Evangelist noted once more that Philip was from Bethsaida in Galilee. The pilgrims might have selected Philip because he had a Greek name and presumable would respond more kindly to their request. In any case, he told Andrew, and together they delivered this message to Jesus.

Jesus’ reply must have bewildered the two disciples. He not only seemed to ignore their petition, but He also voiced a series of enigmatic statements. Actually, the interest of the Greeks is significant, for it indicated that the scope of the Redeemer’s ministry went beyond the Jews, encompassing the whole world. Now that He was drawing the attention of both Jews and Gentiles, the time would soon be right for Him, as the Son of Man, to lay down His life and then be glorified. It would later become clear to His disciples that their Master did not die just for the Jews, but for Jewish and Gentile believers. Thus the Torah of God did anser their question. Anyone who seeks the Messiah can come to Him in faith. Jesus gave the analogy of a grain of wheat to indicate the purpose of His ministry. A wheat kernel is a single seed, but if it is buried in the ground and dies, it will spring up into a plant and produce a multitude of seeds. Likewise, after the Son died and was buried, the Father would raise Him from death to life so that many could be redeemed and live through Him. Obviously, Jesus was speaking of Himself.

Table of Contents:

1. The framework and intent of this study

2. The moral law in Christ-centered perspective

3. Jesus as Torah in John 1/49

4. Jesus as Torah in John 2-4

5. Jesus as Torah in John 5-6

6. Jesus as Torah in John 7-8

7. Jesus as Torah in John 10-12

8. Affirming the truth of Jesus as Torah

Appendix: making sense of reality: A God-centered and Christ-centered view