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Posted June 21, 2006

Book: Israel and the Nations: A Mission Theology of the Old Testament
Author: James Chukwuma Okoye
Orbis. Maryknoll, NY. 2006. Pp. 178

An Excerpt from the Introduction:

This book has a dual focus, Bible and mission. It is written for students and informed people, be they lay, clergy, or religious, who seek a better grounding in, and understanding of, the theme of mission and its development in the Old Testament. Some readers will come to it from a mission perspective, others from a biblical perspective. It is not presumed that readers are adept in both disciplines. It is often the case with treatments of mission in the Bible that the results are given in summary form, glossing over the exegetical processes that have led to them. This book, on the contrary, tries to lead the reader, as far as possible, through the processes of interpretation. Where appropriate, I point out the relevance to today's mission of what is being treated.

An Excerpt from the Book:

The twofold theme of proclamation in Psalm 96 is Yahweh as creator and savior. As creator, Yahweh made the heavens and both founded the earth and secured it. Psalm 100:3 will describe this fact more fully when it has Israel and the families of nations who have come to worship say that Yahweh "made us, we belong to [Yahweh], his people, the flock of [Yahweh] sheepfold." as savior, Yahweh has done deeds of deliverance for Israel and marvels for every people (v.3). Mission proclaims the marvelous deeds of God on behalf of creation.

Psalm 96 proclaims loud and clear that "the kingdom of God is near" (Mark 1:15). Yahweh, the only creator and savior of the world, has taken up active rule over Israel in Zion. Israel is the people of Yahweh who acknowledge Yahweh's rule in life and worship and in so doing reveal Yahweh to the nations. The rule of Yahweh over Israel is the harbinger of Yahweh's universal rule over all creation. It is the duty of this people to proclaim Yahweh's rule among the nations and to bring them into subjection to it. Mission is in the service of the universal reign of God.

Table of Contents:

1. The hermeneutics of mission in the Old Testament
2. A brief survey of trends in mission
3. Genesis 1 as blueprint for mission
4. "You have put all things under his feet": Psalm 8
5. The blessing of Abraham: Gensis 12:1-3
6. "For the whole world is mine": Exodus 19:3-8
7. God of righteousness: the prophetic protest of Amos
8. The protest of Jonah
9. The primacy of the righteousness of God
10. "Sing to Yahweh all the earth", Psalm 96
11. Zion, center for world peace and moral center of the world: Isaiah 2:2-5
12. The inclusive covenant
13. A light to the nations: Deutero-Isaiah and mission
14. "I am creating new heavens and a new earth": Isaiah 65:17-25