Home > Kregel, Reviews > Jesus the Messiah: Tracing the Promises, Expectations, and Coming of Israel’s King

Jesus the Messiah: Tracing the Promises, Expectations, and Coming of Israel’s King


Few books have sought to exhaustively trace the theme of Messiah through all of Scripture, but this book does so with the expert analysis of three leading evangelical scholars. For the Bible student and pastor, Jesus the Messiah presents a comprehensive picture of both scriptural and cultural expectations surrounding the Messiah, from an examination of the Old Testament promises to their unique and perfect fulfillment in Jesus’ life.

Students of the life of Christ will benefit from the authors’ rich understanding of ancient biblical culture and pastors will find an indispensable help for understanding the unity and importance of the ancient promise of Messiah. This handsome volume will be a ready reference on Messiah for years to come. (from the publisher’s website)


Without question, Jesus is an unsurpassed, certainly an unequaled figure in human history. Belief in his life, death, and resurrection has transformed and even redirected world empires, cultures, and people. No one person has ever affected the world and its history like Jesus. And though the principle sources of information regarding Jesus’ life and teachings are the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), Jesus has been the subject of personal and public letters, sermons and lectures, pamphlets and books, skits and plays, documentaries and movies. Identification with him can bring both positive and negative responses. Jesus can be both endearing and repelling. Thus Jesus has been and continues to be a worthy person to ponder. Jesus the Messiah: Tracing the Promises, Expectations, and Coming of Israel’s King is yet another presentation about Jesus, more specifically a consideration about his messiahship. Who is Jesus, the Messiah?

My Review:

Jesus the Messiah is a great tool for studying the underlying messianic theme throughout scripture. The contributors have done a masterful job of showing us how to read scripture through the lens of those who were looking and waiting for Messiah.


Gordon Johnston walks us through the Old Testament section by section helping us draw out messianic titles. He proves himself to be a gifted scholar with an attention to detail. I found him to be very helpful in pointing out what the Jews would be expecting in the coming Messiah.


Herbert Bateman takes on the task of interpreting Jewish thought during the Second Temple Period which includes the inter-testamental material. I found myself riveted to the book as he explored the historical implications of the various empires’ occupation and governance of the land of Israel. After setting the table, he serves us with what the Jewish expectations of the Messianic figure would be.


Darrell Bock takes us through the New Testament helping us see how the first century Jewish believers found fulfillment in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Bock finishes up this section by showing us how Jesus fulfilled the Messianic expectation during His life and ministry.


If you are in any way interested in understanding the person and work of the Messiah and what that meant to the Jews and to us, run to the nearest bookstore or click on the links provided below and order this book. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. My thanks goes out to Kregel and Drs. Bateman, Bock, and Johnston for this excellent book.

What Others Have Said:

Review By: Richard Hess,   Denver Seminary – December 1, 2012

“The authors provide a masterful synthesis of the teaching of the Messiah in the Old Testament, the context of Judaism, and in the New Testament. By intentionally addressing the contextual, canonical, messianic, and christological readings of all the key texts, and asserting how these grew and developed in their interpretation into the Christian era, these three scholars, each with expertise in expounding the message of the relevant texts, provide the reader with a clear path for understanding the fulfillment of the messianic expectation in Jesus Christ as more than just a collection of diverse prophecies. This is the most useful work to date on the subject.”

Review By: Daniel Block,   Wheaton College – December 1, 2012

“Resisting the impulse to impose later visions of the Messiah upon earlier texts, they have offered a fair and balanced picture of a gradually revealed but vibrant and persistent thread of biblical belief. Thoroughly researched, logically organized, and lavishly illustrated, this volume represents the finest full length treatment of the subject available.”

Review By: Leslie Allen,   Fuller Theological Seminary – December 1, 2012

“I like the authors’ distinction between a text’s original, contextual meaning and the canonical significance ultimately given to it, and their progression from Old Testament to New via second temple Jewish literature.”

Review By: Paul Wegner,   Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary – December 1, 2012

“Bateman, Bock, and Johnston have definitely filled a gaping hole in this crucial area with their new work and done so artfully while specializing in their respective fields—Old Testament, second temple literature, and New Testament. It is about time we have a detailed discussion on this important area from evangelical scholars bridging this whole time period. Their discussions are nuanced and carefully worded, avoiding many pitfalls of either extremes and yet providing a very readable and clear work. Especially helpful is their progressive development in which they have highlighted crucial themes related to the Messiah throughout the biblical and non-canonical works. Whether one agrees or disagrees with all of their conclusions, there is no doubt that they have provided a workable, clear foundation in this area that will spawn many lively discussions into the future.”  (from the publisher’s website)

Book Details:

About the Authors:

Herbert W. Bateman IV has taught beginning and intermediate Greek for more than twenty years. He is the editor of Four Views on the Warning Passages in Hebrews, Three Central Issues in Contemporary Dispensationalism, and Authentic Worship.


Gordon H. Johnston (ThD, Dallas Theological Seminary) is associate professor of Old Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He has spent a number of years sifting through archaeological digs. In addition to his work in the field, Dr. Johnston has published numerous articles and essays in scholarly journals.


Darrell L. Bock is research professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. A former president of the Evangelical Theological Society, he is the author of the best-seller Breaking the Da Vinci Code and numerous works in New Testament studies, including Jesus According to Scripture.  (from the publisher’s website)

Where to Buy:


I received this book from Kregel in exchange for my unbiased review.

Categories: Kregel, Reviews
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