NSBT: Answering the Psalmist’s Perplexity

NSBT: Answering the Psalmist’s Perplexity

IVP Academic

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‘Give thanks to YHWH, for he is good, for his covenant faithfulness endures for ever’ (Ps. 136:1; a.t.)

There are now numerous models that seek to explain how the biblical covenants relate to one another. In an attempt to evaluate these models, James Hely Hutchinson mines the rich seams of the book of Psalms.

After covering the key data on covenant relationships in Books 1–3 of the psalter, Hely Hutchinson considers the perplexity expressed in the pivotal Psalm 89: in the face of the exile, the promises to David appear to be null and void. The building blocks of the response lie with the first five books of the Bible, and chiefly with the inviolable character of the promises to Abraham (Book 4 of the psalter). However, if the Abrahamic covenant is to reach fulfilment, the problem of sin must be dealt with once and for all, and a glorious new-covenant regime must be established in which a host of covenants converge in their fulfilment. Central to this regime, which lies beyond the exile, is the eternal rule of David’s superior, righteous seed and son who is also a perpetual priest and a suffering servant (Book 5).

Identifying new-covenant newness as ‘eschatological satisfaction (fulfilment)’ and ‘transcendent inauguration’, Hely Hutchinson tackles a range of matters that contribute to our understanding of the contours of redemptive history. The overall aim is to enhance readers’ grasp of God’s breath-taking salvation plan, ability to handle Scripture aright and worship of the Master.


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