A Narrative Theology of the New Testament: Exploring the Metanarrative of Exile and Restoration
Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015 pp. xviii + 477. €139.00
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 350
Description: The theory on restoration eschatology proposed by Sanders and Wright provides the cornerstone for Timo Eskola's building up of the premise that the metanarrative of exile and restoration can be used as an explanation when explicating New Testament theology. Jewish texts foretold that the Messiah would end Israel's exile and build for God an eschatological temple wherewith Jesus went on to proclaim the contrast between the corrupt earthly temple and his own heavenly one. This teaching brought to an end the exilic condition which had persisted throughout the centuries.
For Jesus, the era starting with John the Baptist was one filled with tribulations and inter-familial strife which saw Israel continue to kill prophets. The implication is that the Son of Man must suffer too in order for peace to reign in Israel, with the resurrection of Jesus representing the end-time enthronement when God is crowned King and those living in slavery to sin are released.
The early Christology developed by Jesus' followers presents the Savior as Christ and Ruler of the new kingdom of peace who grants the fruits of restoration to those faithful to him. The author recognizes a direct connection between Jesus' eschatology and early enthronement Christology, and discusses several christological narratives which elaborate on different restoration eschatology features.
The metanarrative has shed light on essential features in Second Temple nomism and Pauline concepts about the law. Furthermore, it helps explain the nature of justification and has proven invaluable when interpreting the new community as Christ's temple where the Holy Spirit has returned.
Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Literature, Methods, Theological Approaches
Review by Abson Joseph
Citation: Abson Joseph, review of Timo Eskola, A Narrative Theology of the New Testament: Exploring the Metanarrative of Exile and Restoration, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2017).
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