Read The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament by Edmund P. Clowney Online


Beginning with Adam and Eve and closing with the last of the prophets, Dr. Clowney takes a fascinating walk through the Old Testament, revealing Christ in places where he is usually overlooked....

Title : The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament
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ISBN : 9780875521749
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 202 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament Reviews

  • Mathew
    2018-11-27 07:08

    Dr. Edmund Clowney’s The Unfolding Mystery is a classic text originally published in 1989. It’s only now reaching its second edition which is a shame. Biblical theology is coming into its own on a popular and scholarly level (rightly so) and Clowney well deserves to be heard and read widely. Maybe the circles I previously ran in didn’t value Clowney or were just unaware, but that should be remedied. It’s a text both reformed Baptists, Presbyterians, or anyone seeking Christ in the Old Testament would benefit from reading.The combination of two things sets The Unfolding Mystery apart from the other Jesus in the Old Testament book I’ve read. First, Clowney writes with the aptness of a storyteller. He unpacks the unfolding story of Jesus as a story. That may seem obvious but there’s more than a few volumes that approach this topic academically losing the storytelling edge. Second, Clowney combines the storytelling aptness with conversational depth. It’s a book you’ll read through with ease, but marvel at the depth of the observations. That’s a rare feat.The Unfolding Mystery follows a straightforward path. Clowney begins with Genesis (“the story of Jesus beings with the story of mankind”) continuing through the entire Old Testament. The depth and breadth in this short book is astounding. He hits the major types and Christophanies (pre-incarnate visitations by Jesus in the Old Testament). By example, he demonstrates how we must read the text for the historical context, for its redemptive context (“The story of redemption in the Old Testament is the story of Jesus”), and for the person and work of Jesus. He’s also careful throughout to not extend typologies past the point of breaking (the Samson narrative is the example that comes to mind). He grounds each type on biblical, exegetical, and historical grounds. He more than once points out why something isn’t referring to Jesus. Finally, he doesn’t leave Jesus in the Old Testament. He doesn’t end the story there. He draws a direct line from the Old to the New Testament. “The story of Jesus in the Old Testament becomes the gospel story in the New. In the miracle of the Incarnation, the Lord Himself comes to provide the salvation of his people” (205).

  • Roger Leonhardt
    2018-12-15 04:26

    I have heard a lot of good things about Edmund P. Clowney but this is the first chance I have had to read one of his books. It will not be the last.Here we have a sort of survey of the whole Old Testament. The difference here, than other surveys, is the focus on Christ. The Old Testament was not just written to give us the history of the nation of Israel. It is God's story of “God in the flesh”, Jesus.Clowney takes us from one event to another and shows us how they relate to the Savior. From Adam on through the rest of the Old Testament, he gives us details of how Jesus is the focus.Why does the bible speak of Jesus as the Last Adam? Why is Jesus the true living bread, unlike the manna Israel received that rotted after a day? Why was He called the Lamb of God. To understand any of these things, we have to have a knowledge of the Old Testament. Jesus told the Jewish leaders that they read the scriptures but did not realize that they (the O.T) spoke of Him.I once had a man tell me that his pastor should stay out of the O.T. and only preach the four gospels. That is a sad comment on the man's understanding of the bible. The O.T. is about Christ. When Abraham said God would provide a sacrifice instead of Isaac, he was not just speaking about the ram in the thicket, he was speaking of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!The whole bible is GOD'S word!I enjoyed this book tremendously and give it 4 out of 5 stars.I received this book, free of charge, from P&R Publishing Company and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Drew Miller
    2018-12-02 10:21

    One of the things engrained into your brain by reading the old saints is that Christ is in all of the Old Testament. Seeing that for yourself is often like walking through a house at night with no lights on. Edmund Clowney turns the lights on in Unfolding Mystery. I found myself saying "Oh man, that makes so much sense" several times while reading this book. I highly recommend this book to everyone as we all need a better understanding of how the Old Testament points us to Jesus. One of the more fascinating aspects of this book is seeing God's redemptive nature from the very beginning. The chapter on Moses was my favorite and the most helpful to me.

  • Baylee King
    2018-12-06 07:11

    This book has done so much to stir my affections for Christ and appreciate all that his life, death, and resurrection brought to fulfillment. The way I read the bible, (specifically the OT), has been forever altered so that I am now searching for how the imperfect character that God uses point towards the perfection that is to come in Jesus.

  • Philip Mcduffie
    2018-12-16 03:24

    I have greatly enjoyed this book. Keller recommended it in his newest preaching book and it for good reason that he did. Clowney walks through the OT rightly portraying God as glorious and Christ as the theme and substance of all of Scripture. This book incited me to worship God the Father and to ponder in amazement at Christ, the hope of glory!

  • Mark Gring
    2018-12-14 02:18

    This is my second time to read Clowney's The Unfolding Mystery. The first time I read it for a Sunday School class I attended. This time I am reading it to help teach a SS class on hermeneutics. I always get more out of a text when I read it in order to help teach the ideas. Clowney is gifted in his ability to link ideas from the OT to the NT presentation of Christ. Clowney's work embodies the Augustinian idea that the New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed and the Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed.“The new is in the old concealed; the old is in the new revealed.” This famous statement by Saint Augustine expresses the remarkable way in which the two testaments of the Bible are so closely interrelated with each other. The key to understanding the New Testament in its fullest is to see in it the fulfillment of those things that were revealed in the background of the Old Testament. The Old Testament points forward in time, preparing God’s people for the work of Christ in the New Testament.--From “Ancient Promises” by R.C. Sproul; Ligonier MinistriesClowney packs this little book with a treasure trove of Biblical and Systematic theology in the guise of narrative (which he uses to give a quick overview of the biblical events) and in his exposition of the biblical passages he uses to support his claims. Each chapter usually contains more than one person/narrative and it reaches a maximum concentration in chapter 7 (of 9) that continues on for about 34 pages--that chapter will be impossible to teach in a single SS hour setting. Having grown up in a Christian home that did not teach reformed theology, Clowney's understanding and implementation of hermeneutical typology is always astounding, refreshing, and brings me to doxology--as all good theology should! There are particular passages and portions of these chapters where Clowney almost seems to shout his praise about how Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of the OT shadows and types found in Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Judah, Moses, the Rock of Moses, Joshua, Samson, Ruth, Samuel, Saul, David, Solomon, Elijah--John the Baptist, Ezekiel, Amos, Zechariah, and the Apostle John.This is the type of book I approach with a bit of trepidation about offering a critique. For one, this is not my area of study or expertise. For another, Clowney is a person of such esteem and recognition that a critic ought to have his or her theological and exegetical "ducks in a row" before offering a serious critique. So, as such, my "criticism" here is less about how Clowney's text works or does not work and more about the reader's expectations and assumptions before reading it.Clowney's The Unfolding Mystery does a wonderful job of showing the reader the shadows and types and making a solid biblical argument about why we should read the OT with an understanding that it is ALL about Christ--and how God keeps HIs promises that are ultimately fulfilled in Christ. Do not read this text with the expectation that you will learn how to interpret OT typologies--except in a Michael Polanyi tacit-learning kind of way. The text is *excellent* for showing the reader the typologies and how they are fulfilled in Christ but it gives few clues about how-to-do an assessment of typologies. So, read this text with the expectation that all good theology leads to doxology. The text will renew your wonder and enthusiasm about reading the OT narratives and finding Jesus Christ IS the focus of the OT and the central focus of all of redemptive history! It gives a renewed excitement about our very minor roles in the unfolding redemptive history.

  • Hank Pharis
    2018-11-22 07:18

    This is a great survey of the portrait of Jesus revealed in the Old Testament. The theology is great and the writing is eloquent. One example: "The story is God's story. It describes His work to rescue rebeles from their folly, guilt and ruin. And in His rescue ooperation, God always takes the initative. ... Only God's revelation could maintain a drama that stretches over thousands of years as though they were only hours. Only God's revelation can build a story where the end is anticipated from the beginning, and where the guiding principle is ot chance or fate, but promise. ..."This book makes you want to sing. Highly recommended!(Note: I'm stingy with stars. For me 2 stars means a good book. 3 = Very good; 4 = Outstanding {only about 5% of the books I read merit this}; 5 = All time favorites {one of these may come along every 400-500 books})

  • Simon Wartanian
    2018-11-21 05:15

    A very enjoyable and an informative read. The author's writing style is very enjoyable to read and is never difficult to understand.The subject at hand concerns the discovery of the Lord Jesus Christ in the types of the Old Testament: how certain stories, persons or institutions point to Him as their fulfillment. The author begins with the Creation in Genesis 1 and goes through Old Testament history up to the close of Malachi. He recounts the story of God's people and shows how the greater fulfillment is in Christ the Lord. Christ is the Old Testament prophecy-fulfiller.

  • Philip Brown
    2018-11-20 04:33

    Beautiful. I'm sure I'll return to this many times.

  • Elizabeth Ross
    2018-11-23 08:21

    This book was fantastic! Beautifully written.

  • Jimmy
    2018-11-22 06:13

    Recently there have been several books published on the topic of Jesus in the Old Testament. While technically not a new book, P&R will be releasing the 25th Anniversary edition of The Unfolding Mystery on August 28th 2013. In the introduction Edmund Clowney makes the point that it is possible to know a story from the Bible and yet miss the Bible’s story. I agree with Clowney of the importance of seeing the Scripture as a whole pointing us towards Jesus Christ whether prophetically, typologically or directly. This includes the Old Testament. In nine chapters, Clowney provides the reader with a survey of selected passages from the Old Testament and how it points us towards Christ. In most instances Clowney does this well. I enjoyed how he observed the meaning of names of various Biblical characters has significance in anticipating Christ through a redeem lineage: Seth is related lexically to the verb meaning “appoint” or “establish” that is echoing Genesis 3:15 of how God has appointed enmity between the Messianic “Seed” and the devil’s seed. Abram’s name was changed to Abraham, meaning “father of a multitude” that reflects the promises of the Abrahamic Covenant. Issac’s name meant laughter—with the mother Sarah laughing not in unbelief as she did previously but because of incredulous joy. Israel’s name meant “God Prevails,” which indicate who really won when Israel wrestled with the Divine Angel of the Lord. There were however instances that Clowney was trying too hard to put Christ into the text such as the account of Jacob wrestling in the dark was described by Clowney as foreshadowing Christ’s agony in the darkness of Gethsemane. He also wrote that “the theocratic law of Israel as the people of God is continued in the church,” but also add that “its sanctions are spiritual, not physical.” I would say the theocratic laws of Israel is for the state and not the church, and that they are not “spiritual,” if by spiritual Clowney means “non-physical,” since there can not be any such thing as a non-spiritual law if it’s coming from God. This is not to take away the bigger portion of the book that is good, and that Clowney does a good job of unfolding Christ in the Old Testament. The format of the book is also helpful: Clowney’s granddaughter has written study and application questions that are included at the end of each chapter that are excellent for personal reflection and also group discussion.

  • Jason
    2018-11-23 05:15

    It is a difficult thing for many modern Christians to even see the relevance of the Old Testament to their daily Christian life. There are a variety of reasons for this. Biblical higher criticism has rendered a lot of doubts about the veracity of the Old Testament narrative. The way, especially modern, Western individuals learn is a lot more didactic and rote learning than following a narrative. Perhaps the biggest reason why the relevance of the Old Testament is outside the scope of a lot of Christians is that they struggle to integrate what they know of Christ with many of the narrative stories of Israel and ancient near east.Edmund Clowney, a former professor and President of Westminster Theological Seminary has attempted to assist the average Christian to see the relevance and vital importance of the Old Testament in even understanding who Christ is and what he is about, and why that is relevant to the daily lives of today’s Christian. In short, Clowney is attempting in this book of just less than 200 pages, to show how what is known as Covenant theology, is fleshed out in the narrative of events that took place thousands of years ago. In relatively short chapters, Clowney tells of the stories of the creation, the fall of man, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, and David. The starting off point for Clowney’s narrative is that Jesus himself used these stories to tell others who he is and what he is about throughout his earthly ministry. A strength of a good theologian is his ability to take ancient stories from other places and cultures, place them in the context of what Jesus was saying about himself, and then to coherently and simply sum them up for the use and teaching of modern people. Clowney writes clearly and with a desire to not only teach knowledge, but to encourage and strengthen the faith of modern Christians in integrating what God has been saying about himself for centuries, and including today’s believers as a part of that narrative.This is a fine effort at explaining what especially the Old Testament history is trying to say, and its relevance to Christian teaching, particularly through the lens of Covenant theology, though that term is never used in this book. The writing is quite well done and it is not too complex, which may be a relief for a Christian who wants to open up more of the Bible, but has not the background for that. This book is recommended, for its purposes, without any reservation.

  • Victor
    2018-12-09 08:24

    If you've been hanging out in Evangelical Land lately (especially in the section known as YoungRestlessReformed World), you know that "Christ-centered" preaching is the soup du jour. Well, like a good hipster, Edmund Clowney was doing it before it was cool.*Here Clowney takes us on a tour of the Old Testament, pointing out sightings of Christ (types, pre-incarnate appearances, and the like). If you enjoy Tim Keller's preaching, you'll love Clowney - he was one of Keller's mentors, and they share a knack for good storytelling.This book could be considered his most significant work, although for my money his volume on The Church is even more important, as one of the few good books on ecclesiology by a contemporary conservative Presbyterian. (Guy Waters' book How Jesus Runs the Church is very good, too, but not nearly as comprehensive.) This the second edition of his 1989 book, and the only significant addition is by his granddaughter: discussion questions after each chapter.If you're looking for edifying sermonic theology, this book is for you. If you're looking for more of a how-to-find-Christ-in-the-OT book, I'd recommend pretty much anything by Graeme Goldsworthy, or, more recently, David Murray's excellent book Jesus on Every Page: 10 Simple Ways to Seek and Find Christ in the Old Testament.*Ed Clowney was anything but a hipster. And he died in 2005, so he didn't even get to see the wildfire of Christ-centered preaching that he helped to ignite.

  • Adam T Calvert
    2018-12-09 02:30

    Probably the father of modern Christo-centric preaching, Edmund Clowney is a brilliant theologian as well as a masterful story-teller.This book in particular is interesting in that Clowney gives you a real sense of how Christ can be seen so clearly foreshadowed in the Old Testament. It's as if the entire Old Testament is pointing to Him! An incredible thought, but this is something that seems to be greatly lacking in modern theology. Yet the New Testament church seems to have seen Christ all throughout Scripture (Lk. 24:27; 1 Cor. 10:1-4). As J.I. Packer explains in the foreword: "The importance of this theme - the Old Testament pointing to Christ - is great, although for half a century Bible teachers, possibly embarrassed by the memory of too-fanciful ventures into typology in the past, have not made much of it....For this reason, Dr. Clowney's admirable treatment of it should be greatly valued; it fills a gap, and supplies a felt need" (p. 8).It really does fill a gap! Dr. Clowney is enjoyable to read and does a great job of connecting the reader to the Old Testament histories recorded in Scripture and then to Christ. I wish he would have a larger volume that went through all of the Old Testament instead of just some of the highlights.However, there are a few bumps along the way. While it won't bother a large part of the church today, Clowney seems pretty explicit in advocating replacement theology. Also, the narrative can get a little shaky at times.To be honest...while this book was worth reading, I think it's much more enjoyable to hear Dr. Clowney speak than to read his writing. In God's providence such a thing is possible today (for free) through iTunes U, both at Reformed Theological Seminary (co-speaking with Tim Keller, 'Preaching Christ in a Post-Modern World') and at Westminster Theological Seminary ('Clowney: Biblical Theology').

  • Jeff Short
    2018-11-26 09:11

    Edmund Clowney walks us through the Old Testament pointing us to Christ in this excellent book. Consider Jesus's words about the content of the Old Testament scriptures:Luke 24:27And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.Luke 24:44And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.John 5:39Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.Despite the fact that Jesus taught the Old Testament was about Him, and the fact that the Apostles taught the same, many persist in reading, teaching, and preaching the Old Testament with scarce reference to Christ. We turn to Mount Sinai and teach ten laws for success. We turn to David and Goliath and teach people how to face their own personal giants. We turn to Eli and Samuel and teach people to be better parents. In other words, many use the Old Testament for Sunday School morality lessons akin to Aesop's fables. Clowney does an excellent job of bringing out Christ in the Old Testament without resorting to fanciful speculation. This book will help to begin reshaping our thinking about the Old Testament, the witness to Christ, and the Divine unity of the entire Bible. I highly recommend it.

  • Ray
    2018-11-30 07:26

    This is a pure joy to read. He illustrates how the Old Testament is as much about Christ as the New Testament is. To see this is to grasp a whole new sense of the relevance and excitement of the Scriptures.This is a real classic.My only criticism -- the chapters are long and often rambling, with little sense of an organizing principle. While every word in Clowney is golden, and his style is very lyrical and engaging, one wishes he had a better editor to organize the thoughts in chunks they would hang together. This made it difficult to adapt to an adult c.e. series, when I did that 5 years ago.BTW -- if you liked this book's Christo-centric approach, try Charlie Drew's Ancient Love Song (2001) which is better organized. For preaching see Bryan Chapell's Christ-Centered Precahing (1997).

  • Mike Walker
    2018-12-10 08:07

    If you really like the study of types and shadows this book is for you. Frankly I didn't get that much out of it. That's not to say it's not a good, well-written book. There were moments of exhilaration, but there were also prolonged periods where it felt like an overdose. Like what happens when you read too many proverbs at one time. Perhaps the book was designed to be read slower, meditatively, but its introductory chapters didn't draw me into that mode of reading like some books do. I've been told that Clowney's book on ecclesiology is excellent, but if the writing style isn't substantially different from this one I likely won't slog all the way through it.

  • Dan Sudfeld
    2018-12-12 08:14

    "The Unfolding Mystery" - where have you been all my life? Frankly, this book was fantastic. It has definitely entrenched itself in my list of "Top Five Books to Supplement the Bible." I now know why Clowney was so formative in Tim Keller's understanding of the story of redemption. I actually went through two highlighters as I read the book.The subtitle of tells the story of this book: "Discovering Christ in the Old Testament." Clowney does a masterful job of connecting the dots. He showed me many connections that I had totally missed. I'll be going back to this book often.

  • Bookman143
    2018-12-15 05:08

    Christ is the Center—He is All in AllThis book was recommended to me as a foundational text in finding Jesus in the Old Testament. Mission accomplished! This book will bring you to your knees, it will cause your heart to soar in the worship of Him who was from the beginning, through whom are all things, the Promised Messiah who took our sins upon him and saved us who believe unto everlasting life! Read this wonderful book!

  • Kay
    2018-12-02 04:15

    Excellent book for preparation for teaching Exodus. "It is possible to know Bible stories, yet miss the Bible story." "The purpose of this book is to...offer a guide to the underlying story of all the stories, so that we may see the Lord of the Word in the Word of the Lord." He does that with clarity and great insight. I was moved by the richness of meaning the Old Testament stories lend to the fulfillment in the New Testament.

  • Mark A Powell
    2018-11-24 03:23

    Tracing the story of redemption through the Old Testament, Clowney explores the ways in which Christ was foreshadowed and revealed. Because God’s purpose and plan have been eternally set, the Old Testament points to Christ just as much (albeit differently) than the New Testament. Clowney avoids over-reaching to find Christ in any or every passage, but skillfully shows where the Messiah is to be found in the Bible’s first 39 books. A solid work, easily recommended.

  • Stephen
    2018-11-17 08:12

    This book is a decent introduction not only to the story of the Old Testament but also the foreshadowing of Christ in the people, promises, and events of the first 39 books of the Bible.I rate it three stars because the book spent too much time re-telling the stories which made the book much longer than it probably should be. Clowney's writing style borders on the desultory at times as well.

  • Jonathan Seger
    2018-11-26 06:07

    For anyone wanting to see Christ proclaimed from every page of the Old Testament, you can't go wrong with this book. Ed Clowney has an unusual gift of clarity thru storytelling. Mr. Clowney helped open up a new realm of Scripture to me that I hadn't really tapped into before- that of Christ proclaimed in the OT. Excellent book! Listening to his lectures on the subject as well. Awesome!

  • Shawn Trautman
    2018-12-14 09:36

    An excellent and beautifully written book. Edmund Clowney skillfully takes the reader through the Old Testament, pointing out God's plan of redemption through Jesus Christ. This book not only instructed my mind, but moved my affection for God and His sovereign plan.

  • Mike Awtry
    2018-12-08 02:16

    An excellent book highlighting the one story of God's redemption and how all the Scriptures point to Christ. This could be a good book for a reading group on reading the OT and understanding Christ from it.

  • Leslie Fields
    2018-12-05 08:29

    It's always fascinating to discover again the unity of the Scriptures, which often feel so disparate and sprawling. But Clowney unveils some surprising passages and key moments in the Old Testament when Christ shows up---in one way or another. (I'm currently teaching this book in an adult class.)

  • David Couch
    2018-12-11 03:32

    This book is an excellent introduction to how the Bible fits together. It highlights how Christ can be seen throughout the Old Testament, and all the things he will therefore fulfill in the new.The writing style is a pleasure to read. Highly recommended!

  • Joel Stockstill
    2018-12-08 09:15

    Jesus Revealed in the OTThis book brings great insight into the person of Jesus as revealed in the Old Testament. Gives a great foundation for understanding the new covenant.

  • Jacqui
    2018-12-02 03:16

    This is the best book I have found that gives the overall story of the Bible. Essential for any theological library. Edmund Clowney is the man!

  • Zachary
    2018-11-18 07:37

    Parts of it were really great and insightful, other parts dull and a bit of drudgery to read through.