Understanding Prophecy: A Biblical-Theological Approach

Okay, you may now ask the inevitable question, “What, another book on prophecy?” And, the answer is … “Yup, you betcha. A Bible student just can’t have enough books on prophecy.”Understanding Prophecy

This newest addition is Understanding Prophecy: A Biblical-Theological Approach by Alan S. Bandy (PhD, SEBTS) and Benjamin L. Merkle (PhD, SBTS). Interestingly the authors are from opposite ends of the millennial spectrum – Bandy a premillennialist and Merkle a amillennialist. The volume is divided into three parts: Part 1: Introducing Biblical Prophecy; Part 2: Old Testament Prophecies; and Part 3: New Testament Prophecies.

As per the title, the authors want us to approach prophecy from a biblical-theological angle. So, in order to get a grasp on the focus of the book, you must have an understanding of how the authors define biblical theology. Bandy and Merkle explain that in Chapter 3. Therefore, I would suggest that you read that chapter initially. Then return to Chapter 1 and be prepared for a highly detailed analysis of prophecy encompassing the entire Bible.

Whenever I review a book, one of the foremost considerations is to whom will the words of the writer appeal. Can I stand in front of a Sunday School class and tell the folks, “I think you really should read this book. It will improve your understanding of _____.” Or must I be relegated to the declaration that this book is best suited for the ivory tower gang. Such is the dilemma with every volume.

One way to make this determination is by an examination of the vocabulary and terminology that is employed by the writer. A book with extensive theological jargon is quite ill placed in the hands of a Sunday School class.

With this criteria in mind I would recommend this book first to scholars and seminary professors. Second would be pastors who desire to do an exhaustive examination of prophecy. Christians who are prophecy fanatics would also enjoy this volume. However, it would rule it out for Christians who are not into the nuances of theology and prophecy.

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me by Kregel Publications for a fair, honest and balanced review.