Elisha Forerunner of Jesus Christ


Stimulating study of the career and ministry of the prophet Elisha in parallel to Jesus Christ.

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A thorough, textually grounded study of the Old Testament prophet Elisha and the ways he foreshadowed Jesus Christ of the New Testament.

Arnold’s (Elijah Between Judgment and Grace, 2015, etc.) latest book—originally published in French as Elisée précurseur de Jésus-Christ. Commentaire de 2 Rois 2-9 (2002) and here translated by Ludwig—is a meticulously detailed study of the prophet Elisha in the second book of Kings, with the specific thesis that he was an identifiable precursor to Jesus Christ. At first glance, this seems like a tall order, since, among other things, Elisha is portrayed as not merely a prophet but also a publicly esteemed councilor to kings and armies—a worker of miracles, yes, but very much an accepted figure of the establishment rather than a renegade rabbi preaching in the hinterlands of Nazareth before being put to an ignominious death by the Roman authorities. Yet Arnold argues for their similarities. “To read the ministry of this prophet [Elisha] in the light of the gospel is a source of great blessing,” Arnold writes. “Once you have started, you can hardly stop.” True to his word, Arnold proceeds to enumerate the many affinities between the two men: both worked many miracles, both seemed in possession of supernatural amounts of knowledge, each was anointed in his ministry by a fellow charismatic prophet figure (Elijah in the case of Elisha; John the Baptist in the case of Jesus), each appeared to need no step-by-step instruction from God, etc. But the greatest strength of Arnold’s book is his lively and accessible verse-by-verse analysis of Elisha’s ministry itself. Arnold’s commentary on 2 Kings is superb, drawing on an array of exegetical writing and sparkling with his own insights. Students of biblical studies will find this utterly fascinating reading.

Stimulating study of the career and ministry of the prophet Elisha in parallel to Jesus Christ.

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5084-2942-5

Page Count: 238

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2015



Longwinded though affecting tribute to resilience and solidarity.

Even a Category 5 hurricane can’t stop a revered coach and his championship high-school football team.

Popular historian Thompson (Driving with the Devil, 2006, etc.) begins in the locker room of New Orleans’ John Curtis Christian School on August 26, 2005. It was the night of the “jamboree” scrimmage that opened the season, and members of the Patriots were hoping to win another state championship for their school. Nationally recognized coach J.T. Curtis, also the school’s headmaster and son of its founder, knew that his hardworking, enthusiastic squad couldn’t compare to last year’s lineup. Many key players had graduated to college ball, and he needed to mentally and physically condition a young, unproven team with efficient, college-level practices consisting of “equal parts Broadway musical and football drills.” The 2005-6 Patriots included an anxious new starting quarterback, a Harvard hopeful, a spiritual heavyweight and a star linebacker whose religion forbade him to play on Friday nights. John Curtis School favored community building and happiness over flashy exteriors, and Coach Curtis reflected those values in his broadminded teaching style and paternal approach to his players’ personal lives. Hurricane Katrina confronted him and his team with the ultimate challenge. Returning to the drowned city, J.T. found the school in miraculously good shape and set out to reunite his squad and get them on the field again. Some players were tempted to join teams in other school districts, and Hurricane Rita tested them once again, but the devoted coach kept on plugging. Thompson deftly profiles a generous selection of players and families torn apart by the disaster and considers the contagious obsession for football shared by participants and fans alike. In a somewhat meandering fashion, he delivers a fully realized interpretative portrait of a coach and a sports organization willing to sacrifice all in the name of football.

Longwinded though affecting tribute to resilience and solidarity.

Pub Date: July 31, 2007

ISBN: 978-1-4165-4070-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Free Press

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2007



A meandering, uneven fire-and-brimstone sermon.

America’s post-war cohort should repent its godless ways before it’s too late, according to Winley’s jeremiad.

Writing in the persona of “Baby Boom Prophet” Jonah Ubiquitous, Winley, a minister at Harlem’s Soul Saving Station for Every Nation, subjects those born between 1946 and 1964 to a serious scolding. His demographic rationale is two-fold. First, the boomer generation authored the culture of sexual permissiveness, abortion, homosexuality, drug abuse, violence, welfare dependency, personal irresponsibility and unorthodox spirituality that he blames for America’s moral rot and the travails of the African-American community. Second, a recap of four decades’ worth of boomer-dominated history, from the 1960s assassinations to Monica-gate and the war in Iraq, serves as a framework for viewing modern times as a parade of depravity, war, natural disaster and apostasy, all of it leading inevitably to Armageddon. Winley’s manifesto interweaves disparate themes, stories and registers. There is a murky digression into a failed publishing venture, a confusing discourse on the structure of Heaven (the fourth heaven is the paradise where saved humans go, while hell itself is “a type of heaven”) and a dash of end-times numerology (“June 6, 2006, represents forty years from the symbolic birth of the Anti-Christ world ruler (6-6-66)”). There’s some religious-right politics—Winley denounces materialism and money-grubbing while defending George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the rich and decides that the Christian injunction to turn the other cheek need not apply to Al Qaeda. And there is a persistent voice crying out in the wilderness, warning that “racial hatred, murder of innocents, political corruption, family disintegration, killer children, home-grown terrorism, violence, greed, lust, and every imaginable evil dwell within the borders of the United States.” Winley’s message is standard Christian Fundamentalist doctrine, but in some passages—especially during a long, affecting parable about a black man who, after an abusive upbringing, lands in prison, where Jonah tries to bring him to the Lord—he writes with real pathos about the moral chaos that ravages men’s souls.

A meandering, uneven fire-and-brimstone sermon.

Pub Date: April 30, 2007

ISBN: 978-0595417636

Page Count: 175

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Aug. 25, 2011

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