A layperson’s guide to the Old Testament names for God.
Recent decades have found an upsurge in interest among evangelical Christians in the many names of God and his attributes in the Hebrew Scriptures. Mattock eschews academic jargon and argument and instead works from a common base of scriptural knowledge to create a worthwhile guide for Christian believers and preachers. For instance, he points out that “Jehovah Go’el” stands for “The Lord Thy Redeemer.” After noting the two instances in the book of Isaiah from which the name is drawn, the author goes on to make Christian connections to the idea of a redeemer God, pointing first to New Testament passages for support, then exploring other biblical uses of the term “redeemer.” Finally, he uses 18th-century theologian John Wesley’s work to tie things together and relate everything back to Christ’s role. In total, Mattock discusses 40 Hebrew names for God, and he also offers separate discussions of “God Almighty” and “the Master Potter.” He concludes with a plea for the support of modern Israel. Mattock’s prose is lucid throughout, and he presents the material in a manner that will be accessible to the average reader. A pre-existing knowledge of the topic isn’t necessary, but Christians who are already familiar with the Bible are the clear target audience. Mattock’s work will be especially helpful, though, for two specific groups. First, it’s a meaningful resource for serious lay Bible students in forming a deeper understanding of God’s identity and characteristics, as presented throughout the Bible (and particularly in the Old Testament). Second, it’s an excellent preaching guide for evangelical pastors; most chapters could be easily transformed into sermons, and doubtless many will be.
A beneficial resource for evangelical audiences.