The Servant King


T. Desmond Alexander’s little book, The Servant King: The Bible’s Portrait of the Messiah, deserves far more attention than it has received. This is a fast read that anyone can understand, and more importantly, this slim volume provides a hermeneutically legitimate way of reading the Old Testament as a messianic book. In other words, Alexander convincingly shows how the OT points to Christ, and along the way he avoids the interpretive pitfalls that sometimes make such arguments less than compelling. Take and read!

8 Responses to The Servant King

  1. Joseph Justiss April 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    Is Alexander’s approach similar to John Sailhamer’s at all?

    • JMH April 25, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

      Depends on what you mean . . .

      • Joseph Justiss April 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

        Sailhamer focuses on author’s original meaning and seeks to show that the author’s responsible for the final form of the TaNaK originally intended their Bible to foster faith in the Messiah when read for its straight forward grammatical/historical sense. (He equates the grammatical with the historical meaning of the Biblical text. They are not separate hermeneutical steps). Therefore, one does not need a kind of sensus plenior reading to understand the text Messianically in Sailhamer’s view. In other words, when one reads the passages of the OT in its literary/canonical context then one can better see how certain texts were intended all along by the original author to point to Messiah and the “last days”. Does Alexander want to do this, or is he following a more typological and “multiple meanings”, or multiple authors, i.e. the human and divine author, kind of thing where a God withholds certain aspects of a text’s meaning from the original human author only to reveal a new layer of meaning for an old text to a later human (NT)author?

        I am sorry to have been so vague in my original post. I appreciate the chance to interact with you on these things.

        Joe Justiss

        • JMH April 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

          Gladly – I think TDA does exactly what you describe Sailhamer doing.

          You won’t regret this book!

  2. Joseph Justiss April 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Here is the article where Sailhamer argues that the grammatical meaning of a passage and the historical meaning are one and the same.

    http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/44/44-2/44-2-PP193-206_JETS.pdf

    • JMH April 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

      Yeah, that article was basically incorporated into The Meaning of the Pentateuch – did you see my review of that book?

      • Joseph Justiss April 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

        I didn’t know you reviewed it. Where can I see your review?

        BTW I am planning on applying to Southern’s ThM program for Sp 2012. If accepted I cannot wait to kick this topic around with you more when there is opportunity. Do you find it a ripe topic for discussion among students there? I find that schools with a more Reformed tradition tend to ignore Sailhamer. Not sure if that’s because Reformed scholars tend to interact exclusively with other Reformed folks, or because he is perceived as a dispensationalist.

        Joe Justiss

Leave a Reply