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King Of The Jews
Temple Theology In John's Gospel
by Margaret Barker
Publisher:SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Margaret Barker really is one of the foremost experts these days on Temple Theology and in this 600+ page book this is largely—for want of a better description—a commentary on the Temple Theology of and in each chapter of John's Gospel. She demonstrates that expertise clearly by picking up and elucidating on key themes and motifs that may as easily be missed if you don't view the work in reference to the fact that only in John's Gospel do we meet 'Jesus the Nazarene' and the supposed gnostic elements of his gospel that actually demonstrate a much stronger reference to the Moses traditions and temple theology.
Barker writes cleanly and with detail, but in a way that though detailed is so easy to understand and read. It is littered with strong references not only to the other scriptures but to the midrash, talmud and other intrinsic deeply jewish understandings that we need to understand to really understand the writing and context of the Gospel.
This is a really insightful commentary but what's so good about this book is that in the first chapters you get a brilliant introduction to Temple Theology—what it is, its themes, motifs and relevance. Thus in the one book you get oversight and detail, almost two books in one.
And there, in part, is the one problem with this book, because you are being charged for two books in one—at £50 this is a hefty price that sadly is going to make it one that only the exceptionally keen are likely to invest in, and that's a pity because there is much here for many people, but they are highly unlikely to pay that price for this book, even if it is worth it.
Reviewer: Melanie Carroll (07/06/14)