Are you fascinated by the concept of mystery as you encounter it in Scripture? It is important, vitally important, to understanding the big picture of Scripture itself. As I see it, mystery as a concept is the nuts and bolts of how progressive revelation works. G. K. Beale and Benjamin Gladd delve deeply into this subject in this book published by IVP, subtitled aptly “A Biblical Theology Of Mystery”. Technical enough to be the scholarly touchstone on the subject, it still is profitable for pastors to grasp how the words of God progressively came to us.
This answers difficult questions like why was Jesus so misunderstood when He talked about His Kingdom or His mission. It even affects how we, for example, read the Old Testament today–how we see things they did not see then.
They define “mystery” as “the revelation of God’s partially hidden wisdom, particularly as it concerns events occurring in the ‘latter days'”. In the Introduction the authors establish the meaning of mystery and in the first chapter discuss how Daniel’s use of mystery is truly the foundation of the concept. Before coming to the New Testament they discuss the use of “mystery” in early Judiasm. That was not as helpful to me, yet I see why they included it.
Next we have a chapter each for mystery in Matthew, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, and Revelation–all the places the New Testament discusses mystery. Because of a good scriptural index, you have a lexical/commentary reference on your shelf after you read it.
It is slow to read through, at least for me, yet I doubt it will even be superseded as an authority on the use of “mystery” in the Bible. I recommend it.
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