The Good Shepherd by Kenneth Bailey

The idea of the Good Shepherd is one of my personal favorites of Scripture. Here is a volume that really fleshes out that concept. The subtitle “A Thousand Year Journey From Psalm 23 To The New Testament” really captures what Kenneth Bailey has to say in this book published by IVP.

Mr. Bailey spent 40 years living and working in the Middle East including Egypt and Lebanon. Though he taught the Bible, he had plenty of opportunity to see culture not that far removed from Bible times. Merging those two–teaching and observation–has made this book a success.

His approach on the technical side is one where you will have to decide for yourself. His ideas of sequence and “step parallelism” are explained and traced in every passage he deals with. His ten themes well represent the items that we will find in shepherd passages, though all ten are rarely present in any one passage. In any event, I don’t find that the strength of the book.

The real value in this volume is the light it sheds on each passage it tackles. For example, as much as has been written on Psalm 23, he still had something to say. Check out the illustration he shares on page 42! How this shows God’s love and care for us is well drawn out.

Others passages include all the chief ones on the Shepherd theme. Jeremiah 23:1-8, Ezekiel 34, Zechariah 10:2-12, Luke 15:1-10, Mark 6:7-52, Matthew 18:10-14, John 10:1-18, and I Peter 5:1-4. They were all helpful, but the New Testament passages were especially rich. The last two were my favorites.

I recommend this volume.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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