Jesus, Divine Messiah: The New Testament Witness. By Robert L. Reymond. P & R Publishing Company, 1990. 357 pp. Paper, $17.99.
Christ asked His disciples this question: “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” And again, “But who do you say that I am?” (Matt 16:13, 15). This is the most important question that a person has to answer. In fact, Jesus said that a man’s eternal destiny depends on what he thinks about Him (John 8:24). Robert Reymond carefully details the NT answer to this very question.
He begins the book with a refutation of the various avenues of liberal assaults on the authenticity of the Gospels and of the NT in general. He responds primarily to arguments against the NT presentation of Christ as deity. This includes, among others, attacks from Source Criticism, Historical Criticism, Form Criticism, and Redaction Criticism. The author points out the subjectivity used in arriving at these positions as well as the blatant disregard of the evidence that argues for apostolic authorship. He then covers the “self-witness” of Jesus, the preresurrection and postresurrection witness to Jesus, Paul’s testimony concerning Jesus, and lastly the remaining passages in the General Epistles that make reference to Christ’s deity.
What is especially enjoyable about Reymond’s book is that he interacts exegetically with liberal and Arian arguments against the deity of Christ. Many books written on this subject do little more than quote verses with no exposition of them. Reymond responds to the opposition’s arguments and has an especially helpful manner of summarizing the issues and the exegetical reasons for understanding the passages as references to the deity of Christ. He also has an excellent section covering the evidence for the resurrection of Christ and its ramifications on the authenticity of the Gospels and the NT.
The only possible negative that I saw was that he accepts the critical text readings against the Majority text readings in every variation where they conflict. This affects 1 Tim 3:16, John 1:18, and Acts 20:28.
If you could have only one book on the subject, Jesus Divine Messiah is it. Reymond argues strongly and cogently that the NT definitely applies the term God to Jesus and teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Divine Messiah.
R. Michael Duffy