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The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses (Poythress)

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The first five books of the Old Testament were written centuries before the birth of Jesus. Yet they intricately involve Him. Here Vern Poythress explores Genesis through Deuteronomy, demonstrating how the sacrifices and traditions of the Hebrews graphically foreshadow Christ’s relationship with His people. Christ Himself is the key that unlocks the riches of the Old Testament. Poythress opens the door to our understanding the law of Moses and its relationship to the gospel.

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Table of Contents:

Part 1: Understanding the Different Aspects of the Law

1. The Challenge of the Law of Moses: Interpreting Moses in the Light of Christ

2. The Tabernacle of Moses: Prefiguring God’s Presence Through Christ

3. The Sacrifices: Prefiguring the Final Sacrifice of Christ

4. The Priests and the People: Prefiguring Christ’s Relation to His People

5. General Principles for God’s Dwelling with Human Beings: Prefiguring Union with Christ

6. The Land of Palestine, the Promised Land: Prefiguring Christ’s Renewal of and Dominion over the Earth      

7. The Law and Its Order: Prefiguring the Righteousness of Christ

8. The Purposes of the Tabernacle, the Law, and the Promised Land: Pointing Forward to Christ

9. The Punishments and Penalties of the Law: Prefiguring the Destruction of Sin and Guilt Through Christ

Part 2: Understanding Specific Penalties of the Law

10. False Worship, Holy War, and Penal Substitution: Prefiguring the Spiritual Warfare of Christ and His Church

11. Principles of Justice for the Modern State

12. Just Penalties for Many Crimes

13. Just Penalties for Sexual Crimes

14. Deterrence and Rehabilitation

15. A Critique of Prisons

16. Our Responsibilities Toward Imperfect States

17. Fulfillment of the Law in the Gospel According to Matthew


A. False Worship in the Modern State

B. Evaluating Theonomy

C. Does the Greek Word Pleroo Sometimes Mean ‘Confirm’?


Vern S. Poythress (MLitt, University of Cambridge; PhD, Harvard University; DTh, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa) is Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.