Read God's Glory in Salvation Through Judgment: A Biblical Theology by James M. Hamilton Jr. Online


In Exodus 34 Moses asks to see God's glory, and God reveals himself as a God who is merciful and just. James Hamilton Jr. contends that from this passage comes a biblical theology that unites the meta-narrative of Scripture under one central theme: God's glory in salvation through judgment.Hamilton begins in the Old Testament by showing that Israel was saved through God'sIn Exodus 34 Moses asks to see God's glory, and God reveals himself as a God who is merciful and just. James Hamilton Jr. contends that from this passage comes a biblical theology that unites the meta-narrative of Scripture under one central theme: God's glory in salvation through judgment.Hamilton begins in the Old Testament by showing that Israel was saved through God's judgment on the Egyptians and the Caananites. God was glorified through both his judgment and mercy, accorded in salvation to Israel. The New Testament unfolds the ultimate display of God's glory in justice and mercy, as it was God's righteous judgment shown on the cross that brought us salvation. God's glory in salvation through judgment will be shown at the end of time, when Christ returns to judge his enemies and save all who have called on his name.Hamilton moves through the Bible book by book, showing that there is one theological center to the whole Bible. The volume's systematic method and scope make it a unique resource for pastors, professors, and students....

Title : God's Glory in Salvation Through Judgment: A Biblical Theology
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ISBN : 9781581349764
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 639 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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God's Glory in Salvation Through Judgment: A Biblical Theology Reviews

  • Nate Claiborne
    2019-03-18 11:16

    Helpful in getting the big picture story of the Bible, loved the charts. But, presses to hard to find the center explicit in every book, which makes for rough reading of the wisdom literature.

  • Brian Watson
    2019-02-23 19:36

    I'm giving this book five stars for ambition and usefulness in terms of content. Hamilton's thesis is the central theme of the Bible - and therefore the central theme of all reality - is God's glory in salvation through judgment. Many people would say the center of theology is God's glory. But Hamilton doesn't think that is precise enough. God is most glorified by saving, but he only saves through judging. So, God saved Noah and his family through the judgment on the world in the flood. There are numerous Old Testament examples. But all of these point to the real salvation through judgment, when Jesus bore the righteous judgment of God on the cross to save his people. In the end, God will glorified as he consummates the salvation of his people and judges unbelievers.Hamilton succeeds at proving his thesis but he brings in so much content that the focus of the thesis is often lost. Perhaps this is due to immaturity, but he seems intent on showing off how much he has researched, just as he seems to show off his facility with Hebrew and Greek. If the book were shortened a bit, the thesis would have been sharper. But then some other helpful biblical theological ruminations would have been lost. And so it goes.One thing I felt was a bit of a stretch was how he tried to prove that the center of each of the sixty-six books of the Bible is God's glory in salvation through judgment. That seems to be a stretch when it comes to a book like Ruth, and I don't think it is necessary to have the central theme of the Bible be, in an explicit sense, the central theme of each book.

  • Lindsay Kennedy
    2019-03-20 13:32

    For my full review where I engage more deeply with pros/cons of this book see this link: is an excerpt of my conclusion:God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgment would be a wonderful resource when studying or teaching through a Bible book, particularly because of the literary flow and the tables and charts that Hamilton provides.Perhaps surprisingly, this book would be equally excellent to supplement personal (‘devotional’) Bible reading. This book really came to life when I started reading it slowly and regularly alongside my morning Bible reading. I read a portion of the Bible, and then Hamilton’s comments on that section; this was a rich time of seeing new things in the Scripture that I had started sooner!I would recommend this book not only to pastors/teachers but also any readers of the Word. Hamilton’s clear writing allows any to reach the fruits of his work.Whether one takes Hamilton’s thesis as ‘the centre’ or merely ‘central’, it is a theme that many Christians neglect to see; thankfully this book seeks to set this right. I remember my vision of God being exponentially transformed by reading Johnathan Edwards’ The End for Which God Created the World, and I believe Hamilton’s book will have the same effect on others.[Many thanks to Lindsay Tully and Crossway Publishers for providing a review copy of this book!]

  • Craig Hurst
    2019-02-28 11:21

    Biblical theology is a discipline that is long overdue for biblically-based scholarly attention in a more public, accepted and permeating manner. It has been long been established that The Biblical Theology Movement as spearheaded by Brevard S. Childs in the ‘40′s – ‘60′s did not accomplish what it set out to do in reaction to the source and form criticism of liberal theology. Until the last 10-15 years, biblical theology as a discipline had been almost lying dormant in terms of having a major influence within the broader theological world. No doubt there have been a number of major biblical theology works that have had a significant and timeless influence upon the Christian world. Authors like Geerhardus Vos, William VanGemeren, Daniel Fuller, Walter Kaiser, Graeme Goldsworthy and Charles H. H. Scobie have made classic contributions to the cause. Regardless of how ling these works have been around one wonders if they have had the impact they and others might have hoped for.One wonders if the work done by biblical theologians within the past 10-15 years is signaling the rise of a new biblical theology movement. One that will take Scripture seriously as we have it and not as some might assume it to be or wish it was. Not just biblical theology in regards to the whole canon but applying that same method to its various sub themes.With God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgment, James Hamilton Jr. makes a significant contribution to the growing number of books seeking to tackle the daunting task of canonical biblical theology. Hamilton sees biblical theology as concerning itself “with what the Bible meant for the purpose of understanding what the Bible means (p. 45).” Thus, the purpose of biblical theologyis to sharpen our understanding of the theology contained in the Bible itself through an inductive, salvation-historical examination of the Bible’s themes and the relationships between those themes in their canonical context and literary form (p. 47).From this purpose we see Hamilton’s binocular-like view for doing biblical theology. The first lens looks at the canon itself. “I will interpret the Protestant canon, and the Old Testament will be interpreted in light of the ordering of the books in the Hebrew Bible (p. 44).” This falls in line with how biblical theology has traditionally been done. After all, the word “biblical” in this context implies that one is dealing with the whole cannon. The second lens in Hamilton’s binocular view is literary. Of the two features of Hamilton’s approach, this seems to be the most unique. Hamilton explains, “I will seek to interpret books and sections of books in light of their inherent literary features and structures as we have them in the canon (p. 44).” This literary emphasis is clearly seen throughout the entire book and on almost every page. Hamilton proves himself page after page at being very adept at picking out the inherent literary features of the text both within verses, chapters, individual books, groups of books (i.e. Pentateuch) and both testaments together.Hamilton believes that the Bible has a center and that if we listen to Scripture we will hear it tell us what that center is. Hamilton further believes that the Bible has a center because “the Bible has a coherent story” and therefore “it is valid to explore what that story’s main point is (p. 39).” As the title of the book indicates, Hamilton believes the Bible communicates to us that its central theological message is the “glory of God in salvation through judgment (p. 41).” This central message “is the ultimate reason the Bible gives to explain what God has done (p. 48).” Throughout the book (and all 66 books of the Bible for that matter) Hamilton shows how this central idea is repeated over and over again as it is woven into the very fabric of the canon, each book and the thought of each biblical author.Though Hamilton unashamedly puts forth what he believes to be the center of biblical theology, he is not blind or ignorant of the fact that others have previously put forth other proposed centers. In light of this, Hamilton seeks to show the willing listener and ardent skeptic to the proposition of a definite theological center, how he and/or how one arrives at this theological center of the Bible. Hamilton states,The center of biblical theology will be the theme that is prevalent, even pervasive, in all parts of the Bible. This theme will be the most demonstrable centerpiece of theology contained in the Bible itself, because this theme will be what the biblical authors resort to when they give ultimate explanations for why things are they way they are at any point in the Bible’s story (p. 49).For Hamilton, the overarching story or metanarrative of Scripture is the four-fold sequence of creation, fall, redemption and restoration. He sees this sequence not merely as an overarching grid to understand the big story of Scripture but as something that “is repeated again and again in the Bible” (p. 49).” For example, he sees this in the life of Israel as God creates them as a nation, the nation falls at Mt. Sinai, “they are redeemed by God’s mercy, and, in a sense, is restored through the second set of stone tablets (p. 49).” This pattern is repeated so much throughout the Bible that it leads Hamilton to conclude that “within the grand drama that goes from creation to consummation there are many such “plays within the play (p. 49).”After having briefly surveyed many proposed centers of biblical theology (p. 53-56), Hamilton explains what the phrase “God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment” means. First, the display of God’s glory is the ultimate message and purpose of Scripture and thus biblical theology. God’s glory isthe weight of the majestic goodness of who God is, and the resulting name, or reputation, that he gains from his revelation of himself as Creator, Sustainer, Judge, and Redeemer, perfect in justice and mercy, loving-kindness and truth (p. 56).Secondly and thirdly, God responds to the fallen state of mankind in salvation through judgment. These two themes or acts are to be viewed together and as working in tandem with each other. “Salvation always comes through judgment” and “everyone who gets saved is saved through judgment (p. 57-58).” The two are inseparable acts of God and reveal inseparable aspects of God – God is both a Savior and Judge of man and sin.It is not realistic to do a book by book overview of how Hamilton brings to surface his proposed biblical center. It is possible to summarize the canonical structure that Hamilton moves through in his quest to prove his proposed biblical center.In dealing with the Old Testament, Hamilton follows the lead of Stephen Dempster and addresses the books as laid out in the Tanak. Thus he follows the three-fold outline of the Law, the Prophets and the Writings (see also Luke 24:44). This method walks the reader through the historical narrative first as seen in the Torah and the Former Prophets which covers Genesis to Kings. Next, we examine the commentary on that story line in the Latter Prophets as covered from Isaiah through Malachi. This commentary continues through part of the Writings from Psalms to Ecclesiastes. Finally, picking up with Esther and ending with Chronicles, the narrative story line continues (see Table 1.3 on pg. 61).The New Testament is approached in similar fashion again following after Dempster. The Gospels through Acts provide the introductory narrative material. The narrative is followed by commentary on the Letters (Romans through 3 John). Finally, the narrative is picked back up in Revelation.From chapters 2-7 the major sections of the canon are addressed and the biblical center of God’s glory in salvation through judgment is brought to light page by page. There is an introduction to each major section with a one-sentence summary of each book in that section. Then each book of the Bible is worked through with concluding summary. The book is structured such that one can read through it in its entirety as you would any other book. It is also written and constructed in such a way that as you read through a different book of the Bible on your own, you can read the relevant section on that book of the Bible and not feel like you are jumping in the middle of a story or argument that you have no context for. These two approaches are the intended strategies of reading this book (p. 29-30).Throughout the book Hamilton repeatedly uses the phrase God’s glory in salvation through judgment. This is probably unavoidable, but nonetheless becomes tiresome at times. The reader may find it a struggle to track with the argument when it comes to the Minor Prophets as the discussion is scant compared to the rest of the books. While the reader will appreciate the many literary nuances Hamilton brings to light, there are times when one wonders if things are being stretched just to make them fit. Thankfully, there are a number of these instances when the author recognizes the possible stretch. I felt the discussion from Genesis to Acts and on Revelation to be the most fruitful and engaging. I found it to be less so from Romans to 3 John though Hamilton does stay on course throughout the entire book.I highly recommend this book as a good way to work through the Bible in order to grasp the overall story line. It will also aid the reader in gaining a better understanding of the purpose for each book in the canon. Hamilton not only seeks to prove his proposed biblical center but he also weaves many sub themes throughout the book like creation, rest, the garden, the seed of Satan and of God/Christ, the temple and how Christ ultimately fulfills and brings to close in the NT, now and in the future what was promised and anticipated in the OT. This is a great whole Bible tool and book study reading companion from the Bible college student to the seasoned pastor and teacher. I would suggest that a new believer read through the Bible on their own first and then use this volume as a companion the next time through.

  • Philip Taylor
    2019-02-28 14:12

    A stunning amount of work is contained in this book. I would recommend all those who preach or teach the Bible in any capacity to get it and work slowly through it. Hamilton really shows how all the variety of scripture pulls in one clear direction.

  • Todd Miles
    2019-03-03 11:12

    Jim Hamilton's "God's Glory in Salvation Through Judgment: A Biblical Theology" is a book of extraordinary magnitude. His contribution to the recent rise of biblical theology as a significant theological and hermeneutical disicpline is most welcome because he argues for a specific center to biblical theology. In so doing, Hamilton provides commentary on every book of the Bible, demonstrating that the ultimate focus of each author in each book was God's glory in salvation through judgment. This is no mean task. Hamilton walks the reader through each book of the Bible, demonstrating from the literary strategy of each author, that each book is organized around and for the aforementioned theme.The book probably best serves, as Hamilton acknowledges, as a commentary resource. His attention to detail is remarkable and Hamilton, himself a New Testament scholar, proves himself just as comfortable in the Old Testament as the New. The reader is given a detailed summary of each book. By way of bonus, the numerous charts and tables that Hamilton has created are worth the price of the book alone. As a one volume commentary on the entire Bible, this book is a difficult resource to beat.When considering the magnitude of Hamilton's enterprise, it would be easy to nitpick about points here and there. Let me offer two minor frustrations that I experienced as I read the book. First, it was not always clear to me what Hamilton meant by "Salvation through judgment." At times he argued for salvation by means of judgment; at others it seemed to be salvation from judgment; while at other points the issue was salvation in the midst of, or endurance through the judgment. These appear to be very different things. Second, I would have appreciated more thought on how the theme of "God's glory in salvation through judgment" was developed across all of the contours of redemptive history, climaxing in the person of Jesus. Given that there was a definite progress to revelation as redemptive history moved along, one would expect the theme to also be progressively developed. A demonstration of that theme development would have been very helpful, perhaps by discussing more of the intertextual and intercanonical ties. Again, these are small frustrations given the resource that Hamilton has provided. It is always refreshing not to have to guess where an author stands with regard to his submission to the authority of Scripture and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Hamilton makes that abundantly clear from cover to cover. He is to be commended for his contribution to the ministry of the gospel. I, for one, am better off for it.

  • Paul
    2019-03-03 19:12

    Reading this over a year as part of my bible reading plan was a great pleasure and immense help to understand the cohesiveness and unity of the scriptures.

  • Brandon Zaffini
    2019-03-13 13:15

    I learned so much from this book and was greatly challenged by it. The message is important, but also sobering. On the down side, the book is dry in parts, overly lengthy and somewhat repetitive.

  • Jarred Edgecombe
    2019-03-19 17:21

    In a day when many churches pass over the more difficult passages of scripture and, instead, only preach the happy ones, Hamilton's book was refreshing. In speaking of the need for renewal in the church he states:"The transformation the church needs is the kind that results from beholding the glory of God in the face of Christ. This glory of God is a saving and judging glory - an aroma of life to those being saved and death to those perishing, and this saving and judging glory is at the center of biblical theology. If there is to be a renewal, it will be a renewal that grows out of the blazing center that is the glory of God in the face of Christ. This saving and judging glory, I contend, is the center of biblical theology."He suggests that one not read the book cover-to-cover, but rather use it as a reference to see how the theme is developed in the books of the Bible that one is studying. I would agree with that. While the book is thorough, it is also difficult to read through as one would other books.I would recommend the book to pastors preaching through books of the Bible for guidance on how the theme is developed in each book.

  • Kenneth Cheong
    2019-02-26 12:32

    Hamilton gives a balanced view of God's salvation plan which is refreshing and sound. Recommended.

  • Brendan
    2019-03-15 11:37

    What's great about this book is it's simplicity. Dr. Hamilton has a purpose as he writes; to show the theme of God's Glory in Salvation Through Judgement through all the bible. He systematically walks through each book of the bible and shows how the overarching narrative is just that.I would not recommend reading this book straight through, or trying to pick it up for some light reading. It really is a reference text, and it helps inform what is happening in the scriptures as you read them. I began reading this along with the books I was studying in the scriptures. This might be an odd comment, but the publishing quality of this book is the best I have ever seen. The book feels nice in the hands, the pages are thick and turn well, it is just a well made book. Kudos crossway for putting out a quality resource and not trying to save money by making cheaper quality products.Even the outline of the book from the beginning is great; it is easy to find exactly what chapter, and part you are looking for, due to Dr. Hamilton's outlined approach to the subject.Grab a copy of this book HERE, and as you study the scriptures, let Dr. Hamilton help you through this resource.

  • Mark
    2019-02-24 14:13

    Hamilton's contribution attempts to find the center of Biblical Theology in what he calls "God's glory in salvation through judgment." In this work Hamilton seeks to prove that the God-centeredness of God is the main theme of the Bible, and that God's passion for His own glory is worked out in the salvation of his people through judgment. The apex of this judgment is clearly the cross of Christ where the God-man is judged on behalf of our sins, and we are saved. I think it would be fair to say that Hamilton wants to show how Jonathan Edwards' thesis in "The End for which God Created the World" can be seen as the center of Biblical Theology. Certainly this will not be the final word in the quest for a center of Biblical Theology. In particular I would have liked to see how the Biblical covenants work into his thesis. All in all the reader will certainly benefit by engaging with this material. Specifically, Hamilton's focus on the actual Biblical text itself is a refreshing oasis in a desert of Biblical Theologies that focus more on secondary work than the Bible. The numerous charts and indexes make this work an accessible reference work and the depth of understanding of the Biblical text makes the journey from cover to cover worthwhile for the dedicated reader.

  • Lawson Hembree
    2019-03-12 14:37

    Too often, Christians spend so much time studying individual portions of Scripture that they unconsciously neglect to treat the Bible as a book with a central theme. Approaching Scripture from a macro perspective is called biblical theology. In God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment, Hamilton posits that the theme woven throughout the entire Bible is that God mercifully saves His chosen people through the exercise of His righteous judgment, and in doing so brings glory to Himself. Dr. Hamilton goes book by book through Scripture to demonstrate how it all points to this overarching narrative with the culmination of the narrative being the cross of Christ. The best way to use this book in my opinion is to use the Bible reading plan that pairs God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgement with a daily Scripture reading. By the end of the year, you’ll have read all the way through both, gaining a deeper appreciation for the Bible itself as well as the indescribable creativity and sovereignty of the Author.

  • Zach Hedges
    2019-03-18 16:34

    While I am generally somewhat cautious of the "single-center" approach to biblical theology, Hamilton is effective in arguing for God's glory in two specific manifestations of salvation and judgment as the organizing principle for all Scripture. At most points his case is strong and well-articulated (e.g., the Prophets and OT narratives) while at others it suffers from some definitional ambiguity and general farfetched-ness due to his commitment to a book-by-book approach. Broadly speaking, however, this work deserves applause for its major contributions to the biblical-theological conversation, not least of which is Hamilton's methodological concern for adopting the "interpretive perspective" of the biblical authors themselves in identifying overarching themes.Due to Hamilton's combination of scholarly qualification and pastoral character, I recommend the book without hesitation to Bible students of any level.

  • Eric Molicki
    2019-03-14 14:20

    This is an important work for pastors to methodically engage with. He posits a central thesis for Scripture and provides enough strong evidence over the course of his survey of the entire Bible that it demands interaction. Reformed theology has long seen "the covenant" as the organizing vehicle of Biblical theology. Hamilton's work has prompted me to consider his thesis as .thevery heart of what the vehicle of the covenant is created to deliver. I loved reading this slowly as part of my devotions over the past year. Not every part was as exegetically sound as others, but all prompted solid reflections on the theology of glory, grace, and God's justice. Hamilton's work deserves to be considered in any conversation, henceforth, over the heart or center of Biblical theology.

  • Andrew Wise
    2019-03-19 13:27

    A thorough, comprehensive examination of the entire biblical canon with a view to demonstrating a proposed central theme: God's glory in salvation through judgment. As a reference work, the book could be an incredible resource for studying particular books and passages, giving one the wide-angle lens for discerning context. A straight-through reading may become somewhat repetitive, as the main goal of the author is to overtly reinforce his thesis throughout. Dr. Hamilton is a professor of biblical theology I had at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and I've loved sitting under his instruction.

  • Coyle
    2019-03-15 13:08

    Man, this book was a slog. Although much of the content is fine (some of it is even excellent), it's probably best used as a reference, rather than read cover-to-cover. Especially grating is the fact that the phrase "glory in salvation through judgment" makes it almost onto every passage. Which isn't to say it's not an important point, just that stylistically it got a bit repetitive. Nonetheless, the content is useful and I'll likely go back to it from time to time as I'm studying individual books of the Bible.

  • Bekah Mason
    2019-02-24 16:27

    The information included is thorough and can at times be overwhelming, but it is worth the effort. The inclusion of extensive explanations of timely cultural facts helps 21st C. Readers more clearly understand the timeless nature of God and man's covenental relationship with Him. Very useful as a reference book and chapters stand well alone, but can also be read, slowly, cover to cover for a complete picture of Scripture's treatment of the theme of covenant.

  • Hank Pharis
    2019-02-23 13:09

    This is a great book on several levels. Hamilton walks the reader through all 66 books of the Bible and shows that the fundamental theme in all of them is the glory of God. God's glory is demonstrated in two primary ways: judgment and salvation. If you only ever read one book surveying the Bible and summarizing its theology, this is the best I've read thus far. Especially instructive is his approach to typology.

  • Dylan Bailey
    2019-03-11 12:16

    I am currently going through this book because Dr. Hamilton is my Old Testament professor, although, if he were not my professor i will still read this book. Because of this wonderful book I have gained a love for the study of Biblical Theology. As of now i have only read the Old Testament sections, but i am looking forward to reading the rest this summer. I highly recommend!

  • Matt Chapman
    2019-03-01 13:29

    A very thorough, God-centred, book by book journey through the Bible. Hamilton makes a compelling case for what he argues is the centre of Biblical theology - God's glory in salvation through judgment.Perhaps a little too long if viewed as simply arguing that point but if seen as also being a detailed chapter by chapter walk through the Bible it is surprisingly succinct.

  • J.M. Noble
    2019-02-28 16:12

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have recommended it to several people. A slow, thorough, honest examination of what has been written here proved to be deeply moving and spiritually enriching in my own personal life. It is a well-thought, convincingly argued thesis for a center driving concept in biblical theology.

  • Eric Pruitt
    2019-03-17 13:26

    This is a helpful introduction to biblical theology, even though the length may scare you. This book is helpful because of the repetition and framework Dr. Hamilton uses to understand the whole of Scripture. While I don't agree with his thesis, I think it is a helpful understanding of the bible. It can be overly repetitive at times, but it helps build the framework for thinking.

  • Jonny
    2019-03-11 13:12

    After a few starts and stops I finally finished this book and what a great one it is! You don't have to agree with the central thesis to get a lot out of this book but he does build a compelling argument. Basically if you want to be better at understanding the full story of the Bible this is one of the best books to check out. Read it slowly if you must.

  • Becca Rudy
    2019-03-16 15:28

    A solid biblical theology book, and he generally supports his thesis well. I do wish the last two chapters on defense and practical application were more thought out and full though. He has a beautiful writing style, and if you read any point, read the OT for his poetic rendering of the gospel.

  • Aaron Choi
    2019-03-08 14:14

    4.5 stars as a reference work (which Hamilton himself emphasizes as the book's primary utility). 3 stars as a cover-to-cover read (which it's not intended to be but I mistakenly attempted to treat it as such).

  • Ben Krueger
    2019-03-11 19:09

    If you read chapter one only, it will be worth your time.

  • Alasdair Peterson
    2019-02-24 15:10

    Great reference book and the introductory are exhilirating. Not one to read through from cover to cover though.

  • Lucas Bradburn
    2019-03-15 18:28

    Makes a good case for the "center" of the Bible as being "God's Glory in Salvation Through Judgment." Although it is a bit ambitious at times, Hamilton's book is exegetically driven and insightful.

  • Rick Hogaboam
    2019-02-25 15:32

    Hamilton enters the heavyweight category with this massive volume. I will read this a second time in the future.