REV. WARREN A. GAGE, J.D., Ph.D.,
Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Knox Theological Seminary
Assistant Minister, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA
Director, Florida Institute of Humanities and Culture
With the fifth book published in English in his History of Redemption series of twelve volumes, Dr. Abraham Park completes his consideration of the threefold series of fourteen generations in Christ’s genealogy set forth in Matthew’s Gospel. This new book is simply wonderful.
The Bible was written in an era long before there were standardized conventions about regnal years, co-regencies, consistent calendars (there are Tishri and Nisan, civil and ceremonial New Years, along with enthronement accessions or ‘New Years’). It is a world where there are no clear markers and deep records or attestations of significant historical dates. Other imperial court registries (Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian) are marked with similar historical challenges. There are also differing methods of genealogical record keeping, with some records being ascendant, some descendant, some inclusive, and some stylized with numerous omissions. It is more than enough to cause the scholar to stagger, and has proven to be a fertile field for the biblical critic to mock the truth claims of Holy Scripture.
Dr. Park has a remarkable gift of sorting out, explaining clearly, and thus reconciling these often apparently contradictory data. He comes with a scholar’s mind but also with a pastor’s heart. He wants to secure the historicity of Scripture in order for his people to persevere in a deep confidence in the reliability and truth of God’s Word. Dr. Park is uniquely gifted for both tasks.
The fifth book offers fascinating background into the last cycle of the genealogies prior to Christ being born of Mary, wife to Joseph who was descended from Abraham and David. It is a worthy addition to the previous books which looked at the first two cycles of fourteen generations.
Most of the names treated in this new volume arise out of the “four hundred years of silence” when the Spirit of prophecy was silent in Israel. But fortunately there are historical records still extant which providentially give us the context for these lives. Dr. Park is a master of this history as well as extra-biblical literary records. It is wonderful to see how God’s providence was advancing the history of redemption through bringing to completion the ancient promise of the Seed of the Woman through the birth of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Park has wisely discerned that the protoevangelium of Genesis 3: 15 is the dynamic that drives the history of God’s redemption of His people. These genealogies are necessary to confirm the faith of the people of God in the authenticity of God’s Word, which Dr. Park has already so ably helped us to see throughout the many centuries of the biblical drama.
Moses’ valedictory to Israel challenged the people about to inherit the Promised Land to remember the generations that had persevered before them, all those who had only the promise of this inheritance to encourage them in their suffering. “Remember the days of old,” Moses wrote. “Consider the years of all generations. Ask your father, and he will inform you, your elders, and they will tell you” (Deut 32: 7). I can think of no better “father” and “elder” in the church today than Dr. Abraham Park. Ask him, and he will tell you that God is worthy of faith, for He has faithfully kept His promise in bringing the world a Redeemer, even Jesus Christ the righteous. Inquire of him, and Dr. Park will encourage you to join with all of us who have confessed our sins and known them to be covered by the blood of Jesus. Ask him, and Pastor Park will point you toward Jesus, Son of David, Son of Abraham, and Son of God! Jesus is all our hope. And He alone is worthy!