Over the years I have been very appreciative of Kenneth Bailey's work in the New Testament. Among those that I have benefited form most are his books on the parables, Jesus and Paul. Bailey's experiences growing up and ministering in places like Egypt and Lebanon have helped him to bring a Middle Eastern perspective to reading and interpreting the Bible.
So I was pleased when his latest book arrived in my mailbox today: The Good Shepherd: A Thousand-Year Journey from Psalm 23 to the New Testament (IVP, 2014).
This time Bailey turns his eyes onto Psalm 23 and the theme of the good shepherd. Beginning with psalm and moving through the rest of Scripture, Bailey discusses the way that the biblical writers used the shepherd theme to describe both good and bad shepherds. Here's the blurb.
“The Lord is my shepherd." Thus begins the most beloved of all Psalms—and thus begins a thousand-year journey through the Bible. Prophets, apostles and Jesus himself took up this image from David, reshaping it, developing it and applying it to their own situations and needs. Kenneth Bailey uses his celebrated insights into Middle Eastern culture and especially his familiarity with Middle Eastern shepherding customs to bring new light and life to our understanding of this central image of the Christian faith. With each of nine major Old and New Testament passages, Bailey reveals the literary artistry of the Biblical writers and summarizes their key theological features. His work is also enriched by his unique access to very early Middle Eastern commentaries on these passages, bringing fresh understanding from within the mindset of these ancient worlds. The Good Shepherd invites us to experience a rich, biblical feast of ethical, theological and artistic delights.I look forward to reading it. It is scheduled to be released on December 7th, but you can pre-order it now. Many thanks to the kind folks at IVP for sending me a copy.