A Theology of Justice in Exodus

By (author) Nathan Bills

Hardback - £99.95

Publication date:

16 October 2020

Length of book:

294 pages



ISBN-13: 9781575068381

This book traces the theme of justice throughout the narrative of Exodus in order to explicate how yhwh’s reclamation of Israel for service-worship reveals a distinct theological ethic of justice grounded in yhwh’s character and Israel’s calling within yhwh’s creational agenda.

Adopting a synchronic, text-immanent interpretive strategy that focuses on canonical and inner-biblical connections, Nathan Bills identifies two overlapping motifs that illuminate the theme of justice in Exodus. First, Bills considers the importance of Israel’s creation traditions for grounding Exodus’s theology of justice. Reading Exodus against the backdrop of creation theology and as a continuation of the plot of Genesis, Bills shows that the ethical disposition of justice imprinted on Israel in Exodus is an application of yhwh’s creational agenda of justice. Second, Bills identifies an educational agenda woven throughout the text. The narrative gives heightened attention to the way yhwh catechizes Israel in what it means to be the particular beneficiary and creational emissary of yhwh’s justice. These interpretative lenses of creation theology and pedagogy help to explain why Israel’s salvation and shaping embody a programmatic applicability of yhwh’s justice for the wider world.

This volume will be of substantial interest to divinity students and religious professionals interested in the themes of exodus, exile, and return.

“This study successfully holds in balance (and sometimes in tension) careful analytical work with the text and broader theological conceptions and issues that arise and that in turn permit further critical interrogation of the text. It is a strength of the reading that it takes in the whole shape of the narrative of the book, incorporating initial struggle, combat, and resettlement in the tabernacle narrative.”

—Tremper Longman III, Westmont College