The shepherd metaphor is one of the most important theological images in the Hebrew Bible. The contemporary image of shepherd inclines toward a therapist, counselor, and caregiver. However, careful study of this metaphor in the Hebrew Bible proves otherwise. The book is designed to reveal all possible original meanings of the shepherd image, expressed not only in Yahweh, but also in various biblical characters such as Abraham, Moses, David, and so forth. However, the focus is not on the person designated as shepherd, but rather the roles and characteristics of a shepherd that would manifest through these people. To achieve this, the Hebrew text has been studied by applying historical-literacy exegesis to determine the textual meaning. Comparison of the ancient Near Eastern literature help to enlighten the usage of the metaphor in the ancient world related to the Old Testament. This work shows how the definitions given in the current literature of pastoral theology fail to satisfy the meaning of shepherd, and how the Old Testament is an essential resource for the study of the shepherd metaphor. The result is to have the metaphor used in its proper understanding. The book also aims to consolidate the meanings of the metaphor in the various biblical passages for future development.
Jonathan Gan has been a pastor in both Asia and North America, in both Reformed and Congregational churches. He received his theological training in Singapore, Europe, and South Africa, and is an ordained minister of Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec. Areas of interests include Old Testament hermeneutics, Old Testament theology, and pastoral theology. In addition to his theological trainings and ministry experiences, Jonathan is also a member of the Society of Biblical Literature. He is married to Lucinda, and currently lives in Vancouver region, British Columbia, Canada.
Part 1 Preface Part 2 List of Abbreviations Chapter 3 Introduction Chapter 4 The Metaphor of Shepherd in Pastoral Theology Chapter 5 The Hermeneutical Methodology Chapter 6 The Image of the Shepherd in the Torah Chapter 7 The Metaphor of Shepherd in the Former Prophetic Literature Chapter 8 The Metaphor of Shepherd in the Later Prophetic Literature Chapter 9 The Metaphor of Shepherd in the Writings Chapter 10 The Metaphor of Shepherd and Biblical Studies Chapter 11 Conclusion Part 12 Bibliography Part 13 Scripture Index Part 14 Subject Index