The Unseen Realm: Discovering the Supernatural Worldview of the BibleMichael HeiserLexham Press / 2015 / Hardcover$18.99 Retail:5 Stars Out Of 5 4 Reviews
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BenTexAustin, TXAge: 45-54Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5Worth the readMarch 2, 2017BenTexAustin, TXAge: 45-54Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I just finished the book. Unseen Realm will open your eyes and add to the truth you already know about God's Holy Word. Heavily footnoted. Heiser brings together many verses across the Old and New Testaments that you might not have known were related. He does a good job of explaining the English as compared to the Hebrew and Greek. He also explains the worldview of the ancients at the time the Word was penned (inspired by God to the author) so that you will see the Scriptures in greater context of the culture and time of the author. Totally worth whatever time it might take you to read the book. You will be driven and convicted to dig deeper on your own. You will want to read it two or three times! Unseen Realm also comes in an abridged version entitled, "Supernatural."
Scott n Isaiah5 Stars Out Of 5It is for Everyone!October 20, 2016Scott n IsaiahQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0Michael Heiser has caused me to dig deeper and want more than any other teacher I have had. Now when I hit a passage that isn't quite clear to me, I wonder Dr. Heiser's take on the scripture!
John M KightMichiganAge: 25-34Gender: Male5 Stars Out Of 5Students of the Bible will do well in reading this book closely!March 14, 2016John M KightMichiganAge: 25-34Gender: MaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Michael S. Heiser is Scholar-in-Residence at Faithlife, the creators of Logos Bible Software, and has a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and Semitic Languages from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Heiser has written a host of peer-reviewed articles for Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Journal of the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament, Themelios, Tyndale Bulletin, Bible Translator, and much more. Heiser also contributed a number of articles in the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets (IVP, 2012), and the Lexham Bible Dictionary. Most recently, Heiser has made waves with his new book The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible (Lexham Press, 2015).
The Unseen Realm begins with a brief introduction into Heisers personal journey as a Hebrew student and his encounter with Psalm 82. This background provides the premise for the investigation that then unfolds in the coming pages. The book is divided into eight parts: (1) First Things the stage is set with some preliminary rules for engagement; (2) The Households of God attention is directed towards the initial biblical patterns, namely that God has a divine family, a heavenly assembly, or council, of elohim in which he is superior over all others; (3) Divine Transgressions attention directed towards the arrogance of the nachash (the Serpent) and his transgression that fractured the human-divine relationship; (4) Yahweh and His Portion attention is directed towards Yahwehs acts of intervention amid his people, especially when in conflict or threatened by gods or men; (5) Conquest and Failure the readers are guided through the intended results of the conquest under Moses and Joshua, and the divine backdrop that motivated therein; (6) Thus Says The Lord attention is directed towards the theological intentions that undergird the monarchys history, and the reader is guided through the prophets and into the realization of the kingdom already, but not yet; (7) The Kingdom Already the exploration enters into the realm of the New Testament and the anticipation and inauguration of the King, and the New Testament dependence on Old Testament motifs therein; and (8) The Kingdom Not Yet the investigation comes full-circle and further establishes the supernatural worldview of the context within the closing climax of the Christian Bible.
There are a number of exciting aspects of this book that make it a must-read. First, I think that Heiser does an excellent job guiding the reader through some of the more commonly discussed issues of critical scholarship concerning the unseen realm of the ancient Near East, and yet does so in such a way as to keep the tenor of the conversation understandable and clear for the reader. Second, it is clear that Heiser is sensitive to the fact that the content being presented is likely to shake the foundation of many personal traditions. His awareness of such, I believe, makes the reader desire to follow his investigation further as oppose to abandon it. Third, Heiser does well in his overall organization of the topic. Each chapter has various subsections that build upon each other and allow the reader to digest smaller chunks of text and ideas. Finally, the overall thrust of the book is executed well and I think the reader will appreciate the attention to detail, but it is the content that makes the book so incredible. Admittedly, I did find myself in disagreement with Heiser at times, but he is generally fair in his understanding and presentation of the textespecially when it comes to Genesis and the Old Testamentand he does well in guiding the reader to his conclusion rather than making a bunch of empty statements.
The Unseen Realm is breathtaking. Heiser presents a vision of God and the supernatural world that untangles much of the complexity that has historically plagued the reading of passages such as Psalm 82, Genesis 1:26, 6:1-4, Judges 6, Daniel 7, and much more. Having already been familiar with Heisers work, I knew in large what to expect with this book. But, I must say, The Unseen Realm has delivered much more than I anticipated. This doesnt mean there arent areas of concern or disagreement that I have with Heisers hermeneutic at part, but rather that his arguments are well-presented and persuasively met with a keen awareness of the ancient Near East. Heiser will make you think outside your traditional bubble as he ushers you through the ancient Near Eastern world with confidence and wonder. He carefully guides the reader through difficult waters of ignorance and unearth an undeniable theme penetrating the biblical narrative. Students of the Bible will do well in reading this book closely. It will change the way you read and study your Bible, and for that it comes highly recommended!
Also, for those wishing to investigate further, Douglas Van Dorn has compiled an excellent companion volume, The Unseen Realm: A Question & Answer Companion. This volume is saturated with Scripture references and useful beyond words. I wouldnt buy one without the other!
I received a review copy of these books in exchange for and honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
N.A.5 Stars Out Of 5Wow, talk about Coherent..December 29, 2015N.A.Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I must say that this book deals with some solid stuff.
When you hear someone claim that they have a Biblical theology void of any denominational leanings, the first reaction is yeah right.
Well enter Dr. Heiser.
With this book he has been able to present facts and connections in the Bible that are both astonishing and profound. And while that might open suspicion, since history has shown many false teachers claiming these titles of praise, the factor that sets Dr. Heiser apart from these others is that he is coherent and open. He actually presents the information to you in a way that allows you to dig deeper, that you might draw your own conclusions on the topic. All that is asked of you is honesty and some hard work in study.
The reason I bring this up is because due to the nature of the book, there are things in here that will challenge you. Straight up they will. BUT DO NOT RUN. Once you sit for a second and observe the content, you will see that what is being presented is clearly not heretical nor excessive. It is something to behold really, that there could be a story that seems so mythical, but all the evidence overwhelmingly points to it being true. Thats our Bible and as C.S. Lewis put it, it is the myth that is true.
One such evidence of coherence would be the manner in which John 10:30-39 is handled. I must say, I have been searching for a clear answer to this odd passage for about a year now. Simply reading this passage is enough for you to draw questions. I had searched the common interpretation for these verses and the interpretations of my favorite theologians (whom I still respect deeply) but none of them could present an answer that seemed to make sense. They present a god = judges view that seems to lessen Jesus claim to divinity. Well, you have no problem with the Unseen Realm view on this passage. Really, this view beefs up Jesus claim. It actually unveils it with awe inspiring beauty, not because of Heisers writing, but because of the actual statement that Jesus was making. This book really drew me out to worship! Oh and theres more! From the symbolism of baptism, the implications of the flood, and the wars for the promise land you will see these events presented with details in the text that only deepen the theological punch and stir our affections for our God who is one and above all.
I must also say, the book is scholarly in nature, so slow down and take your time with it. It is accessible. You will be able to read the pages and understand what is being said. Dr. Heiser has mined through troves of peer reviewed articles and dissertations and put them together in a way that the non-specialist can read. This is solid, and it does require us to do some thinking, and thats the least we can do. It is said that a book that doesnt challenge you whether in content or in style, it is wasted reading! And I tell you, this is NOT wasted reading!!
People fear the unknown, and although we cannot claim omniscience, we can be quite comforted by the things that we CAN learn. So then I present to you that this book is more of a blessing than a challenge, and through the challenge you will be blessed. Dr. Heiser has a heart for the Word, and I know that if he could share that with you, you would be left better off than you were before.
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