Published on April 20, 2018 by Joshua R Monroe

Crossway, 2018 | 464 pages

A Brief Book Notice from Books At a Glance


Each time God appears to his people throughout the Bible—in the form of a thunderstorm, a man, a warrior, a chariot, etc.—he comes to a specific person for a specific purpose. And each of these temporary appearances— called theophanies—helps us to better understand who he is, anticipating his climactic, permanent self-revelation in the incarnation of Christ.

Describing the various accounts of God’s visible presence from Genesis to Revelation, theologian Vern S. Poythress helps us consider more deeply what they reveal about who God is and how he dwells with us today.


Praise for THEOPHANY


David Wenkel, Adjunct Faculty, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; author, Shining Like the Sun: A Biblical Theology of Meeting God Face to Face:

Dr. Poythress’s book walks the reader through a gallery of God’s manifold glory. This volume invites the reader to stop and consider all of the different portraits of God’s personal presence in the whole canon of Scripture. Those who look in faith will be rewarded and encouraged in their walk with Christ.

James A. Borland, Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Theology, Liberty University:

This work is broader than any I have seen in its coverage of the biblical theology of theophany. I appreciate the many explanations of how each Old Testament aspect of theophany is fulfilled in Christ. The many chapters provide a spiritually uplifting study that is well organized and carefully written in terms any layman can understand, but also stimulating for advanced students.

Robert J. Cara, Provost, Chief Academic Officer, and Hugh and Sallie Reaves Professor of New Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary; author, Cracking the Foundation of the New Perspective on Paul; contributor, A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament:

Poythress is a master at pulling together various strands of Scripture and showing their coherence. This book on the multifaceted aspects of God’s presence is no exception. Theophany fills a real void in evangelical theology—informative for the scholar but accessible to the layman. Students often ask me about the various senses of God’s presence discussed in Scripture, and I typically give a vague answer. But now, after reading Poythress, my answers will be much more informed; and I have a first-class resource to share with my students.

Richard L. Pratt Jr., President, Third Millennium Ministries:

In biblical times, God appeared visibly to people in many different ways, and divinely inspired authors reflected on his appearances throughout the Scriptures. Yet the modern Christian experience is so different that we are often left wondering what significance biblical appearances of God have for us today. Poythress explores this theme within its ancient historical context and explains how Christ fulfills its significance in himself and in his followers’ lives. Poythress’s discussions are rooted in sound biblical scholarship, but clearly express how this facet of Scripture should enhance every Christian’s daily service to God.

Dennis E. Johnson, Professor of Practical Theology, Westminster Seminary California; author, Triumph of the LambHim We Proclaim; and Walking with Jesus through His Word: 

Vern Poythress’s Theophany is a theologically rich, spiritually edifying exploration of all that the Bible says about an awe-striking reality that fills the pages of Scripture: our infinite, personal Creator ‘who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see’ delights to make himself known through the senses he has given us, the universe he made and sustains, and his redemptive deeds in history, culminating in Jesus Christ. This biblical theology of God’s appearing will expand your thoughts and nourish your heart.

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Theophany: A Biblical Theology of God's Appearing

Crossway, 2018 | 464 pages

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