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Exodus (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible | BTC)

, 2016
ISBN: 9781493402595
Verbum Editions are fully connected to your library and Bible study tools.



Exodus recounts the origins of ancient Israel, but it is also a book of religious symbols. How should it be interpreted, especially in light of modern historical-critical study? In this addition to an acclaimed series, a respected scholar offers a theological reading of Exodus that highlights Aquinas’s interpretations of the text. As with other volumes in the series, this commentary is ideal for those called to ministry, serving as a rich resource for preachers, teachers, students, and study groups.

Pastors and leaders of the classical church—such as Augustine, Calvin, Luther, and Wesley—interpreted the Bible theologically, believing Scripture as a whole witnessed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Modern interpreters of the Bible questioned this premise. But in recent decades, a critical mass of theologians and biblical scholars has begun to reassert the priority of a theological reading of Scripture. The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible enlists leading theologians to read and interpret Scripture for the twenty-first century, just as the church fathers, the Reformers, and other Orthodox Christians did for their times and places.

The commentaries are designed to serve the church—through aid in preaching, teaching, study groups, and so forth—and demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Offers theological analysis of Exodus
  • Contains an in-depth introduction
  • Includes bibliographical references and indexes



  • The Darkness and Light of God
  • The Divisions of the Book of Exodus
  • The Four Senses of Scripture

Deliverance from Egypt: Exodus 1–12

  • Pharaoh, Genocide, and Universal Moral Weakness (Exod. 1)
  • Vocation to Prophecy (Exod. 2)
  • The Divine Name (Exod. 3)
  • Introduction to Exodus 4–11: Catechesis on Divine Omnipotence
  • Mirabilia Dei as a Purification of Human Superstition (Exod. 4)
  • Religious Error as Political Oppression (Exod. 5)
  • The Name of Mercy (Exod. 6)
  • The Hard-Heartedness of Pharaoh: God and Free Will (Exod. 7:1–7)
  • The Theological Meaning of the Plagues
  • Confrontation with the Pharaoh (Exod. 7:8–13)
  • First Plague: Blood (Exod. 7:14–24)
  • Second Plague: Frogs (Exod. 7:25–8:15)
  • Third Plague: Gnats (Exod. 8:16–19)
  • Fourth Plague: Flies (Exod. 8:20–32)
  • Fifth Plague: Animal Pestilence (Exod. 9:1–7)
  • Sixth Plague: Boils (Exod. 9:8–12)
  • Seventh Plague: Hail (Exod. 9:13–35)
  • Eighth Plague: Locusts (Exod. 10:1–20)
  • Ninth Plague: Darkness (Exod. 10:21–29)
  • Tenth Plague: Death of the Firstborn (Exod. 11:1–10)
  • Excursus: The Death of the Firstborn and the Transcendent Justice of God
  • The Passover Lamb (Exod. 12:1–51)

Wilderness: Exodus 13–18

  • Filial Adoption (Exod. 13:1–16)
  • The Red Sea: What Do the Symbols Mean? (Exod. 13:17–15:21)
  • Manna and Water: Signs of Salvation (Exod. 15:22–17:7)
  • Adversity of Gentiles (Exod. 17:8–16)
  • Contribution of Gentiles (Exod. 18)

Covenant: Exodus 19–24

  • Introduction to the Covenant Material
  • Sinai (Exod. 19)
  • The Decalogue: The Heart of the Moral Law (Exod. 20)
  • Juridical Law: The Book of the Covenant (Exod. 20:22–23:33)
  • Ratification of the Covenant by Sacrifice (Exod. 24:1–11)
  • Divine Glory (Exod. 24:12–18)

Cultic Rituals: Exodus 25–31

  • Ceremonial Law: Aquinas on the Sacraments of the Old Law
  • The Ark and the Tabernacle (Exod. 25)
  • The Tent of Meeting (Exod. 26)
  • The Altar (Exod. 27)
  • The Priesthood of Aaron (Exod. 28–29)
  • Outward Instruments of Worship (Exod. 30:1–31:11)
  • The Sabbath (Exod. 31:12–18)

Fall and Eschatological Restoration: Exodus 32–40

  • What Is Idolatry? The Symbol of the Golden Calf (Exod. 32:1–6)
  • Divine Wrath and Atonement (Exod. 32:7–35)
  • Divine Mercy and Transfiguration (Exod. 33–34)
  • Building the Tabernacle as Prefiguration of the Temple and of Christ (Exod. 35:1–40:38)
  • Epilogue: The Heavenly Temple and the Lamb Who Was Slain
  • Coda: The Divine Name and the Metaphysics of Exodus
  • Bibliography

Top Highlights

“On the one hand, 32:1 depicts the people requesting that Aaron fashion images of false gods, but 32:5 notes Aaron’s intention to make use of the golden calf to keep the people faithful to the Lord (he wants them to worship the Lord under this representation). Interestingly, this difference between the people and Aaron depicts typologically two distinct ways in which idolatry may occur, which I will return to below. One can worship false gods, or one can worship God in a false, superstitious way.” (Page 266)

“faith is an illumination that communicates knowledge of the hidden identity and inner life of God” (Page 4)

“God illumines the minds of men through physical symbols and images drawn from creation” (Page 3)

“a spiritual instinct what pertains to the will of God and what is contrary to his” (Page 4)

“the revelation of God provides a genuine enlightenment to natural human reason” (Page 4)

Praise for the Print Edition

Thomas Aquinas left us no commentary on Exodus. But Thomas Joseph White succeeds in giving us a sense of what one from his hand might look like today

—Bruce D. Marshall, Lehman Professor of Christian Doctrine, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

White’s reading of Exodus tackles head-on the peculiarly modern conceit that all that stands between the reader of scripture and wise reading is a lack of knowledge—a deficiency of information. Surely, say White and the Catholic tradition to which he hereby contributes, as readers we typically lack the moral formation to see clearly the text and its truths. As such, we take a journey in tandem with the Israelites: from darkness to light and from slavery in Egypt to life-giving service (and understanding) under God’s law. Drawing deeply on the fourfold sense of scripture in dialogue with Aquinas and many other serious theological voices, this commentary will strengthen and challenge all readers in pursuit of the God to whom the book of Exodus bears witness.

—Richard S. Briggs, lecturer in Old Testament and director of biblical studies, Cranmer Hall, St. John's College, Durham University

In his introduction to this extraordinary commentary and reflection on Exodus, Fr. Thomas Joseph White, OP, writes that ‘the classical Catholic approach to the moral law on Exodus is in many ways convergent with Judaism.’ Thus I can now better understand why Maimonides (who so greatly influenced Thomas Aquinas, Fr. White’s auctoritas) taught that Jews like me may learn Torah with Christians like Fr. White, who accept the Torah as divine revelation. In addition to that theological commonality (with differences to be sure), I very much identify with Fr. White’s philosophically informed way of reading the Torah. Indeed, ‘those who fear the Lord speak to one another . . . who fear the Lord and think of his name’ (Malachi 3:16).

—Rabbi David Novak, University of Toronto

About Thomas Joseph White

Thomas Joseph White,OP (DPhil, Oxford University), is director of the Thomistic Institute and associate professor of systematic theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC. He is the author of several books, including Wisdom in the Face of Modernity: A Thomistic Study in Natural Theology and The Incarnate Lord: A Thomistic Study in Christology. He was appointed a member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas in 2011.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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