James M. Todd III is Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, Missouri. Todd received a Ph.D. from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Remember, O Yahweh: The Poetry and Context of Psalms 135-137 (Wipf & Stock, 2015) and the present volume Sinai and the Saints: Reading Old Covenant Laws for the New Covenant Community (IVP Academic, 2017).
Sinai and the Saints is a clearly written and engaging exploration of the nature and relationship of the Old Covenant to the New for the people of God. The importance of Todd’s work cannot be overstated. It is both relevant and accessible to the average reader, and Todd consistently pulls from the best scholarship to support his position. The premise of Todd’s work is that Christians, as members of the New Covenant community, are not under the confines of the Old Covenant law. That said Todd does an exceptional job displaying the ethical relevance of the Old Covenant law (namely the Ten Commandments) within the New Covenant community, who by all respects are now under a different law—the law of Christ. The book does much for the contemporary readers wrestling with the significance of the Old Testament law to the twenty-first-century Christian life and offers fresh lenses to tackle tough questions.
There are some foreseen disagreements that learned readers might encounter as it relates to the relationship between Israel and the Church. This is not a new problem, nor is Todd’s work an attempt to answer those questions. That said, where I found Todd to be helpful is in his reliance upon the biblical text to further found a pre-established position. Those looking for a resolution to issues regarding “replacement theology,” covenant theology, dispensationalism, etc. will want to look elsewhere. Todd’s position is firmly planted within the stream of covenant theology, and rightly so given the nature of his task here. This peripheral dispute being set aside, Sinai and the Saints has beautifully occupied a needed gap for today’s readers.
Sinai and the Saints: Reading Old Covenant Laws for the New Covenant Community by James M. Todd III is an accessible and relevant book for those struggling to understand the relationship between the Old Covenant law upon the New Covenant people of God. It is a book that will reap immediate and practical fruit for anyone eager to harvest its riches. It comes highly recommended!