Borland's lucid definition and description of Christophanies in the Old Testament is on its way to becoming a Christian classic. His thesis is that the Second Person of the Trinity appeared in human form to chosen individuals in Old Testament times. After carefully defining the terms and distinguishing such appearances from visions, dreams, the visible divine glory, and the incarnation of Christ, the author specifies the characteristics and forms of the Old Testament Christophanies. Every explanation is based upon a careful exegesis of the pertinent biblical texts.
Various views and explanations offered by a wide range of scholars are considered one by one and compared to the written record in the Old Testament. In the discussion of the form taken by the Second Person of the Trinity in these appearances, Borland deals with each passage in turn (e.g., Genesis 18:1-33; 32:24-32; Numbers 22:22-35; Joshua 5:13-6:5; Judges 6:11-23). Passages that might appear to present problems for Borland's view are also taken into consideration-each one being systematically exegeted from the Hebrew text itself.
What contribution does such a study make to Christian theology? The author clearly describes the relationship that Christophanies have to various areas of theology (bibliology, theology proper, and Christology). Such appearances in Old Testament times fulfilled certain divine purposes which Borland carefully identifies and explains. Before drawing the study to a close, he examines the apologetic value of the doctrine of Christophanies.
Three appendixes provide additional material for the reader to consider: "A Brief Outline of the History of the Interpretation of the Christophanies," "Why Melchizedek Is Not a Christophany," and "Five Men Who Met God Face to Face: Practical Lessons from the Christophanies." A bibliography and a series of very helpful indexes round out this great book.