Dead Bones Live by Frederick A Tatford; published by and available from John Ritchie Ltd; 275 pages. Price £9.99. (9781907731402)
The reviewer first purchased a copy of Dead Bones Live in 1977, which most likely was the first edition of Tatfords "Exposition of Ezekiels Prophecy". In the period 1971-75 his expositions on the so-called Minor Prophets had been published. With the exception of his work on Zechariah, these had been brief but helpful to those getting to grips with those valuable prophecies. The publication of Dead Bones Live was welcomed in 1977, as is this new edition. A slight change in print size is the only difference in the republished 275-page Dead Bones Live.
The authors Preface makes clear that "the exposition is intended for the ordinary reader and not for the scholar". It is equally clear that the author was aware of the issues that some scholars have raised about Ezekiels prophecy and other prophetic Scriptures.
The author provides in the introductory chapters a clear picture of the historical era to which the prophet Ezekiel belonged, and personal crises in which he endured the loss of his priestly privileges and his personal loss of his wife. The waywardness of the exiles to whom he ministered is evident too. Tatfords exposition of the chapter from which the title of the commentary is taken is treated carefully within its context. There are hints that the author is aware of other interpretations that others might hold, but he shows the vision Ezekiel as "representational of the revival of the nation of Israel by the hand of God". Tatford writes clearly on the last nine chapters that set out the blessings that one day will be Israels, but not before they receive their rejected Messiah, including the new Millennial Temple, its ceremonies, and the Prince, who will feature in that coming day.
The republication of Dead Bones Live will be of help to any who have not seriously studied the prophecy of Ezekiel. The confused thinking on prophetic matters evident in some circles does not cloud Tatfords presentation of Israels future restoration - the very nation whose exile is earlier described by Ezekiel - when Christ will sit on the throne of David His Father.