The Shepherd Metaphor in the Old Testament, and Its Use in Pastoral and Leadership Models

The Shepherd Metaphor in the Old Testament, and Its Use in Pastoral and Leadership Models

Jonathan Gan


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This book sets out to review the shepherd metaphor and raise the question whether the metaphor should be the basis of the pastoral and leadership models that are derived from the image of the shepherd, and whether such models can be enriched by the analysis of the said metaphor as applied to the implementation of the shepherding responsibility described in the Old Testament. It utilizes rhetorical criticism in consultation with metaphorical theory to examine the given metaphor used in the models of pastoral and leadership roles and their relationship with the shepherd metaphor in the New Testament with the objective to both explore the use of the shepherd metaphor in the Old Testament and examine the use of the shepherd metaphor in pastoral and leadership models. This includes pointing out that some of these models rely heavily on their understanding of New Testament uses of this metaphor, and this in turn leads to comparing the Old Testament and pastoral/leadership models’ uses of the shepherd metaphor and draws conclusions based on this comparison.


Jonathan Gan:

Jonathan Yeow-Lim Gan was born and raised in Singapore and has been a pastor in Singapore before moving to Canada to pastor a multilingual church (English, Mandarin, Cantonese). He has designed Bible study curriculum and taught Bible courses for churches in English and Mandarin. His research area is in metaphor and rhetorical criticism, particularly the shepherd metaphor, which has resulted in publication. He graduated from Singapore Bible College with his BTh, and subsequently obtained his MTh and PhD in Theology, specializing in Old Testament, from the University of South Africa. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and an ordained minister of the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec. He is married to Lucinda and currently resides in Singapore.