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4.0 out of 5
ISBN/ASIN : 0802837883
Manufacturer : Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company|
Release data : June, 1996
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It is an interesting read
I am going to seminary right now and this is the book being used for OT I (going from Genesis to Kings. I find the book an easy to read book, the way the chapters themselves are set up are fairly straight forward, giving consideration and theory. I would imagine that I'm probably more conservative than the writers of the book, but then again, I take things with a grain of salt ... by that I mean I go back and trust that the Bible is to be taken as a literal word of God and message of God to we who are the human race.
(By literally I mean my "five finger rules--literal history as with creation and the virgin birth as examples; literal ministry as with the teachings of the Law in the OT and the teachings of the verification of the Law through Jesus Christ in the NT; literal prophecy, that is that the prophecies of OT and NT can be trusted as God's revelation to us of the past, the present, and the future; literal analogy as with the parable; and finally literal symbolism as with saying Jesus is the Lamb of God.)
The one gripe I have about the book is that I dont like how it is distributed. There are chapters on geography and language and such later in the book, something I would rather have at the first of the book because that gives the reader the background so when we the reader starts to read about Genesis and forward, we understand the geographical, cultural, et al background to beginning our read on their interpretation of Genesis and forward. Me myself while I might agree and disagree with some of what they right, the points are there so that the class as a whole can come together and discuss what is the ultimate truth-that the OT is the ground that pointed toward the coming, the verification, the life, the ministry, the death, the resurrection of Jesus Christ and played an all important foundation as being the Scripture used by the apostles and the early church to teach the truth of the Lord God.
I would not suggest that you read this for "fun" as in just a book to pick up and have a few days worth of read. That wont work with this one, but if you need some help and some thoughts toward your college courses (Master Degree forward and upward) this is the book that can give you some assistance.
Very informative book, but the authors ride the fence
I thought that this was a really interesting textbook. The authors reveal the message of each Old Testament book, while discussing some of the scholarly issues surrounding each part of the Old Testament (such as the JEDP theory). Unfortunately William Lasor passed away in 1991, so Hubbard (who is dead now too) and Bush recruited six other OT scholars to complete the revision. This may be one of the reasons why the authors ride the fence on issues such as whether or not we can take the numbers in Numbers literally, the number of Isaiah's, the historical worthiness of Joshua and Jonah, and the happenings surrounding the Exodus from Egypt. The authors also seem to lean toward the book of Jonah being a parable rather than actual history, although they don't take a really strong stand on that, either.
The reviewer who wrote that this book supports the JEDP theory was mistaken: In fact, the authors predict that this theory will eventually be out of vogue with scholarship. What the authors do affirm is that Moses was originally responsible for the Pentateuch and that through the centuries, the community revised and updated it.
And contrary to an earlier reviewer, I didn't find the book tedious at all: It was very well written and very interesting throughout. I especially appreciated the articles at the end about the Authority of the Old Testament for Christians, Messianic prophecy, and the chronological puzzle.
In short, I recommend this book, only wishing that the authors would take a stand on some of the issues discussed above.
Tedious for most readers
This text is used as a college textbook in my Bible and Theology Batchelor of Science program. As such, I expect a college level text to be challenging reading. However, even for the best reader this book is tedious, unless reserved strictly for use as a resource. Unfortunately to use it as a resource, a good index is necessary. This book has only an index of names and an index of authors available, making the indices hardly worthwhile.
It does have some great charts as sidebar content but without an index to them they may be missed. Illustrations are in black and white or blue and white. Color photos are reserved for the book jacket only.
The book, while maintaining a fairly conservative theological approach holds rather closely to a JEDP theory regarding the formulation of the Old Testament. This may be confusing to some who were taught to believe that Moses wrote the books of the law. No alternative theory is given that I could find.
If you are purchasing this book for a resource, there may be one which is better indexed and more visually appealing. If for casual reading or basic instruction in Old Testament history or literature, please choose something written for this purpose. You will not be satisfied by this book. My readability score for this book is zero!