This innovative textbook at long last provides an Old Testament survey for undergraduate students that goes beyond basic content. The book attempts to balance the literary, historical, and theological issues pertaining to each individual book and to the Old Testament as a whole. The main portion of the survey treats each book of the Old Testament in the order of the English canon. This information does not simply rehash the biblical material, but assumes that the Scriptures are being read alongside the survey. The book focuses its primary attention on the purpose and message of each book and attempts to show how the literary structure of each one has been used to accomplish the author's purpose. The survey also introduces readers to the issues of hermeneutics (general and special), history (Israelite and Near Eastern), archaeology, canon, geography, Old Testament theology (biblical and systematic), and critical methodologies. All these issues are dealt with in separate chapters at a basic introductory level that never allows the reader to lose sight, as it were, of the forest while wandering through the trees. In addressing critical issues of date and authorship, the survey avoids a polemical stance. Hill and Watson seek to depend on the evidence of the text rather than on presuppositions to substantiate their views. Their commitment to the authority of the biblical text results in a book that, while notably evangelical, is not always traditional. The authors approach the survey mindful of two complicating factors in Old Testament study. First, God's revelation did not come by way of the English language or through Western culture, and therefore we today have to work carefully to receive the message clearly. Second, even when we are listening, we have a tendency to be selective about what we hear or to try to make the message conform to our ideas. The solution is to allow the Bible to speak for itself. The informed reader will find much innovation here and a keen awareness of current scholarship relating to the Old Testament. Above all, this textbook will bring a new vigor and excitement to the Old Testament as readers learn to discover its story for themselves and see how to understand it as a substantial part of God's self-revelation to humankind. This survey is well illustrated with maps, charts, and photographs. Additional features are the questions for study and the annotated reading list at the end of each chapter.
The Bible begins and ends with a revelation of God that gives redemption its basis. From the first verse of Genesis, the book of origins, we encounter a God of personality, character, purpose, and activity. Only in the light of what he shows us of himself as the Creator of our world and the Interactor with human history does the salvation story assume its proper context. Genesis sets things in order: God first, then us. In the words of the general editor’s preface, “Especially after the Tower of Babel it became evident that people had forgotten who God was. They needed reminding. The moves God made were essentially concerned with putting himself in front of the world’s peoples.” Today, perhaps more than ever, we need God to put himself in front of us—to remind us who he is, and that he is. With characteristic creativity and uncommon depth, John H. Walton demonstrates the timeless relevance of Genesis. Revealing the links between Genesis and our own times, Dr. Walton shows how this mysterious, often baffling book filled with obscure peoples and practices reveals truth to guide our twenty-first-century lives. Most Bible commentaries take us on a one-way trip from our world to the world of the Bible. But they leave us there, assuming that we can somehow make the return journey on our own. They focus on the original meaning of the passage but don’t discuss its contemporary application. The information they offer is valuable—but the job is only half done! The NIV Application Commentary Series helps bring both halves of the interpretive task together. This unique, award-winning series shows readers how to bring an ancient message into our postmodern context. It explains not only what the Bible meant but also how it speaks powerfully today.This series promises to become an indispensable tool for every pastor and teacher who seeks to make the Bible's timeless message speak to this generation. Billy GrahamThe NIV Application Commentary is an outstanding resource for pastors and anyone else who is serious about developing “doers of the Word.”Rick Warren, Saddleback Valley Community Church
Preaching's Preacher's Guide to the Best Bible Reference for 2014 (General Reference) How can we account for the "Book of the Law" suddenly being discovered during Josiah's renovation of the temple (2 Chron 34:14)? We know from Egypt and Mesopotamia that it was common to seal important documents--including theological documents--in the masonry or foundations of a palace or temple in order to inform a future king who might undertake restoration of the building. What might the psalmist have had in mind when praising God for removing our transgressions "as far as the east is from the west" (Ps 103:12)? In an Egyptian hymn to Amun-Re, the deity is praised for his judgment of the guilty. As a result of the god's discernment the guilty are assigned to the east and the righteous to the west. What is meant by God "weighing the heart" (Prov 21:2)? In Egyptian religious tradition we find the notion of the dead being judged before the gods. As the soul is examined, the dead person's heart is weighed in a scale against a feather symbolizing Truth. If the answers are correct and the heart does not outweigh the feather, the soul may enter the realm of everlasting life. The narratives, genealogies, laws, poetry, proverbs and prophecies of the Old Testament are deeply rooted in history. Archaeologists, historians and social scientists have greatly advanced our knowledge of the ancient world of the Bible. When we illuminate the stories of Abraham or David, the imagery of the Psalms or Proverbs, or the prophecies of Isaiah or Jeremiah with this backlight of culture and history, these texts spring to new life. The unique commentary joins The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament in providing historical, social and cultural background for each passage of the Old Testament. From Genesis through Malachi, this single volume gathers and condenses an abundance of specialized knowledge--making it available and accessible to ordinary readers of the Old Testament. Expert scholars John Walton, Victor Matthews and Mark Chavalas have included along with the fruits of their research and collaboration a glossary of historical terms, ancient peoples, texts and inscriptions maps and charts of important historical resources expanded explanations of significant background issues introductory essays on each book of the Old Testament The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament will enrich your experience of the Old Testament--and your teaching and preaching from Scripture--in a way that no other commentary can do.
This proven Old Testament text with a wealth of full-color images helps readers connect the world of Old Testament with today's world. This text is unique among Old Testament surveys. It not only provides an orientation to the world of the Old Testament but also builds a bridge between the original audience and modern readers, demonstrating why the ancient message is important for faith and life today. It goes beyond basic content to help students understand what the Scriptures mean and how to apply them personally. Taking readers progressively through the Old Testament, this text:Presents the details of the content, focusing on the story line, historical background, and literary information that address the original setting and audience.Focuses on theology perspectives and on issues of the author's purpose and the universal message of the text, building a bridge between the original audience and today's audience.Develops an understanding of the relevance of the Old Testament writings to today's Christian, showing how they can be applied in personal faith and practice.

The image-rich full-color design gives Old Testament Today a strong visual appeal. A wide array of charts, sidebars, illustrations, photos, and supplemental materials complement the body of the text, helping students to easily comprehend the literature, theology, and history of the Old Testament.

This newly revised edition is organized by book, includes a new structure that more clearly describes the content, and introduces each book.

"The flood continued forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth . . . and the ark floated on the face of the waters" (Gen 6:17-18 NRSV). In modern times the Genesis flood account has been probed and analyzed for answers to scientific, apologetic, and historical questions. It is a text that has called forth "flood geology," fueled searches for remnants of the ark on Mount Ararat, and inspired a full-size replica of Noah's ark in a theme park. Some claim that the very veracity of Scripture hinges on a particular reading of the flood narrative. But do we understand what we are reading? Longman and Walton urge us to ask what the biblical author might have been saying to his ancient audience. Our quest to rediscover the biblical flood requires that we set aside our own cultural and interpretive assumptions and visit the distant world of the ancient Near East. Responsible interpretation calls for the patient examination of the text within its ancient context of language, literature, and thought. And as we return from that lost world to our own, we will need to ask whether geological science supports the notion of flood geology. To read Longman and Walton is to put our feet on firmer interpretive ground. Without attempting to answer all of our questions, they lift the fog of modernity and allow the sunlight to reveal the true contours of the text. As with other books in the Lost World series, The Lost World of the Flood is an informative and enlightening journey toward a more responsible reading of a timeless biblical narrative.
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