Saturday, 5 July 2008

A Book You'll Actually Read on the Old Testament

This is another book in the series A Book You'll Actually Read, that in my opinion takes about two hours to read, not one (maybe I'm just a slow reader). The book I read today was On the Old Testament.

This book had two main sections. The first section, the bulk of the book, deals with answering nine common questions about the Old Testament. These deal with authorship of the bible, and in particular about the author of Isaiah; how the books were assembled; translation of the bible and also about how Jesus is mention in the Old Testament and what Jesus thought about the Old Testament. Because it is just a simple overview, some of the arguments about authorship just resulted in "because Jesus said so". Now that isn't entirely a bad thing, but perhaps I wanted more of an argument. But since this is just meant to be a brief book I guess there wasn't much room to argue everything about the Old Testament. Having said that, there were some interesting historical things about the Old Testament (like who named it "Old" and why) that I didn't know and it deals with Jesus in the Old Testament quite well.

The second section is a brief (sometimes just a sentence) overview about each book of the bible. It also deals a bit with Prophets and prophecy. This is a good resource and I think will be a useful reference in the future.

At the end there is also a list of other resources for studying the bible like commentaries, concordances, dictionaries and other books about translation and the compilation of the bible. I would have liked to have seen e-Sword listed in the bible software category as I think it is good and also its free!

All in all the book is an information dump but a good information dump. It deals with Catholics who added the apocrypha to the bible in the 15th century; Jews who are still waiting for prophecy to be fulfilled that can't happen be because their temple was destroyed in 70AD; and it deals with Jews, Muslims (and others) who treat the Old Testament as just moralistic stories and miss the main point of it all.

Here is Driscoll about his own book:


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