In A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the Old Testament, the entire Old Testament canon is summarized and presented in a cohesive manner that highlights and links the underlying themes found in each book. Each chapter is written with the same basic elements including an introduction, background issues, structures, themes, and New Testament linkages. As a whole, each contributor offers fairly balanced viewpoints and allows room for uncertainties such as variations amongst manuscripts and discrepancies in interpretations. Moreover, despite being written by a number of scholars, there is obvious unity in terms of the structure and style of each chapter which is evidence of the valiant efforts of the publishing and editorial teams involved. This allows the reader to engage the material presented without experiencing abrupt changes in tone, writing style, and approaches while still preserving the uniqueness of each contributor. The intended audience would be laypeople, students, and pastors looking for a general overview of the different books of the Old Testament. Thus, those who are looking for a more in-depth analysis would need to consult other sources, many of which can be found in each chapter’s bibliographies and footnotes.
I would highly recommend this book to Christians who are eager to learn more about the Old Testament. Even though the book functions more like a handbook or textbook, the material is presented in a concise and unified manner that allows for devotional or bedside reading. I especially appreciate the New Testament linkages in each chapter as it reminds readers that the Old Testament is inextricably tied to the New Testament as the whole counsel of God. The books of the Old Testament foreshadow the good news that is found in the New Testament of which Christ is the ultimate fulfillment. Christians today often minimize the importance of the Old Testament in favour of the New Testament dismissing the former to be irrelevant and incomprehensible. However, both parts make up the written Word of God and Christians need to be immersed in both in order to properly worship, praise, and glorify God.
In compliance with Federal Trade Commission regulations, I was provided a free review copy of this book from Crossway.