An Excellent Study of the First 5 Books of the Bib
January 10, 2011
This book is outstanding. For the right person, this book is well worth the money, especially in the paperback edition.
This has been used as a textbook for many years, however I have read it to assist in my own personal study of the first five books of the OT. I've also used it as the basis for teaching classes on these books.
For the average person (as I am, a lay person seeking to better understand the Word of God) this book can pay huge dividends. However you must be willing to look up an occasional word or concept. When I first began reading books such as this I kept a dictionary at hand as well as a Bible Dictionary.
I was challenged as I read, but as I persevered and kept reading, a foundation was being built under may faith. For the first time I began to understand portions of Scripture that had been foreign and/or mysterious to me for the first two decades of my life as a believer.
Study of the Old Testament helped open up avenues into the New Testament as well. It was wonderful! Understanding then gave strength to my faith, and depth to my daily walk with God.
Try it. You might like it!
Think about reading an Introduction to the Old Testament (one written for the average person- "The IVP Introduction to the Bible" edited by Philip S. Johnston [CBD Stock No: 828289]; or one thats a bit more in depth- Tremper Longman's "Introduction to the Old Testament" [CBD Stock No: 263417]).
Also try a book on the History of Israel (again, one for the average person- "Israel & The Nations: The History of Israel from the Exodus to the Fall of the Second Temple" by F.F. Bruce [CBD Stock No: 51040]; or one with a bit more depth to it- "A Biblical History of Israel" by: Iain Provan & others]).
Do the same for the New Testament.
NT introduction: Again, the one mentioned above, for the average person- "The IVP Introduction to the Bible" edited by Philip S. Johnston [CBD Stock No: 828289]. For more depth try "An Introduction to the New Testament" by D. A. Carson & Douglas Moo; CBD Stock No: 38595
For NT history: F. F. Bruce's "New Testament History" (CBD Stock No: 02533). Or "New Testament History" by Ben Witherington (CBD Stock No: 27699)
On the early church try "Backgrounds of Early Christianity" now in its 3rd ed., by Everett Ferguson (CBD Stock No: 22213)
Whatever you decide to read, make sure it is biblically based and written by a trusted scholar.
If you stick with books from InterVarsity Press (www.ivpress.com), or Baker Books, (www.bakerpublishinggroup.com), you almost can't go wrong.
Or ask your Pastor for ideas. That is how I got started, my Pastor loaned me two books so I could better understand the OT.