I had to order a copy of this for a class that I am taking online towards a college degree. So far from what I have read, while I do not agree with everything (as is typical of me, even the best texts on Scripture seem to get the occasional thing off just a little) I find that this is a good book. I have been through the first few chapters at this time and have not yet finished it (still currently in the course it was ordered for). From what I have read, the author clearly put a lot of critical thinking skills to work. It is a book that overall I would recommend with the cautionary to also read the Bible. As indicated in the preface of the book it is part of the author's intent that people read also the Bible for themselves. That alone encourages me to recommend this book. However, a disclaimer must always be that we must never rely solely on any book or person or movie to teach us doctrine. We must always go to the Bible and to God and check all things...even if the book seems to be overall good.
(NOTE: This is a review of the 1st edition.)This book's section on Chronicles begins by saying, "The books of Chronicles are wonderful." The same can be said, I think, of David Howard's introduction to the historical books of the Old Testament (Joshua-Esther in our English Bibles). Howard's engaging writing style and thorough research combine to produce an incredibly useful and concise "one-stop shop" for introductory matters pertaining to this section of the Bible.This book was the textbook for a college course I took on the Historical Books. Before each class, we were quizzed on the relevant chapter from Howard's book. I found the readings from this book to be one of the most helpful parts of that class, and I have revisited this book often as I have had opportunity to teach these books to others.This book does everything an introduction should do. The charts are plentiful and clearly presented, the most significant textual problems are fairly evaluated, and Howard's views are sane and well-defended. I highly recommend this book to college students, Bible class teachers and others seeking to gain a solid foundational understanding of this section of the Old Testament.