In clear and concise language, Tremper Longman addresses three questions to help resolve this problem: What are the keys to understanding the Old Testament?, Is the God of the Old Testament also the God of the New Testament?, and How is the Christian to apply the Old Testament to life? Christians often face a number of obstacles to their understanding of the Old Testament, including differences in culture, worldviews, traditions, language, and geography. Longman provides practical principles for achieving a fuller understanding of what the Old Testament says. Throughout the history of the church there has been much debate concerning the differences between how God related to humans in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. The author points out false stereotypes Christians may have, then demonstrates that the presentation of God is consistent in both testaments.Of the three questions addressed, the third is perhaps the most practical. Longman looks at each section of the Old Testament--law, history, poetry, wisdom, and prophecy--and explains the issues involved in applying that section to Christian life today. Scripture and subject indexes are included.
A noted biblical scholar explores three questions Christians often ask about the Old Testament and provides answers that are both satisfying and understandable.
Tremper Longman III (Ph.D., Yale University) is professor of Old Testament at Westmont College and is a leading biblical scholar. He has written numerous scholarly and popular books, including The Book of Ecclesiastes, How to Read the Psalms, and Literary Approaches to Biblical Interpretation.
Longman (Reading the Bible with Heart and Mind) uses a series of questions to
examine the power of the Old Testament, especially as it contributes to an
understanding of the New Testament writings. Longman answers his first
question, "What are the keys to understanding the Old Testament?" by suggesting
interpretive principles such as discovering the author's intended meaning,
reading the writing in its historical and cultural context and being tolerant
of a variety of interpretations. The author then inquires whether the "God of
the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament." By exploring various
biblical passages from Exodus and the Gospels, Longman concludes that the God
of the two testaments is indeed the same, progressively revealed to his people.
Finally, Longman asks, "How are Christians to apply the Old Testament to life?"
Although his answer to this question is rather vague, Longman does seem to
value Old Testament laws as the force that shapes the lives of God's people, in
the New Testament and today. Longman's prose is readily accessible; his method
of reading the Old Testament through the lens of the New Testament will appeal
primarily to Christians. (Feb.)