The World and the Word: An Introduction to the Old Testament  -     By: Eugene H. Merrill, Mark F. Rooker, Michael A. Grisanti
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The World and the Word: An Introduction to the Old Testament

B&H Academic / 2011 / Hardcover

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Question surrounding the nature and authority of the Bible have, in recent years, demonstrated the critical need for global understanding of the Scriptures. A global understanding means not only mastery of the inspired documents, but an understanding of their context, their transmissional history, and hos they have been studied. Often it is said that reading the Scriptures themselves is enough and while this is true, it cannot be denied that in doing so we also read them through the framework of our own cultural matrix.

The authors of The Word and the World: An Introduction to the Old Testament recognize the complexity of these issues, and are particularly keen on these issues as they pertain to the Hebrew Scriptures. It is no secret that recent de-emphasis on the integrity of Scripture has significantly impacted our appreciation of the Old Testament especially in regards to the prejudices of our culture to events, behaviors, and other items the Old Testament regards as normative. This makes the task of properly introducing and orienting the Hebrew Scriptures to all readers and especially students enormously difficult. Yet, the authors of this book have provided an excellent introduction which fulfills the mandate to uphold the integrity of Scripture, grapple with critical issues, and most importantly understand the Old Testament as a document critical and useful to the Christian faith.

The authors begin their Introduction by orienting readers to the culture, history, and literature of the Ancient Near East by showing points of continuity and discontinuity with the culture, history, and literature of the Ancient Near East. They then provide a comprehensive summary of the historical transmission of the Old Testament text from the earliest manuscripts to today. The Introduction then turns--unlike many introductions--and deals with the way scholars approached the Old Testament and measuring the degree to which various scholars' methods have reconciled with traditional Christian interpretation and thought.

The majority of this text does, however, deal directly with the biblical text. But it is prepared interaction--the student does not enter unaware and in being aware students are prepared to grapple with the text, its sometimes troubling portrayals of God, and any number of other problems. Each biblical book is covered individually and is arranged by genre first and canonical order second. Each chapter covering a biblical book provides historical, literary, and cultural context for that book particularly, an outline, brief commentary, study questions, and an extended reading list. Moreover, The Word and the World also includes a large number of maps, explanatory charts, outtakes and other helps to maximize learning and retention, and maintains and strong focus on information rather than detracting imagery.

The Word in the World is an ideal text book for High School seniors, and introductory level Bible courses in colleges. It is comprehensive, stimulating, and drafts the students into the Old Testament narrative with grace, ease, and yet remains highly informative. An excellent resource for teachers.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 560
Vendor: B&H Academic
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 10.00 X 7.00 X 1.19 (inches)
ISBN: 0805440313
ISBN-13: 9780805440317
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

The World and the Word is a fresh introduction to the Old Testament driven largely by the fact that so much Christian preaching and teaching today increasingly ignores what is eighty percent of the Bible. Authors Eugene Merrill, Mark Rooker, and Michael Grisanti work through the world and text of the Old Testament always making three major points: 

• The Old Testament is a rich source of theology and doctrine that is presupposed by the New Testament. Without it, Christian theology would be seriously deficient. 

• Mastery of the Old Testament is crucial to an understanding of the New Testament. 

• The Old Testament offers, by teaching and example, practical principles of belief and behavior for contemporary times. Who God was and what He did then can be replicated in the lives of men and women today. 

Separating the verifiable biblical and extra-biblical data from the various interpretations of that same information, the book further shows how the Old Testament forms the platform and matrix from which sprang the life, ministry, and teachings of Jesus and the church. The World and the Word will help students see an entry point into the very heart and design of God who loves them and wishes to make them the special object of His grace.

Author Bio

Eugene H. Merrill is distinguished professor of Old Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas, and distinguished professor of Old Testament Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. 

Mark F. Rooker
is professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. 

Michael A. Grisanti is professor of Old Testament at The Master's Seminary in Sun Valley, California.

Endorsements

With its exploration of the historical and cultural world of the Old Testament, its discussion of the composition and canonicity of the individual books, its survey of interpretive approaches both liberal and evangelical, its succinct summary of each book's content and theology, and of their relevance to the New Testament, The Word and the World should become a standard textbook at many evangelical colleges and seminaries, as well as a welcome resource for lay person interested in the Old Testament.
-Edwin Yamauchi
Miami University

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    An Exceptional Starting Point for Old Testament Studies
    August 24, 2015
    John Kight
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The World and The Word: An Introduction to the Old Testament is an engaging exploration into the historical and cultural milieu of the Old Testament and the literature which comprises the Hebrew Scriptures. Guided by the expertise of professors Eugene H. Merrill, Mark F. Rooker, and Michael A. Grisanti, the reader is gently ushered through the introductory matters that concern the study of the Old Testamentboth cultural (the world) and textual (the word). However, the present volume should be recognized as more than a mere arrangement of Old Testament related data. Similar to the New Testament counterpart, The Cradle, The Cross, and The Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament (Kstenberger, Kellum, and Quarles, 2009), Merrill, Rooker, and Grisanti have produced a work that contains a number of significant differentiators from other introductions on the market.

    First, The World and the Word does an excellent job harmonizing the importance of the Old Testament in light of the New Testament-centered mindset of the contemporary culture. Throughout the volume, although especially within parts 4-7, the authors continually emphasize the theological riches of the Old Testament that are presupposed by the writers of the New Testament. For the reader who has spent the majority of their life within the arena of New Testament studies, this will bring a supportive dimension to their current understanding of New Testament theology. For the reader who has spent the majority of their life within the arena of Old Testament studies, this will bring a breath of fresh air to the seemingly stagnant world of the Old Testament. The authors have really done an outstanding job underscoring the importance of the Old Testament in all aspects of the Christian life and doing so in an inviting and engaging manner.

    Second, The World and the Word is presented to the reader in a logically ordered study that is not always witnessed among other Old Testament introductions. The volume opens with a brief introduction about the aim of the book and the genre of Old Testament introductions. Following the introduction, the authors seek to bring the reader into the world of the Old Testament, discussing the historical setting (ch. 2), the cultural (ch. 3), and the intersection between the Old Testament and other Ancient Near Eastern literature (ch. 4). After the reader is steered through the world of the Old Testament, the authors turn attention to the textual establishment of the Hebrew Scriptures, discussing the composition (ch. 5) and canonicity (ch. 6) of the Hebrew Bible, as well as a brief introduction to the transmission and textual criticism of the Old Testament text (ch. 7). Finally there are two transitional chapters that place all the preceding content into the framework of Old Testament studies, the development of the historical-critical method (ch. 8) and the present state of Old Testament scholarship (ch. 9), before discussing the books of the Old Testament specifically. This is order of presentation is beneficial for the reader, especially those new to Old Testament studies, and somewhat unique the The World and the Word, because it places a workable structure around the discipline as the reader weighs through the details of specific Old Testament books.

    Third, The World and the Word is concise, clear, and comprehensive enough to ground the reader with a firm understanding of the intricate world of Old Testament studies. This volume does an exceptional job at delivering to the reader what is needed to walk away with an established understanding of the introductory matters of the Old Testament. This is not always the case with other introductions on the market. Some may see the brevity of this volume as a disadvantage because of an apparent lack of detail. Nonetheless, the reader should rest assured knowing that the authors have collectively compiled nearly 600 pages of "need-to-know" introductory information about the Old Testament spawning from a lifetime of teaching and studying the text itself. If the reader remains deeply interested in a particular topic presented and would like to embark on further study, the authors have compiled a goldmine of bibliographic information at the end of each chapter. If that doesn't perk your interest then there are twelve beautifully colored, high-quality maps that can be found in the appendix.

    Overall I was very pleased with The World and The Word and thought that Merrill, Rooker, and Grisanti produced a well-rounded volume that is sure to benefit readers of all shapes and sizes. If this is your first encounter with an Old Testament introduction you are in for a treat. If this is your second or third rodeo you will be amazed at the clarity of detail and breadth of information to be found in this volume. From the intentional organization or the content to the execution of each paragraph, The World and The Word is a resource that you should not be withoutespecially if you are a student of the Scriptures.
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