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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: 2017
While honoring the historical context and literary diversity of the Old Testament, Telling the Old Testament Story is a thematic reading that construes the OT as a complex but coherent narrative. Unlike standard, introductory textbooks that only cover basic background and interpretive issues for each Old Testament book, this introduction combines a thematic approach with careful exegetical attention to representative biblical texts, ultimately telling the macro-level story, while drawing out the multiple nuances present within different texts and traditions.
The book works from the Protestant canonical arrangement of the Old Testament, which understands the story of the Old Testament as the story of God and Gods relationship with all creation in love and redemptiona story that joins the New Testament to the Old. Within this broader story, the Old Testament presents the specific story of God and Gods relationship with Israel as the people called, created, and formed to be Gods covenant partner and instrument within creation.
The Old Testament begins by introducing Gods mission in Genesis. The story opens with the portrait of Gods good, intended creation of right-relationships (Gen 12) and the subsequent distortion of that good creation as a result of humanitys rebellion (Gen 311). Genesis 12 and following introduce Gods commitment to restore creation back to the right-relationships and divine intentions with which it began. Coming out of Gods new covenant engagement with creation in Gen 9, this divine purpose begins with the calling of a people (who turn out to be the manifold descendants of Abraham and Sarah) to be Gods instrument of blessing for all creation and thus to reverse the curse brought on by sin. The diverse traditions that comprise the remainder of the Pentateuch then combine to portray the creation and formation of Israel as a people prepared to be Gods instrument of restoration and blessing. As the subsequent Old Testament books portray Israels life in the land and journey into and out of exile, the reader encounters complex perspectives on Israels attempts to understand who God is, who they are as Gods people, and how, therefore, they ought to live out their identity as Gods people within Gods mission in the world. The final prophetic books that conclude the Protestant Old Testament ultimately give the story of Gods mission and people an open-ended quality, suggesting that Gods mission for Gods people continues and leading Christian readers to consider the New Testaments story of the Church as an extension and expansion of the broader story of God introduced in the Old Testament.
The main methodological perspective that informs the book includes work on the phenomenological function of narrative (especially storys function to shape the identity and practice of the reader), as well as more recent so-called "missional" approaches to reading Christian scripture. Canonical criticism provides the primary means for relating the distinctive voices within the Old Testament texts that still honor the particularity and diversity of the discrete compositions.
Accessibly written, this book invites readers to enter imaginatively into the biblical story and find the Old Testament's lively and enduring implications.