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My book review: 10 Things worth knowing about the Old Testament

Book Review : 10 Things Worth Knowing about the Old Testament

October 3, 2018

Author, Philip Greenslade, uses Hebrews 1:1-4 to explain some fundamental truths about the Old Testament. Many people avoid reading the Old Testament because it is difficult to understand when we are unfamiliar with the context and the culture. Philip Greenslade provides some helpful clues to understanding its overall theme.

At times I felt he was cramming too much information into a small booklet and getting a little complex, but overall it was well written and useful summary of the important features of the Old Testament.

The 10 things worth knowing about the OT (Old Testament) are:
1. The OT witnesses to God’s self-revelation: We tend to translate the word, ‘Torah’ as the Law, but it is best translated as ‘teaching.’ This means events in the OT are teaching us about God, his character, and his ways.
2. The OT is a collection of ancient books emerging over many centuries: The OT was written for us, but not to us. The authors had a different audience in mind. Therefore, be aware of the context.
3. The revelation God gives in the OT Scriptures is partial, provisional and progressive: The OT reveals things about God slowly over a period of time and only in reading the New Testament do we get a fuller picture.
4. In the OT God reveals Himself in a variety of ways: Truth is revealed through the many different genres in the OT.
5. The OT as a whole is prophetic: Prophetic speaking and writing offers us a fresh vantage point so that we may look at the world from God’s perspective.
6. The Exodus is the effective beginning of the story told in the OT: The exodus is the beginning because it demonstrates freedom from slavery and bondage.
7. The Babylonian Exile effectively ‘ends’ the OT story and shapes the future of God’s people and God’s plan: The exile is the ‘end’ of the OT because it demonstrates reconciliation to God and our future hope.
8. The OT moves towards its climax in Jesus Christ: The OT helps us see Jesus’ life, death and resurrection from God’s perspective. It helps us understand God’s overall plan.
9. The OT provides patterns that illuminate the significance of salvation in Christ: We can read the OT looking for signposts that point to Jesus.
10. The OT tells one overall redemptive story: God’s unfolding purpose is to have a people in relationship with himself and it starts in the OT.

Overall an informative read.

by Susan Barnes
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Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith