I first read, The Bible Jesus read (Zondervan, 1999) by Philip Yancey some years ago and I remember really enjoying Yancey’s thoughts on the book of Job. This time through, however, I found Yancey’s thoughts on Ecclesiastes and the prophets to be the highlight. Yancey is able to bring out different aspects of these Old Testament books which help the reader to a better understanding not only of the book but also of God.
Yancey picks some of the more difficult Old Testament books to tackle: Job, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Ecclesiastes and various prophets. He explains a little of their background, their context, and their importance to the modern reader. Yancey does this, not in the dry manner of a commentary, but in his usual, easy to read conversational style. Sometimes we forget that God didn’t dictate the Bible to a scribe yesterday morning but rather over a long period of time God inspired different authors to write history, poetry, prophesy, and biography. The Bible is a collection of books which together give us an understanding of God and his ways. No one book gives us the total picture. In fact, taken in isolation, one book can give us a lopsided view of God. The Old Testament is probably the only book most of us read which was written prior to this century (or even this decade), so it is very helpful to have some insight into these books in order to understand their importance.