This undergraduate textbook provides an introduction to the Old Testament by drawing the reader into the subject, explaining that whilst it is a puzzling book, the many different ways to read it make it also a very exciting book.
Aimed at students with or without a religious background, the author explains challenging concepts in an accessible way, and encourages the reader to think independently and interact with the text by introducing questions and areas for reflection along the way. Covering all the core topics provided by a typical year one Old Testament course, this Study Guide could easily be used as a course textbook.
- Section One
- Chapter 1 Why do readers read the Old Testament?
- Chapter 2 Why did the writers write the books?
- Chapter 3 Are the books in the right order?
- Chapter 4 What really happened - how do we know and does it matter?
- Chapter 5 Whose story are we hearing?
- Chapter 6 How was the Old Testament put together?
- Chapter 7 One truth or many?
- Section 2 The Story of Israel
- Chapter 8 The most ancient writers
- Chapter 9 The Deuteronomistic writers
- Chapter 10 The writers of the Priestly school
- Section 3 The Prophets
- Chapter 11 The good times
- Chapter 12 Gathering clouds
- Chapter 13 The bad times (but even the bad times are good)
- Chapter 14 Moving on
- Section 4 The Big Questions
- Chapter 15 Creation
- Chapter 16 History
- Chapter 17 Human existence
- Section Five The Response of Faith
- Chapter 18 Psalms
- Chapter 19 Creeds
- Chapter 20 Institutions
- Chapter 21 What can we know about life the universe and everything?
"Holdsworth has produced a clearly presented, useful, up-to-date introduction for someone who is just about to start academic study of the Old Testament in higher education."-- P.J Harland, Epworth Reviews, January 2006.
"John Holdsworht's study guide to the Old Testament admirably fulfits its role. He writes in a deliberately informal style (...) so that his chat through the complex scholarly debates is not only accessible but positively intriguing. (...) The first half of the book gives an excellent survey of the literature associated with the JEDP traditions. I especially enjoyed the discussion comparing and contrasting D's and P's theological Responses to the exile. This was then developed in the second half of the book surveying prophecy and prophets and the alternative wisdom tradition. Every chapter clearly sets out what its aims are, what should have been learnt by the end of the chapter, and the most up to date and accessible reading appropriate for the topics covered. I shall definitely be recommending it to Readers in training in my diocese but it is a book I shall want to refer to frequently when I need a reliable guide to distinguish the trees from the forest of Old Testament scholarship."-- Michael Wilcockson, The Reader, Spring 2006, Vol.103.N°1
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