1.10.2014

Book Review: What The Old Testament Authors Really Cared About

When I first heard of the title of this book, I was a little skeptical. This guy has the gumption to tell us all what the Old Testament authors really cared about? Pretentiousness in the title! Surely this book can't live up to its claim. Welp, I was wrong. This book, edited by Jason DeRouchie, is an excellent introduction to the Old Testament with a keen focus on authorial intent. In this review, I will offer a brief summary of the book and then my reflections.

In this Old Testament survey, several authors and professors walk through each book in the Old Testament in the order of the Hebrew scriptures, which has a definite impact when it comes to understanding the theme of certain books (ex: 1-2 Chronicles). In each chapter, the respective author walks through the purpose(s) each scriptural author had for writing by answering the whos, whens, wheres, and whys of the book. DeRouchie states plainly the purpose of this book: "this survey attempts to present the essence of what is revealed in the Old Testament, with a conscious eye toward the fulfillment found in Jesus in the New Testament" (p.13, emphasis original). This book pairs very well with other works on biblical theology. The chapters are sprinkled with relevant pictures, sidebars, visual and textual graphs, and most importantly, solid biblical exegesis - as far as this amateur theologian can tell.

I was very pleased with the overall content of this book, especially considering that I had never read almost any author contained in this volume before. There are too many helpful things I underlined and noted to share here in this review. I only noted a few items of biblical interpretation which seemed to be a little bit of a stretch. Either way, such items were very minor and not essential to the main meaning of the text in question.

Here is one sample of something in the chapter on Lamentations I found encouraging and readily applicable to my life: "[Speaking of God's faithfulness as the basis for hope in suffering]...therefore, those who look to God have real hope - the confident assurance that he will meet the repentant with real mercy in accordance with his character and promise" (p.405).

I heartily commend this book to everyone who desires to get to know that which composes a large majority of the Bible.

Per FTC guidelines, I note that I received this book for free from Kregel Publications in exchange for an unbiased review.