A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament

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Oxford University Press, 2018 - Religion - 419 pages
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The book known as the Old Testament is actually a collection of stories, songs, prophetic addresses, wise sayings, and other bits of literature composed over centuries and compiled for the use of worshiping communities. These texts appeared in ancient Israel, reflecting its traumas and less frequent triumphs. Far from being comfortable texts that sedate over-stimulated readers, they offer critique of the powerful for the sake of those for whom the only tool of overcoming oppression is language itself. Because of the distance in time and cultural experience, the Old Testament is often inaccessible to modern readers. This introduction bridges that distance and makes the connections across time and culture come alive.

The Bible assembles a wide range of literary types because of the needs of the communities first using it as they preserved the legacy of their past, good and bad, for the sake of a viable future. Their legacy continues as relevant as ever. This introduction, then, seeks to help readers make sense of the variety and hear within it points of commonality as well. The Old Testament is a book readers look to for meaning. Christian readers, especially, have difficulty connecting with the theological meanings of the texts. Mark Hamilton offers an introduction that addresses theological issues directly and sensitively. Considering the massive sweep of literary types and ways of expressing ideas about God, A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament offers an alternative to introductions based solely on historical or literary themes.

 

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
2 The Pentateuch in Brief
11
The Book of Genesis
15
The Book of Exodus
33
The Book of Leviticus
54
The Book of Numbers
65
The Book of Deuteronomy
82
8 Israelite Historiography
97
The Book of Job
211
The Book of Psalms
222
Wisdom and the Order of the World
241
Doubt as an Order of Faith
253
The Song of Songs
261
23 Introduction to the Prophetic Books
267
24 Isaiah the Prophet of Salvation
273
Jeremiah
290

The Book of Joshua
105
The Book of Judges
117
The Book of Ruth
132
12 Samuel
139
12 Kings
157
12 Chronicles
180
Finding Life After Death
193
The Book of Esther
201
17 Poetic and Wisdom Texts
207
The Book of Lamentations
308
27 Ezekiel the Prophet of the Rebuilt Temple
314
The Book of Daniel
331
29 The Twelve Minor Prophets
342
30 The Secondary Canon
369
31 Whats It All About?
386
Index of Biblical References
389
Subject Index
415
Copyright

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About the author (2018)


Mark Hamilton has taught Hebrew Bible at Abilene Christian University since 2000. He has been a visiting professor in South Korea, New Zealand, and Croatia, as well as lecturing in many parts of the United States. He enjoys working with students of many cultures as they explore together the meanings of the ancient Israelite texts for life today.

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