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An Introduction to the Old Testament: Second Edition Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, December 3, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tremper Longman III (PhD, Yale University) is the Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies and the chair of the Religious Studies department at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, where he lives with his wife, Alice. He is the Old Testament editor for the revised Expositor's Bible Commentary and has authored many articles and books on the Psalms and other Old Testament books.



The late Raymond B. Dillard (PhD, Dropsie University) was professor of Old Testament language and literature at Westminster Theological Seminary.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; 2 New edition (December 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310263417
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310263418
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tremper Longman III (PhD, Yale University) is the Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies and the chair of the Religious Studies department at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, where he lives with his wife, Alice. He is the Old Testament editor for the revised Expositor's Bible Commentary and has authored many articles and books on the Psalms and other Old Testament books.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Reader From Aurora on November 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
`An Introduction to the Old Testament' by Longman and Dillard is an outstanding survey of the Old Testament from a moderate conservative perspective. The following comments are offered for potential purchasers.

Structure - The text provides a book-by-book analysis of the Protestant Old Testament, including a bibliography, discussion of authorship, literary analysis and theological analysis for each individual book. At a little over 500 pages it has the right detail for an introduction, comprehensive yet not overly detailed. At the same time, for readers seeking more, the authors do a nice job of surfacing key issues that warrant further study. Approaching the text from a non-reformed perspective I would have appreciated inclusion of the Deuterocanonical or apocryphal books.

Bibliographies - Though it is always a challenge to strike the right balance between the competing desires to be both comprehensive and detailed, I would have preferred a smaller more detailed list of recommendations.

Theology - The authors represent a moderate reformed position, advocating divine inspiration, while also engaging with relevant aspects of critical scholarship. As most readers are likely aware, in this field `critical scholarship' is a rather technical term - critical in the narrow sense of opposing traditional views - not critical in a broader more neutral sense. Indeed, critical biblical scholarship is quite dogmatic, often, ironically, more so than its non-critical counterpart.

Overall, this text is highly recommended for readers seeking a scholarly introduction to the Old Testament. Additionally, there are a plethora of outstanding MP3 lectures available from itunes (Reformed Theological Seminary, Concordia Seminary, Covenant Theological Seminary, Yale, etc.), that readers may find helpful.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Bang on September 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An Introduction to the Old Testament, Second Edition

The target audience for this book is seminary students. I am not a seminary student or a Bible College graduate, but after reading many reviews I thought this book would be helpful to me, and it is. I use it as a supplement to my study Bible.

An Introduction to the Old Testament has an introduction chapter followed by one chapter for each book of the Old Testament. The Introduction chapter lets you know the perspective of the authors (Protestant and evangelical), what they are trying to accomplish, and how the subsequent chapters are organized. Some other authors deny the existence of any supernatural divine activity, but these authors recognize and respect the supernatural and the divine. The introduction presents some information related to hermeneutics, regarding the culture and context of the Old Testament.

Each chapter following the introduction reads much like the notes at the beginning of a Study Bible, but with a little more breadth and depth. The major divisions that are included in every chapter are Historical Background, Literary Analysis, Theological Message, and Approaching the New Testament. Some chapters have additional major divisions for Alternative Critical Views (Genesis), Evaluation of the Critical Reviews (Genesis), Ancient Near Eastern Background (Genesis), and Text-Critical Issues (Samuel). The Historical Background section is usually the longest and includes a discussion of various theories about who was the author. Longman and Dillard present the critical scholarship and other views in a distant, third-person tone that is almost void of emotion. They very gently put forward their own view. The discussion of the authorship of Genesis reveals their tone and their view.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Chad Oberholtzer on April 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read Longman and Dillard's "Introduction to the Old Testament" as an assigned text for three Old Testament seminary courses. Overall, it was a helpful book to provide some introductory information about all of the Old Testament books. To their credit, Longman and Dillard are able to engage with the critical scholarship while maintaining a truly evangelical voice. I appreciated that they were willing to question and rethink some particular evangelical positions when the evidence did not support them, but they were also unwilling to blindly subscribe to the critical scholarly consensus when it blatantly conflicted with the biblical witness. Though some would surely be suspicious of this approach, I think it's particularly helpful to take both the biblical text and the scholarly analysis seriously, and Longman and Dillard do this well.

My primary critique of the book is the balance of the time the authors spend in those two worlds of the biblical text and the critical scholarship. Frankly, I do not think an introductory textbook should be focused primarily on pointing out the various positions of critical scholarship. I wanted to read about the Old Testament. It just seemed to me that many of the chapters in this book leaned far too heavily in the direction of the scholarship and skimmed through the actual biblical text. I would have preferred a summary of the scholarship and more analysis of the biblical text, whereas their approach often felt like in-depth analysis of the scholarship and a summary of the biblical text.

As a point of comparison, I found Norman Geisler's "A Popular Survey of the Old Testament" to deal much more significantly with the biblical text, and I wish that Longman and Dillard had leaned more in that direction.
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