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Encountering the Old Testament: A Christian Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Hardcover – June 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0801021763 ISBN-10: 0801021766

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Product Details

  • Series: Encountering Biblical Studies
  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic (June 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801021766
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801021763
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Arnold and Beyer are well-versed in their fields and they succeed at explicating the message of the Old Testament in clear, readable style. A fine, college-level survey that sets a high standard for all such surveys in the future. -- David M. Howard Jr.

Arnold and Beyer have produced an exciting new survey of the Old Testament with the college student specifically in mind. They have masterfully designed their work with text and graphics in a way that will not only grip the students attention but will guide them through the material with their expert touch. I enthusiastically recommend this volume to you. -- Tremper Longman III, professor of Old Testament, Westmont College

Baker has done extensive market research and come up with a pleasing and useful format for its Encountering Biblical Studies series.... This particular volume is written in a clear and engaging style.... The college-level students for whom this is written will find that this is truly what it claims to be: a textbook aimed at them. It is not the generic, all-purpose work that is too often produced, aimed at all (college and seminary students, pastors, scholars, and interested laypeople) and succeeding at hitting very few. Arnold and Beyer are well-versed in their fields and they succeed at explicating the message of the Old Testament in clear, readable style. A fine, college-level survey that sets a high standard for all such surveys in the future. -- David M. Howard, Jr., Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

For college students who are encountering the Old Testament for the first time, this attractively produced textbook offers a clear and helpful orientation to the world and literature of the Old Testament. The full-color photographs and maps, as well as the user-friendly charts, sidebars, review aids, and interactive CD-ROM, combine to invite everyone who opens this book to begin reading it immediatelya refreshing improvement over the standard textbook fare! -- Richard Schultz

Hardly could an inquisitive student ask for better guidance. -- Elmer Martens

The authors are commended for providing their readers with a lucid survey of the Old Testament. They cover a wide array of issues in an easy to read text. Complex issues receive a balanced treatment. The illustrations, sidebars, glossary, and study questions open up the relevance of the biblical text both in its ancient context and our modern situation. A very useful volume -- Willem A. VanGemeren, professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages, Trinity International University

About the Author

Bill T. Arnold (Ph.D. , Hebrew Union College) is professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages at Asbury Theological Seminary. He is the author of Encountering the Book of Genesis: A Survey of Its Content and Issues. Bryan E. Beyer (Ph.D., Hebrew Union College) is professor of Old Testament at Columbia International University Seminary and School of Missions.

Customer Reviews

This book is easy to read and understand, giving helpful information into Biblical background.
Brenda Russell
I would recommend this book as a source of study for students in Bible College, Seminary and persons interested in Biblical Studies.
Biblical Read
The book was in great shape it was like it was brand new I will be buying more books from you thanks very much.
Daron Wilson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Good overview of each book of the OT -- BUT there were a LOT of mistakes (verse references and illustration references) in the book, which I believe decreases its integrity as it certainly takes away my respect of its credibility. For example, on pg 214, the citation for 2 Sm 6:6-8 should actually be 2 Sm 5:6-8. Another example, on pg. 242, "Jotham of Israel" should actually be "Jotham of Judah". These are only a few of the mistakes I've seen, and it makes me wonder what other mistakes there are. Seems like it needs a good editor's eye.

Other issues I had with this book: the key terms are never defined in the book. You have to look it up in the accompanying CD to find the definitions. Also, I found that often times, the point/message that the authors are trying to convey in their paragraphs and sections are never clearly stated (they beat around the bush and go in circles). Lastly, the attempts at application/contextualization seem to have been added to the ends of sections almost as an afterthought, and they stood out like a sore thumb as not belonging to the train of thought.

I am disappointed with the quality of this book. The pictures and color are very appealing in comparison to other Old Testament survey books, however, the other issues with the book make it a less than desirable textbook.
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Neil on May 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Although at times it reads like a high school textbook, this is an excellent survey of the Old Testament and ancient cultures. When I first encountered it, I had already studied a lot about the ancient world and the Old Testament and I still found this book to be a worthwhile read.
I recommend this book for any Christian, or non-Christian, who is interested in learning about the Old Testament and how the Israelite culture fit in to the ancient world. There are plenty of pictures and trivia pieces to keep the book from reading like a long essay.
After reading this, you'll gain so much appreciation for one simple fact: the New Testament is completely built upon the foundation of the Old Testament. And to learn the OT better is to know the NT better!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Biblical Read on September 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This summer I read several Old Testament books for possible use in the Seminary course I would teach for the fall and spring semesters. I found that "Encountering the Old Testament" Christian Survey 2nd Edition, more than met the reqirements for our Freshman and Sophomore Classes. The reading material is most informative and held my interest during my research. As an instructor, the layout, text, chapter outlines and source materials listed proved most accurate and helpful when preparing my syllabus and additional course assignments. This book will be an excellent reference book and a book for any biblical library. I would recommend this book as a source of study for students in Bible College, Seminary and persons interested in Biblical Studies.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By theologicalresearcher on February 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you're a pastor, seminary student, or a layperson who needs a good, informative, and easy to read introduction to the Old Testament then this book will be perfect for you. Many OT introductions/surveys that are out there are either 1) too technical and academic, or 2) liberal/modernist. This introduction is solidly evangelical, easy to understand, and academic enough for even the novice biblical scholar.

The strength of the book is that it does not only survey each of the books in the Old Testament section by section but by topics of significance in each book. For instance, when the authors talk about the book of Genesis they do not only discuss what each of the 50 chapters say but about what the author said about the nature of election, the Abrahamic promise, the covenant, etc. Pretty much everything is covered regarding each book (authorship, date, place of writing, etc.).

Another feature of the book that will attract more novice pastors and students of the Bible is the colourful pictures that are abundantly printed in the book. Though some may find this comical, I think it added to the charm of this book. Pictures, graphs, maps, etc. help readers understand the background of each of the OT books better.

Finally, one other thing I really liked about this book is that the authors discuss side-issues related to the OT. The chapters on the historical background of the OT (chap. 2) and the introduction to the Prophetic books (chap. 24) are well written, informative, and orthodox. Sure, the authors could have written more deeply on these chapters but the intended audience demanded that they do not go too deeply in these matters.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book for those who want a better understanding of the OT books.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. I. Rogers on July 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This wonderful book, with its clear layout, readable text, brilliant pictures, accurate maps, and added interactive CD, is a great beginner's guide to studying the Old Testament.

I compared the book to the Lion Handbook to the Bible, and found that while the layout is similar, so much more information is provided.

Suited to a Diploma or Home Bible Study level, "Encountering the Old Testament" will still be of help when reviewing any Old Testament survey for bachelor study or above.

If the Old Testament has seemed a closed book, this will open it up in a fresh and vibrant way. A wonderful companion to the equally as good "Encountering the New Testament".
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More About the Author

Bill T. Arnold (Ph.D., Hebrew Union College) is the Paul S. Amos Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary. While at Asbury, he has held administrative positions first as Director of Postgraduate Studies and then as Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost.

His primary interests are biblical exegesis and ancient Near Eastern history, resulting in publications on specific texts (Genesis and 1-2 Samuel), as well as a Hebrew grammar ("A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax," with John H. Choi), and introductory materials ("Who Were the Babylonians?" and "Encountering the Old Testament," with Bryan E. Beyer).

Arnold was an editor for the Old Testament notes in "The Wesley Study Bible" (Abingdon, 2009) and co-translator of Genesis for the "Common English Bible" (Abingdon, 2011). An ordained Elder in The United Methodist Church, Arnold was a delegate to the UMC's General Conferences in 2012 and 2008 (first clergy alternate), representing the Kentucky Annual Conference.
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