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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 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
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
on September 23, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified 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
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. Though it is not that scholarly and deep, it is still good enough for what it intends and many students of the Bible will find rich information that will greatly help in their personal spiritual growth and ministry.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I use this as a text book in my OT intro course. It provides a solid conservative evangelical approach to the Old Testament. Each chapter does a pretty good job of discussing some key issues, and usually deals with other views fairly.

The biggest problem with this textbook is the author's proclivity to move from a discussion of the text to a larger discussion of theology. In doing so, New Testament views and a Christian focus gets put on texts that originated centuries beforehand. The result is a reading which leaves students with good evangelical theology of the Old Testament, but lacking in the presentation of the theology held by those discussed in the OT.

If seeking this as a text book for a course, plan your lectures to deal with the text itself and the surrounding issues of the textual interpretation. This focus will round out the book.

Note: The CD is invaluable. A simple click allows the students to read the definitions of many words that would be new to them in a Intro class.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I used this book in my Old Testament survey class through Liberty University and found it to be a solid overview of the Old Testament books and history. Relatively easy to read for a textbook, it was quite informative and yet not dry which allows it to be very approachable. I found that I have a much better grasp on the times and places throughout the Old Testament and particularly enjoyed the sections on the prophetic books. Each chapter contains a helpful outline of the book being covered and includes clear references to the scripture passages being discussed. I felt that this book found a healthy balance of information, maps, and pictures. The images and maps give the reader a good sense for the locations and movements of different people and people groups which helps to portray the cultures and situations faced by biblical characters. Overall, a very informative and helpful survey that will stay on my shelf as useful reference.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
This book is factual/informative like a text book but it reads very smoothly. Visual aids help the reader to remember what has been studied. This is an excellent book for ministers who are looking for a fresh source of Old Testament facts and it would also benefit a beginning Bible student.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This was a textbook for a university class I took. Our reading assignments were pretty heavy but this book made the homework a joy and pleasure. I have a better grasp on the Old Testament now and have benefited immensely from it. The CD that comes with the book is a good study aid, but does not really add content to the book itself. The content is very conservative and helps refute some critical and liberal ideas about the Bible.
Highly Recommended for a survey.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2007
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This book was chosen as a textbook by the teacher of a class in which I enrolled. Beautifully illustrated, and heavily re-inforced by bullets, summaries, and review questions, this volume would easily lend itself to the high school student. More scholarly works are referenced for further reading.
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