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The Pentateuch as Narrative: A Biblical-Theological Commentary Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (February 21, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310574218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310574217
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Most scholars studying the first five books of the Bible either attempt to dissect it into various pre-pentateuchal documents or, at the very least, analyze Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy as separate, self-contained documents. The Pentateuch As Narrative focuses on the narrative and literary continuity of the Pentateuch as a whole. It seeks to disclose how the original Jewish readers may have viewed this multivolume work of Moses. Its central thesis is that the Pentateuch was written from the perspective of one who had lived under the Law of the Covenant established at Mount Sinai and had seen its failure to produce genuine trust in the Lord God of Israel. In this context, the Pentateuch pointed the reader forward to the hope of the New Covenant, based on divine faithfulness. Throughout the commentary Dr. Sailhamer pays close attention to and interacts with a wide range of classical and contemporary literature on the Pentateuch, written by Jews, Catholics, and Protestants.

About the Author

John H. Sailhamer is professor of Old Testament at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Brea, California and was formerly senior professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.. His other works include An Introduction to Old Testament Theology and The NIIV Compact Bible Commentary.

More About the Author

John H. Sailhamer is professor of Old Testament at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Brea, California and was formerly senior professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. His other works include An Introduction to Old Testament Theology and The NIIV Compact Bible Commentary.

Customer Reviews

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Make this one apart of your library.
Rodney J. Hudson
The strength of this book is the introductory section as it raises the issues I mention above.
Amazon Customer
If you are serious about understanding the OT, this book is an absolute must.
Samuel M Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Thor D. Swanson on February 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a book which links the ancient Hebrew writings of the Pentateuch to the surrounding Mesopotamian and Egyptian cultures, this is not the book for you. If you are searching for a book which explains the Pentateuch from the standpoint of modern, critical Biblical OT Scholarship (JEDP et. al.), you will also not be satisfied. However, if you are looking for a work which explains how the various parts of the Pentateuch function as a part of a unifed, whole work, this book is incredibly helpful and insightful. Also, as a committed Christian, the work makes the strange world of the Pentatuech and the ancient Hebrews "come alive" for me as a believer. Each year, as I work my way through the books of the Pentateuch in my One Year Bible (January through March), I find this book the single most valuable one in helping me bring home insights from these Hebrew Scriptures into my spiritual life. I enjoyed Dr. Sailhamer as an instructor of the Genesis course 13 years ago during the Winter Quarter at Trinity Ev. Divinity School in Illinois. He continues to teach me each Winter at my house as I live out my life as a Christian minister, Family Practice physician, and HIV specialist.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jack Curtin on January 3, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is wonderful! Dr. Sailhamer really gets to the heart of what's important about the Torah - what the author is trying to tell us! His study focuses on how/why the author put the Torah (one continuous "book") together as he did and what the reader is supposed to get from it.

He shows how God's addition of laws over time follows instances of disobedience (kinda like the way we add rules for our kids when they act up and remove rules as they show they can handle more responsibility). He shows how the narrative (while simultaneously about events that really happened) foreshadow the future. He explains how the poetry is divine commentary on the narratives. Etc. Dr. Sailhamer brings the Torah to life!

FYI. A Messianic Jewish friend of mine moved from Israel to Raleigh, NC just so he could study under (renowned Christian Hebrew scholar) Dr. Sailhamer at Southeastern Seminary. He's been thrilled with what he's learned. Dr. Sailhamer is brilliant, but knows how to teach.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Samuel M Smith on January 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
My Old Testament prof assigned this book my first semester of seminary and I blew through it so I could check off the reading assignment on the final.

Recently, I began reading through the Pentateuch again and was bewildered as always. Then I remembered to begin looking stuff up in Sailhamer's book. It's amazing how much more I have learned when reading it for fun and not for an assignment.

The introduction is a bit tedious, but worthwhile. The real goldmine for us, though, is in his explanation of those pesky and ever-present laws which make no sense to the average 21st century reader. This book is worth the price of admission just for the explanation of the Levitical laws.

I have a friend who will be studying with Sailhamer at Southeastern Seminary and I envy him a little now because of this book. If you are serious about understanding the OT, this book is an absolute must.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
Text versus event opens the context and intention of Moshe into a whole new light and brings a fresh perspective to passages that may have seemed problematic in the past. Reading "The Pentateuch as Narrative" has completely challenged the way I approach the Torah and deepened it's application to my life. Must reading for anyone serious about grappling with the Torah's application and real life issues.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
Sailhamer will change the way you look at the Bible. His study and insight about the Torah is tight and very well supported. He has unlocked the way one should look at the structure of the author's writing within a book of Scripture. With this type of thinking he argues that the Bible can stand on it's own, and we can find meaning within the text itself. This book should be required reading for any student of the Bible.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sailhammer's premise is: what if instead of five separate books, the Pentateuch (Genesis-Deuteronomy) were more along the lines of one long continuous multi-volume work? In other words, literary clues and devises that are happening in Genesis are revisited in the other books. Kind of like how Isaac and Abraham's lives have some parallels, Sailhammer sees many of these and they are interesting. Sailhammer believes his thesis answers the concerns of higher criticism and esp. the source documentary people (JEDP believers; if you are not familiar with JEDP, you may want to set this book aside until you have some background in OT issues). In other words, what higher criticism sees as multiple sources/authorship, Sailhammer sees as purposeful structuring by the final author of the Pentateuch. I've seen a very critical review of this book on someone's blog, but for my purposes I didn't come away feeling the same way. The strength of this book is the introductory section as it raises the issues I mention above. The rest of the book is like a mini-commentary on all Gen-Deut; while there is much of interest in the commentary, much of it is too short (due to the breadth of the topic)to dig very deeply. However, the commentary does make for nice springboards into exploring and pondering the issues raised.
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