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An Introduction to the Old Testament: Second Edition Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, December 3, 2006
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From the Back Cover
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 general editor for the Story of God Bible Commentary Old Testament 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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Longman is always thoughtful, thoroughly researched, with an easy and enjoyable reading style.Published 5 months ago by etii
Required Text for Old Testament Survey at Rock River Christian College in Beloit WI way back in the day. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Mark Orava
This was a required text book and has been very informative. Good read, but would not have gotten had it not been required.Published 10 months ago by christina simone
Great material. Very insightful and great background information.Published 14 months ago by Sam Edwards
Was required textbook, but wow! This was great. A lot of Bibliographies. Took some time to but this one together.Published 16 months ago by Tfisher87