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Old Testament Theology: Israel's Gospel (Vol. 1) Hardcover – November 3, 2003

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Abundant and rich material for Christian preaching." (Old Testament Abstracts, Volume 33, 2010)

"Goldingay has produced a scintillating exposition of Old Testament narrative, describing its rich 'particularities' (p. 37) and offering a wealth of critical suggestions for its theological appropriation. His treatment takes account of recent scholarship, exhibits a keen awareness of methodological debates and is written in a highly readable, even genial style. For theologians, pastors, students--anyone wanting to think through the Old Testament theologically (again) with an expert guide--his book is a must-read." (Stephen B. Chapman, Scottish Journal of Theology, February 2010)

"Goldingay helps us all learn more about the Old Testament to the end that we more faithfully proclaim the Gospel of Jesus." (Reed Lessing for Concordia Journal, October 2007)

"Here at last is an OT theology that follows the whole of the biblical narrative and treats it all with theological seriousness. Goldingay conveys his prolific insights so readably that this will be a rich resource for all serious readers of Scripture." (Richard J. Bauckham, University of St. Andrews)

"Goldingay's Old Testament Theology boldly moves in new and welcome directions. Readers will appreciate his commitment to this Testament as a work with its own integrity, whose voice the modern world needs urgently to hear. Furthermore, his great exposition of its central themes hugs the biblical text in a way that will help us all, scholars, students and preachers alike, to capture his sense of excitement and delight in these ancient writings." (H. G. M. Williamson, University of Oxford)

"Goldingay's extensive and penetrating work on the Old Testament, embracing most aspects of its interpretation, ensures that this three-volume Old Testament theology is a major publishing event. His presentation is based on a firm belief that the Old Testament has its own theological ideas which do not in themselves require validation by the New Testament, yet which are indispensable to its understanding. Refreshingly free from constraints imposed by the history of the discipline, he allows the Old Testament itself to set the agenda, weaving story and theology with persuasiveness. He is here, as always, insightful and contemporary, wearing massive learning lightly. It is a most significant addition to Old Testament interpretation." (Gordon McConville, University of Gloucestershire)

"In this volume, John Goldingay, as usual, presents himself as a knowledgeable, sensitive interpreter who pays close attention to the text and to the faith given through the text. The focus on narrative indicates the peculiar way in which biblical faith is mediated that is not excessively tamed by the usual categories of doctrine, piety or morality. The title of volume one, Israel's Gospel, exhibits Goldingay's acute theological passion, one that warrants close, sustained attention." (Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary)

"One of our preeminent biblical theologians has given us a comprehensive way into the Old Testament. Focused on the story, this volume takes one deep inside the texts that tell the story to learn what matters about both story and texts. The particular illumines the larger picture, and the whole provides a context for seeing what matters in the individual texts. What seems at first glance to be very familiar is seen with fresh new insight. From pastor to theologian, all will learn from Goldingay's masterful interpretation of the Old Testament." (Patrick D. Miller, Princeton Theological Seminary)

"This book is immensely valuable. Reading it is like sitting at the feet of a mature, experienced and wise Old Testament scholar and getting a personal tour of the theological significance of the entire narrative of the Old Testament. It is written in a way that is accessible to students wanting an introduction, but there is plenty here for the further education of even senior Old Testament theologians." (Tremper Longman III, Westmont College)

About the Author

John Goldingay (PhD, University of Nottingham; DD, Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth) is David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. He was previously principal and a professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at St John’s Theological College in Nottingham, England. His books include The Theology of the Book of Isaiah, Key Questions about Interpretation, Models for Scripture and commentaries on Psalms, Isaiah and Daniel. He has also authored the three-volume Old Testament Theology and the seventeen-volume Old Testament For Everyone series. Goldingay also serves in pastoral ministry as an associate pastor at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Pasadena. He holds membership in the Society of Biblical Literature and the Society for Old Testament Study, and serves on the Task Force on Biblical Interpretation in the Anglican Communion and the editorial board for the Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 940 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (November 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830825614
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830825615
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #735,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Bill Muehlenberg VINE VOICE on January 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Now that the third and final volume of John Goldingay's tremendous work is now available, one can properly assess just what he has left us with. The short answer is this: it is simply a magisterial effort. It is a first class work which will be irreplaceable for many years to come.

It is simply amazing for a variety of reasons, not least of which is its massive length. The three volumes comprise over 2,500 pages (2743 pages to be exact). Bear in mind that in the decade he took to pen this, he also produced a number of other important works, including his equally impressive 3-volume commentary on the Psalms, which totals over 2200 pages! Talk about prolific.

This OT theology is simply superb. Goldingay is just utterly steeped in the Old Testament, and has done a superlative job of elucidating its themes, its theology, its vision, its grandeur, and its contents. Almost every aspect of OT studies is entered into here, and he is always up to the task.

The first volume focuses on "Israel's Gospel". It examines the OT narratives from creation to the first coming of Christ. The second volume deals with "Israel's Faith". This concentrates on the Prophets, the Wisdom writings, and the Psalms. Volume three centres on "Israel's Life". It examines the ethical, spiritual and worshipping life of Israel.

Goldingay is of course a Christian but he argues that we must consider the OT on its own terms. He rightly notes that "the Old Testament's insights must be seen in light of those of the New, but only as long as we immediately add that it is just as essential to see the New Testament's insights in light of those of the Old.
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Format: Hardcover
I would like to thank InterVarsity Press Academic for graciously providing these review copies.

John Goldingay is the David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. His other other works include Theological Diversity and the Authority of the Old Testament, God's Prophet, God's Servant: A Study in Jeremiah 40-55, a three volume commentary on the Psalms (V. 1, V. 2, V. 3) in the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms, a commentary on the Minor Prophets in the New International Bible Commentary series, a two volume lay level commentary on Genesis (V. 2), a commentary on Daniel in the WBC series, and the other volume in the Old Testament Theology series Vol. 3: Israel's Life.

This is the first of three volumes that will certainly be remembered as Goldingay's magnum opus. This first installment, Israel's Gospel traces the story of Israel from Genesis to the Return from Exile to examine the history and its narrative interpretation by the scribes of Israel. We see not only in the title of this work, but also in Goldingay's explicit discussion and the final chapter concerning the coming of Jesus that he is interested in writing a Christian Old Testament theology. This does not mean a theology where the text of the Old Testament is read to affirm one's theological or exegetical convictions about the New Testament, but one that does not pretend to be a objective reader and interpreter. He also seeks to construct the proper understanding of the Old Testament as the lens through which Jesus and the rest of the New Testament is read.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a lengthy book that is a part of a monumental three volume set. Each text has a different purpose, not just flowing "chronologically" or "canonically" through the Old Testament (somewhat ironically, the title of the book is "Old Testament Theology," though throughout he calls it the "First Testament"). Volume 1 focuses on the main story line of the Old Testament all the way through the life of Jesus and the early Church. Rather than "seeing Christ in the Old Testament," Goldingay shows the life of Christ and the early Church as flowing from the Old Testament story.

I can see two noticeable effects of this approach. First, in telling the story, Goldingay treats texts together that some readers may not customarily think of together. For example, when discussing creation, he brings to bear all of the Old Testament material concerning creation, such as the early chapters of Genesis along with texts about creation in places like Job and Psalms. This may seem pretty standard to some; however, other circles tend to treat Genesis 1 and 2 in isolation from the rest of the Biblical material about creation. Of course, this introduces the reader to some tensions in the creation accounts. Yet Goldingay is comfortable with this (as am I).

Another effect is that the main story line is kept in tact without getting caught up in too many details. Those of us who work within a church context are all too familiar with either making commitments ourselves or working with those who make commitments to read through the Bible in a certain time period, whether it be 90 days, one year, or three years. People often abandon these commitments by the time they get to Leviticus if they even make it that far.
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