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From Paradise to the Promised Land: An Introduction to the Pentateuch Paperback – September 1, 2002
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From the Back Cover
This new edition includes updated references and added material that reflect recent pentateuchal research as well as the author's refined judgments.
Praise for previous editions
"In this up-to-date and scholarly work, Alexander shows how the first five books of the Bible make sense and hang together. More than that, they lay the foundations of Christian theology so that no one can properly understand the rest of the Bible who has not come to terms with them. Alexander will be found to be a lucid and reliable guide to this vital part of Scripture."
--Gordon J. Wenham, Trinity College, Bristol
"Two virtues about From Paradise to the Promised Land have especially struck me. One is the comprehensiveness of the way it seeks to help us grasp the Pentateuch. The other is the way Alexander shows us how different themes hold these books together--themes such as the sanctuary, kingship, and the land. Both these features open up possibilities in grasping the Pentateuch as a whole."
--John Goldingay, Fuller Theological Seminary
"Desmond Alexander provides an introduction that considers the Pentateuch as a whole, both thematically and theologically. The Pentateuch is presented as a unity, yet the variety of topics within it receive substantial and penetrating treatment. It is the sort of study that many readers and their teachers have long wanted on this first section of the Old Testament."
--J. Gordon McConville, University of Gloucestershire
"There is no doubt that theology undergraduates and anybody who takes an interest in the riches of the Pentateuch are indebted to Alexander for providing us with a highly readable, informative, and at times even innovative book."
--Michael Widmer, Themelios
"[A] wealth of useful and accessible information on the Pentateuch. . . . This book is especially welcome as a solid introduction accessible to undergraduate students."
--Eric W. Bolger, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
T. Desmond Alexander is Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies and Director of Post-Graduate Studies, Union Theological College, Belfast, and formerly lecturer in Semitic studies at The Queen's University in Belfast. He is the coeditor of the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology.
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It is this story and the messages of the Pentateuch that Alexander then displays for his readers. Moving through the Pentateuch both historically and topically, the writer deals masterfully with the genealogies, the blessing and cursing in Eden, the nature and import of the Abrahamic Covenant, the significance of the Passover, the impact of the Covenant of Sinai both for Israel and for believers today, the implications of the tabernacle, the command to be holy, the significance and symbolism of the sacrificial system and dietary laws, the gift of the Promised Land, the reason why the murmuring of the people was so important to God, the Semitic view of the topics of love and loyalty as treated in the Pentateuch, and the question of the election of Israel. In all of these areas, Alexander carefully lays out the theology of the Pentateuch and then follows this up with a connection to the New Testament. It is in these New Testament connections, Alexander shows his true prowess as a biblical scholar.
I would wholeheartedly recommend this work for the student of the Pentateuch who is struggling to find the purpose and application of this most difficult, yet seminal, section of Scripture to his or her life in the 21st century.
Full disclosure: I read only the middle section (a bit less than half the book) dealing with his explanation and exegesis of the Pentateuch. The first section (some hundred pages or so refuting the higher critical approaches) wasn't germane to my study, and the book concludes with nearly 70 pages of indices and further reading suggestions, so I skipped that, too.
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Alexander says, "The present volumes...Read more