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What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared…

What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Jesus'…

by Jason S. Derouchie

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In "What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Jesus’ Bible," Jason DeRouchie brings together 16 other evangelical OT scholars to produce a truly one-of-a-kind resource. Rather than being a work by scholars for scholars, this is a work for the Church. The Old Testament is expounded and analyzed from the perspective of the cross of Christ, and the result is an unpacking of the Gospel in the Old Testament. Today’s believers are provided a practical approach to reading and studying the Old Testament. And as the authors remind us, the Old Testament was the Bible of Jesus and the early Church.

The book surveys each of the 24 books of the Old Testament — 24 books according to the Hebrew numbering, that is. And the Hebrew order of the books of the Old Testament is the order the contributors to this volume follow. Each chapter gives a brief introduction as to the setting and author of that Hebrew book and then focuses on a discussion of the book’s major themes with particular regard to how it fits into the overall canonical structure. Jason DeRouchie provides introductions to each of the major sections of the Hebrew Bible: the Torah (or Law), the Prophets, and the Writings, as well as an overview of the entire Old Testament. Throughout the volume, there are beautiful, full-color photos of scenes from the Holy Land. Additionally, there are countless charts and tables on helpful subjects relating to the material covered. Memory verses and suggestions for additional reading round out each chapter. The KINGDOM Bible reading plan is also included as an appendix and will help readers in continuing to read through and appreciate the Hebrew Bible in the canonical order this book stresses.

This is a very readable and engaging work. The full-color illustrations, charts, maps and graphs will engross the reader. The material presented is merely a survey and so it would make for a great resource for an adult Sunday School class or a Bible Institute course. The Hebrew terms are transliterated and the discussion for the most part stays at a high level. That being said, the discussion focuses on the Messianic nature of the Hebrew Bible and how it all points to Christ. Pastors and teachers will detect a non-dispensational approach that doesn’t overtly teach any one system of eschatology (it leans to a new covenant theology approach, specifically recommending Kingdom through Covenant by Wellum and Gentry a few times). It could be used with prudence by churches from a wide spectrum of positions, yet is firmly evangelical and unflinching in its stance for biblical inerrancy. Some of the discussions about authorship and date will open the reader to some of the challenges of OT scholarship, but much is not said that could be. The balance it achieves is probably right for the purposes the book aims to serve.

The Christological focus of the book and its emphasis on how the Old Testament fits together to point to Christ, makes it most helpful for average readers, and yet it manages to avoid an allegorizing approach to the OT. The authors clearly care about the OT in its own right, and yet make the connections where textually warranted, between the themes and types in the Old Testament and the anti-types and fulfillment in the New Testament. I was disappointed to see a Christ-centered interpretive approach to the Song of Songs was not followed, and that stands as proof that this book is not a free-for-all when it comes to interpretive approach. The book is text-grounded and yet gospel-saturated. The sidebars and graphs are quite useful and the pointers for additional study will help the busy pastor.

Having met Jason DeRouchie and sat in his adult Sunday School class I could feel his passion for the gospel in the Old Testament oozing out of this volume. I am eager to find ways to use it in adult SS settings in my church too. I highly recommend this work, it will reignite a love for the Old Testament and a fuller appreciation for the beauty of the suffering servant and prophesied King, Jesus the Christ.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by Kregel Academic. I was under no obligation to offer a positive review. ( )
  bobhayton | Jan 7, 2014 |
The resurgence of Biblical theological studies is enriched by Jason S. DeRouchie’s What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About. Seventeen authors contributed articles to this redemptive-historical survey of the Old Testament. Through numerous charts and illustrations, the kingdom theme is unfolded from the Law to the Prophets.

The Old Testament was the Bible that Jesus read; the Scriptures that He claimed “testify of me.” For too long, this volume of Scripture has been viewed as the Jewish book; the part of the Bible that related to Israel. In What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About we discover that the Old Testament is a Christian book; it is the book of the coming Messiah.

What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About is textbook material. It is rich in photographs, charts, illustrations, and maps. Chapters end with a review of key words and concepts. This is not a survey in the traditional sense of a survey, nor is it an introduction. Critical matters such as authorship are given scant attention. Rather, it is an overview of each Old Testament author’s contribution to the unfolding story of redemption.

Readers from a dispensational perspective will be less thrilled about this volume. The contributors do not take that approach to the prophetic books in particular. One example of this is found in contributor Gary E. Yates remarks concerning the new covenant prophesied by Jeremiah;

The new covenant would [provide] spiritual transformation for all who belonged to the covenant: “They shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest…for I will forgive their iniquity” (31:34; cf. Deut. 30:6). Ultimately, it is the work of the Messiah Jesus that makes this possible, “to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). The restored remnant of Israel and the nations, with hearts now surrendered to Yahweh and the royal descendent of David (Jer. 23:5; 30:9), would never again have to experience judgment and exile for disobedience to Yahweh’s commands, and they would forever enjoy fullness of blessings in the Promised Land (32:39=41) (p. 256, italics original).

Preston Sprinkle’s comments on Ezekiel are even plainer:

What are we to make of this future temple? Should we anticipate the future rebuilding of a literal temple, fully equipped with a Levitical priesthood (44:15-31) performing sacrifices for atonement for sin (45:15-17, 20)? This literal interpretation is possible and is suggested by the fact that Ezekiel is shown such detailed measurements of this temple (40:5-42:20) and given such detailed guidelines about how worship should be conducted within it (chs. 44-46). This literal interpretation runs into problems, however, when we look at the book of Hebrews, where the Old Testament sacrificial system is clearly a mere shadow pointing to the ultimate sacrifice of Christ (see esp. Heb. 10). …

Premillennial dispensationalism seems to be the evangelical default position. Many (including the reviewer) were trained in this context. This volume offers an invigorating challenge to this interpretive scheme. At least for some, this book will encourage a rereading of the Old Testament Scriptures in a Christological context.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” ( )
  RonStarcher | Dec 7, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0825425913, Hardcover)

Written from an irenic, evangelical perspective, this Old Testament survey is designed to unpack what the biblical authors most intended to communicate in the Scripture that Jesus read. As a complementary volume to the previously published What the New Testament Authors Really Cared About (Kregel Academic, 2008), it is well-suited for use in a college, seminary, or church context. Students of the Bible will find this full-color textbook accessible and engaging.

What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About is gospel-centered, portraying the Old Testament as the foundation for fulfillment found in the New Testament. Each chapter is written by an Old Testament scholar who is a skilled teacher at one of the finest evangelical schools across North America and specializes in the biblical book covered.

Introductory issues (who, when, where, why) are condensed to one-page snapshots of essential information at the beginning of each chapter
The clarity of the biblical message is enhanced through nearly two hundred high-resolution photographs, over eighty charts and tables, and twelve color maps
Very readable text, appropriate for broad audiences
Contributors: Jason S. DeRouchie (editor), Daryl Aaron, Todd Bolen, John C. Crutchfield, Edward M. Curtis, Stephen G. Dempster, Daniel J. Estes, Donald Fowler, J. Daniel Hays, Chris A. Miller, D. Jeffrey Mooney, Andrew J. Schmutzer, Boyd Seevers, Gary V. Smith, Preston M. Sprinkle, Kenneth J. Turner, and Gary E. Yates.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:33 -0400)

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