Exploring the Old Testament: A Guide to the Historical Books


This attractive volume by scholars Philip Satterthwaite and Gordon McConville is part of the four-volume set on Exploring the Old Testament published by IVP. This book has been widely used since its publication a few years ago and now there is a new release of this volume in paperback while the hardback edition is still available.

Much like its companion volumes it aims at serious beginning students, though anyone will find it useful. Because undergraduate students are a big part of the intended audience, there’s some discussion of scholarly trends that pastors will not find interesting. Still, because of the useful layout, those irrelevant sections are easily passed over.

Personally, I found too much coverage in the Introduction on the historicity, or the lack thereof, among some scholarship of these books. Though this book usually came to the right conclusion, most of us who preach the Word are not concerned with that dubious scholarship.

The chapters on the books themselves were much more interesting and valuable. Structure, outline, and theology were all well presented. This volume had the most meaningful charts in these series too from my point of view.

This volume is enlightening and I recommend it. For that matter, the whole set (there’s two more volumes that cover the New Testament as well) would be a boon to any student.

I received this book free from the publisher. 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.

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