This volume introduces ancient Israel's Scriptures, or the Hebrew Bible, commonly called the Old Testament. It also traces the legacy of monotheism first found in the pages of the Old Testament. Where pertinent to the message of the Old Testament, the book explores issues of history, comparative religions, and sociology, while striking a balance among these topics by focusing primarily on literary features of the text. In addition, frequent sidebar discussions introduce the reader to contemporary scholarship, especially the results of historical-critical research and archaeology. Along the way, the book explores how the Old Testament conceptualized and gave rise to monotheism, one of the most significant developments in history, giving this study a currency for twenty-first-century readers.
Bill T. Arnold is the Paul S. Amos Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary. He is the author of numerous books and articles in biblical studies, including Genesis (The New Cambridge Bible Commentary Series, Cambridge University Press, 2009) and A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax (with John H. Choi, Cambridge University Press, 2003). He is also the co-editor of Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books (with H. G. M. Williamson, 2005) and Readings from the Ancient Near East: Primary Sources for Old Testament Study (with Bryan E. Bayer, 2002), and author of Who Were the Babylonians? (2004) and 1 and 2 Samuel: The NIV Application Commentary (2003).
1. What is the Old Testament?; 2. Word of truth - word of God; 3. The Old Testament world; 4. The primary history; 5. Beginnings; 6. Ancestors; 7. Torah story; 8. Torah instruction; 9. Torah revisited; 10. Moses' religion; 11. Was there an 'ancient Israel'?; 12. Land; 13. Kings; 14. More kings; 15. History revisited; 16. More books; 17. Israel's wisdom; 18. Israel's hymnal; 19. Israel's prophets: the maturing period; 20. Israel's prophets: the crisis and beyond; 21. Israel's prophets: the restoration; 22. Israel's apocalyptic message; 23. The scrolls; 24. The Old Testament today.