What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About, a Survey of Jesus’ Bible, Gen. Ed., Jason S. DeRouchie (Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic, 2013; 496 pp., Hard $30.99

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Jason De Rouchie and 16 other contributors have joined forces to provide the church this truly unique and marvelous volume overviewing the message of the Old Testament (there is a companion New Testament Volume – What the New Testament Authors Really Cared About). In the preface DeRouchie tells us that the book is not about:

  • A history of Israelite religion

  • A summary of the events of history

  • A synthesis of the sources behind the text

  • A review of characters in the text

  • A theology of the Hebrew Bible on its own

  • A systematic theology

  • A reflection of the reader

“Rather, following the arrangement of the Jewish canon, this survey attempts to present the essence of what is revealed in the Old Testament, with a conscious eye toward the fulfillment found in Jesus as clarified in the New Testament.”

The book is targeted toward Bible college, seminary students and local churches (p. 23) but anyone interested in the Scriptures will enjoy and appreciate this work. It is broken into the three major divisions of the Old Testament as the pre-Jesus Jews arranged them: law, prophets and writings. Each book of the Old Testament, as found in the Hebrew Bible, is dealt with individually, with the exception of the minor prophets (the twelve) being explored together. Each chapter (25) begins with a well-crafted overview then proceeds to discuss the central message(s) of the Scripture under consideration. The exposition is supplemented with numerous charts, maps and pictures which both aid our understanding and provide interest and beauty to the book. Seven appendices are also added, offering additional understanding of the Old Testament.

This is the first volume I will pull from my shelves in any future study or teaching from the Old Testament. The overview and insights are invaluable. It would also serve as an excellent textbook for a serious course on Old Testament survey. In addition the publisher has informed me that the charts, maps and pictures will eventually be available for purchase in an electronic format. This will greatly enhance teaching through the Old Testament.

Reviewed by Gary E. Gilley, Pastor-teacher, Southern View Chapel

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