A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament

ISBN : 9780190203115

Mark W. Hamilton
432 ページ
156 x 235 mm

The book known as the Old Testament is actually a collection of stories, songs, prophetic addresses, wise sayings, and other bits of literature composed over centuries and compiled for the use of worshiping communities. These texts appeared in ancient Israel, reflecting its traumas and less frequent triumphs. Far from being comfortable texts that sedate over-stimulated readers, they offer critique of the powerful for the sake of those for whom the only tool of overcoming oppression is language itself. Because of the distance in time and cultural experience, the Old Testament is often inaccessible to modern readers. This introduction bridges that distance and makes the connections across time and culture come alive.

The Bible assembles a wide range of literary types because of the needs of the communities first using it as they preserved the legacy of their past, good and bad, for the sake of a viable future. Their legacy continues as relevant as ever. This introduction, then, seeks to help readers make sense of the variety and hear within it points of commonality as well. The Old Testament is a book readers look to for meaning. Christian readers, especially, have difficulty connecting with the theological meanings of the texts. Mark Hamilton offers an introduction that addresses theological issues directly and sensitively. Considering the massive sweep of literary types and ways of expressing ideas about God, A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament offers an alternative to introductions based solely on historical or literary themes.


Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: The Pentateuch in Brief
Chapter 3: In the Beginning: The Book of Genesis
Chapter 4: Rescue and Renewal: The Book of Exodus
Chapter 5: On Holiness and Life: The Book of Leviticus
Chapter 6: In the Desert: The book of Numbers
Chapter 7: On Memory and Action: The Book of Deuteronomy
Chapter 8: Israelite Historiography
Chapter 9: A New Land and a New People: The Book of Joshua
Chapter 10: Seeking Order Amid Chaos: The Book of Judges
Chapter 11: Ruth, the Model Convert
Chapter 12: God, King, and People: 1-2 Samuel
Chapter 13: The Triumph and Tragedy of Monarchy: 1-2 Kings
Chapter 14: 1-2 Chronicles
Chapter 15: Ezra and Nehemiah: Finding Life After Death
Chapter 16: The Queen of Comedies: The Book of Esther
Chapter 17: Poetic and Wisdom Texts
Chapter 18: God as Defendant and Plaintiff: The Book of Job
Chapter 19: The Praises and Laments of Israel: The Book of Psalms
Chapter 20: Proverbs: Wisdom and the Order of the World
Chapter 21: Ecclesiastes: Doubt as an Order of Faith
Chapter 22: Love in the Air: The Song of Songs
Chapter 23: Introduction to the Prophetic Books
Chapter 24: Isaiah, the Prophet of Salvation
Chapter 25: Not Just a Weeping Prophet: Jeremiah
Chapter 26: Mourning a Lost World, the Book of Lamentations
Chapter 27: Ezekiel the Prophet of the Rebuilt Temple
Chapter 28: Keeping Faith in a Distant Land: The Book of Daniel
Chapter 29: The Twelve Minor Prophets
Chapter 30: The Secondary Canon
Chapter 31: What's It All About?


Mark Hamilton has taught Hebrew Bible at Abilene Christian University since 2000. He has been a visiting professor in South Korea, New Zealand, and Croatia, as well as lecturing in many parts of the United States. He enjoys working with students of many cultures as they explore together the meanings of the ancient Israelite texts for life today.