The Old Testament is more than a religious history of the nation of Israel. It is more than a portrait gallery of heroes of the faith. It is even more than a theological and prophetic backdrop to the New Testament. Beyond these, the Old Testament is inspired revelation of the very nature, character, and works of God. As renowned Old Testament scholar Bruce Waltke writes in the preface of this book, the Old Testament’s every sentence is “fraught with theology, worthy of reflection.”
This book is the result of decades of reflection informed by an extensive knowledge of the Hebrew language, the best of critical scholarship, a deep understanding of both the content and spirit of the Old Testament, and a thoroughly evangelical conviction. Taking a narrative, chronological approach to the text, Waltke employs rhetorical criticism to illuminate the theologies of the biblical narrators. Through careful study, he shows that the unifying theme of the Old Testament is the “breaking in of the kingdom of God.” This theme helps the reader better understand not only the Old Testament, but also the New Testament, the continuity of the entire Bible, and ultimately, God himself.
“The ultimate aim of biblical theology is to bring us to our knees in worship and prayer. Old Testament ‘theology’ is about the pursuit of this kind of knowledge.” (Page 11)
“Knowing God in Christ Jesus through the Holy Spirit has to be the ultimate aim of all Christian education.” (Page 10)
“The fruit of historical criticism is systematic, practical atheism.” (Page 54)
“No other ancient Near Eastern religion attests a berîṯ (‘covenant’) between a god and his people outside of Israel.10” (Page 409)
“Only the Ten Commandments are given directly by God; the rest of the Law is mediated to them through Moses.” (Page 413)
Bruce K. Waltke, acknowledged to be one of the outstanding contemporary Old Testament scholars, is professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida, and professor emeritus of biblical studies at Regent College in Vancouver. He has authored and coauthored numerous books, commentaries, and articles, and contributed to dictionaries and encyclopedias.