The Pentateuch, or “five volumes” in Greek, is composed of the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. These books of the Law provided a history and moral instruction for God’s people, paving the way for the rest of Scripture. Knowing the Pentateuch is critically important to reading the rest of the Word, and in the three-volume Baker Academic Pentateuch Studies collection, you’ll find a wealth of recent scholarship and insight to help you gain a fuller understanding of these key books. From in-depth thematic analysis of the books to women’s studies, this collection is sure to bring revelation and depth to your Pentateuch study.
The Logos edition of the Baker Academic Pentateuch Studies is fully integrated and networked with your digital library. Scriptures and cross-references are linked and appear on mouse-over, and with Logos’ advanced features, you can perform comprehensive searches by topic or Scripture reference—finding, for example, every mention of “Eve” or “sacrifice.”
This text has been a popular introduction to the Pentateuch for more than 15 years, offering a unique alternative to the too-common critical approaches that focus on the books’ composition over content. Instead of providing commentary for individual passages, T. Desmond Alexander takes a holistic view of the books, revealing the “big picture” and identifying prominent themes and connections between the Pentateuch and the New Testament. With this new edition, T. Desmond Alexander keeps the book fresh and relevant for contemporary students by updating the references and adding material that reflects recent pentateuchal research as well as his maturing judgments. The result is a revision that will prove valuable for many years to come.
There is no doubt that theology undergraduates and anybody who takes an interest in the riches of the Pentateuch are indebted to Alexander for providing us with a highly readable, informative, and at times even innovative book.
—Michael Widmer, Themelios
In this up-to-date and scholarly work, Alexander shows how the first five books of the Bible make sense and hang together. More than that, they lay the foundations of Christian theology so that no one can properly understand the rest of the Bible who has not come to terms with them. Alexander will be found to be a lucid and reliable guide to this vital part of Scripture.
Two virtues about From Paradise to the Promised Land have especially struck me. One is the comprehensiveness of the way it seeks to help us grasp the Pentateuch. The other is the way Alexander shows us how different themes hold these books together—themes such as the sanctuary, kingship, and the land. Both these features open up possibilities in grasping the Pentateuch as a whole.
Desmond Alexander provides an introduction that considers the Pentateuch as a whole, both thematically and theologically. The Pentateuch is presented as a unity, yet the variety of topics within it receive substantial and penetrating treatment. It is the sort of study that many readers and their teachers have long wanted on this first section of the Old Testament.
—J. Gordon McConville, University of Gloucestershire
An excellent overview of major themes in the Pentateuch. . . . An excellent tool that should be used by anyone planning to preach or teach through these books.
[A] wealth of useful and accessible information on the Pentateuch. . . . This book is especially welcome as a solid introduction accessible to undergraduate students.
—Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
A good literary introduction to the Pentateuch.
—The Bible Today
Eminently useful. . . . Studying the Pentateuch by means of commentaries can be compared to looking at the separate pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. While we may find something of interest in each piece, it is only when all the pieces are put together that we get the complete picture. Alexander puts the puzzle together in ways that bring the larger picture of the Pentateuch into a sharp, Christ-centered focus.
T. Desmond Alexander is a senior lecturer in biblical studies and the director of postgraduate studies at Union Theological College in Belfast, Ireland. He is the co-editor of the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology. Alexander received his PhD from The Queen’s University in Belfast.
A Theological Introduction to the Pentateuch: Interpreting the Torah as Christian Scripture
In this concise volume, a team of fresh Old Testament voices explores the theological dimensions of the Pentateuch and provides specific examples of critically engaged theological interpretation. This Pentateuch text is unique in that it emphasizes theological reading, serving as an affordable supplement to traditional introductory Pentateuch texts. Each chapter introduces theological themes and interpretative issues in interpretation then offers exegesis of one or two representative passages to model theological interpretation in practice. This useful text will be valued by students of the Old Testament and the Pentateuch as well as pastors. It honors Walter Moberly, whose approach is played out in the book.
Briggs and Lohr, along with their cowriters, have exploited the inheritance of their teacher Walter Moberly to engage with the best of historical-critical and literary approaches to each book of the Pentateuch. Both for the general landscape of theological perspectives on each book and for the exemplary exploration of a specific text (or two) in each book, this volume provides an essential introduction to the field of theological interpretation at the beginning of the Bible.
—Richard S. Hess, Earl S. Kalland Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages, Denver Seminary
It is extraordinary how theological interpretation has become a growth industry and has almost become a respectable enterprise—and certainly now a confident one. This is an urbane introduction to its nature, a suggestive theological introduction to each of the books of the Pentateuch. It matches the urbane elegance of Walter Moberly, who inspired it among colleagues and former students. Like Moberly’s work, A Theological Introduction to the Pentateuch takes up big theological issues but anchors them in careful, detailed studies of particular passages. It thus illuminates on the macro scale and on the micro scale.
—John Goldingay, David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary
A Theological Introduction to the Pentateuch is a well-proportioned and substantive introduction to the first five books of the Bible with hermeneutical guidance in the form of sample interpretation of key texts for each book. The book is nicely designed and executed—a valuable text for the classroom. It serves as an excellent tribute to Walter Moberly and his own exegetical work. Well done!
—Christopher R. Seitz, research professor of biblical interpretation, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto
Few portions of Scripture seem to yield such an unending discovery of riches and resources to scholar and layperson alike as do the five books of the Pentateuch. The essays in this volume add richly and discerningly to those discoveries. Happily, each writer moves beyond the necessary historical and literary questions in order to engage the text theologically. I highly recommend this volume of collected essays to any reader who is interested in pursuing theological interpretation of the biblical text.
A penetrating primer on what it means to read the Pentateuch well as 'theologically interested interpreters'--and a lovely tribute to the probing insight and pedagogical skill of Walter Moberly by some of his former students and close associates. The authors offer full coverage of all five pentateuchal books along with sustained engagements of several key texts. The volume concludes with an appendix detailing the cumulative scope of Moberly's distinctive contributions to pentateuchal study.
—Stephen B. Chapman, associate professor of Old Testament, Duke University
Richard S. Briggs is the director of biblical studies and hermeneutics at Cranmer Hall, St. John’s College, Durham University. He is the author of Words in Action: Speech Act Theory and Biblical Interpretation andReading the Bible Wisely.
Joel N. Lohr is university chaplain and director of religious life at the University of the Pacific.
Genesis’ women played a vital part in shaping Israel’s foundation, growth, and development, but most exegetes have not given them adequate attention—until now. Through a fresh close reading, respected Hebrew scholar Tammi Schneider examines the roles and functions of these women who, with the men, form the basis for the future of Israel.
Schneider looks at each woman’s story from various angles and within the context of her relationships Genesis’ messageas a whole. Allowing the details of the text to challenge traditional readings, Schneider also includes ancient Near Eastern background material and archaeological insights for a fresh reading of familiar stories. Sections cover the matriarchs (from Sarah to Rachel), mothers of potential heirs (including those who threaten the promise), mothers before the promise, and women who do not bear children but still play a role. Women not often discussed, such as the wives of Lamech and Esau, are included. The result is a creative and reliable discussion to supplement studies of Genesis and of the roles and importance of women in the Bible.
Schneider’s extensive study of the women in Genesis revitalizes and enhances the current understanding of these women and the book of Genesis as a whole. . . . It has the potential to be used as a textbook for a variety of courses, yet it is thorough, well-documented, and deals with the original language of the text and thus is a good resource for further scholarly research.
—Review of Biblical Literature
With remarkable clarity, precise detail, lucid thought, comprehensive research, and careful attention to text and translation, Tammi Schneider offers scholars and students a marvelous and intriguing volume that brings to life the women of Genesis. This beautifully crafted text raises new questions and presents new insights, especially with regard to the male characters in Genesis. Schneider’s work makes a brilliant contribution to the field of biblical and gender studies.
—Carol J. Dempsey, associate professor of theology, University of Portland
You might be tempted to think that over the past couple of decades everything that could be said about the women in Genesis has been said. Tammi Schneider shows that this is not so, bringing a whole new set of questions and making it possible for us to see some quite new things.
—John Goldingay, David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary
Tammi Schneider has marshaled impressive amounts of raw data to re-examine two dozen female characters in the book of Genesis. Using an innovative method that focuses primary attention on the precise wording of each woman’s appearance(s) in Genesis, Schneider investigates each character with both passion and rigor. Readers who have grown too complacent in their putative understandings of these literary figures will find fresh breezes rustling every page of this study.
—R. Christopher Heard, associate professor of religion, Pepperdine University
Many interpreters of the book of Genesis, conscious of the male preference obvious within the stories, argue that the women portrayed there serve men’s goals. This position might describe the way many stories seem to unfold but it ignores the fact that Genesis, indeed the entire Bible, really highlights God’s goals. Schneider’s reading of several biblical stories shows how God works through women to accomplish these ends. . . . [Her] approach brings the women alive in new and exciting ways. The book is meant for readers who have some basic knowledge of biblical analysis. It will also make a fine contribution to the area of gender studies.
[Schneider] complements familiar observations on women’s roles in Genesis with several new insights. Notably she challenges the utility of the category ‘matriarchs,’ rephrasing questions of inheritance rights, attending to the nuances of the Hebrew, and adducing possible connections between biblical narrative and ancient Near Eastern legal custom. . . . Schneider’s ‘new method’ of ‘verbing the character’. . . yield[s] intriguing readings concerning women’s generally positive relationships to each other and to Israel’s Deity, as well as their surprisingly negative relationships to their husbands and fathers. This volume will be especially useful for church and synagogue adult education programs. . . . Recommended. General readers; upper-level undergraduates and above.
Schneider’s extensive study of the women in Genesis revitalizes and enhances the current understanding of these women and the book of Genesis as a whole. This work serves to demonstrate how inadequate the term ‘Patriarchal History’ is to describe these texts and revolutionizes the way this biblical book should be read. . . . [Schneider] has presented a very convincing and complete portrait of the women in Genesis. This book provides several services to the academic community. It has the potential to be used as a textbook for a variety of courses, yet it is thorough, well-documented, and deals with the original language of the text and thus is a good resource for further scholarly research.
Tammi J. Schneider is a professor of religion at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. She is the author of Sarah: Mother of Nations and a commentary on Judges in the Berit Olam series.