Products>From Paradise to the Promised Land: An Introduction to the Pentateuch, 3rd ed.

From Paradise to the Promised Land: An Introduction to the Pentateuch, 3rd ed.

Format: Digital
ISBN: 9780801039980


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.

The Logos Bible Software edition of this volume is designed to encourage and stimulate your study and understanding of Scripture. Biblical passages link directly to your English translations and original-language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. In addition, you can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about the Word of God.

Key Features

  • Provides an introduction to the Pentateuch and its criticism
  • Discusses emerging forms of criticism including the Documentary Hypothesis
  • Examines main themes and ideas within the Pentateuch


  • Part 1: Pentateuchal Criticism
    • Introduction to Pentateuchal Criticism
    • The Rise of the Documentary Hypothesis
    • Going behind the Documents
    • The Documentary Hypothesis under Threat
    • The Sinai Narrative—A Test Case
    • The Future of Pentateuchal Studies
  • Part 2: The Main Themes of the Pentateuch
    • An Overview of the Pentateuch
    • God’s Temple-City
    • The Royal Lineage in Genesis
    • The Blessing of the Nations
    • Paradise Lost
    • By Faith Abraham . . .
    • Who Is the Lord?
    • The Passover
    • The Covenant at Sinai
    • The Tabernacle
    • Be Holy
    • The Sacrificial System
    • The Clean and the Unclean Foods
    • Toward the Promised Land
    • Murmurings
    • Love and Loyalty
    • Why Israel?
    • The Pentateuch and the Biblical Metanarrative

Praise for the Print Edition

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.

Gordon J. Wenham, professor emeritus, University of Gloucestershire

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.

John Goldingay, David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament School of Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary

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, professor of Old Testament theology, 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.

Biblical Booklist

[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.

Concordia Journal

Product Details

  • Title: From Paradise to the Promised Land: An Introduction to the Pentateuch
  • Edition: 3rd
  • Author: T. Desmond Alexander
  • Publisher: Baker
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 384

About T. Desmond Alexander

T. Desmond Alexander is director of Christian training at Union Theological College in Belfast, Northern Ireland. From 1980 to 1999, he was lecturer in Semitic studies at the Queen’s University of Belfast. His main field of research is the Pentateuch, about which he has written extensively in academic journals and books. Alexander also has a special interest in the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. He is the author of From Paradise to the Promised Land: An Introduction to the Main Themes of the Pentateuch and Abraham in the Negev, and he is a coeditor (with Brian S. Rosner) of the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology (IVP, 2000), available from Logos.