Harrison, writing from a conservative point of view, offers a thorough guide to the Old Testament for both scholar and novice. Thoroughly researched and fully documented, this superb volume begins with a lengthy section on the history of the criticism of the Old Testament, viewing the Hebrew Scriptures in the light of archaeology, chronology, history, religion and theology. Various views are presented regarding such issues as the authorship of the Pentateuch, the extent of the Deluge, and the date of the Exodus. This is followed by a detailed discussion of each Old Testament book, paying close attention to its historical background, authorship, and principal ideas. Harrison’s Introduction to the Old Testament also contains a lucid overview of the books in the Apocrypha, which has been included chiefly for Protestants who may never have had occasion to study these books and their influence on early Judaism.
Harrison’s Old Testament Introduction is the finest thing I have ever seen….In the forty years I taught Old Testament Introduction I never found a book I could recommend to my students. I am now heartily recommending this one.
—James L. Kelso, Professor Emeritus, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Harrison’s historical introduction regarding the past and present in Old Testament studies would be worth the purchase price of this volume. It is thorough and well done. However, following this is a marvelous evangelical statement of how the Old Testament was put together and how each book arrived at its present condition, plus an introduction to its theology and purpose. Harrison’s book is a standard and rightfully so. Read this book carefully, and then read it again.
—Rev. John D. White
Roland Harrison (1920-1993) received his Bachelor of Divinity, an M.Th. and a Ph.D. from the University of London. He was Professor of Old Testament at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto and was the General Editor of the New International Commentary on the Old Testament. He is the author of Old Testament Times and Biblical Hebrew.