The purpose of studying the Old Testament is to understand God and his redemptive work more fully. However, this goal is complicated by the fact that it was transmitted through a very different language and culture from our own. A Survey of the Old Testament provides an indispensable guide for undergraduate students and other readers by exploring the literary, historical, and theological issues behind the Old Testament and its various books.
For each Old Testament book, the Survey addresses background information, purpose, message, structure, and major themes. Chapters introducing each major section of the Old Testament are included, as are chapters dealing with issues of interpretation, geography, archaeology, history, formation of the Old Testament canon, and the Old Testament’s relationship to the New Testament. The text is enhanced throughout by maps, photos, timelines, and charts. This full-color third edition of a widely acclaimed textbook has been expanded and redesigned in both text and graphical elements, making it even more beneficial.
“As God’s self-revelation, the objective of the Old Testament is that the reader comes to know God better.” (Page 21)
“The Old Testament, then, should be viewed as a presentation of God’s attributes in action. We can know who God is and what he is like by hearing what he has done and intends to do. Once we know who he is and what he is like, the appropriate responses are worship, commitment, and service.” (Pages 22–23)
“More than six hundred laws are contained in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The purpose of the biblical legislation was to order and regulate the moral, religious or ceremonial, and civil life of Israel in accordance with the holiness necessary for maintaining the covenant relationship with Yahweh.” (Page 62)
“Today biblical scholars acknowledge that poetry comprises about one-third of the Hebrew Old Testament.” (Page 376)
“The point of the Genesis narrative is to establish that Yahweh was sovereignly pursuing a plan of history.” (Pages 83–84)
I have used Hill & Walton’s A Survey of the Old Testament from the very first edition to the current third edition because students have responded very positively to it and give the textbook a high rating. It is especially effective for introducing students from traditional church backgrounds to the new world of higher criticism. In discussing more controversial topics such as ‘The Composition of the Pentateuch,’ various viewpoints are represented fairly.
—Andrew Lee, Adjunct Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary & New Brunswick Theological Seminary
The one-year Bible and Israel Program in our University has been consistently using A Survey of the Old Testament. We find the text informative, concise, and trustworthy with a high view of Scripture and an appreciation for Ancient Near East studies. In addition, the graphics provide our students with photos of biblical landscapes, illuminating charts, and important archaeological discoveries. This is one textbook that our students want to keep.
—William L. Krewson, Director of the Bible and Israel Program, Philadelphia Biblical University
Andrew E. Hill (PhD, University of Michigan) is professor of Old Testament studies at Wheaton College in Illinois. He is the author of Malachi in the Anchor Bible commentary series. His articles have appeared in such scholarly publications as Hebrew Annual Review, Journal of Biblical Literature, and Vetus Testamentum.
John H. Walton (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College Graduate School. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including Chronological and Background Charts of the Old Testament; Ancient Israelite Literature in Its Cultural Context; Covenant: God’s Purpose, God’s Plan; and The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament.