Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"The Meaning of the Pentateuch"

One of the great privileges I had while in seminary was taking a class in Old Testament Theology from Dr. John Sailhamer. That particular class helped me more in my understanding of the O.T. than anything else ever has.

Dr. Sailhamer has taken what he taught in that O.T. Theology class and put it in book form for all to enjoy. In The Meaning of the Pentateuch - Revelation, Composition, and Interpretation, Dr. Sailhamer looks in-depth at the biblical meaning of the first five books of the bible. The wealth of information is immense. Just the introduction would be worth the cost.

Here is my favorite quote from the book:
"The purpose of the Pentateuch is not to teach a life of obedience to the law given to Moses at Sinai, but to be a narrative admonition to be like Abraham, who did not live under the law and yet fulfilled the law through a life of faith. The Pentateuch is a lesson drawn from the lives of its two leading men, Abraham and Moses. The Pentateuch lays out two fundamentally dissimilar ways of 'Walking with God' (Deut. 29:1): one is to be like Moses under the Sinai law, and is called the 'Sinai covenant'; the other, like that of Abraham (Gen. 15:6), is by faith and apart from the law, and is called the 'new covenant.' These two central themes (law and faith) are played out in the Pentateuch and into the prophetic literature as a contrast of two covenants, Mosaic and Abrahamic, or law and gospel." (page 14)
This is a long book (about 600 pages) which is fairly complex at times. However, it is worth the effort. If you are patient, it will be a goldmine for you in the theology of the Old Testament.

Order it here.