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Wednesday, October 05, 2005 

Old Testament Reading

Two books that I am working through that both deal with Old Testament theology are one I'd like to highly recommend. Both books come at the Old Testament with a biblical theology stance. While all theology tries to be biblical (at least, all good theology tries to be biblical), biblical theology is an attempt to deal with the text in a certain way.

The first book to consider is Dominion and Dynasty by Stephen G. Dempster. A review at Beginning With Moses reads,

Christian theologians rarely study the Old Testament in its final Hebrew canonical form, even though this was very likely the Bible used by Jesus and the early church. However, once read as a whole, the larger structure of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) provides a wide-angle lens' through which its contents can be viewed. In this stimulating exposition, Stephen Dempster argues that, despite its undoubted literary diversity, the Hebrew Bible possesses a remarkable structural and conceptual unity. The various genres and books are place within a comprehensive narrative framework which provides and overarching literary and historical context. The many texts contribute to this larger text, and find their meaning and significance within its story of 'dominion and dynasty', which ranges from Adam to the Son of Man to David, and to a coming Davidic king.
I agree with this idea. Dempster's strenths lie in familiarity with Near-Eastern context and ancient Semitic textual interests. Weaknesses include a large debt to the current scholastic ethos. All in all, an excellent read.

The other work is entitled, A House For My Name, and is authored by Peter Leithart. Leithart is a PCA pastor in Idaho. This books strength is seeing a continuity and typology even within the Old Testament that brooks the pattern established between the Testaments. Therefore, Elijah is a type of Moses and a foreshadowing of Christ, while all the while both Moses and Elijah seek to establish the precedent that is Jesus, the final Word and revelation of God in the New Testament.

While there are few weaknesses in the book, it may be appropriate to guard cautiously against some of Leithart's other work when it comes to justification or soteriology. While I have not found anything yet in his corpus to think him heterodox, Leithart has not always kept the best theological company. Also, I admit that I have not read Leithart where he has the tendency to be the most volatile, namely, on Federal Theology. However, this reading is - as far as I can tell - highly orthodox and faithful to the Scriptures.

While it is recommended by the author as for junior high in an education setting, I found the read enjoyable and helpful, especially with questions and review at the end of each chapter. While not advanced seminary reading, many families and serious students of the Word will find this helpful.


Transplanted from the artic blight of Minnesota to the sunny paradise of SoCal, I am attending school and learning to say "dude." I like to think of myself as equal parts surf rash, Batman, heavy metal, Levinas, poetic license, and reformational. Other than creating blund blogs, I enjoy reading, sporting, and socializing with serious and funny people.
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