Many Christians struggle to make sense of the Old Testament. If you fall into this camp, you're not alone. Its not easy, let's face it. Peter Gentry's new book, How to Read & Understand the Old Testament Prophets is a great read and one that can assist the Bible reader with comprehension of the O.T.
is not a scholarly work. It is written in simple language that even the
newest of believers will understand. It will open the door to some of
the most difficult passages to wrap your head around and perhaps provide
a new perspective on some of those same passages.
and studying the Bible may not be straightforward for readers with a
modern and Western background in culture and language. The biblical
texts in origin are ancient and Eastern— they come from a different
culture and a different time. Kindle Location 168). Crossway.
of the highlights of the volume is acquiring an understanding of the
difference between modern western literature and that of ancient Hebrew
literature. There is a vast chasm between the two that most readers
today are unaware of. Moreover, Hebrew authors employed the recursive
The normal pattern of Hebrew literature is to consider topics in a
recursive manner, which means that a topic is progressively repeated.
Such an approach seems monotonous to those who do not know and
understand how these texts communicate. (Kindle Location 172). Crossway.
Grasping these two points will do much to enhance the reading and study enjoyment for the modern Bible reader.
Gentry continues, he offers specific and valuable examples from the
O.T., often from Isaiah. These examples will do much to increase the
reader's grasp of the prophets. Word pairs, triplets, typology,
metaphors, symbolic language and especially apocalyptic language are
subjects covered with enough clarity that the reader will derive an
enhanced ability to engage with the OT authors.
Of most import, why was this written for us? What was the ultimate purpose?
major purpose of the Old Testament prophets was to bring the people
back to faithful love and loyalty to Yahweh in the covenant relationship
established at Sinai (Exodus 19– 24) and renewed at Moab
(Deuteronomy). (Kindle Locations 446-447). Crossway.
can recommend this book with great enthusiasm. Not all of Scripture is
perspicuous and this book will be an indispensable aid to those who wish
to delve further and more deeply in the study of the O.T.
Crossway has provided a complimentary copy of this book through Beyond the Page.
For further reading and study
Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament: Exegesis and Interpretation by G. K. Beale
Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament by D. A. Carson & G.K. Beale