The Word Became Fresh
"I am a bit puzzled over why many Christians seem to think the Old Testament is such a 'problem.' I know the usual answers to that, but I can find many of the same 'difficulties' with the New Testament. What...
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"I am a bit puzzled over why many Christians seem to think the Old Testament is such a 'problem.' I know the usual answers to that, but I can find many of the same 'difficulties' with the New Testament. What I am not so puzzled about is why some pastors and teachers are perplexed about expounding Old Testament texts. For nearly two hundred years a sceptical brand of Old Testament criticism has largely held sway in our universities and divinity halls; it 'un-godded' the Old Testament, implied the Old Testament documents were extremely complex and involved, and managed to make Old Testament studies mostly boring, lifeless, and dull. Of course the occasional student finds this high priestly craft of Old Testament criticism attractive but many simply write the Old Testament off. If it's as complicated as they have been taught then it is far too bewildering and esoteric for them to bother about - except for dipping into the Psalms for occasional funerals.
I'm not on a crusade against the villains of Old Testament studies. One learns even from the 'villains.' And there have been far more hopeful signs in Old Testament studies in recent years. But I still believe that traditional Old Testament criticism has had the effect of killing the Old Testament for the church. This little tome can hardly reverse that, but it is meant as an exercise in reading the Old Testament for fun and profit. As my mother-in-law used to say, 'It's different anyway.' And maybe it will help.
Most of what I do in the following pages involves discussing examples of Old Testament narratives. I have tried to select examples from a broad range of possibilities. By the way, I assume that you have the biblical text handy in order to carry on your 'Berean' work."
Dale Ralph Davis
Dale Ralph Davis is a Presbyterian pastor, and has served as Professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi. He is a gifted communicator, bringing the Old Testament to life in a number of popular commentaries that blend scholarly expertise with wit and practical application. Davis and his wife now live in rural Tennessee.