Book Review – Ancient Israel’s History: An Introduction to Issues and Sources (24/6)

I’m really out of depth when it comes to the Old Testament, however I am keen to grow in this area, and thus wanted to read this book to help me grow in my understanding of the Old Testament especially of it’s historical context.

Ancient Israel's History: An Introduction to Issues and SourcesThis reference material therefore comes as a very helpful tool in this pursuit. To be frank, having very little exposure to the current research of the Old Testament, this book seemed at first to be an insurmountable task, this was not helped by the introduction which was slightly technical.

However, as I ploughed through the various chapters I found them to be very readable and informative. The authors reviews several scholars on the various books of the bible, bringing to the readers a summary and history of what has been discuss in the scholastic world. Each book of the bible is given an in-depth review and also contains many helpful side-notes that help illuminates various topics that are relevant to the biblical book (e.g.  the ANE city of Alalakh in Genesis or the Role the Sinaitic Covenant played in Israel). What was very helpful was also the fact that each chapter aims to give a rough guide to the whole biblical book instead of just providing the background materials. So as one reads through Genesis, one will be given additional information on the various events in Genesis as it progresses along.

Although it has been very helpful, I do find that this book is meant for Old Testament scholars or seminary students. Lay persons will benefit from this, but will need to be prepared to work through the materials. For pastors who intends to do a preaching series on the Old Testament, they can consider to consult the chapter on the book they are going to preach. As it stands, the book is around 460 pages (not counting the 100 pages of references material) which can be daunting for many. But, for those who really want to grow in their understanding of the Old Testament, or are pursuing a research topic in the Old Testament, it book will be of much value too them.

Rating: 4.25 / 5

If you’re interested, you can get it here and here (free international shipping), Kindle.

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review