Although I posted this review a while back in a forgotten corner of my blog (Book Reviews), this book seemed worth drawing a bit more attention to. The partner volume to Kregel’s What the New Testament Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Their Writings (2008) – which, for the record, has better cover art – this OT survey is a gem.
I say “survey” because this text is not exactly an introduction. That is to say, there is not much in-depth treatment of critical issues like dating, questions of textual growth, Israelite religious history (i.e. Religionswissenschaft), or even authorship. That last one may come as a surprise, considering the title of the book, but the volume’s introduction makes its purpose clear: to present “the essence of what is revealed in the Old Testament, with a conscious eye toward the fulfillment found in Jesus as clarified in the New Testament” (13).
Moreover, this is done explicitly “from a conservative, evangelical perspective” (23). As I note in my review, in the understanding of the contributors, the Old Testament is the progressive revelatory foundation of the New Testament, which itself behaves “like an answer key in the back of a math textbook” (14).
What I like most about this book is its practicality. Although it would not serve well as a text for an advanced college-level or graduate course (precisely because of its lack of detail in critical matters), I do think What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About provides a helpful theological overview of the OT. DeRouchie has done an admirable job making the book usable for laymen, students and teachers alike with his KINGDOM acronym (see right). By breaking Old and New Testaments into distinct historical and thematic sections, the book makes the content of Scripture much more managable and cogently presented.
Enough Already: The Review
Without going on any further, you can read my review in full here, which was just published in the Westminster Theological Journal, vol. 46, no. 2 (Fall 2014).