Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Bible of the Apostles

The Old Testament often gets a bad rap. The stories are said to be unbelievable, excessively harsh, or gruesome.

And some consider much of the Old Testament as being nearly unreadable, Leviticus often being cited as an example, especially in the King James Version.

Besides, many believe, the Old Testament is the old covenant that is supposed to have passed away with all things becoming new in the New Testament.

Having been brain-addled by relentless consumer marketing our entire lives, we are convinced that new is always better than old.

So, if we accept the Bible as worthwhile at all, we revel in the writings of Paul, John, Matthew, Mark, James, Peter, and all the other new, fresher faces behind the New Testament.

If we dabble at all in the Old, it’s merely to sing the poetry of the Psalms and mine wisdom nuggets from Proverbs. Oh, and the Song of Solomon has some good bits that are useful at weddings and such.

In the introduction of his book Christian Faith in the Old Testament: The Bible of the Apostles (Thomas Nelson) Gareth Lee Cockerill points out that when we diss the Old Testament, “Our God shrinks because we no longer see the majesty of his creation, the grandeur of his work in history, or the glory of his salvation in Christ.”

Cockerill then offers up a sweeping foundational overview of the 39 books of the Old Testament in only nine chapters, the final being a brief overview of the New Testament.

He points out that the Old Testament was the Bible for Jesus and his followers, explaining that if it was important to them it should be important to us.

While not a gripping read, the book does help make the Old Testament more accessible and relevant to the non-scholar. Feel free to read it straight through or jump to the chapters covering books and themes you want to know more about.

If you’ve never read the Old Testament in its entirety or are rusty in your appreciation of the Old Testament themes and stories, you may find this book useful and refreshing.

NOTE: To comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255): I selected this book to review and received it free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

How much of the Old Testament have you read? What are your favorite Old Testament stories or passages? How often does your pastor preach from the Old Testament?

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