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A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament


Mark W. Hamilton

16 August 2018

ISBN: 9780190203115

432 pages

Price: £28.49


Ancient Israel's Scriptures have exerted worldwide influence for more than two millennia. They explore human experience, including the human longing for the divine, through the powerful media of story, ritual, wisdom, and prophecy. This book retraces the Bible's exploration and shows how not only its conclusions but the steps taken to reach them still matter.

  • Comprehensive treatment; each Old Testament book discussed
  • Considers the theological meanings of the text as well as historical and literary
  • Ties the structure of the books into their meaning
  • Discusses community identity, openness to others, the importance of clear moral commitments

About the Author(s)

Mark W. Hamilton, Professor of the Old Testament, Abilene Christian University

Mark Hamilton has taught Hebrew Bible at Abilene Christian University since 2000. He has been a visiting professor in South Korea, New Zealand, and Croatia, as well as lecturing in many parts of the United States. He enjoys working with students of many cultures as they explore together the meanings of the ancient Israelite texts for life today.

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: Introduction
    Chapter 2: The Pentateuch in Brief
    Chapter 3: "In the Beginning": The Book of Genesis
    Chapter 4: Rescue and Renewal: The Book of Exodus
    Chapter 5: On Holiness and Life: The Book of Leviticus
    Chapter 6: In the Desert: The book of Numbers
    Chapter 7: On Memory and Action: The Book of Deuteronomy
    Chapter 8: Israelite Historiography
    Chapter 9: A New Land and a New People: The Book of Joshua
    Chapter 10: Seeking Order Amid Chaos: The Book of Judges
    Chapter 11: Ruth, the Model Convert
    Chapter 12: "God, King, and People": 1-2 Samuel
    Chapter 13: The Triumph and Tragedy of Monarchy: 1-2 Kings
    Chapter 14: 1-2 Chronicles
    Chapter 15: Ezra and Nehemiah: Finding Life After Death
    Chapter 16: The Queen of Comedies: The Book of Esther
    Chapter 17: Poetic and Wisdom Texts
    Chapter 18: God as Defendant and Plaintiff: The Book of Job
    Chapter 19: The Praises and Laments of Israel: The Book of Psalms
    Chapter 20: Proverbs: Wisdom and the Order of the World
    Chapter 21: Ecclesiastes: Doubt as an Order of Faith
    Chapter 22: Love in the Air: The Song of Songs
    Chapter 23: Introduction to the Prophetic Books
    Chapter 24: Isaiah, the Prophet of Salvation
    Chapter 25: Not Just a Weeping Prophet: Jeremiah
    Chapter 26: Mourning a Lost World, the Book of Lamentations
    Chapter 27: Ezekiel the Prophet of the Rebuilt Temple
    Chapter 28: Keeping Faith in a Distant Land: The Book of Daniel
    Chapter 29: The Twelve Minor Prophets
    Chapter 30: The Secondary Canon
    Chapter 31: What's It All About?


"a fine entry in the genre ... Students will come away from this book knowing the basic plots, structure, and contents of the books of the Old Testament. Intended as a textbook, this book will also serve well as a secondary resource tool ... Recommended." - J. W. Wright, CHOICE

"This introduction to the Old Testament is a fine achievement; it could make an effective textbook for Christian colleges and seminaries and a useful reference work in other contexts." - John Goldingay, Fuller Theological Seminary, Review of Biblical Literature

"Any author who attempts to write a theological introduction to the OT in the space of 388 pages takes on a herculean task. H. acquits himself well....H. has turned out a very commendable book for students" - Norman S. Wilson, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

"Hamilton's introduction is a foremost accomplishment. It will maintain a long life as a stellar means of comprehending the OT." - Thomas H. Olbricht, Restoration Quarterly

"I highly recommend this text to pastors, Sunday School teachers, and interested laypersons who endeavor to read the Old Testament in its entirety, and to teach and preach from the Old Testament as well." - Joseph A. Deering, Reading Religion