Old Testament History Summary

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How old is the earth? What is the Bible’s historical timeline? Does the Bible contain only historical facts? Does the Bible contain any historical facts? Is there a reason Jews spoke Hebrew in the Old Testament era, yet some Jews spoke Greek in the New Testament era? These are the types of questions a reader may think through when reading John H. Sailhamer’s book Old Testament History. Graduating with a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, as well an M.A. and Ph.D. from University of California at Los Angeles; Sailhamer is currently professor of Old Testament Studies at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also the author of titles such as: NIV Compact Bible Commentary, The Meaning of the Pentateuch, and An Introduction to Old…show more content…
Sailhamer does not get far into his book without first defining the terms he is using, e.g., he explains what the terms Bible and history mean. His introduction takes the reader through topics like: what the Bible is (9), what history is (10), how the Bible and history fit together (11), and why one should study biblical history (13). Sailhamer makes sure his readers understand that, even though there are many individual stories within the Bible, the Bible is telling one story, i.e., the Bible tells “a single story” (9). He also wants his readers to know that archaeological evidence is not opposed to the history of the Bible––archaeology can boost the claims of the Bible…show more content…
The reader would be helped to see a timeline (with Biblical events) from when the Old Testament was first written to when the last book of the Old Testament was written¬––i.e., to be able to look up where in history each book of the bible took place. One problem that readers of the Bible sometimes find themselves is where they are in biblical history (when reading any particularly Old Testament book); so some type of chart would help readers of this book. Most of the information in this book could easily be found in a good study Bible (e.g. the English Standard Version Study Bible, or the New International Version Zondervan Study Bible), so this is not necessarily a book that stands out. The strength of this book is in its short size for easy accessibility; the weakness is that if one already has a good study Bible (or commentary), this will not be anything special or needed.
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