The pace of modern life leaves many of us feeling that we don't have very much available time. When it comes to learning more about the Bible and in this case the Old Testament, many people have good intentions, but often feel intimidated by the subject matter or bound by their lack of available time. If this sounds like you, then I'd highly recommend this small book. At only 96 pages, you will be able to finish reading it (minus the appendixes) in little more than an hour.
Mark's focus in this book is to provide the reader with a succinct introduction to the entire Old Testament that will both encourage and inspire you to read it for yourself. Many readers will relate to the stories Mark recounts in the introduction about his early experiences with reading the Old Testament and how this book grew out of the many questions he has answered on the subject during his time in ministry. In chapter 1, following a brief introduction to the Bible as a whole, Mark focuses on 9 common questions he has been asked about the Old Testament. They are as follows:
1. Who wrote the Old Testament?
2. What does the Old Testament say about the Old Testament?
3. What does the New Testament say about the Old Testament?
4. What does Jesus say about the Old Testament?
5. How were the Old Testament books chosen as scripture?
6. What is the central message of the Old Testament?
7. How did we get the Old Testament in English?
8. Why are there different Bible translations?
9. How can I get the most out of the Old Testament?
Chapter 2 is concerned with how somebody might go about reading the Old Testament. In this chapter, Mark breaks down the various kinds of literature found in the Old Testament. He also gives a short overview of the theme and purpose of each Old Testament book.
The book closes with 2 appendixes. Appendix 1 talks about the importance of in-depth Bible study and makes many great resource suggestions for building your own theological library. Appendix 2 has a Bible reading checklist that the reader can use to keep track of their progress in reading through the Old Testament.
Let me conclude by saying that this great little book covers a lot of ground in less than 100 pages. Non-believers, new Christians, and even seasoned Christians will benefit from reading this book. Mark's writing style is engaging and clear, making this topic accessible for any reader of any experience level with the Old Testament. The price point also makes this a reasonable resource to share your friends and family.
Mark Driscoll is the founding pastor of Mars Hill church [[...] in Seattle. He is also co-founder and president of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network [[...] Mark has penned an ever-growing list of books including: A book you'll actually read series, Vintage Jesus, Death by Love (Sept. 30, 2008), and others. Mark is married to his high school sweetheart Grace. They have been blessed with 5 children.