This book is very different to many books on the Old Testament. The purpose is not to outline individual books or give their historical backgrounds (for that see How to Read the Bible Book by Book: A Guided Tour
or The Message of the Old Testament
). Instead it's aim is to make you passionate about reading the Old Testament. Does Motyer succeed?
Loving the Old Testament has a number of strengths.All the chapters really are bitesize, which means it won't take long to get through the book. Moreover, Motyer also has a really infectious passion for the Old Testament which at a number of points really encouraged me to want to read it for myself. Finally Motyer made clear how to read the Old Testament in a Christ-centred way, which was incredibly encouraging for a Christian reader.
However, I did have one concern. Motyer seemed to forget on occasions that he is a scholar who is more gifted than the average reader. His idea that if we read Isaiah enough, we should be able to spot the complex structural elements is probably a bit beyond the reach of most of us mere mortals! This and a few other elements could put off a younger Christian and the book would be stronger if they had been left out.
So did this book help me love the Old Testament? Yes it did. Motyer's passion really helped me look at the Old Testament with new eyes and want to read it more frequently. Don't be put off this gifted scholar occasionally getting a little carried away. We might not be able to get all he gets from the text but we certainly can experience the joys of the Old Testament for ourselves.