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4.8 out of 5 stars24
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 28 February 1999
If you only want to buy one book to assist your study of the Old Testament, then this is the one! Well set out, with plenty of graphics and time-lines to please the eye and help you picture what it is you are reading about. Knowledgable and informative, the book succesfully avoids the pitfalls of being too 'academic', but provides plenty of margin references for you to go direct to the biblical text being commented on. A first-rate study aid.
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on 14 July 2006
I agree wholeheartedly with the next reviewer: if you only get one book on the Old Testament, get this one.

John Drane has the knack of writing about complex theological issues in an easily digestible way. When you consider how difficult it is to read a Matthew Henry commentary you'll appreciate how very well this is laid out. Chapters are divided into main headings with various, clearly separated `Special Articles' (in a different type face) which offer more detailed scholarly considerations:

For instance, Chapter 3 - `A Land Flowing with Milk and Honey' - begins the record of the history of Israel proper. The main text begins with a section entitled `Canaan and it's history' (p62) and later (p84) comes the Special Article entitled `The deuteronomic history'. This article details Martin Noth's hypothesis that all the OT books from Joshua to Kings were edited together by the same person or group that compiled Deuteronomy (i.e. the Deuteronomist/s). This information may not be important to everyone (though I find it fascinating!) but if that doesn't appeal, it's easy to skip a Special Article without feeling like you've missed anything crucial from the main text.

Drane clearly and fairly spells out each school of thought, and when he agrees with one hypothesis over another, he says so openly and why. This book is a gem for starting OT study and really should be considered a `must read' title by anyone and everyone interested in Christianity.
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on 29 September 2009
As someone in training for ministry (as a Reader in the Church of England), this book is on the recommended reading list.

I can only agree with another reviewer of this thoughful and insightful book that it "could not be bettered as a plain guide to the principal ideas of the Old Testament". The author teaches practical theology and throughout you get a real sense that the ideas presented (especially those on ethical concerns) can and should be applied and lived out by Christians today. And that if done, can and will positively impact the world we live in.

Excellent book.
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Introducing the Old Testament is a great book. Full of details, pictures and maps. If you only want to have one Old Testament reference book then this is the one!

What makes this book so good is that it makes the Old Testament come alive - it becomes 'real'. The people whose story is in the book did live they had lives and as such have so much to tell us now.
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on 19 September 2010
This is a first class book on the Old Testament. I can highly recommend it to anyone who would like to know more about the history behind the Old Testament and the ancient nation of Israel. Professor Drane makes the historical material very accessible to everyone, no matter what their academic background, and it was a delight to read!
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on 6 December 2010
I have just starded studying theology and this one was the most recommended book. It gave me a new view of the facts of the Old Testament and it's very accurate a easy to understand.

Recommended 100%
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on 29 October 2011
This has got to be one of the best introductory texts to the OT. Drane covers the ground comprehensively using an easy to read style with lots of pictures, photographs and maps. By the end of it I had a much better grasp of the OT - who wrote what and why they wrote it (it being each Book!). It has left me with a much clearer understanding of the interconnectedness with the New Testament. A joy to read. Thoroughly recommend it.
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on 6 April 2016
A good, balanced, academic book, that is also very readable. A really good introduction to the O.T. well worth buying if you are interested in the background of the O.T. as it gives lots of researched historical details, therefore helping you understand the books of the O.T. in context.
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on 6 February 2013
This book is very informative. Pieces together all those things you may have learnt at school and discusses there significance. A brilliant book from a historical prospective.
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on 25 September 2011
The new edition is clear and well set out. The maps and illustrations are integrated into the text and relevant. A great improvement on the previous edition.
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