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Exploring the Old Testament: The Pentateuch: Pentateuch Volume 1: Pentateuch Vol 1 Paperback – 22 Aug 2003

4.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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  • Exploring the Old Testament: The Pentateuch: Pentateuch Volume 1: Pentateuch Vol 1
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  • Exploring the Old Testament: The Prophets Volume 4
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  • Exploring the Old Testament: Volume 3: The Psalms and Wisdom Literature: Psalms and Wisdom Vol 3
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: SPCK Publishing (22 Aug. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0281054290
  • ISBN-13: 978-0281054299
  • Product Dimensions: 18.6 x 1.2 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 95,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Gordon Wenham studied theology at Cambridge, London (King's College), Jerusalem (Ecole Biblique), and Harvard University. He is Professor of Old Testament at the University of Gloucestershire, England. Among his writings are commentaries on Genesis, Leviticus and Numbers.


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Exactly what wasrequired
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Format: Paperback
This book provides a great entry level text book for students who are looking to explore the Pentateuch in detail. Gordon Wenham has a extensive background in this area of scholarship, but his writing style is clear and accessible whilst dealing with the issues that scholarship has to raise around these texts. The book is readable throughout, but doesn't lose sight of the key aspects of the text in an attempt to maintain clarity. Perfect cost and content for an introductory textbook for those unfamiliar with the debates of scholarship.

Wenham holds his own interpretations, but he attempts to represent other view points fairly, allowing the reader to think through the issues that the text presents and come to their own conclusions. Digging deeper boxes throughout the chapters aim to pose questions that will make the reader think these things through as they progress.

While some may be frustrated by the way the book appears to steer a path between views rather than take sides, my impression was that the book helps to clarify without oversimplifying different positions in a way that can help students from different traditions understand what other people think.
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Format: Paperback
The Exploring the Old Testament (as well as Exploring the New Testament) Series, has similar goals to the "Encountering Biblical Study Series," and the "Teach the Text Series." Each of these series focuses on providing the beginning Bible student with an overview of a certain book or certain portion of Scripture. The goal is to introduce the reader to the main teachings and issues involved. The biggest difference with the Exploring the Old Testament Series is that it focuses on larger blocks of Scripture (The Pentateuch, the Historical Books, etc.). The author of this volume, Gordon Wenham is Senior Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at the University of Gloucestershire and is currently lecturing at Trinity College, Bristol. Ever since his commentary on Leviticus in the New International Commentary Series published in the late 70s, Wenham has been a favorite author and commentator of mine. You can always expect to learn something new. His books are always insightful and clearly written.
Contents
For a book with only 199 pages of text, Wenham covers a lot of territory and packs in a lot of information! There are 11 chapters (including a 1 page "Epilogue"). Chapter 1 begins by asking, "What is the Pentateuch? Basic Features." Wenham discusses the name, the genre, why there are 5 books, and other introductory questions. Chapters 2-7 present an overview of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Each chapter looks at particular issues and problems related to each book, and gives a chapter by chapter commentary over the entire book. The reason that it takes 6 chapters to discuss 5 books is because Wenham spends 2 chapters on Genesis (dividing his discussion between Genesis 1-11 and then 12-50).
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An easy read to start before going into my course texts - great background and basic introductions which makes my course books Eire to understand. Well written, engaging. Pitched very well.
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A great book with easy typeface and layout. Helpful information boxes and thought points help to guide the reader. Must not be considered as an alternative to reading the actual Torah, however very useful for students and the average reader.
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