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From Paradise to the Promised Land: An Introduction to the Pentateuch [Kindle Edition]

T. Desmond Alexander

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Book Description

This new edition includes updated references and added material that reflect recent pentateuchal research as well as the author's refined judgments.

Praise for previous editions

"In this up-to-date and scholarly work, Alexander shows how the first five books of the Bible make sense and hang together. More than that, they lay the foundations of Christian theology so that no one can properly understand the rest of the Bible who has not come to terms with them. Alexander will be found to be a lucid and reliable guide to this vital part of Scripture."
--Gordon J. Wenham, Trinity College, Bristol

"Two virtues about From Paradise to the Promised Land have especially struck me. One is the comprehensiveness of the way it seeks to help us grasp the Pentateuch. The other is the way Alexander shows us how different themes hold these books together--themes such as the sanctuary, kingship, and the land. Both these features open up possibilities in grasping the Pentateuch as a whole."
--John Goldingay, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Desmond Alexander provides an introduction that considers the Pentateuch as a whole, both thematically and theologically. The Pentateuch is presented as a unity, yet the variety of topics within it receive substantial and penetrating treatment. It is the sort of study that many readers and their teachers have long wanted on this first section of the Old Testament."
--J. Gordon McConville, University of Gloucestershire

"There is no doubt that theology undergraduates and anybody who takes an interest in the riches of the Pentateuch are indebted to Alexander for providing us with a highly readable, informative, and at times even innovative book."
--Michael Widmer, Themelios

"[A] wealth of useful and accessible information on the Pentateuch. . . . This book is especially welcome as a solid introduction accessible to undergraduate students."
--Eric W. Bolger, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society


Product Description

From the Back Cover

This new edition includes updated references and added material that reflect recent pentateuchal research as well as the author's refined judgments.
Praise for previous editions

"In this up-to-date and scholarly work, Alexander shows how the first five books of the Bible make sense and hang together. More than that, they lay the foundations of Christian theology so that no one can properly understand the rest of the Bible who has not come to terms with them. Alexander will be found to be a lucid and reliable guide to this vital part of Scripture."
--Gordon J. Wenham, Trinity College, Bristol
"Two virtues about From Paradise to the Promised Land have especially struck me. One is the comprehensiveness of the way it seeks to help us grasp the Pentateuch. The other is the way Alexander shows us how different themes hold these books together--themes such as the sanctuary, kingship, and the land. Both these features open up possibilities in grasping the Pentateuch as a whole."
--John Goldingay, Fuller Theological Seminary
"Desmond Alexander provides an introduction that considers the Pentateuch as a whole, both thematically and theologically. The Pentateuch is presented as a unity, yet the variety of topics within it receive substantial and penetrating treatment. It is the sort of study that many readers and their teachers have long wanted on this first section of the Old Testament."
--J. Gordon McConville, University of Gloucestershire
"There is no doubt that theology undergraduates and anybody who takes an interest in the riches of the Pentateuch are indebted to Alexander for providing us with a highly readable, informative, and at times even innovative book."
--Michael Widmer, Themelios

"[A] wealth of useful and accessible information on the Pentateuch. . . . This book is especially welcome as a solid introduction accessible to undergraduate students."
--Eric W. Bolger, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

About the Author

T. Desmond Alexander (PhD, The Queen's University, Belfast) is senior lecturer in biblical studies and director of postgraduate studies at Union Theological College in Belfast, Ireland. He is the coeditor of the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1888 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0801039983
  • Publisher: Baker Academic; 3 edition (1 Jun. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0080K3M0M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #623,058 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Power of the Pentateuch Unleashed 7 Mar. 2011
By Philip Thompson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Truly this volume is one of the great contributions to the theology of the Pentateuch. Alexander tediously attacks the crumbling foundations of the Documentary Hypothesis and old school liberalism. He shows the weakness of their arguments and posits that we take the Pentateuch at face value and attempt to look at it as a cohesive whole with a story to tell and underlying messages for the reader.

It is this story and the messages of the Pentateuch that Alexander then displays for his readers. Moving through the Pentateuch both historically and topically, the writer deals masterfully with the genealogies, the blessing and cursing in Eden, the nature and import of the Abrahamic Covenant, the significance of the Passover, the impact of the Covenant of Sinai both for Israel and for believers today, the implications of the tabernacle, the command to be holy, the significance and symbolism of the sacrificial system and dietary laws, the gift of the Promised Land, the reason why the murmuring of the people was so important to God, the Semitic view of the topics of love and loyalty as treated in the Pentateuch, and the question of the election of Israel. In all of these areas, Alexander carefully lays out the theology of the Pentateuch and then follows this up with a connection to the New Testament. It is in these New Testament connections, Alexander shows his true prowess as a biblical scholar.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this work for the student of the Pentateuch who is struggling to find the purpose and application of this most difficult, yet seminal, section of Scripture to his or her life in the 21st century.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Reference Work for the OT reader 11 Dec. 2002
By Joseph Valentine Dworak - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Alexander brings a usable piece of scholarship to the world of academia with this book. It is a step above entry level texts on the Pentateuch, and is a good read. This book will help you figure out the themes in the beginning of the Old Testament, and point you in the direction of deeper sources for themes that you want to dig deeper into. I view this book as fairly progressive, not overly conservative and certainly not liberal scholarship. So, depending on what school of thought you are from, this book falls somewhere in the middle, which I appreciate.
Joseph Dworak
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Abraham to Moses - Study of the Torah 16 April 2010
By James T. Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very well written & scholarly approach to the Pentateuch (Torah). We are using this book as a study guide at an adult Bible study class in our Presbyterian Church. The first portion is a very detailed explanation (using a lot of Hebrew & Greek words - which I have been studying on the side) of how the Torah was written & put together by the original authors. It describes the methods of criticism used. The rest of the book is a history of Genesis thru Kings, since there is a "carryover" from Deuteronomy thru Kings.
This is well worth the time & effort to really study, since the end of each chapter gives a N.T. connection with the Apostles & points on to Jesus the Christ.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best short introductions I have seen 28 Oct. 2007
By augsburg gate keeper - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Alexander has done a great job with this book. Like most intros to the Pentateuch/ OT he discusses source-critical issues, but unlike most other such intros he does not dogmatically accept. Instead he critiques them and allows the reader to decide for themselves. The language is fluid and his arguments well-reasoned and easy to follow, and the text is not cluttered by too many footnotes. Highly recommended.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent volume for anyone studying the subject 4 Feb. 2013
By David - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The core of this book is exegetical-literary analysis of the themes of the Pentateuch, which was very helpful to me in guiding my study of the first five books of the Bible. He covers themes that I had not noticed in my own study, chief among which was the temple-city idea and the (related) theme of creating a holy nation suitable for God's dwelling place out of a small tribe, a theme which explains much of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy that was mysterious to me. Also well-explained is the theme of faith, which in my mind had been overshadowed by the legal demands at Sinai. Each chapter's structure, analyzing the text, connecting it to the rest of the OT and then (separately) connecting it to the NT was extremely helpful. Alexander didn't answer all my questions, but I'm indebted to him for the tremendous amount he did do. Highly recommended!

Full disclosure: I read only the middle section (a bit less than half the book) dealing with his explanation and exegesis of the Pentateuch. The first section (some hundred pages or so refuting the higher critical approaches) wasn't germane to my study, and the book concludes with nearly 70 pages of indices and further reading suggestions, so I skipped that, too.
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