How Did We Get the Old Testament?
The Old Testament is thousands of years old, and contains accounts stretching back to the beginning of time. This ancient collection of books provides the foundation of both Judaism and Christianity.
So where did it come from? How did these age-old traditions, stories, and commandments make their way to modern times? These are important questions.
John Walton and Andrew Hill answer these questions in their Old Testament Survey online course. The following post is adapted from their unit on the background, history, archaeology, and formation of the Old Testament.
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“When They Approach the Old Testament, They Think It’s Boring”
We recently sat down with Gary Schnittjer to talk about why the Pentateuch is often read less frequently than other parts of the Bible, as well as some ways to encourage and deepen your study of the Pentateuch. Take a look:
One of the problems Christians have when they approach the Old Testament is they think it’s boring.
I think especially a book like Leviticus or Numbers or Deuteronomy—they’re not often read and studied carefully by Christians. They seem irrelevant and get sort of stirred up together. People say, “Well luckily Jesus…
John Walton: “This Course Can Change Your Life”
Have you ever read a chapter from the Old Testament and wondered, why did God put that in the Bible?
Lots of people—even in the church, even in the academy—don’t really know how to read the Old Testament.
It’s time to change that.
In this online course, John Walton and Andrew Hill will walk you through the Old Testament, book-by-book.
You will learn:
How to read the Old Testament and ancient history together The background to each Old Testament book—even the hard books How the Old Testament relates to the New Testament Why understanding the theology of the Old Testament is so important And much more!
When you take this course, the Old Testament will start to…
$4.99 eBook Sale: Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, NEW TESTAMENT and OLD TESTAMENT
Announcement: All volumes of the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary New Testament have been released in eBook format! (Joining the complete Old Testament set also in eBook format.)
For this week only we are offering each eBook (Old Testament & New Testament) in the series for just $4.99.
That means you save up to 66% on these commentaries!
Each New Testament commentary…
is based on relevant papyri, inscriptions, archaeological discoveries, and studies of Judaism, Roman culture, Hellenism, and other features of the world of the New Testament. has hundreds of photographs, illustrations, and line drawings. includes copious maps, charts, and timelines along with sidebar articles and insights. offers “reflections” on the Bible’s relevance for 21st-century living. is written by leading evangelical contributors including Andreas J. Köstenberger, Douglas J. Moo…
What Is the Bible’s Drama, Why Should I Care? Michael Horton Explains
In his new book Core Christianity, Michael Horton describes a childhood church experience similar to my own. Like his church, we loved the Bible, took Sunday School seriously, and trained in Bible knowledge. Yet I had a problem similar to Horton:
with all of this knowledge of the Bible, I never knew how it all fit together. There were lots of interesting (and some not so interesting) stories. But I never heard the big story that moves with dramatic force from Genesis to Revelation. For the most part the Old Testament was alien to me,…
eBook Sale: Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, Old Testament – $4.99 Each
The Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, Old Testament series has just been released into eBook format.
For this week only, we are offering each eBook volume for just $4.99.
That means you save up to 66%.
This series invites you to enter the Old Testament with a company of guides and experts that will give new insights into these cherished writings.
Over 2000 photographs, drawings, maps, diagrams and charts provide a visual feast that breathes fresh life into the text. Passage-by-passage commentary presents archaeological findings, historical explanations, geographic insights, notes on manners and customs, and more. Analysis into the literature of the ancient Near East will open your eyes to new depths of understanding both familiar and unfamiliar passages. Written by an international team of 30…
What Happened Between the Old and New Testaments? 4 Things You Need to Know to Read the New Testament Well
Have you ever wondered what happened between the Old and New Testaments?
If you’ve ever flipped from the last page of the Old Testament to the first page of the new—you’ve just skipped over 400 years of history with that single page turn.
What exactly happened during these 400 years? Who was in control? What people groups shaped the experience of the earliest Christians?
In those four hundred years, the Pharisees and Sadducees, synagogues, Roman governors, and the family of Herod emerged onto the scene. None were present in the Old Testament. Where did they come from?
And countless events not mentioned in the New Testament had a profound impact on the world of Jesus, such as the Maccabean revolt, the rise of the Essenes, the dominance of the Greek…
How Do Paul’s Thessalonian Letters Connect to God’s Larger Story?
It isn’t too difficult to see how heavy-hitting books such as Romans and the Corinthians fit within God’s larger Story, given their theological motifs of law vs. grace, Jew vs. Gentile, circumcision vs. uncircumcision.
For books like 1 & 2 Thessalonians it’s a different story. How are they part of God’s larger Story—an ancient story that begins with Israel and has expanded to include the church?
Revealing that is part of John Byron’s goal in his new commentary on these oft overlooked letters that’s part of the unique, innovative The Story of God Commentary series.
What I love about this commentary series is how it deliberately connects each passage to God’s larger narrative movement. It helps students of Scripture do three things:
listen to the passage in concert with the wider biblical witness; explain…
Thoughts on Egypt and prophecies in Isaiah 19 by Walt Kaiser
Recently I was asked by a friend who leads a BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) class to offer my thoughts on the recent activities in Egypt, and to comment specifically on Isaiah 19, which the class was studying. Here's what I told the class. What do you think?
Yes, I believe the Isaiah 19 passage is most relevant. Verses 16 to 25 place the coming events “in that day” six times (vss 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, and 24). Since the prophecies to the foreign nations are bounded by chapter on the first advent of Christ (Isa 7-12) and the second advent of Christ (24-27), chapters 13-23 fall between those two end pieces in position and apparently in time as well. That is why I also stress the eschatological phrase “In that day.”
Daniel commentary by Ernest C. Lucas is up on Scribd
Win a Free ZIBBCOT Volume to Review!
We are interested in sparking some conversations on the recently-released Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Old Testament, which John Walton has been blogging about every Friday for the past 10 months or so.
The problem is that it can get pretty pricey to send out $250 sets! So we came up with this idea.
We will send you a volume of your choice to review (you pick the volume):
Bruce Waltke – New Paper on Evolutionary Process
Download the full PDF here. (Posted here with the permission of the BioLogos Foundation.)
Other scholarly essays in the BioLogos collection can be found here.