Over the past five years, we’ve seen a huge increase in books on biblical theology. This resurgence has been much needed since according to many statistics one of the greatest issues in the Church today is biblical illiteracy. Over the past few years, I’ve been reading the Old Testament with my wife very slowly. It’s been an amazing journey and I’m a little more than halfway through it. The Old Testament has much to teach us about who God is, what He is like, redemptive history, and God’s dealing with His covenant people. This is why as I read A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Loving The Old Testament One Book, One God, One Story by Dr. Alec Motyer, I was excited to read one of my favorite biblical scholars who specializes in the Old Testament on appreciating and learning from the Old Testament.
This is a pretty short (129 pages) book. This book spends a lot of time on redemptive history to help readers understand that the story of the Old Testament is the same one being told in the New Testament about Jesus the Son of God and the Son of Man. One of the most interesting parts of this book is the various markers that Motyer provides throughout the book: warning, don’t forget, stop and think and point of interest that help the reader understand the importance of what he’s saying. In order to understand the New Testament, we must understand the Old Testament. For example, if you don’t know the Old Testament it’s hard to understand much of the book of Hebrews. In similar fashion if you don’t understand the prophetic books and their use of language you’ll have a hard time understanding Revelation. As Motyer explains, “Without the Old Testament we would not understand our New testament properly. The Old Testament lays down the basis on which we understand the main revelations that come to us from God in our new Testaments” (26).
A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Loving the Old Testament is an excellent and very helpful introduction to why reading the Old Testament is so important. This book would be good for the average lay person in the pew on up to seminary students. This would also be a good book to use for small groups to help people learn why reading and studying the Old Testament is vital to growing in their understanding of the New Testament. I highly recommend this excellent and accessible book and believe it will serve the Church for many years to come.
I received this book for free from Christian Focus for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”