From the Bible Background section

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The Pentateuch

SCM Core Text Series

by Walter J. Houston


Price: £24.99
Publisher:SCM imprint of Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd
Published:September 2013


The SCM Core Text series is a remarkable collection of authoritative, yet accessible academic studies covering a very wide range of theological topics. These range from Theology to Sexuality to Wisdom Literature. This volume on The Pentateuch maintains the high standards set by previous volumes and is highly recommended for students, preachers and anyone with an interest in the first five books of the Old Testament.

The structure of the book reveals that anyone seeking here a succinct five volume commentary will be disappointed. This is a scholarly work that will support exposition but its objective is much broader. This is not a book about the books but about their significance within the canon of sacred literature.

Divided into three parts, Part A considers the world of the text itself, Part B considers its historical origins and composition and Part C considers the variety of ways in which it has and is read or heard. The book is accompanied by a generous bibliography and detailed indexes.

The first five books of the Bible contain some of the Bible’s greatest stories as well as some of its most turgid laws and regulations. They are not always entertaining reading. Yet these five books are foundational documents for our faith; that so many churches today ignore the Old Testament in its entirety is a great sadness. If you are serious about understanding the scriptural origins of Christianity, the Pentateuch is the best place to start, and this volume is an excellent guide.


Reviewer: David Ford   (05/07/14)
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