Wednesday, August 18, 2010

From Paradise to Promise Land - T.D. Alexander

From Paradise to Promise Land: An Introduction to the Pentateuch by T. D. Alexander
Second Edition, Baker Academic and Paternoster: Thinking Faith

Rating: 8
Readability: 8
Impact: 8

Read it Again: Maybe the second section, yes.
Recommend It: Yes

What to Expect

Alexander's book is divided into two sections, Pentateuchal Criticism and The Main Themes of the Pentateuch.

Part 1: Pentateuchal Criticism deals with hypothesis on who wrote the Pentateuch, when it was written, and if it still applies.
I bogged down in this part. So many scholars arguing about the Bible when they don't even believe it. Probably important information...but pretty much a headache.
At first I was really wondering where he was going with it all. It kind of sounds like he's totally disregarding the fact that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God. His conclusion to Part 1, however, was well worth the slog threw the early pages.

Part 2: The Main Themes of the Pentateuch goes through Genesis-Deuteronomy discussing the main subjects and themes. I thoroughly enjoyed this section. After each chapter and theme discussion he would have a short section on New Testament Connections. I thought those sections were especially cool. :-)

T.D. Alexander is extremely well organized and understandable.

My Squib

This is the third book in my Ligonier course. Yeah! I'm making progress!

I really liked and learned from the second and largest section of the book.
While some of it was pretty basic, a lot of it helped me connect and think on a different level then before.

I also really enjoyed reading through all of the Pentateuch in a month. I confess I've never read through that section of the Bible that fast and it helped me put together Isreal's history as a whole much better.

From the Book

"The distinctiveness of the biblical laws is apparent when one compares the other ancient Near Eastern laws. In the earlier Laws of Hammurabi, a murderer is required only to make financial compensation to the victims family. This contrasts sharply with the biblical insistence of a life for a life. On the other hand, the non-biblical laws apply the death penalty to breaking and entering, looting at a fire, and theft. These examples reveal that in other cultures financial loss was sometimes treated more seriously than loss of life. The biblical laws consistently emphasis the human life is of greater value than material possessions."

"Holiness emanates from God; He is the sole sources of holiness. He alone endows other objects , places or people with holiness. Everything that is given to God or belongs to Him is holy."

"A natural extension of the belief that God is holy is the idea that holiness means wholeness or perfection. To be holy is to be unblemished or unmarred. It is to experience life in all its fullness as God had originally intended it to be."

"From the perspective of a Christian living in the twenty-first century AD these ancient writings continue to be highly relevant, especially given the NT proclamation that Jesus Christ is the son of Abraham and the son of David, who mediates God's blessing to all the nations of the earth."

1 comment:

dura mater said...

That sounds like a good idea to read through the Pentateuch in a short period of time. I'll try it!