The Meaning of the Pentateuch: Revelation, Composition and Interpretation, By John H. Sailhamer alt

The Meaning of the Pentateuch

Revelation, Composition and Interpretation

by John H. Sailhamer

The Meaning of the Pentateuch
  • Length: 640 pages
  • Published: June 18, 2010
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 7888
  • ISBN: 9780830878888

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Biblical Foundations Book Award

The Pentateuch is the foundation for understanding the Old Testament and the Bible as a whole. Yet through the centuries it has been probed and dissected, weighed and examined, its text peeled back for its underlying history, its discourse analyzed and its words weighed. Could there be any stone in Sinai yet unturned?

Surprisingly, there is. From a career of study, John Sailhamer sums up his perspective on the Pentateuch by first settling the hermeneutical question of where we should set our attention. Rather than focus on the history behind the text, Sailhamer is convinced that it is the text itself that should be our primary focus. Along the way he demonstrates that this was in fact the focus of many interpreters in the precritical era.

Persuaded of the singular vision of the Pentateuch, Sailhamer searches out clues left by the author and the later editor of the Pentateuch that will disclose the meaning of this great work. By paying particular attention to the poetic seams in the text, he rediscovers a message that surprisingly brings us to the threshold of the New Testament gospel.



Part One: Approaching the Text as Revelation
1 Understanding the Nature and Goal of Old Testament Theology
2 Finding the Author's Verbal Meaning
3 What Is the "Historical Meaning" of Biblical Texts?
4 Finding the Big Idea in the Final Composition of the Text

Part Two: Rediscovering the Composition of the Pentateuch Within the Tanak
5 Textual Strategies Within the Tanak
6 The Composition of the Pentateuch
7 Exploring the Composition of Legal Material in the Pentateuch

Part Three: Interpreting the Theology of the Pentateuch
8 The Nature of Covenant and Blessing in the Pentateuch
9 Is There a "Biblical Jesus" of the Pentateuch?
10 The Purpose of Mosaic Law in the Pentateuch
11 The Theme of Salvation in the Pentateuch

Author Index
Subject Index
Scripture Index


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John H. Sailhamer

John H. Sailhamer (1946-2017) was professor of Old Testament at Gateway Seminary (formerly Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary) in Brea, California. He is the author of several books, including Introduction to Old Testament Theology and The Meaning of the Pentateuch.