The Old Testament Documents: Are They Reliable  Relevant?, By Walter C. Kaiser Jr.
The Old Testament Documents
  • Length: 239 pages
  • Published: August 17, 2001
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 1975
  • ISBN: 9780830819751

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Can you trust what you read in the Old Testament?

Are its documents historically reliable?

Are its teachings relevant in the twenty-first century?

These are important questions for all who believe that Christianity is a religion founded on events that took place in space-time history, indeed for all who care about truth and meaning in life.

In this thought-provoking book Walter C. Kaiser Jr. makes the case that the Old Testament documents are both historically reliable and personally and socially relevant. He begins by looking at the origins of the Old Testament books and how well their texts were preserved. Next he explores Old Testament history, giving close attention to the book of Genesis, the patriarchal narratives, and the chronicles of the kings of Judah and Israel. He then surveys the larger questions of the trustworthiness and authority of the various Old Testament genres: historical narrative, wisdom and prophecy. Lastly, Kaiser probes the relevance of the Old Testament for Christian faith today. And in an epilogue he asks--and answers--the question "What is the Old Testament all about?"

Here is a helpful, even essential, book to help you face the challenges of reading and applying the Old Testament in today's world.


Introduction: Does It Matter?

Part 1: Are the Old Testament Canon Text Reliable?
1. How Did the Old Testament Originate?
2. Which Books Belong to the Old Testament Canon?
3. How Well Was the Text of the Old Testament Preserved?

Part 2: Is the History of the Old Testament Reliable?
4. How Reliable Is Genesis 1--4?
5. How Reliable Is Genesis 4--11?
6. Are the Historical Accounts of the Patriarchs True?
7. Does Archaeology Help the Case for Reliability?
8. Are the Stories of the Exodus Conquest Reliable?
9. Are the Chronologies of the Old Testament Kings Trustworthy?

Part 3: Is the Message of the Old Testament Reliable?
10. How Reliable Is the Message of the Torah?
11. How Reliable Are the Wisdom Writings?
12. How Reliable Are the Prophets?

Part 4: Is the Message of the Old Testament Relevant for Today?
13. How Relevant Is Old Testament Narrative for Us?
14. How Relevant Is Old Testament Torah for Us?
15. How Relevant Is Old Testament Prophecy for Us?
16. How Relevant Are the Wisdom Materials the Psalms?

Epilogue: What Is the Old Testament All About?

Glossary of Terms

Author Index

Subject Index

Scripture Index

Walter C. Kaiser

Kaiser is Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Old Testament and president emeritus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. For many years he served as professor of Old Testament and as dean and vice president for education at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, Illinois). A frequent speaker at churches, camps, and conferences, he has written numerous books, including Toward an Exegetical Theology, Toward an Old Testament Theology, Toward Old Testament Ethics, and The Messiah in the Old Testament.