The Old Testament in Seven Sentences: A Small Introduction to a Vast Topic, By Christopher J. H. Wright
The Old Testament in Seven Sentences
  • Length: 184 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: May 28, 2019
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 5225
  • ISBN: 9780830852253

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Some people find the Old Testament to be confusing, out of date, and essentially replaced by the New Testament. They are missing out. The Old Testament offers us a grand narrative that reveals God's work, God's purposes, and God's wisdom.

Christopher J. H. Wright fits the pieces together and shows us the coherent whole. Using seven key sentences drawn straight from the Old Testament, he connects the dots and points us toward Jesus.

  • "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
  • "All peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
  • "You shall have no other gods before me."
  • "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news."

Such sentences as these are not merely beautiful or helpful (though they are that). They are part of the great drama of Scripture, the story of God's plan of redemption that embraces all nations and the whole of his creation. Wright starts from the beginning, describing God's promises and covenants with his people and his mission to bless the world. At the end of this short survey, readers will clearly see God's faithfulness and love for his people and will understand how the Old Testament scriptures prepared for the identity and mission of Jesus as Messiah, Savior, and Lord.

The accessible primers in the Introductions in Seven Sentences collection act as brief introductions to an academic field, with simple organization: seven key sentences that give readers a birds-eye view of an entire discipline.

"The Old Testament in Seven Sentences sounds like an impossible task, but Chris Wright makes it work beautifully, capturing the central features of the Old Testament in a way that is both rich and accessible. I'm not surprised really—Wright is one of our best, most mature thinkers about the Bible today. His book gives readers an essential and impressive orientation to the life-giving message of the Old Testament. I recommend it highly."

Tremper Longman III, distinguished scholar and professor emeritus of biblical studies, Westmont College

"Christopher Wright has provided the church, seminary, and evangelist a creative and accessible tour of the biblical narrative. I commend this book as a resource for all who want to understand and be drawn into the Bible's story."

Chris Gonzalez, executive director of Missional Training Center, pastor of Missio Dei Communities

"Communicating the essence of the Old Testament to the Christian believer is a challenge. Christopher Wright has creatively met the challenge, summarizing its major themes under seven simple headings. These headings, beginning with creation and concluding with Psalms and Wisdom, lay out in easy-to-remember terms the history of salvation as it exists in the Old Testament and as it is fulfilled in Christ. With this as a guide, readers will find their way through an exciting but daunting journey, finding out how Jesus is the completion of the hope of Israel."

Duane Garrett, John R. Sampey Professor of Old Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"In his typically clear and concise style, Wright offers us a helpful synthesis of the Old Testament. As always, he is textual and theological. The foundational passages chosen for The Old Testament in Seven Sentences, indeed, set the agenda for the drama of Scripture as it unfolds across the canon. This slim volume is yet another tool that Wright has produced to demonstrate the relevancy of the Old Testament. He is a gift to the church."

M. Daniel Carroll R., Blanchard Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College and Graduate School

"What a fantastic title! What an imaginative project! What a delightful way into the Old Testament! What a great gift for anyone who is bewildered by the Old Testament and thinks they might be able to get into it if only they had some signposts!"

John Goldingay, professor of Old Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary

"This accessible, handy volume lifts the reader to a high-level narrative of God's work across the centuries and millennia, profound yet simplified, brief yet layered, condensed yet deep with a thought-provoking, redemptive narrative. Read this Old Testament introduction, and you will be reminded of Scripture's common thread and the hope found in a purposeful God. Christopher J. H. Wright's easy, precise language and faithfulness to the biblical text combine to create a fresh, new classic."

Benjamin K. Homan, president of Langham Partnership USA (formerly John Stott Ministries)

"Wright's The Old Testament in Seven Sentences is a tour de force, capturing the heart of the Old Testament, its epic drama, and God's passion for his people with clarity and depth. Wright takes readers on a journey through the mountains and valleys of the Old Testament, sharing vistas of its beauty, its pain, and its picture of God's continuing plan of redemption and mission for God's people, culminating in Jesus Christ and the new creation of all things."

Beth Stovell, associate professor of Old Testament at Ambrose University, national catalyst for theological and spiritual formation for Vineyard Canada


1. Creation: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
2. Abraham: All peoples on earth will be blessed through you. (Genesis 12:3)
3. Exodus: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. (Exodus 20:2)
4. David: The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people. (1 Samuel 13:14)
5. Prophets: What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8 NRSV)
6. Gospel: How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the One who brings good news. (Isaiah 52:7)
7. Psalms and Wisdom: The Lord is my shepherd. (Psalm 23:1)
Discussion Questions
Scripture Index


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Christopher J. H. Wright

Christopher J. H. Wright (PhD, Cambridge) is international ministries director of the Langham Partnership. He has written many books including The Mission of God, Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit, Old Testament Ethics for the People of God, and Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament. He was chair of the Lausanne Theology Working Group from 2005-2011 and the chief architect of The Cape Town Commitment from the Third Lausanne Congress, 2010.