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Understanding the Old Testament

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  148 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Presents a study of the Old Testament by interweaving historical, archeological, literary, and religious perspectives. The book traces the story of the people of Israel from the Exodus in the time of Moses through the dawn of the Common Era. It considers the importance of literary criticism and other methods for understanding the literature of ancient Israel; treats the la ...more
Paperback, 5th, 653 pages
Published February 1st 2006 by Prentice Hall (first published 1957)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Erik Graff
Jan 06, 2014 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students new to the bible
Recommended to Erik by: George Landis
Shelves: religion
Anderson's Understanding the Old Testament is a solid, college level introduction to the history of the Hebrew nation and what became that part of their scriptures assimilated into the later Christian canon. I read it because we hadn't used a textbook for the introductory courses in either college or seminary. Indeed, now that I think of it, hardly any of my courses at either school used textbooks, the notable exception being Educational Psychology. Still, this one isn't bad. The author is a Me ...more
Sep 17, 2012 Tung rated it liked it
Most texts that provide overviews of the Old Testament organize their chapters by book of the Bible. Anderson’s book is focused on providing for the reader the context of the Old Testament through the lens of Jewish culture and history, so he organizes his text with that in mind. We have sections like: The beginning of Israel, the covenant community renewed, a kingdom of priests, etc. Anderson’s focus is less on the interpretation of the books of the OT, and more on the cultural impact and histo ...more
Mar 21, 2015 Jc rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An introductory level text book that serves nicely as a survey of the literary, historical, archeological, and cultural background of the Jewish scriptures/Xtian Old Test. Of course, as this edition is from 1975, some bits need some updating (there is a 5th edition from 2006), but this one served my purpose. I especially appreciated that, instead of a book-by-book discussion, Anderson tried to address the "books" from the perspective of Jewish/Middle Eastern history (much more useful for the rea ...more
Terri Milstead
Sep 23, 2014 Terri Milstead rated it liked it
Shelves: school-books
I was assigned one half of this book for a Hebrew Bible I class. (The second Hebrew Bible class, unfortunately will use a new text due to a change in curriculum, so I'll get to experience another text for that.) This book is full of good information, charts and maps and is relatively easy to digest. A good reference book that I'm sure I will use when preaching or teaching from the Old Testament.
Lisa Sellers
Aug 27, 2014 Lisa Sellers rated it it was amazing
A great intro to Old Testament that has been around a long time - I first read it in 1984 at Warren Wilson College in the course named "Old Testament"

One of my favorite features is the upside down map of middle east which is more meaningful and get me out of my western view and understanding more of the region and its people and their culture
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Feb 06, 2012 Nathan "N.R." Gaddis rated it it was amazing
I used this as a companion for reading through the Old Testament. Unfortunately I used the now 20 year old 4th edition left over from college days. Be sure to find the newest edition as scholarship concerning civilizations this old tends to change rapidly.
Jul 11, 2010 Stephen rated it liked it
A bit cursory in its scope and noncommittal in its theories, but certainly good for cementing and reviewing the real text.
Mar 29, 2008 Kirsten rated it liked it
This is a textbook, so it's not exactly thrilling reading, but it's great if you're not familiar with the historical context of the Old Testament. (My copy is actually the 4th edition)
May 09, 2011 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
Two years of Old Testament study completed today with the end of this book. It was a very good textbook, with a good overview and plenty of references to other materials for further reading.
Sep 04, 2016 Cameron rated it really liked it
Focuses more on the historical events of antiquity (particularly Jews/Jesus followers). Not too stuck in dogma. Still a college textbook, it's dry.
Ilham Djaja
Ilham Djaja rated it it was amazing
May 29, 2015
Donna McCaffery
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Jul 25, 2015
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James Donaghy rated it it was amazing
Oct 10, 2010
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Dec 07, 2015
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Oct 21, 2007
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Jun 15, 2010
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Ashley Anderson rated it it was ok
May 20, 2011
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Jul 24, 2011
Bisali Wisdom
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Mar 07, 2014 Phubc added it
Shelves: reference
Our copy has a hard brown cover
Alan Swartz
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