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The Epic of Eden: A Christian Entry Into the Old Testament
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The Epic of Eden: A Christian Entry Into the Old Testament

4.41 of 5 stars 4.41  ·  rating details  ·  192 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Does your knowledge of the Old Testament feel like a grab bag of people, books, events and ideas? How many times have you resolved to really understand the OT? To finally make sense of it? Perhaps you are suffering from what Sandra Richter calls the "dysfunctional closet syndrome." If so, she has a solution. Like a home-organizing expert, she comes in and helps you straigh...more
Paperback, 263 pages
Published October 20th 2008 by IVP Academic
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Secrets of the Dry Bones by Susan RohrerIs God a Moral Monster? by Paul CopanThe Message of the Old Testament by Mark DeverOn the Old Testament by Mark DriscollGospel and Kingdom by Graeme Goldsworthy
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Community Reviews

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James (JD) Dittes
Eden is not only the ideal place, Richter writes in this excellent guide to the Old Testament for Christians, it also represents the ideal covenant. The rest of the OT, from Genesis 5 onward, is the story of God's efforts to redeem covenant relationship through a family (Abraham), a confederation (Moses) a nation (David) and all of humanity (Jesus).

In order to connect the modern Christian with the original audience for the Old Testament, Richter provides insights into the "household" and the lo...more
My new favorite book on Genesis, although it covers a lot of other stuff as well. It's hard to define exactly what kind of book this is. Is it a commentary on Genesis? Is it a survey of Old Testament history? Is it an attempt to explain the New Testament in light of the Old? Richter offers her insights into the first 11 chapters of Genesis but then uses this section of scripture as a springboard to discuss the entire Old Testament, along with its implications for understanding the New Testament....more
Dave Courtney
The Epic of Eden is defined as "A Christian Entry into the Old Testament. It is a book that is written for any lay person/Christian who finds the geneaologies, the history, the characters and the language of the Old Testament somewhat overwhelming. She offers a popular outline from an educated perspective. Richter is mostly interested in connecting us with something that we can readily use and comprehend when it comes to working our way through the Old Testament world (from a Christian perspecti...more
Joel Wentz
This is one of the greatest, popular-level books I've read on the Old Testament. There are many remarkably helpful chapters in this book - including explanations of patriarchal culture, the economics of the ancient world, and even the geography of the Old Testament region. I gained so many wonderful insights from this volume. The way Richter paints ancient near-east culture, defining words like "redemption" and "covenant", breathes incredible life into the narrative. I also LOVED the way she des...more
I really enjoyed this book, I loved the way Richter ties up the theology with the character, it really does make it all neat. If you have a messy brain, like mine, it gives you a way to help remember the stuff when it's useful. I recommend this book to anyone with a real interest in the theology of the Old Testament, no need to be a scholar but some prior knowledge is helpful.
Sandra Richter’s recent book, Epic of Eden is a great resource for those with a messy brain in regard to the Old Testament. In this book Richter writes primarily to cure what she has coined “the dysfunctional closet syndrome.” Epic of Eden is intended to assist the reader in overcoming linguistic, historical, cultural, and geographical barriers. This is accomplished mostly through chronology and geography. Richter simplify things by listing five names which serve as signposts for different eras...more
Marty Solomon
Sandra Richter did a great job helping readers reorganize their mental filing cabinets for biblical hermeneutics.

Richter starts her book by taking the reader through three crash-course lessons in contextual basics. The patriarchal culture/setting of the Bible, the geography of the Bible, and a basic understanding of ancient eastern covenants. From this place, Richter is able to walk the reader through a basic narrative of biblical history, based on an understanding on covenant.

I found it incredi...more
Bryan Irvin
This book is really fantastic! Dr. Richter is an Old Testament professor at Wheaton College and she does a great job of helping the average Christian get a better grasp of the larger story of the Old Testament and in turn how it culminates in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Every Christian should read this!
Destin Givens
This is by far the best book I've read on the Old Testament to date. It is full of biblical truth, and especially shed new light on the covenants God made with His people throughout the Bible. It gave a wonderful view of Salvation History as a whole. I highly recommend it.
Want to get some order to your understanding of the Old Testament then this is a great book. I loved learning about the bigger picture of the Old Testament and seeing the threads that run through from Genesis right through to Revelation.
Chuck Jackson
Something that every reader of the Old Testament/ Jewish Bible should read.
(Even though it is published as an academic book it is pretty accessible. Of course, she uses Anthropological concepts that I know well and much of the content is not new to me so that makes it seem like a very easy read.) At the same time I learned a great deal and I really appreciated her opening up some of the background knowledge and therefore making the ancient narrative so much more meaningful. Highly recommended.
Dutch VanDuzee
Sandra spoke to our Christ college class this fall and she introduced the book by talking about Eden and the New Jerusalem as the bookends of Redemptive History, and how everything in between - the covenants with Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus - serve as part of God's rescue plan in the story of God's Kingdom.
I really enjoyed this book. It tells the story of the major covenants of the Old Testaments and demonstrates how they are not only interesting to the modern reader, but relevant as well. For any Christian who struggles to decipher the Old Testament's meaning, this book ought to have a place on her bookshelf!
This book has definitely helped me review the meaning of the Old Testament. As Richter puts it, my Old Testament closet was in need of reorganization. I appreciate the Bible as a whole even more now - definitely helps bridge the gap between Old and New Testament.
This book helps make sense of redemption and covenant. I am not sure that I agree with the idea that a new covenant replaces all the old. When God says I give this to you forever, I believe he means forever. An everlasting covenant is everlasting.
Josh Glitz
Does an excellent job showing how the OT leads to the redemptive story of the whole Bible. Does a great job showing the Bible, especially the OT, is a story. Looking at it as such opens up the OT in a way that allows for richer understanding.
Read this as a group. It generated good discussion however personally I didn't feel like I learned as much new information as some of the others. It is an accessible read and helps put the old and new testaments into perspective.
Ryan Martin
Dr. Richter was my OT professor in Seminary and this book is an incredible overview of the OT. Dr. Richter has such a passion for the OT and for the love of God, which come out clearly in her teachings on covenant throughout this book!
Started off slow and basic, then got interesting fast. An interpretation of the OT and the bible from a Covenant/Contract perspective. Makes tons of sense. Delightfully full of interesting facts, archaeology, etc. Enlightening.
This was a great book to help "organize your closet" if the Old Testament is a mess of stories to you. We read it as a Sunday school class which was also nice as it gave us the opportunity to discuss what we had read.
Jarrod Hill
This is a wonderful introduction to the Old Testament. It lays out a good foundation for the total beginner, but it also gives many cultural insights that are likely new to the seasoned church goer.
This is a fascinating and thrilling overview of God's redemptive plan, explaining the foreshadowing of Christ's fulfillment of that plan through the Old Testament covenant and prophecies.
*Excellent* and approachable introduction to the Old Testament. This is going to become one of those books I *routinely* recommend to friends.
Adam Godbold
Excitingly fascinating. Immensely helpful. Easily readable. Conversationally written. Uniquely approached.
Carol Wunderlich
Awesome review of salvation history and major themes connecting the story of God's plan for creation. A must read!
Excellent book on Covenant Theology. I have some issues with her views on Creation, the Flood, and the genealogies.
Jul 30, 2011 Alicia added it
one of the best books about the Old Testament i have ever read!!! this book is a must read!
Susan Isaacs
A great overview and introduction to the main themes and stories of the Old Testament.
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