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Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  373 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Discusses the historical background to the Old Testament, examines the writing of the individual books, and describes the impact of archeology on Bible study.
Paperback, 569 pages
Published September 1st 1984 by Paulist Press (first published January 1st 1984)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  373 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Kristofer Carlson
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-theology
While this was written as a textbook, it is remarkably free of academic cant, and is actually readable. There are times when just a bit more detail would have been useful, such as when the discussion of the Geography of Israel didn't make a point of mentioning that the Northern kingdom's lands were much more fertile than the Southern kingdom's lands, which partly accounts for the different trajectories of the two nations. Also, the discussion of the O.T. Canon is too simplistic: it mentions the ...more
Thom Willis
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: scripture
I didn't actually finish this.
May 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: red-room, own, references
Picked back up to support Biblical School classes...
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was the best book on the Old Testament I've ever read!
David S. T.
Dec 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, favorites
After reading Raymond Brown's Introduction to the New Testament last year, I wanted to read a similar book on the Old Testament, I ended up selecting this one. This book doesn't get into near the depth of Brown's book but at the same time it covers three times the amount of biblical texts but is only half as long. I found this book to be very well written and fascinating, but its quite different from the evangelical introduction that I've previously read. Overall though it was exactly what I was ...more
Jan 17, 2008 rated it liked it
This book was fascinating, to say the least. I haven't read it in its entirety because I was reading it for a good, solid introduction to the archeology, geography, history, and literary background of the Bible because I finally had the cajones to include that book in my Ancient Lit. course again, but boy, the 5 or so chapters I did read so far (background and Genesis) have been riveting, in part simply because of the clarity of the writing and comprehensiveness of the material. The author gives ...more
Matt Burgess
May 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction (1984), Lawrence Boadt
I'm not going to lie. The last half of this book was as daunting as it was the first time around. Almost 7 years ago, I was quizzed on this 576 page bohemoth and the outcome was a C average. This time around is received more attention and more understanding that the first, but it was still a lot of consume.

Lawrence Boadt does a great job at presenting the methods used to understand the ancient cultures identified in the Old
Adam Marischuk
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, theology
A very readable introduction to the Old Testament and related scholarship

Few fields elicit as strong a bias as Olt Testament studies across the religious-political spectrum- Lawrence Boadt offers a very light introduction to Old Testament scholarship with this single volume book.

He writes from what Fr. Richard McBrien would describe as a liberal academic position (and on a few issues a conservative academic position). Overall the book is non-controversial and non-confrontational. The background
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Written by a former professor at the seminary where I received an M.A. in Theology.

Our course on the Old Testament used the book for a text.

The narrative is clear. The arguments weigh the evidence that Biblical Studies involve. Boadt integrates the various types of modern criticism (Historical, Genre, Form, etc.) with concise outlines of each individual book or story.

Every important aspect of the Old Testament is described in pedagogical depth with relevant cultural information providing
Jul 26, 2014 rated it liked it
FINALLY I am done with this book. It was good, but it took me forever to read; it consistently sparked my interest but never really grabbed me. Oh well, I shouldn't be too critical of an introductory textbook on the Old Testament for not being exciting enough.

The content is shaped by the author's personality. As a (liberal-ish?) Catholic with a high regard for Judaism, he is determined that readers should experience these scriptures in their original Jewish context instead of trying to filter
Steve Douglas
Jan 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
When I was in undergrad and starting to wrestle with the nature of the Bible, I happened upon the recently late Catholic scholar Lawrence Boadt’s Reading the Old Testament among the books my dad had accumulated for some theology courses he took when I was a youngster. Although in some need of a revision incorporating more recent critical scholarship, I still think this book holds up fairly well, not only as an introduction to the study of the Old Testament, but especially as a template for what ...more
May 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Good historical study of the Old Testament, written as a text for a class Boadt may have taught about how to study the sources of the written document that becomes the Bible, from both oral and more ancient source material, archaelogical evidence, histories of other cultures that lived during pre-Bible times, as well as the problems associated with translations and the tools scholars have used to overcome them. Written with the respect of a believer, it follows the established theory of J, P, E, ...more
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the very best books I have ever come across in reading about the bible. It is packed full of so much information and I learned so much for it. I recommend this book to every Christian out there as I feel this is a must read. I think it's important that everyone understand the historical context of their sacred texts. Those that I have recommended this to and finished reading it said it was very helpful and gave them a new understanding of the bible. I do warn you though--this is ...more
Jun 15, 2013 marked it as to-read
I read this book back in high school when I was a sophomore my youth pastor gave it to me to read I don't know how many times I read it and I still remember reading it on the school bus , it is my favorite book because it made me fall in love with ancient history and the bible and that love. has grown a lot since then. The book itself is sound scholarship and lovingly detailed. Will read it again
Diane Wallace
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book chalk full of information on the sources behind the Old Testament. It discusses what is learned from archeological tells to the four primary sources of the Pentateuch. Broadt discusses every book, its origins and message. It is impossible to retain all this information so I know I will reread again carefully. I read this book kind of fast-paced for a course taught by a sister.
Oct 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Great book to read and to help to understand more about this history of the ancient Near East and the types of people/tribes that are represented in the OT. Gives a more in depth understanding of the OT. You will learn more than you ever did in church by reading this book along with studying the OT.
Aug 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Interesting read that reviews the Old Testament and also compares it to myths and legends of other ancient cultures. I did only read chapter 6, which is on Genesis 1 - 11, the topic for my current assignment.

Jane Harris
Nov 12, 2011 rated it liked it
It's a tome, but I'm nearly finished. Lots of good information. Should be read with a couple of books with view the material in a different light. Some of Boadt's interpretations are open to debate. But I enjoyed the book. I think Boadt's writing is a little cumbersome for many readers, though.
Oct 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A lengthy scholarly book that covers the archeology and anthropology of the world before the birth of Christ. He leads us through the development and thought of the Jewish and other pre-Christian peoples.
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book has given me much more insight to the stories of the Old Testament
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My understanding of scripture needed a lot of help, and I found a great source of that help in this book. Thanks, Clark.
Jan 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
A basic approach to the old testament without underestimating that the OT is primarily Hebrew and then Christians can put on their lens after understanding that context.
Becky Kondritz
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book for OT study. Read it for a class (Level II Catechesis certificate). Great resource for future reference.
Leah Fender
Another great book for understanding and diving into the Old Testament. The jews have an amazing history and understanding this history can make the Old Testament truly come to life.
Stacy Parrish
Aug 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
I love history. This book will change the way you read the Bible.
Jun 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Comprehensive, very detailed; great addition to one's library, especially if you will take future scripture classes.
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
This guide to the Old Testament expands on the information given in a study Bible and gives the background of the people who lived during the time the Old Testament describes. The 26 chapters contain a wealth of information alluded to in the Old Testament but not specifically stated, and other information that adds to the understanding of the Old Testament. I used this for a college class for my master’s and found it very challenging.
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I took the time to read this book, section by section, as I read the Old Testament this past year, and it was worth the slow read. This is a fantastic book that explains the background history and literary aspects of each book of the Old Testament. Easy to read, with lost of charts, pictures and maps to help with understanding what the Old Testament authors were saying.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent explanation of most of the books of the Old Testament. Helps in understanding why the bible cannot be interpreted literally and how the books were formed. Should be required reading for anyone who calls themselves Christian.
Rodney M Shearing
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book
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Lawrence Edward Boadt, C.S.P. (October 26, 1942 – July 24, 2010), was an American Paulist priest and Biblical scholar, who advocated on behalf of improved communication and understanding between Christians and Jews.