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The Meaning of the Pentateuch: Revelation, Composition and Interpretation
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The Meaning of the Pentateuch: Revelation, Composition and Interpretation

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  119 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
The Pentateuch is the foundation for understanding the Old Testament and the Bible as a whole. Yet through the centuries it has been probed and dissected, weighed and examined, its text peeled back for its underlying history, its discourse analyzed and its words weighed. Could there be any stone in Sinai yet unturned? Surprisingly, there is. From a career of study, John Sa ...more
Paperback, 632 pages
Published November 15th 2009 by IVP Academic (first published October 15th 2009)
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Bob Hayton
Dec 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Few 600 page books on theology are intended to help the average Bible student as much as the learned theologian. Even fewer succeed in that aim. But I figured something was special about this book when John Piper encouraged everyone who cared about “meaning” to get this book, because it will “rock your world”. Rock my world, it did! And more.

I can’t claim this book is an easy read. I had to work my way through parts of it. But the effort was worth it. Sprinkled throughout the book are the kinds
Tim Casteel
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the book of which John Piper said "Sell all of your Piper books & buy this"
I'd keep all your Piper books, but… I found Sailhamer's book to be incredibly enlightening and truly groundbreaking (as in - I've been studying God's Word and listening to Biblical preaching for 20 years and Sailhamer shares hundreds of things that I have never heard taught nor have seen for myself in Scripture).

Sailhamer brilliantly explains a section of Scripture (the OT) of which I am (and I'm assuming 99%
Feb 16, 2010 rated it liked it
I definitely learned from interacting with this book. However, I am still not persuaded of some of the author's central points, for example, that the laws of the Mosaic covenant were added in response to Israel's sin. There is a great deal to be learned from attending to the structure of the Pentateuch; nevertheless, I felt Sailhamer was stretching his structural readings too far and putting more weight on them than they can legitimately carry.
Jan 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What can be said about John H. Sailhamer? He is professor of Old Testament at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Brea, CA, an author of several books, and a very intelligent man.
The Meaning of The Pentateuch covers the gamut of Biblical studies. Not only does it deal with the meaning of the Pentateuch, but it also gives a crash course in hermeneutics, Biblical theology, Old Testament theology, as well as interacting with covenant theology and dispensationalism. Considering this, it is n
Brandon Current
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
"Read and keep as resource. The book could be half the size. The author is very redundant is his process for building an argument (multiple books patched together). There are also some points that seem to reach too far for their implications. However, the book is an important read for those wishing to have a firm grasp of the meaning of the Pentateuch.
Aside from actual presentation of meaning, there are many helpful frameworks and corrective ideas for how we approach finding meaning in scripture
Jacob O'connor
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love to read. Novels, biography, philosophy, most anything is game. Often I'll have just finished reading something good, and I'm so excited that I tell all my friends. I can't wait to hear what they think, but then I’m disappointed when they don't like it. There’s no accounting for taste I suppose, and my more shrewd friends have learned to ask questions. What is the book about? Who wrote it? Why would they enjoy it? What do I expect them to learn from it?

There is no book more worthy of reco
Todd Miles
Sailhamer summarizes the theology of the Pentateuch in this masterful, too long, work. It promises much at the outset - that the theological message of the Pentateuch is essentially the same as the theological message of the book of Galatians. For the most part, this is the most clear presentation of Sailhamer’s understanding of the Torah. What he hints at and summarizes in his prior books, namely that the commandments of the Torah were given due to unbelief, is given greater explanation. I thin ...more
Robert Balfour
Dec 09, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is like the book of Jeremiah: packed full of great stuff, but lots of work to get through. I think his editor could have helped him more, and some better charters would have been wonderful. But I think the enterprise was awesome, and convincing. If you've done much study on the poetics of Biblical narrative (such as Waltke's Genesis commentary, then you know that the Biblical Authors, and the Spirit, were super intentional about talking through the larger structures of material, and th ...more
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
It took great effort to get through the book, but I have greater appreciation for the Pentateuch and really the OT as a whole. In that sense this book has been invaluable to me. I will never read the OT the same way again.
Randy Poor
Apr 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. This is one of those books that after you finish, the next book you try to read will seem horribly uninteresting.
Neil Moore
Jul 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Sailhamer was quite repetitive over the course of the book, and I felt some of his writing was slightly redundant.
L. R. Bouligny Bouligny
Apr 06, 2011 is currently reading it
Gulp! I have seen unabridged dictionaries smaller than this. Might take me a while!
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
best book I currently know of on understanding the first 5 books of the bible but it's so long you should use it as a reference book only.
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  • Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament
  • Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament: A Decision-Maker's Guide to Shaping Your Church
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  • A Theology of the New Testament
  • The Letter of James (The Pillar New Testament Commentary)
  • Handbook on the Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
  • Romans (Saint Andrews Expositional Commentary)
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  • The Book of Leviticus (New International Commentary on the Old Testament)
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Dr. Sailhamer has been teaching since 1975, most recently at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. He was President of The Evangelical Theological Society in 2000 and has published a number of books, including An Introduction to Old Testament Theology, The Pentateuch as Narrative: A Biblical-Theological Commentary, and Genesis: The Expositor's Bible Commentary, all from Zondervan. He has contr ...more
More about John H. Sailhamer...