Enjoying the Old Testament
Is it really possible to enjoy the Old Testament?
Christians know they are supposed to read the Old Testament. Yet many struggle to do so. They often find it confusing, theologically troubling, or just uninteresting. Eric Seibert understands this dilemma and provides a solution. His goal is to help people learn to love the Old Testament and actually want to read it.
Seibert demonstrates how this part of the Bible is extremely valuable for Christians and offers dozens of practical suggestions and creative activities for hands-on interaction with the biblical text. Equipped with a variety of tools and approaches, readers discover how even the most seemingly dry passages can come to life.
With Enjoying the Old Testament, readers of all ages will be inspired to pick up the Old Testament over and over again.
"Here is a book with a simple yet profound (and much-needed) aim: give people practical ways to take joy in reading the Old Testament and thus help them want to do it more. With pleasing prose and inviting humility, Seibert provides a variety of concrete and creative practices (literary, artistic, theological, and more) that can be adopted by readers at any level. The text's problem parts are addressed (and who better than Seibert to address them?), but with a balanced emphasis on the Old Testament's attractiveness. The end result is a hands-on manual that unlocks access to and stirs affection for an often-neglected part of the Bible. Readers should try this at home. They will be glad they did!"
"Eric Seibert makes reading the Old Testament both fun and practical. Addressing legitimate concerns about problematic portrayals of God, Seibert offers reading strategies that make sense. I plan to give this book to those who think the Bible is boring or irrelevant, because these pages prove otherwise!"
"With brilliance, wisdom, and clarity, Eric Seibert shows how to make the Old Testament come alive. Read this book and experience his contagious passion for reading the Bible's first three-quarters. Every professor should make this book required reading!"
"Professor Seibert's Enjoying the Old Testament is a terrific guide for laity and pastors alike. In the tradition of Gordon Fee's How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, this book delivers on its promise to help the reader enjoy what is often seen as the Bible's intimidating and confusing first testament."
"Many readers of Scripture find the Old Testament boring, legalistic, or ethically troubling. If any of these sentiments are true for you, Seibert's guide will not only enable you to understand the 'Neglected Testament' better, but also to enjoy it—and even love it. The book is filled with wise advice for readers of the Bible as well as helpful, practical suggestions for how to study, learn, and appreciate it. I've been teaching the Old Testament for decades, and my love for it was deepened by his words."
Part 1: Preparing to Read the Neglected Testament
1. Why Do We Need This Book?
2. Why Don't People Enjoy the Old Testament?
3. Why Bother with the Old Testament?
4. Developing Realistic Expectations
5. Cultivating the Right Mindset
Part 2: Having Fun with the Old Testament
6. Finding New Meaning in Old Stories
7. Being Persuaded by the Prophets
8. Enjoying the Boring Parts
9. Dealing with Morally and Theologically Troubling Texts
Part 3: Encountering the Old Testament in New Ways
10. Exploring Different Perspectives and Making New Discoveries
11. Topically Motivated, Artistically Oriented, and Personally Reflective Approaches
12. Reading the Old Testament One Book at a Time
13. Some Final Words of Encouragement and Advice
Appendix: Additional Resources to Enhance Your Enjoyment of the Old Testament