Friday, August 21, 2009

Longman, How to Read Exodus

This week, the mail delivered a few more interesting books from IVP Books. First was In the Beginning God: Creation, Culture, and the Spiritual Life by Marva J. Dawn(IVP, 2009) . Second, was Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional by Jim Belcher with a forward by Richard Mouw (IVP, 2009) . I've only briefly browsed these titles, so I am not ready to comment on them. However, a third book arrived today that I was thrilled to receive: How to Read Exodus by Tremper Longman III (IVP Academic, 2009) .

How to Read Exodus is the fourth in a series on interpretive strategies to reading the OT. A few years ago I found great help in Longman's How to Read the Psalms (IVP, 1988). I would love to see this volume revised and updated. Since this initial volume, Longman has written similar works on the books of Proverbs (2002) and Genesis (2005).

Longman is an excellent guide when it comes to responsible, evangelical scholarship, especially in the OT. To begin with, Longman's Old Testament Commentary Survey (4th ed. Baker Academic, 2007) is superb. His An Introduction to the Old Testament (2nd ed. Zondervan, 2006) also comes highly recommended and has enjoyed extensive use in evangelical seminaries. Beyond these volumes Longman has written excellent commentaries on various OT books such as Ecclesiastes (NICOT, 1997), Daniel (NIVAC, 1999), Song of Songs (NICOT, 2001), Proverbs (BCOTWP, 2006), Jeremiah & Lamentations (NIBC, 2008), and Psalms (EBC, rev. ed., 2008).

I've already begun to dig into How to Read Exodus and have been enjoying and benefiting from it. This small volume is divided into five parts with two useful appendices ("Who Wrote the Book of Exodus?" and "Commentaries on the Book of Exodus"). The five divisions are as follows:
  1. Reading Exodus with a Strategy
  2. Reading Exodus as Literature
  3. Reading Exodus as History in its Historical Context
  4. Reading Exodus as God's Story
  5. Reading Exodus as a Christian
The book concludes with Author, Subject, and Scripture indices.

Take a peek inside and read chapter 1: Understanding the Book of "Departure."