Monday, February 9, 2009

In Store Now - A Survey of the Old Testament 3rd edition

We just received Andrew Hill and John Walton's third edition of their A Survey of the Old Testament and it's hard to know where to begin. The new edition is full color on glossy paper which makes it extremely attractive (It also doubled the weight from 2 1/2 pounds to almost 5. Yes, I weighed them.) The layout has changed somewhat. The introductions are nicely laid out with "Key Ideas", "Map", "Purpose Statement", "Major Themes", and "God's Presence" heading up each chapter. New features here are the map, purpose statement and God's presence. New photos and illustrations are everywhere and all in color. The "Further Reading" sections have been updated with new entries added and others deleted. At least in one place the rearrangement of material is welcome. In the second edition the tables for the "Early Dating of the Exodus" and the "Late Dating of the Exodus" were on opposite sides of the page. Now they are on facing pages which makes it nice for easy comparison (see pages 106-07). A new chapter has been added, "Responding to God" which focuses on worship in the Old Testament. One chapter has been renamed: "Toward the New Testament" is now "The Journey to Jesus." The index has been expanded but it no longer has the breakdown of "f" for figure, "m" for map or "p" for photo. A loss I'm sure we can live with. An excellent survey of the Old Testament just got better, no, much better. The old thinking that textbooks must be dull and boring is becoming a thing of the past. Here is a survey which is marked with solid scholarship in accessible language (already true of the second edition) but has now come to life in vibrant color.

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