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Encountering the Old Testament, 4th Edition

A Christian Survey

series: Encountering Biblical Studies

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This new edition of a bestselling evangelical survey of the Old Testament has been updated throughout. It is lavishly illustrated with four-color images, maps, and charts and retains the pedagogical features that have made the book so popular:

· chapter outlines, objectives, and summaries
· study questions
· sidebars featuring primary source material and ethical and theological issues
· lists of key terms, people, and places
· further reading recommendations

Additional resources for students and instructors are available through Textbook eSources.

To the Professor
To the Student
1. What Is the Old Testament and Why Study It?
2. Where and When Did the Events of the Old Testament Take Place?
Part 1: Encountering the Pentateuch
3. Introduction to the Pentateuch: The Birth of God's People
4. Genesis 1-11: The Prelude to Israel
5. Genesis 12-50: The Patriarchs: Ancestors of Israel's Faith
6. Exodus: A Miraculous Escape
7. Leviticus: Instructions for Holy Living
8. Numbers: Failure in the Desert
9. Deuteronomy: Restoring the Covenant
Part 2: Encountering the Historical Books
10. Introduction to the Historical Books: The History of Israel's Nationhood
11. Joshua: Conquest and Division
12. Judges and Ruth: Israel's Moral Crisis
13. First Samuel: God Grants a King
14. Second Samuel: David's Reign
15. First Kings: The Glory of Solomon and the Beginning of the End
16. Second Kings: The End of National Israel
17. First and Second Chronicles: A Look Back
18. Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther: A Time to Rebuild
Part 3: Encountering the Poetical Books
19. Introduction to the Poetical Books: The Literature of God's People
20. Job: One Man's Search for Justice
21. Psalms: The Songbook of Ancient Israel
22. Proverbs: Advice on Living in God's World
23. Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs: Israelite Faith in Everyday Life
Part 4: Encountering the Prophets
24. Introduction to the Prophets: Voices of God's Servants
25. Isaiah 1-39: Prophet of Judah's Royal Court
26. Isaiah 40-66: Great Days Are Coming!
27. Jeremiah 1-20: Struggling with God's Call
28. Jeremiah 21-52 and Lamentations: Dealing with Disaster
29. Ezekiel 1-24: Rough Days Are Coming!
30. Ezekiel 25-48: God Is Planning an Exciting Future!
31. Daniel: The Kingdom of God--Now and Forever
32. Hosea, Joel, and Amos: A Call for Repentance and a Promise for Blessing
33. Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah: God's Plan for the Nations
34. Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi: Rebuilding a People
Epilogue: A Final Word


"This textbook rivals the best Old Testament introductions on the market today. It is a treasure trove of entry-level information that carefully balances biblical, historical, contextual, and theological analysis. Students will appreciate that the chapters are filled with aesthetically pleasing visual aids, end of chapter questions, and Christian reflections. Professors will appreciate the careful attention given to the pedagogical resources that accompany the text. Arnold and Beyer are to be commended for their work that has weathered the test of time and continues to grip the attention of students year after year!"

Joy L. Vaughan, assistant professor, Asbury University

"With this fourth edition of Encountering the Old Testament, Arnold and Beyer have improved an already impressive textbook. While some textbooks singularly lean toward literary interpretation, historical background, or biblical-theological themes, Arnold and Beyer have produced one of the most balanced textbooks in all these categories. With clear chapter outlines and objectives, introductory students will know exactly what they can expect to learn. The additional helps available within this textbook (sidebars, key terms, study questions, further reading, etc.) serve to enhance the student's experience of encountering the Old Testament with joy."

Adam J. Howell, associate professor of Old Testament interpretation, Boyce College

The Authors

  1. Bill T. Arnold

    Bill T. Arnold

    Bill T. Arnold (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is Paul S. Amos Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, where he has taught for more than twenty-five years. He is the author or editor of twelve books, including...

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  2. Bryan E. Beyer

    Bryan E. Beyer

    Bryan E. Beyer (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is Bible professor emeritus at Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina, where he has taught for more than thirty-five years. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including...

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