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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Reading the Old Testament: An Inductive Introduction
Dick, Michael B.

Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2008 pp. xxii + 367. $29.95

Description: The Old Testament did not appear overnight in its present English translations. It developed into its present canonical form over close to a millennium (and has been translated for another two millennia since) and the reader who is sensitive to that development will be a better interpreter of its diverse texts. Michael Dick leads the student-reader on a path of discovery, providing insightful questions and powerful explanations necessary for the effective exploration of this marvelous work. It is the authorís intention to help students understand the Old Testament as a piece of literature (and not helping them to use it in any devotional way). In order to do this he uses examples from ancient literature to shed light on certain texts. For example, he uses an ancient creation myth from Mesopotamia, Atrahasis, to show the relation of ancient myths to the biblical account of the universal flood, as well as Jonathan Swiftís A Modest Proposal to help students understand that the biblical book of Jonah is not to be read as history, and excerpts from Lewis Carrollís Through the Looking Glass to provide insight on how better to understand other texts. Reading the Old Testament is a highly interactive text, with charts, tables, and many questions per chapter appearing both in the text and on an accompanying CD. This text is designed for the professor who is interested in teaching the Old Testament as literature and who enjoys class discussion.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Literature

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Review by George C. Heider
Published 7/24/2009
Citation: George C. Heider, review of Michael B. Dick, Reading the Old Testament: An Inductive Introduction, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2009).

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