Running head: ADVANCED OLD TESTAMENT SURVEYA Journey through the Old Testament Student Attending School Student ID
School in which Student is AttendentFebruary 23, 2014
Advanced Old Testament SurveyIntroduction
I have seen some reports about this book, and most of them were nothing more than rehashing of what we already know about the Old Testament. Some took a favorite chapter or person and centered on it, while others gave a condensed summary of as many chapters as they could, given the space allotted to them. I decided to take another approach, which is to break down the impact that I personally feel the book would have and on whom that impact will have the most effect. The problem with this is that it would take about twelve pages per chapter to fully cover the book, and secondly, many issues would have to be visited and revisited. To avoid this problem I addressed a single positive issue, the readability of the book, and a single negative issue, doctrine issues, and the single issue of implied truth. That being true, let me began with the readability and relevance of the book. When you think of an Old Testament Survey, no matter who it is written by, the first question that comes to mind is, will the literary, historic, and theological issues of the Old Testament be presented in such a way to give a greater understanding of God's redemptive work toward humanity. In almost every case these issues are attached to a taunt chronological line of events having the literary and theological issues hung from them in much the same way one would hang our delicate washables from a clothes line in the backyard. However, Dr. Elmer Towns addresses these very same issues from a completely different perspective. Rather than draw his attention on the liner events of the Old Testament Dr. Elmer Towns directs his attention on the people who God has used in the Old Testament. The Events are still there, but now theological and literary issues seem to become secondary to the people for the reader. How different is “A Journey through the Old Testament” from other traditional Old Testament surveys? The author Elmer Towns, is presuming it's different enough to put all his proverbial eggs in one basket with this particular Old Testament Survey. With statements like “The average American is not interested in dusty history stories. They want to know about people. And, God's people want to know about God's people.” (Towns, 1996, p. 4) Dr. Towns presumes that “A Journey through the Old Testament” provides a reading experience that has up to that point has not been addressed. The Presentation: My first reaction to the imaginative way Dr. Elmer Towns presented the people of the Old Testament was astonishment. Like a lonely housewife reading a Harlequin Romance I could not put down the book. Each individual from Satan to Malachi seemed to come to life, and in every situation I began to wonder, what I would do under the same circumstances. Dr. Towns presented these people of the Old Testament not as superheroes that God had adorned with supernatural abilities of perfect righteousness and relentless faithfulness, but as everyday people, dealing with very difficult circumstances, in the very best way they knew how. The way Dr. Towns formats “A Journey through the Old Testament” is simple and straightforward, his writings intertwines the events of biblical history into the life of the individuals in much the same way someone would write a biography. In fact, every chapter of the book could very easily stand alone as a simple biography of the individual of whom it was written, that is except for those individual whose life covers multiple chapters. The format of these mini-biographies is unambiguous and very easy to assimilate, first he tells a story which highlights the main events in that individual's life, being mindful to incorporate biblical references to support the stories. Then he expounds on the events in the character's life....
References: Towns, E. L. (1996). A Journey through the Old Testament (1 Ed.). Forth Worth Tx: Harcourt Brace Custom Publishers.
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