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Preaching Hard Texts of the Old Testament [Paperback]

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Item description for Preaching Hard Texts of the Old Testament by Elizabeth Rice Achtemeier...

The sacrifice of Isaac, God's command for Hosea to marry a harlot, Moses' use of a bronze serpent for healing. . . . How do you explain texts that are so difficult to understand? Professor Achtemeier discusses 31 unsettling passages in the Old Testament, and offers compelling sermon suggestions that'll help you preach on them with courage and conviction.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Hendrickson Publishers
Pages   208
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.41" Height: 0.65"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 30, 1998
ISBN  1565633334  
ISBN13  9781565633339  

Availability  0 units.

More About Elizabeth Rice Achtemeier

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Achtemeier is a renowned Old Testament scholar who is familiar throughout the U.S. and Canada as a preacher, teacher, and writer. She is an ordained Presbyterian minister and is retired after 40 years of teaching.

Elizabeth Rice Achtemeier lived in the state of Virginia. Elizabeth Rice Achtemeier was born in 1926 and died in 2003.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Religious Studies > Christianity
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Ministry
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Preaching
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Sermons
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism > Missions & Missionary Work
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > Old Testament
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Old Testament
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
9Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Old Testament > Old Testament

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Pastoral Help > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Preaching Hard Texts of the Old Testament?

A Wonderful Preaching Aid For Pastors  Jul 20, 2007
I've been in the pulpit full time for 11 years now, and as I looked for resources that help with Hosea, Joel and Amos, I ran across Achtemeier's name. This book intrigued me and I'm very glad that I ordered a copy to review.

I have to say that the style of writing is excellent for pastors who are writing sermons. The book definitely delivers great material that fits the title.

She deals with 31 passages that span most of the OT.

Looking at Hosea 1:2-9 she titles it "Marry a harlot". The first page or so gives a quick overview of the context and relevant setting of the background of Hosea. Nestled within this context are simple and sweeping rebuttals of some of the counterpoint views from groups of commentaries (she does not name the commentators she interacts with). For example she says that 'attempts have been made to soften the words of Hosea 1:2-9' and goes on to explain why that proposal is unacceptable, but gives no links to help the reader find the relevant sources for her comments. This is nice in that one can just read straight through without all the 'clutter' that most commentaries have. Her stuff is very readable and enjoyable. It's not good if you want to check out the sources to see if she has assessed them accurately...and if you are not a buff on Hosea, which the intended audience definately isn't, then how can you check out anything she says? It reminds me a little of the Bible Speaks Today series and how they handle issues like this (if you are familiar with that series).

After the section on Hosea 1 called 'Plumbing the Text' where she goes through a nutshell summary of the exegetical idea, she then goes on to another section called 'Forming the Sermon' where she basically preaches. Her application is Christ-centric with a clear grasp of practical life problems in contemporary American culture as well as a direct linkage to the gospel message of the cross. Honestly, I think the 'Forming the Sermon' section is a gold mine for a pastor develop a sermon on this passage.

I guess I would call this little book's section on Hosea, and by extrapolation the rest of the 31 passages she deals with, an exceptionally succinct and helpful tool for pastors who are preaching through the OT.

I urge you to pick up a copy.
The Bible Doesn't Have a Problem, WE do!  Apr 18, 2000
Elizabeth Achtemeier, a Presbyterian, a seminary professor, and an authority on preaching the Hebrew scriptures, says that if we have a problem with some passages from the Old Testament we should remember that it's our problem not the problem of the Bible.

Selecting some 31 readings, half of which come up in the Common Lectionary at some point, she looks at the passage in its context and then suggests ways it could be used as a sermon text.

Achtemeier says that the difficulties preachers have with preaching on the Old Testament may spring from not understanding the Old Testament or from not being willing to hear the message the passage brings to our own lives.

Using short chapters of six or eight pages, the author digs right into the text to clearly give the situation it addresses. The she discusses the message it carries for the ancient reader as well as the contemporary reader.

For example, in her treatment of Genesis 22:1-19, The Sacrifice of Isaac, she points out the intimate relationship the story describes between Abraham and his son, Isaac. Then she goes on to point out that this couple, Abraham, who is no paragon of faith, and is wife, Sarah, who is no model of faith, is nevertheless the slender thread upon which God hangs the promise that they shall be the parents of a great host of people - Israel. Some test is required to establish whether they can do what God wants them to do. Abraham passes the test with flying colors (Sarah is not heard from again until her death). Achtemeier goes on to say that we must not think that "God's test of our trust in him is behind every single affliction that we suffer. In the Scriptures, God tests his servants when his purpose is at stake." She points out that in Gethsemane Jesus passes a similar test and models unwavering faith and witness for persecuted Christians throughout the ages.

For me this was an inspiring read and was especially appropriate for devotional reading during Holy Week.

Charley Day, retired Episcopal priest and Board Certified Chaplain


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