Item description for A Survey of Old Testament Introduction by Gleason Leonard Archer, Jr....
Overview Archer's classic overview approaches Scripture from both a general and specific perspective. Beginning with evidence to support the conservative stand on canonicity, historicity, inspiration, and higher criticism, he then dissects each individual book covering such issues as authorship, chronology, and theme differences. Includes new maps and photos, plus updated information on the Dead Sea Scrolls.
In this revised volume, Gleason Archer's original study is updated by author Dillon Burroughs. It approaches the study of the Old Testament from both the general and the specific point of view. Dealing first with issues over which many scholars debate, Archer offers evidence to support the conservative view of canonicity, historicity, inspiration, textual problems, and higher criticism. The second section dissects each book of the Old Testament individually. Archer thoroughly covers such issues as biblical creationism, Noah's Ark and the flood, authorship, chronology, alleged language, style, and theme differences. "A Survey of Old Testament Introduction" is invaluable to students, scholars, and laymen who want to understand the conservative position of Old Testament issues and are not afraid to examine critical views.
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More About Gleason Leonard Archer, Jr.
GLEASON L. ARCHER, JR. (1916-2004), (B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Harvard University; B.D., Princeton Theological Seminary; L.L.B., Suffolk Law School) was a biblical scholar, theologian, educator, and author. He authored numerous books, including "In the Shadow of the Cross, The Epistle to the Hebrews: A Study Manual, and Survey of Old Testament Introduction." His instrumental work in the preparation of the Old Testament portion of the New American Standard Bible has gained wide acclaim and positioned him as a world-renowned scholar.
Reviews - What do customers think about A Survey of Old Testament Introduction?
Review Mar 7, 2007
A Survey of Old Testament Introduction was a very informative book, but like all other books, it had its flaws. After reading this book, I have divided it into three parts. The first part is the introduction, the second is Wellhausen's Documentary Theory, and the third is the analysis of the books of the Old Testament. The first part is found in the first five chapters of the book. These chapters deal with the introduction of the Old Testament of the Bible. It is very organized and well worded. The part that I especially liked was the tables given. These tables were very easy to read and understand and also gave new insight into the subject. The pictures (very few) were also interesting because they were things that I had heard about but never seen. If there was one thing that I would change in this section, I would have more pictures added. Since most people haven't seen the ancient scrolls, I think that it would be very interesting. The second part is found in chapters six through thirteen. In these chapters, we are introduced to Wellhausen's Documentary Theory. Archer does a good job of analyzing and refuting Wellhausen's Documentary Theory in these chapters. Through his writing, we can see that Archer is an expert in this field. He is very knowledgeable and provides some very good arguments. The thing that I do not like in these chapters though, is that there is too much information crammed into too few pages. Because I am not an expert in this field, it is a little hard to comprehend. I would have liked this section more if it was worded a little easier for me to understand. The third and last part of the book consisted of chapters that covered the books of the Old Testament one by one. I like how each of the chapters start out with an outline of the entire book. We are able to see at a glance all of the stories that are included in the Bible book. Once again I was able to see that Archer was an expert here because of all the information that was provided. These chapters are written very clearly and with many references to customs of the time periods in the different books. There were probably more things that I liked than disliked about this book. I liked how Archer was very open and honest about various problems that theologians face today such as the problems raised by a global flood. I also liked how he has a vast knowledge of language and uses it to explain things in the Bible. An example of this would be why creation was in six literal days. And of course, the maps and pictures were excellent at showing the different sites and places in which the different stories took place. Now for the things that I thought could be improved. I am a very visual person, so naturally I wish that there had been more pictures in the books. As I stated earlier, I enjoyed the pictures and maps very much. I just wish there had been more of them. Also there were some parts that were a little hard to understand. Maybe it was the wording or just the context it was used, but I had to go back and read some sections a couple of times to get what Archer was trying to say. One place in the book where I had this problem was when Archer talks about the JEDP but then goes back to being conservative. In conclusion, I thought that this book was very good. The good points were far greater than the not so good points. Archer is a very educated expert in the field of the Old Testament. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is studying the Old Testament because I think that they will be able to learn a lot from this book. I think that through the reading of this book, I was able to understand a little more clearly the Old Testament.
if necessary Jan 9, 2007
This is not a "fun" read unless you just can't resist ancient history. But it was required reading for the Old Testament courses I was taking. I honestly didn't use it much except as a resource when I started teaching the course myself.
Full of useful information but the apologetics may annoy some Apr 17, 2006
Gleason's book is really a tale of three parts. The first five chapters is really a fairly general introduction to the first half of the bible written in much the same vein as many other introductions to the bible. Personally I like the treatment in the Archer book. It is a little more organized and tightly worded than many others. The most obvious example of this is the tables that are broken out in red type that summarize the contents of the text. Chapters six through thirteen are really an analysis and refutation of Wellhausen's Documentary Theory. During this section and the next Archer writes with the authority and strength of one who is an expert in his field. That said he covers some sections such as archeological evidence with the brevity of one forming an argument suitable to persuade his peers. The sheer volume of information involving place names and artifacts that flows of the page in relatively few pages was enough to swamp at least my ability to reasonably recall what was written. The remainder of the book covers the books one by one and was for me a disappointment. They are certainly written clearly and with authority and they do contain a wealth of information about the customs and archaeology of the time. It is inevitable that some sections would be written in an apologetic style. For example the in section on Genesis Archer spends considerable time trying to synthesize modern geology with the Genesis account. He takes an Old Earth position which is not unreasonable but is probably not the position of many conservatives. However in addition to being apologetic with regard to science he continues to do battle with the Wellhausen's even though the subject was tackled in depth in chapter thirteen. In fact he becomes so steeped in documentary theory that he even starts describing different biblical sections as J-E or P or D sourced and then tries to establish the conservative position using reductio ad absurdum. This is not invalid but in my opinion it is a waste of a brilliant mans time when he could have been expositing truth. In summary I think this is a very good book and I'm sure I will refer to it frequently. For anyone that is a conservative and that doesn't particularly need convincing that they should be conservative this book may be overly apologetic.
Passionate scholarship Sep 27, 2003
An Old Testament PhD student recommended Archer as a good, general, upper college level introduction for me. I go to liberal arts school where all the students kiss the ground that Wellhausen walked on. For them to even think of refuting The Documentary Hypothesis is to blaspheme Christ. Therefore, I trembled for joy when I bought Archer. Having been indoctrinated by the critical theories I was overjoyed when I saw someone apply sensible scholarship to a holy love for God.
Archer's set up is odd, to be honest with you. Unlike Dillard & Longman (Bibliography/Genre/Authorship/Background/theology/Approach to New Testament)Archer approaches the individual books quite differently. He is more into archeology breakthroughs, names of certain kings, "problem texts". My one flaw with the book is that he did not develop theological themes enough. However, the First and last sections of the book are well worth the price. Archer aims his cannons and unbelieving critical theories and blows them out of the water. First he estavlishes the presuppositions of criticl scholars. If you do not believe that God is able to reveal Himself (or exists, for that matter) then naturally you will doubt the supernatural inspriation of the sacred text. In this section the most exciting part is the refutation of the Documentary Hypothesis. In the last part he examines the work of three prominent Old Testament scholars--Von Rad, Childs, and Noth. He is fair--analyzing them by their presuppositions--and then states his. I would highly recommend this book but also read it alongside another good introduction.
One of the best introduction to the Old Testament but May 20, 2002
Gleason Leonard Archer's Introduction to the OT is well done and will satisfy the Scholar and the informed lay person showing depth of research but already good readability. This work is definitively evangelical and conservative. I personally prefer it to K. A Harrison's which I find too liberal on some topic to my taste. The organization of the book facilitates research work as well as casual reading. However I did not give 5 starts to this book because for a conservative Archer dismissed too easily the 24-hours day view of Genesis 1(see page 201-203) and surprisingly did not spend much time arguing for his day-age view. It was disappointed to see Archer too eager to conform his exegesis of Genesis 1 to available scientific data in general and geology in particular. Consequently, Archer fails to recognize that creation will never fit the "materialistic view" of science and that his exegesis of Genesis 1 is more influenced by "reader-response" and "science" than it is a result of inductive Bible study. Anyways aside of this "lapse" in judgment Archer's work is a must have and is the best OT Introduction I have seen so far!