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On the Old Testament (A Book You'll Actually Read) [Paperback]

By Mark Driscoll (Author)
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Item description for On the Old Testament (A Book You'll Actually Read) by Mark Driscoll...

Driscoll offers clear, biblical answers to some of the most common questions about the Old Testament. (Biblical Studies)

Publishers Description

Packed with big truth, this little book on the Old Testament can be read in roughly one hour, making it a book you'll actually read. Mark Driscoll, one of America's most influential pastors, answers the nine most common questions about the Old Testament-questions about authorship, what Jesus says about the Old Testament, how the Old Testament books were chosen as Scripture, and more-and gives an overview of the various kinds of Old Testament literature. Two appendices include a comprehensive list of further resources and a checklist for reading through the entire Old Testament.

On the Old Testament is part of a series of inexpensive and accessible books that give clear, biblical answers to difficult theological questions and controversies. Through this series readers will get a solid and simple introduction to the Bible by investing just a little time.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Crossway Books
Pages   92
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.02" Width: 5.08" Height: 0.21"
Weight:   0.21 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 9, 2008
Publisher   Crossway Books/Good News
Edition  Reprinted  
Series  A Book You'll Actually Read  
ISBN  143350135X  
ISBN13  9781433501357  

Availability  0 units.

More About Mark Driscoll

Mark Driscoll

Mark Driscoll was the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church, a multi-site congregation based in Seattle that spaned 15 locations in five states. He was the founder of Resurgence (, co-founder of the Acts 29 Network, and the author of numerous books. Pastor Mark's sermons reach millions of listeners online, and in 2010 Preaching magazine named him one of the 25 most influential pastors of the past 25 years. Pastor Mark and his wife have five children.

Gerry Breshears (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is professor of theology and chairman of the division of biblical and theological studies at Western Seminary. He also serves as an elder and on the preaching team at Grace Community Church in Gresham, Oregon.

Mark Driscoll has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Best of Small Groups
  2. Leadership Network Innovation

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible Study > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Old Testament > Old Testament
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Old Testament

Christian Product Categories
Books > Bible Study > Old Testament Studies > General
Books > Bible Study > General Studies > General

Reviews - What do customers think about On the Old Testament (A Book You'll Actually Read)?

Big things do come in little packages!  Dec 8, 2009
WOW! What a wealth of insight in such a small book. Pastor Mark Driscoll found a way to fit a lifetime of experience in a very small book and he pulled it off beautifully.

He writes that it will take only about 1 hour to read the book. It took me far longer because I wanted to study it more than read it. This book will help you refine the way you study the Bible so that you can get the most out of your time in the Word.

The book contains a list of recommended reading which is more than just a list. He gives details on what it contains and why it is recommended.

Thanks for such a great book. I can't wait to start the next one, 'On the New Testament'.On the New Testament (A Book You Will Actually Read)
Short, introductory, but has a great and useful appendix  Feb 14, 2009
This is an odd book to review. The body is only 75 pages, and consists of answers to 9 commonly asked Old Testament questions, along with a short review of each of the 39 Old Testament books. If I'd never read the Old Testament, this would have probably been more enjoyable and valuable than it was.

What really saved the value of this book for me was the appendix, where Driscoll gives a ton of really helpful advice on building an effective theological library. Driscoll is a hardcore, really deep Bible teacher, and so his recommendations go beyond "Buy every Andy Stanley book there is" and other useful, but simplistic, approaches. You could probably buy every book he lists and be miles ahead of many seminary students, and actually have some practical knowledge, too (scary, I know).

If you want a super-short primer for the Old Testament, this is great. If you're looking for Bible-style notes with verse counts, or in-depth treatments, you may be disappointed.
Great short starter...  Sep 26, 2008
This is the first book in the series of small books from Mark Driscoll titled, "A book you'll actually read..." This book is for the purpose of a beginner trying to understand the Old Testament and to do it in roughly an hour of reading. This is obviously just a starter book to get a quick understanding of some important topics that discuss the background of the Old Testament.

The book is broken up in three parts and actually covers a lot of material, not exhaustively, but still provides a Reformed understanding of the Old Testament. The three parts are:

I. Answers to Nine Common Questions about the Old Testament

Who wrote the Old Testament?
What does the Old Testament say about the Old Testament?
What does the New Testament say about the Old Testament?
What does Jesus say about the Old Testament?
How were the Old Testament books chosen as Scripture?
What is the central message of the Old Testament?
How did we get the Old Testament in English?
Why are there different Bible translations?

II. How to Read the Old Testament

In this section Pastor Driscoll gives a quick, like two or three sentence quick, synopsis of every book in the Old Testament. He spends a little more time on discussing the Pentateuch overall and the overall understanding of Prophets and what they were used for. My only "gripe" would be that he leaned more on the "Inward testimony of the Holy Spirit" to discern false prophets. I think this can be very dangerous if this is the way that we test them. He did give other ways, but by ending as this being the way we can do this today, left me scratching my head how this would transfer to a new Christian.

III. Appendix 1: Building a Theological Library

This is a great resource. Driscoll gives a clear and distinct way to build a library for the student of Scripture. He gives the book, the title, and usually why it is an outstanding resource. This is actually worth getting the book alone.

Buy the book, read it, and then give it to a new Christian or someone looking into reading the Bible. Well worth it and they will, as the title suggests, actually read it. Highly Recommended.
Embarrassingly bad errors in canon section  Sep 14, 2008
I only read one chapter of this book -- and was so put off by the embarrassingly bad errors in it that I didn't care to read any more.

In the chapter that addresses the question "How were the Old Testament books chosen as Scripture?" author Mark Driscoll says that up until the Council of Trent in 1546, Christians and Jews largely agreed on the books that comprise the Old Testament -- and that at Trent, the Catholic Church added books to the canon to support its doctrines. Driscoll says quite matter-of-factly that prior to Trent, the "added" books were never considered canonical.

This is a common and persistent myth among Protestant Christians, but one would think that someone who's writing a book on the Old Testament would know better, or at least make an attempt to confirm the facts.

The simple fact is, those "added" books had been previously affirmed as canonical at the councils of Rome (382), Hippo (393), Carthage (397 and 419), II Nicea (787) and Florence (1442). So it is just dead wrong to say that the Council of Trent "added" the books to the canon: The Church had recognized and asserted the canonicity of these books for more than a millennium prior to Trent.

(If you'd like to confirm these facts on your own, there are plenty of online resources out there that discuss the debate about these books, which Protestants call "apocryphal" and which Catholics and Orthodox Christians call "deuterocanonical.")

As I said above, the errors Driscoll makes in this chapter are just so bad that I would strongly encourage someone interested in the Old Testament to seek out better researched works ... which is too bad, because I like how the book is packaged as sort of an anti-textbook, intended to appeal to people who think this type of material is usually too dry and boring.
Great Intorduction to the Old Testament  Aug 23, 2008
The pace of modern life leaves many of us feeling that we don't have very much available time. When it comes to learning more about the Bible and in this case the Old Testament, many people have good intentions, but often feel intimidated by the subject matter or bound by their lack of available time. If this sounds like you, then I'd highly recommend this small book. At only 96 pages, you will be able to finish reading it (minus the appendixes) in little more than an hour.

Mark's focus in this book is to provide the reader with a succinct introduction to the entire Old Testament that will both encourage and inspire you to read it for yourself. Many readers will relate to the stories Mark recounts in the introduction about his early experiences with reading the Old Testament and how this book grew out of the many questions he has answered on the subject during his time in ministry. In chapter 1, following a brief introduction to the Bible as a whole, Mark focuses on 9 common questions he has been asked about the Old Testament. They are as follows:

1. Who wrote the Old Testament?
2. What does the Old Testament say about the Old Testament?
3. What does the New Testament say about the Old Testament?
4. What does Jesus say about the Old Testament?
5. How were the Old Testament books chosen as scripture?
6. What is the central message of the Old Testament?
7. How did we get the Old Testament in English?
8. Why are there different Bible translations?
9. How can I get the most out of the Old Testament?

Chapter 2 is concerned with how somebody might go about reading the Old Testament. In this chapter, Mark breaks down the various kinds of literature found in the Old Testament. He also gives a short overview of the theme and purpose of each Old Testament book.

The book closes with 2 appendixes. Appendix 1 talks about the importance of in-depth Bible study and makes many great resource suggestions for building your own theological library. Appendix 2 has a Bible reading checklist that the reader can use to keep track of their progress in reading through the Old Testament.

Let me conclude by saying that this great little book covers a lot of ground in less than 100 pages. Non-believers, new Christians, and even seasoned Christians will benefit from reading this book. Mark's writing style is engaging and clear, making this topic accessible for any reader of any experience level with the Old Testament. The price point also makes this a reasonable resource to share your friends and family.

Mark Driscoll is the founding pastor of Mars Hill church [] in Seattle. He is also co-founder and president of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network []. Mark has penned an ever-growing list of books including: A book you'll actually read series, Vintage Jesus, Death by Love (Sept. 30, 2008), and others. Mark is married to his high school sweetheart Grace. They have been blessed with 5 children.

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