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Introduction to the Old Testament [Hardcover]

By R. K. Harrison (Author)
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Item description for Introduction to the Old Testament by R. K. Harrison...

Drawing on his own vast study and writing from a broadly conservative viewpoint, Harrison first reviews the entire history of Old Testament criticism. He then sets the Hebrew Scriptures in their full context, examining in successive chapters scholarly ideas in ancient Near Eastern archaeology, chronology, text and canon, history, religion, and theology. The book's second major division offers a detailed discussion of each Old Testament book. The final part presents a lucid overview of the apocryphal books. Portions of Harrison's scholarship may be considered somewhat outdated, but his readiness to engage all the issues and problems of Old Testament scholarship has never been paralleled. Scholars, students, and laity alike will hail the return of this indispensable resource.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Hendrickson Publishers
Pages   1344
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.05" Width: 6.34" Height: 2.42"
Weight:   3.44 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2004
ISBN  1565633997  
ISBN13  9781565633995  

Availability  0 units.

More About R. K. Harrison

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R. K. Harrison (1920-1993) was for many years professor of Old Testament studies at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto. He published several volumes of the "Tyndale Old Testament Commentary" and served as editor for the "New Unger s Bible Dictionary," "Encyclopedia of Biblical Ethics," and "Old Testament Times.""

R. K. Harrison has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Nelson's Compact
  2. Nelson's Super Value
  3. Unlock the Bible

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > Old Testament
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > New Testament > Study
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > New Testament

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Reviews - What do customers think about Introduction to the Old Testament?

Inro to the Old Terstament  Aug 10, 2007
This is an excellent, scholarly and comprehensive treatment of the OT. RK Harrison, the author, is apparently recognized by conservative and liberal thelolgians (possibly begrudgingly by the latter) for his precision and objectivity as a scholar. I especially appreciated Harrison's critical analysis of higher criticism including his conclusion that that discipline as a so-called scientific method is significantly flawed in light of recent archaelogical and related findings. This book is the best of its kind and I highly recommend it!
Book details  Apr 28, 2007

Just to inform everyone, the Vol. 1 [paperback] edition, ends with PART EIGHT: THE PENTATEUCH, and is 662 pages. I searched for Vol. 2 but it seems as if it is not available. These are reprints by Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (First printing, September 1969; Reprinted, June 1979).

Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., publishes the hardcover edition in arrangement with Eerdmans. It contains both volumes, topping out at 1335 pages.

I own both of the books listed above - the format is identical, the font is a nice readable size, and the paper quality is good.

The paperback edition just edges out over the hardcover because the printing stock is an eggshell color whereas the other is white. A very minor detail for sure, but when reading for an extended period, the off-whites are easier on the eyes.

Finally, might I humbly suggest two sources for a solid start on understanding the OT are the volume listed above and "Kingdom Prologue, by Meredith G. Kline".
A must-have for Old Testament Studies  Apr 24, 2007
If you are after a comprehensive study of thought of the Old Testament, then this is the perfect book. Though this book is 40 years old, it still remains highly recommended as one of the best sources for study.
Harrison endeavours to evaluate all views of thought and weighs them by their merits. Harrison is honest and does not let his own view point skew the evidence, no matter where the evidence leads. This isn't to say that he doesn't put forth his views, but when he does it is merely supplementary.
Harrison is faithful to a conservative view of the Old Testament, taking it at face value and justifying his position authoritatively and empirically. Though there have been many attempts at denigrating the historicity of the Old Testament, Harrison is convincing in its defence.

If you want a comprehensive study of thought of the Old Testament, then there is none better.
The BEST one-volume intro to OT studies!  Feb 22, 2004
R.K. Harrison's monumental single-volume "Introduction to the Old Testament" packs in everything you need to get started with a serious study of the Hebrew Scriptures. You will be acquainted especially with the history of scholarly criticisms (e.g. the Graf-Wellhausen JEPD stuff), archaeology, Ancient Near Eastern cultures and languages, book-by-book criticisms, development of theology in the OT era, etc. etc.

Over my years of studying the OT, I have noticed the ever-widening gap between the pew and the academia. The average Church-goer is woefully uninformed regarding issues of OT interpretation. Zealous readers who desire to get more out of their Bible-reading will probably be boggled by the amount of information and views/counter-views of any Critical Commentaries. Most of the time, they have to struggle to understand what was the "big deal" in all the endless arguments of scholars in the said commentaries (I know I did!). Harrison puts all the necessary views/counter-views in one convenient package to acquaint the serious reader with the "esoterica" of the academia.

Harrison hails from the traditional-conservative position. However, he gives ample ground for the presentation and careful consideration of the views of "higher critics" and liberal scholars... all with an objectivity that is laudable in this age of strawberry-flavoured "devotionals". He speaks his mind in many instances - but more with the aim of stimulating his reader to think rather than to convince you of the "infallibility" of traditional-conservative views. All the above reasons make this the BEST single-volume introduction to a lifelong serious study of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Start with THIS book for Old Testament studies  Sep 14, 2002
A handful of years ago Thomas Thompson (of the Copenhagen School) wrote a message on an Internet listserv that he did not consider Roland K. Harrison to be a historian. However that was about 1995 and Harrison's book is from 1969 when the issues of historicity were not the same.

Harrison begins his "introduction" (the book runs over 1300 pages) with a review of the development of Old Testament study. A special chapter is dedicated to the Graf-Wellhausen hypothesis and another chapter to reactions to the same. This section is followed by ones on archaeology, chronology, and the text and canon of the Old Testament. Following sections deal with Old Testament history, religion, and

After almost 500 pages, Harrison begins to deal with the books of the Old Testament beginning with the Pentateuch. This is followed by sections of the prophets and the writings, the other two sections of the Tanakh. Finally comes a section on the Apocrypha.

Needless to say Harrison's Introduction is thorough. His includes some 400 pages more than that of Robert Pfeiffer and 850 pages more than Osterley and Robinson. THIS book is the place to start for anyone interested in what we call Old Testament studies.


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