Item description for Toward an Old Testament Theology by Walter Kaiser...
Overview Exploring the difficulty in determining the true nature, method, scope, and motivation for Old Testament theology, this book proposes the promise of God as the center of Old Testament theology and applies the solution to each of its eras.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Toward an Old Testament Theology?
Standard OT Theology Book from an Evangelical Perspective Apr 19, 2005
This has to be one of the best written OT theology books written from a conservative and evangelical perspective. Trying to study OT theology from a conservative perspective without reading Kaiser's work is trying to study Calvinism without reading Calvin's "Institutes". This probably being Kaiser's "magnum opus" book should be read by all students of OT studies and theology. Kaiser writes from a "promise-fulfillment" perspective and avoids the excesses of both "replacement theology" and classical dispensationalism. One of his arguments being that the OT authors had multiple fulfillments in mind when writing about the realization of the promises in the future. Thus, though the great promise will be fulfilled in the Church age to a degree, it will be fulfilled in completeness at the Parousia. The book has a nice flow and organization to it. It goes over all the major periods of OT history (Chapters 5-15) and up to the NT (Chapter 16). The first section of the book (Chapters 1-4) deal with OT theological methodology. Many may find these first four chapters dry and technical, but it is a good introduction to get the reader started. It also includes a bibliography and a full index. The only complaint I have is that the pages are made of beige-coloured paper-back novel paper. I hope in a future edition the publishers will print this book with better quality paper. Overall, though, this book is highly recommended to all students of OT theology.
Excellent! Ties up Lose Ends! May 20, 2004
Walter Kaiser, does an excellent and very convincing job of tying the Old Testament together by showing the consistent, conscious, and continual theology of God's promise throughout the entire Old Testament. When I began reading this book I was skeptical, thinking that Kaiser was going to force the Old Testament into a convenient boxed way of thinking. I was actually hesitant to even read it, not being that interested in its contents. Now I am convinced that the authors of the various Old Testament books consciously understood the progressive revelation and fulfillment of God's promise of which they wrote.
I have to say, the first 70 pages will turn off many. In these pages Kaiser sets out to explain the history behind Old Testament theologies and why he believes many fall short and in which ways. Then he sets out to define how his theology of the Old Testament developed and what hermeneutic he uses (a defining difference between Kaiser and many others is his focus on authorial intent and the message's intent within the context it was written). He ends the first part with a summary of the continuity of the blessing of promise throughout the Old Testament. These pages are very heavy reading. You will probably find yourself dozing. If you are really having a hard time with this section, my recommendation: Read chapter 4 of Part 1 and then move on the bulk of the book, Part II (you can always go read part 1 later). I do not think that Part I is superfluous but it is not necessary to understand and appreciate the message of the book.
Part II defines the Old Testametn theology in almost 200 pages. The Chapters are as follows: 5. Prolegomena to the Promise: Prepatriarchal Era 6. Provisions in the Promise: Patriarchal Era 7. People of the Promise: Mosaic Era 8. Place of the Promise: Premonarchical Era 9. King of the Promise: Davidic Era 10. Life in the Promise: Sapiential Era 11. Day of the Promse: 9th Century 12. Servant of the Promise: 8th Century 13. Renewal of the Promise: 7th Century 14. Kingdom of the Promise: Exilic Prophets 15. Triumph of the Promise: Postexilic Prophets
Finally the 3rd chapter is an 8-page summary of this Theology's connection with New Testament Theology. I do wish that this section had been more through, but the message was there.
The very thorough indices (by authors, subjects, Scripture referecnes, and Hebrew words) are very helpful to help you use this as a reference after reading it.
A book that I was not too excited about reading has now become on of the most used and dog-eared in my library. This book has come to help define my Old Testament theology. -Jacob Hantla
Foundational Book Mar 17, 2004
The first few chapter are tough, but the book uses a diachronic (Kaiser's term) to present the theology. In other words, he shows how each successive time period builds on the previous time periods. The books presents an exciting unity of the Old Testament using the promises and the covenants. The books helps place each O.T. book in its historical context. This book is fundamental in understanding Walter Kaiser's approach to theology or O.T. theology in general.
Awesome Book Jan 20, 2002
This is an incredibly insightful book, tracing and understanding the promise(s) of God down throughout history. He picks up where Willis Beecher left off in his "The Prophets and the Promise", which I also highly recommend if you can find it, and explains it in a more easy to understand manner. Not an easy read...but well worth the effort. It will insert a fresh view into the Old Testment the next time you read through it.
Time well spent Apr 4, 2000
This book is a great resource for tying together the Old Testament. It is not, however, light reading. I tried just reading straight through it, but it just wasn't happening. I finally read it taking notes as I went. I ended up with about 40 pages of notes and a new appreciation for Old Testament Theology. (Don't get bogged down by the first few chapters. I think you could even skip them if you want to and either do or don't go back to them later. The only reason I continued after these two boring chapters was that I had to read the book for a class.) I thoroughly recommend that anyone who desires to understand the Old Testament take their time reading this excellent book.