Item description for Commentary-IVP Bible Background Comment-Old Testament (IVP Bible Background Commentary) by John H. Walton, Victor H. Matthews & Mark W. Chavalas...
Overview What was the significance of serpents in biblical times? Why was pork considered unclean? Drawing from various ancient texts and resources, this unique commentary clarifies historical references, social and cultural backgrounds, and archaeological discoveries in an accessible and lucid style that sparkles with interest and enlarges your understanding of Scripture.
Publishers Description How can we account for the "Book of the Law" suddenly being discovered during Josiah's renovation of the temple (2 Chron 34:14)? We know from Egypt and Mesopotamia that it was common to seal important documents--including theological documents--in the masonry or foundations of a palace or temple in order to inform a future king who might undertake restoration of the building. What might the psalmist have had in mind when praising God for removing our transgressions "as far as the east is from the west" (Ps 103:12)? In an Egyptian hymn to Amun-Re, the deity is praised for his judgment of the guilty. As a result of the god's discernment the guilty are assigned to the east and the righteous to the west. What is meant by God "weighing the heart" (Prov 21:2)? In Egyptian religious tradition we find the notion of the dead being judged before the gods. As the soul is examined, the dead person's heart is weighed in a scale against a feather symbolizing Truth. If the answers are correct and the heart does not outweigh the feather, the soul may enter the realm of everlasting life. The narratives, genealogies, laws, poetry, proverbs and prophecies of the Old Testament are deeply rooted in history. Archaeologists, historians and social scientists have greatly advanced our knowledge of the ancient world of the Bible. When we illuminate the stories of Abraham or David, the imagery of the Psalms or Proverbs, or the prophecies of Isaiah or Jeremiah with this backlight of culture and history, these texts spring to new life. The unique commentary joins The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament in providing historical, social and cultural background for each passage of the Old Testament. From Genesis through Malachi, this single volume gathers and condenses an abundance of specialized knowledge--making it available and accessible to ordinary readers of the Old Testament. Expert scholars John Walton, Victor Matthews and Mark Chavalas have included along with the fruits of their research and collaboration a glossary of historical terms, ancient peoples, texts and inscriptions maps and charts of important historical resources expanded explanations of significant background issues introductory essays on each book of the Old Testament The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament will enrich your experience of the Old Testament--and your teaching and preaching from Scripture--in a way that no other commentary can do.
Citations And Professional Reviews Commentary-IVP Bible Background Comment-Old Testament (IVP Bible Background Commentary) by John H. Walton, Victor H. Matthews & Mark W. Chavalas has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal - 11/15/2000 page 33
American Reference Bks Annual - 01/01/2002 page 577
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Studio: IVP Academic
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.21" Width: 6.31" Height: 2.21" Weight: 2.7 lbs.
Release Date Dec 8, 2000
Publisher IVP-InterVarsity Press
Series IVP Bible Background Commentary
ISBN 0830814191 ISBN13 9780830814190
Availability 8 units. Availability accurate as of Jan 23, 2017 06:17.
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More About John H. Walton, Victor H. Matthews & Mark W. Chavalas
JOHN H. WALTON (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College and Graduate School. He has authored or edited more than a dozen books, including several Bible commentaries and Bible story books for children.
KIM E. WALTON has been teaching Sunday school and developing and evaluating curriculum for 25 years. The Waltons have three adult children.
John H. Walton currently resides in the state of Illinois. John H. Walton was born in 1952.
John H. Walton has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Commentary-IVP Bible Background Comment-Old Testament?
So much good info Mar 8, 2007
I've found it to be priceless to have this book (and the NT edition also) at the table whenever doing a Bible study. When I do group Bible Studies (especially inductive studies), people love to crack this reference book open so that they can get more clues into the significance of objects and names and motivation of the characters in the Bible. I am not a Biblical scholar, so there would simply no way for me to learn about some of the more obscure details we come across during even common passages for study. I also own the electronic version of this book, so that I have it with me wherever I go with my laptop.
Excellent Cultural Orientation Tool Feb 16, 2007
This and its New Testament companion are excellent resources in helping to understand the culture and thus the likely meaning in any given text. They will not replace standard commentaries but are a great addition to them.
Good, but not as detailed as the New Testament companion volume Jul 7, 2006
I was mildly disappointed with this book. It is supposed to be a verse by verse tour of the Old Testament, giving cultural, historical, and social information that lies behind the text. But even though the Old Testament is three times bigger than the New Testament, this book is a tad shorter than the NT companion volume written by Keener.
Moreover, the book is very uneven. Some parts of the Old Testament are loaded with information, and other parts of the Old Testament are skipped entirely. And then you have paragraphs of scripture that have only one or two lines of comment that are not always helpful to the preacher who is looking for a bit more to give to the people.
Yet in some sections, Walton, Mathews and Chavalas deliver the goods. For example, the information in Genesis 12 about how difficult and unprecedented it would be for a man like Abram to leave everything behind to follow God was very helpful to me as I was preparing a sermon on this portion of scripture.
And I really appreciated the background information in Exodus 5-8 about how there was an Egyptian god that was overpowered in every area where Moses raised his staff.
Therefore, I am giving this book 4 stars, but really, you will need another book to give you the rest of what you will need when teaching through the Old Testament. Perhaps the IVP Dictionary of the OT Pentateuch and the IVP Dictionary of the OT Historical Books will do just fine. Or you may want to add the New Nelson's Manners and Customs of Bible Times.
Exceptional Resource! May 28, 2004
I have been using this resource for more than four years in a variety of contexts--academic classes, Bible studies with high school and college students, and so on. This book is an invaluable resource.
Two main reasons to buy this book: 1) We are all very removed from the cultural perspective of the authors who wrote the Old Testament. This book helps bridge that gap by pointing out details we would consider irrelevant and giving context to other details we would otherwise misunderstand. 2) The text is highly readable and accessible for a wide selection of readers. The scholarship is very strong, fair, and thought-provoking, and furthermore, the editorial team did an excellent job ensuring that the information was presented in a clear and interesting manner. I've often found myself provoked to curiousity and ended up reading more than I originally intended to (and, no, that is not a habit for me with most reference books!).
A brief word, too, about the fact that an evangelical publisher is responsible for this book being published. First, every publishing house has biases, so to judge an evangelical publisher for publishing work sympathetic to evangelical tendencies is a bit harsh. Secondly, as one who reads a fair amount from a variety of sources, I have often found that IV Press books exhibit an uncommon level of integrity and fairness in the way their books are written. Thirdly, it is a logical fallacy to argue that a book does not contain truth or is inaccurate due to its origin. Have an open mind and judge the accuracy of the material on its own merits.
Really, this is a great text. I know several dozen men and women who regularly use this book in their work and who consider it very helpful for the purpose of presenting Scripture accurately. I strongly encourage you to buy and use this book.