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A Christian's Pocket Guide to Loving the Old Testament

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Many of us know and love the stories and characters of the Old Testament such as Joseph, Moses and Jonah. But how do we view its importance in relation to New Testament teaching and our 21st century experiences? This accessible yet powerful addition to the Pocket Guide series draw together the threads of Scripture to help us understand the power of God's word when viewed i Many of us know and love the stories and characters of the Old Testament such as Joseph, Moses and Jonah. But how do we view its importance in relation to New Testament teaching and our 21st century experiences? This accessible yet powerful addition to the Pocket Guide series draw together the threads of Scripture to help us understand the power of God's word when viewed in its completeness.


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Many of us know and love the stories and characters of the Old Testament such as Joseph, Moses and Jonah. But how do we view its importance in relation to New Testament teaching and our 21st century experiences? This accessible yet powerful addition to the Pocket Guide series draw together the threads of Scripture to help us understand the power of God's word when viewed i Many of us know and love the stories and characters of the Old Testament such as Joseph, Moses and Jonah. But how do we view its importance in relation to New Testament teaching and our 21st century experiences? This accessible yet powerful addition to the Pocket Guide series draw together the threads of Scripture to help us understand the power of God's word when viewed in its completeness.

30 review for A Christian's Pocket Guide to Loving the Old Testament

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tom Sussex

    This book was a lot more practical than I thought it would be, even including bullet point breakdowns on a few key OT books. More than anything its a primer, a book that will make you hungry to read more of the Old Testamant and see even more of those details that point to Jesus. So with that in mind: a book that helps me understand God's word and want to read it more? 5 stars. This book was a lot more practical than I thought it would be, even including bullet point breakdowns on a few key OT books. More than anything its a primer, a book that will make you hungry to read more of the Old Testamant and see even more of those details that point to Jesus. So with that in mind: a book that helps me understand God's word and want to read it more? 5 stars.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael Boling

    Sometimes it is not the sheer volume of a book that demonstrates its usefulness or the impact of the information contained within its pages. There are times when a short book is replete with astute insight, sharing information that is often overlooked or overdone in longer tomes. Alec Motyer, in his excellent book A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Loving the Old Testament, provides the reader with that small yet power packed offering that illuminates and explains many important issues regarding the Sometimes it is not the sheer volume of a book that demonstrates its usefulness or the impact of the information contained within its pages. There are times when a short book is replete with astute insight, sharing information that is often overlooked or overdone in longer tomes. Alec Motyer, in his excellent book A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Loving the Old Testament, provides the reader with that small yet power packed offering that illuminates and explains many important issues regarding the Old Testament and why an understanding of the front of the Book is a must before even beginning to explore the back of the Book. I truly appreciated Motyer’s statement regarding the description of the Old Testament as “old”. If we asked Jesus or the disciples about their thoughts on the Old Testament, one can imagine the strange look on their faces. Old? What do you mean old? As noted by Motyer, that page which separates the front half of Scripture from the back half likely should be torn out of our Bibles as it far too often presents a combative situation in our minds as to the message and purpose of each half. Motyer addresses that incorrect approach to our typical understanding of the Old Testament in a way that will truly bring to the reader a fresh passion for God’s Word as a whole and the Old Testament in particular. He outlines with great perspicuity the patterns and principles found in the Old Testament such as the fundamental issues of covenant, how the Old Testament sets the stage for the coming of the Messiah, and perhaps most importantly the consistent message the Old Testament presents that finds itself in the New Testament. In opposition to the two book approach many often take regarding their approach to and understanding of Scripture, Motyer notes the consistent and purposeful message that weaves its way throughout the Bible, one that points the reader to the scarlet thread of redemption through the Messiah Jesus. Of further note is Motyer’s explanation of how to engage the prophetic books. Outside of most of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, the books of the prophets are some of the most neglected in all of Scripture. Motyer rightly notes the reason for that neglect is most have simply not taken the time to read, re-read, and properly analyze what these books are about, their audience, and their connection to the message of salvation. He provides some excellent tools to the reader in regards to breaking down the overall message of the prophetic books and then breaking down those major sections into smaller parts in an effort to grasp how they relate to the overall message of the book and in turn, how that overall message relates to Scripture at large. If I was to recommend an introduction to understanding the Old Testament to both the seasoned theologian and the brand new believer alike, this book would be at or near the top of my book recommendation list. I found Motyer’s insights to be lucid and his effort to help the reader understand the importance of the Old Testament and its message to be one that all believers need to grasp and apply in their study of Scripture. Pick up a copy of this book and have it handy as you read and study the Old Testament. I received this book for free from Christian Focus Publications for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Brantly

    Very good. But more of a study aid/guide than a book to read straight through.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Perry Johns

    A reread for me and just as good the second time as the first! Would really recommend this one for both experienced Bible studiers and newbies. It’s explains lots of deep concepts and connections in a non-academic/intellectual way so it is very readable and insightful.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ian Kitchen

    This is a brief but excellent introduction to the OT. I wish every Christian would read it! He comes from a strongly Covenantal perspective but that shouldn’t ward off readers who have some differences in biblical theology. This book is strongly Christ centered and has the potential to help all readers love and grasp the Old Testament that much better.

  6. 5 out of 5

    David Zimmerman

    I have come to the conclusion that reading Motyer is best reserved for his commentaries. There, he shines; if he has authored a commentary on a book I am preaching through, I obtain a copy. This work fell far short in fulfilling its title for me. While it certainly will give a new or growing Christian a solid grasp of the most important themes and storylines of the Old Testament, I am not convinced that it will generate any great love for the first 39 books of the Bible. At times, the material p I have come to the conclusion that reading Motyer is best reserved for his commentaries. There, he shines; if he has authored a commentary on a book I am preaching through, I obtain a copy. This work fell far short in fulfilling its title for me. While it certainly will give a new or growing Christian a solid grasp of the most important themes and storylines of the Old Testament, I am not convinced that it will generate any great love for the first 39 books of the Bible. At times, the material presented seemed disjointed and confusing. There are plenty of nuggets to be gleaned from its pages, but it was a chore to push through to the end. It is good enough to have a place for the present as an Old Testament reference work, but not compelling enough to be highly recommended. If I had it to do over again, I would invest the money I spent and the time given to reading it in some other work.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Hawkins

    Masterful. So simple, and yet, even after going to seminary and taking many courses and reading many books on the Old Testament, this stands out as one of the best I’ve ever read. It makes me really want to read more by Motyer. Particularly the first 70 pages or so we simply incredible. Short chapter after short chapter giving helpful explanation and compelling insights to the Old Testament. It stirs your interest, wonder, and even love for the God of the Bible. Unfortunately, about 20-30 pages t Masterful. So simple, and yet, even after going to seminary and taking many courses and reading many books on the Old Testament, this stands out as one of the best I’ve ever read. It makes me really want to read more by Motyer. Particularly the first 70 pages or so we simply incredible. Short chapter after short chapter giving helpful explanation and compelling insights to the Old Testament. It stirs your interest, wonder, and even love for the God of the Bible. Unfortunately, about 20-30 pages towards the end seemed quite jumbled—they almost didn’t seem to fit. But towards the end he once again regains the mastery. Overall, truly an incredible read, surprisingly so, for I definitely didn’t expect this short book to be this good. If you’re interested int he Old Testament, or really just the Bible at all, I highly recommend this book!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Ramshaw

    Absolutely incredible introduction to the Old Testament. Alec Motyer has such a brilliant style of breaking down complex themes and presenting them in digestible ways. I wish I had of read this books years ago when I first started studying the Scriptures. Highly recommended.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hany Abdelmalek

    Brief intro. to the Old Testament

  10. 5 out of 5

    Eric Keel

    This is a book I would quickly give to anyone who undervalues the Old Testament. There is so much more that could have been mentioned, but alas, this is a pocket guide.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Hegeman

    Excellent! Feel like you should love the Old Testament but you don’t? Read this and you will. It does what it says on the tin, and leaves you nourished and empowered to continue on. Highly recommend; it’s too short of a book to not warrant reading.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joe Hyink

    A very helpful introduction to the Old Testament with a clear objective of instilling awe and love for it. Not trying to be comprehensive or systematic, Motyer succeeds at effusing delight that is contagious!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andy Bond

    Short, accessible, insightful I haven't read anything else by Alex Motyer, but this short guide was really useful and would recommend as a good starting place to encourage a greater love for the Old Testament. Short, accessible, insightful I haven't read anything else by Alex Motyer, but this short guide was really useful and would recommend as a good starting place to encourage a greater love for the Old Testament.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rick Dobrowolski

    Excellent little book on the value of the Old Testament (although Motyer convincingly argues for "one" Testament). Get this book and read it. It will be worth the extremely short commitment of time compared to other lengthier books. Excellent little book on the value of the Old Testament (although Motyer convincingly argues for "one" Testament). Get this book and read it. It will be worth the extremely short commitment of time compared to other lengthier books.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Wade

    An excellent distillation of Motyer’s decades of work as an Old Testament scholar. Biblically solid and yet very approachable for laypeople. Motyer clearly illustrates the connection between the Old and New Testaments as both being the voice of but one testament. Highly recommended.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

    A lot in a little book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Goins

    There are books that one should read only once and books that should be read over and over again. This book is the latter. A phrase from the afterword accurately describes this book. It is “‘whole bible’ biblical theology.” If a Christian masters this 130 page book, he will have a functional knowledge of the stories that inform and shape the New Testament and his knowledge of Jesus the Messiah. Alec Moyter has a way of drawing out what is already there in the text. Simple memorization of the scriptu There are books that one should read only once and books that should be read over and over again. This book is the latter. A phrase from the afterword accurately describes this book. It is “‘whole bible’ biblical theology.” If a Christian masters this 130 page book, he will have a functional knowledge of the stories that inform and shape the New Testament and his knowledge of Jesus the Messiah. Alec Moyter has a way of drawing out what is already there in the text. Simple memorization of the scriptures in this book would make many a lay Christian very seemingly advanced! I am recommending this book for every single Christian and especially the new ones. Let it be your gateway to his other works. A personal testimony. When I was a younger—let’s say 10 years before the publication of this review—I read the Bible much more poorly. And this book exposes just how much I wasn’t reading it right (at times). A case example was my misreading of Jeremiah 10:2-5. Here is the context in full: “Thus says the Lord: (A)“Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, For the Gentiles are dismayed at them. 3 For the customs of the peoples are [a]futile; For (B)one cuts a tree from the forest, The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. 4 They decorate it with silver and gold; They (C)fasten it with nails and hammers So that it will not topple. 5 They are upright, like a palm tree, And (D)they cannot speak; They must be (E)carried, Because they cannot go by themselves. Do not be afraid of them, For (F)they cannot do evil, Nor can they do any good.” Back in the day, under the influence of a “Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry”—a channel I was simply subscribed to on Youtube and nothing more—I believed that this was a proof-text for Christmas being a pagan holiday. For the record, I stopped believing Christmas was a pagan holiday for a while now. But I didn’t shake my misreading completely until reading this book. As Moyter explains about Isaiah 41:1-7, a passage similar to the above, the emphasis is on gods that are “only wise after the event; man-made expedients, as dead as the materials from which they have been created’, things so inert (v.7b) that they will topple over unless well secured with pegs!” (P. 105). The simple point is that these passages are making fun of the practice of people having to “prop up” their “gods.” I happened to be reading through the Book of Jeremiah via audio book and when I heard the above passage it was amazing how I read it for what it was—and not for what someone else imposed on it. My previous interpretation dissolved in the light of the Biblical story.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Katy Sammons

    This book is worth the price for chapter 10 alone--an explanation of substitutionary atonement. Chapter 13 on the fulfillment of prophecy is also very good. I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator is good, but the nature of the work requires that the reader would benefit most by sitting down and reading with Bible at hand.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Isaac

    Great overview This book was a great tool in order to have a just overview of all the old testament. 1 of the things that really stood out for me was how the author truly stayed with the spirit of having a very practical book that is conversational but at the same time reach the depths of theological thought.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Seth

    Great book. I'll need to read it again sometime. Great book. I'll need to read it again sometime.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Milligan

    A short, but sweet book that will change your view on the Old Testament for the better.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Noah Adams

    GREAT little book that has so much to offer someone seeking to understand the continuity of Scripture between the Old Testament and the New. Absolutely worth the read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Philip Taylor

    Short and sweet. Some gold in these pages.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anita Keatts

    Very good Had to read for a class,but I was glad to read it. It was very informative and easy to read

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brandi Breezee

    The OT beauty is illuminated throughly through the NT clarity. All Motyer does is turn on the light for the reader to see. This should result in loving the Old Testament.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Taunton

    Refreshing.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sean

    If you don't know a lot or intimidated to read the Old Testament this is a great place to start! If you don't know a lot or intimidated to read the Old Testament this is a great place to start!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ian Rees

    Alec Motyer doing what he does best - enthusing about the Old Testament and the way it links naturally with the New.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Briana

    Simplistic but had some interesting points.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    A sturdy 3.5 - detailed, convincing, joyful. Maybe a few too many cross references for a timid reader, but the modern edition makes everything feel manageable and friendly.

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