I was very interested when I came across “The Epic of Eden: A Christian Entry into the Old Testament” by Sandra L. Richter and was very happy when I received my copy from IVP Academic. I have a huge desire to understand the Word of God more and more every day to help me grow closer to Him. This book dives into the Old Testament and how it relates to the big picture of God’s plan of redemption for mankind within the context of the Bible as a whole. I would recommend this book to anyone that feels that the Old Testament is just a collection of different historical accounts or poetry. It is much more than that and really provides such a wonderful understanding of the cultures and writings of the Old Testament.
I would give this book a 9.4 out of my normal 10 point rating scale. On a “5 star” scale that some websites use, I would give it a 5 star rating.
In full disclosure, I was not required or requested by InterVarsity Press 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 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
“The Epic of Eden: A Christian Entry into the Old Testament” is a very engaging book to read. The author, Sandra Richter, structures this book in a way that solves a problem that she has termed “dysfunctional Old Testament closet syndrome” which likens our understanding of the big picture of the Old Testament to something like a cluttered closet. It’s like we have more of snippets of stories and poems that at times feel unrelated to each other – more of just historical stories. Richter does a phenomenal job of “cleaning up” this proverbial closet of our less than full understanding of the Old Testament and effectively shows how the Old Testament plays very heavily into the story of redemption of mankind from where it was early on in the Garden of Eden all the way up to the new heaven and new earth in the book of Revelation. This book is published by the Academic arm of Intervarsity Press, but honestly, it was written well and anyone even if they are not in seminary or some college level class will get a lot out of this book. I honestly can’t recommend this book highly enough. I would go as far as to say it’s on my “must read” list. I received a copy of this book in exchange for this review from IVP and all opinions are my own.
DESCRIPTION OF THIS BOOK:
Type of Book: Old Testament Studies
Author: Sandra L. Richter
Publisher: IVP (InterVarsity Press) IVP Academic #IVPress @ivpress
Publication Date: November 1, 2008
ISBN-13 of Book Reviewed: 978-0830825776
Price: At the time of writing this review, the cheapest place to get this book is at Christianbook.com. They have it for $17.99 – suggested retail from the publisher is $26.00. See below for a breakout and links to the different prices from some major re-sellers and also the publisher. Please note that these prices do not include any potential shipping charges.
•Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
Goal of Book:
The author has created a term called “dysfunctional Old Testament closet syndrome”, which likens our understanding of the big picture of the Old Testament to something like a cluttered closet. A closet that consists more of Old Testament stories and poems that at times feel unrelated to each other. Richter helps us “clean up” our understanding of the Old Testament by effectively showing us how the Old Testament plays very heavily into the story of redemption of mankind. All the way from how it was in the Garden of Eden up to the new heaven and new earth in the book of Revelation.
My Favorite Part:
If I had to pick a favorite part, I would say that it would have to be how she showed the different major covenants (between God and different people or people groups) showed the progression of God pulling His people back into a covenant relationship with Himself. It is a fascinating and enlightening perspective that she conveyed in this book.
I honestly can recommend this book very highly. You could use this book for your own personal growth or even use it to discuss in a book group or a Bible Study group even. Excellently written.
Who Would Enjoy This Book:
If someone was truly wanting to understand the big picture of the Old Testament, then they would really enjoy and benefit from this book. Get yourself a copy and you won’t be disappointed.
Lists of Figures and Tables
Introduction: The Dysfunctional Closet Syndrome
Chapter 1 – The Bible as the Story of Redemption
Chapter 2 – The Bible in Real Time and Space
Chapter 3 – The Concept of Covenant: The “General Law” That Holds Our Facts Together
Chapter 4 – God’s Original Intent
Chapter 5 – God’s Final Intent: The New Jerusalem
Chapter 6 – Noah and Abraham
Chapter 7 – Moses and the Tabernacle
Chapter 8 – David and the Monarchy
Chapter 9 – The New Covenant and the Return of the King
Frequently Asked Questions
What Role Does the Law of Moses Play in the Christian’s Life?
What About Modern-Day Israel?
About the Publisher:
From the publisher’s website: As an extension of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, InterVarsity Press serves those in the university, the church and the world by publishing resources that equip and encourage people to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord in all of Life.. InterVarsity Press is based in Westmont, IL.
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