Getting the Old Testament Paperback

What It Meant to Them, What It Means for Us

by Steven L Bridge;

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Getting the Old Testament

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"Getting the Old Testament would be particularly useful as a supplemental text in an undergraduate introductory Bible class. . . . [It] makes a valuable contribution to the teaching and learning of the Old Testament."--Jennifer E. Noonan, Ashland Theological Journal

As readers of texts written in antiquity we frequently find ourselves in the position of one who overhears a conversation without the benefit of its context. The likelihood of humorous (or tragic) misunderstanding is palpable. In Getting the Old Testament: What It Meant to Them, What It Means for Us, Steve Bridge examines a number of important texts and genres found in the Old Testament. By bringing what is known of their original historical and literary context to light, he clearly demonstrates how important it is to know the cultural background of those to whom a text was originally addressed. Bridge helps us as modern readers to grasp the intended significance of these ancient texts.

Using modern illustrations from Bart Simpson to fortune cookies, and discussing texts from Genesis to Jonah to Ecclesiastes, Bridge succeeds in making difficult texts come alive for the reader as applying practically to modern life. Each chapter begins with a story, event, or illustration that draws the reader into the point which Bridge wishes to make with regard to the clearest understanding of a particular text or given group of texts. The most poignant of these illustrations is found at the beginning of his chapter on the book of Job, in which he starts with the story of Lou Gehrig and the disease that took his life, ALS (known more commonly as Lou Gehrig's Disease) and which ends with his own father's death from ALS.

An annotated list of suggested readings as well as subject and scripture indexes make this a practical book for college classes.

Getting the Old Testament by Steven L Bridge was published by Baker in July 2009 and is our 58035th best seller. The ISBN for Getting the Old Testament is 9780801045745.

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"Steve Bridge's Getting the Old Testament is a fun and easy way to get a good overview of how modern biblical studies have opened up our understanding of the Old Testament. He combines contemporary examples, light but scholarly descriptions, and many charts to craft a very readable understanding of the development and purpose of the Hebrew Scriptures."--Lawrence Boadt, CSP, emeritus professor of Scripture studies, Washington Theological Union

"A genuinely fresh approach to teaching Scripture, this book eloquently speaks to both the academy and the religious community."--Jacob Neusner, Distinguished Service Professor of the History and Theology of Judaism and Senior Fellow, Institute of Advanced Theology, Bard College

"Professor Bridge combines a deep and accurate appreciation for traditional literary and historical scholarship with an intense desire to identify and communicate a message to Gen Next students. Appropriately in the contemporary mode, he confronts our twenty-first-century readerly responses to the Hebrew Bible and uses those connections to build appropriate meanings. This is a marvelous volume for drawing us into the text, probing it, and probing ourselves."--Barry Bandstra, Evert J. and Hattie E. Blekkink Professor, Hope College

"In the quest for the ultimate undergraduate textbook, Bridge's Getting the Old Testament has got a significant place. . . . There is much to recommend this book. The scope is ambitious and the format compelling: to give an introduction to the Hebrew Bible is no mean task."--Ann Jeffers, Expository Times

"Steven Bridge finds God in the countless contradictions of the Old Testament--the places that make most Christians squirm. . . . Many fundamentalists gloss over these contradictions or try to explain them away. For Bridge, it is the contradictions themselves that hold the greatest depth and teachings about God. . . . Every now and then it is healthy for Christians to read such books as Getting the Old Testament, because they drag us away from the temptation to become influenced by the forcefully argued and emotionally-charged renderings of the Bible by Christian fundamentalists. Bridge shows that it is these fundamentalists who are missing out on the Bible's true riches, by refusing to enter into the dangerous crevices and strange, seemingly senseless juxtapositions and irrationalities of the Old Testament."--Brian Welter, Catholic Herald

"Overall, there is much to commend in this book. Bridge effectively grips his audience with numerous poignant and engaging illustrations from personal experience and from popular culture (e.g. The Simpsons, The Bible Code, Alan Jackson's 'Where Were You,' and more). His clear writing style is full of humor and is accessible to the introductory student, and his charts, tables, and appendices superbly parallel his prose."--Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

"Overall, Bridge's concern for traditional and literary critical scholarship has been effectively combined with his desire to communicate those approaches [to] a contemporary audience. This book would be a useful supplement to any Old Testament Introduction class or to any professor looking for ways to communicate with GenNext students."--Review of Biblical Literature

"An engaging, thought-provoking discussion of the task of exegesis, presented in layperson's terms. . . . Bridge sets as his task . . . to consider a popularly misconstrued passage and then reconsider it in the light of its historical context. . . . He successfully accomplishes this task. His discussions of the truth claims of the first creation account in Genesis 1 and of the flood account in Genesis 6-7 over against the analogous Babylonian and Sumerian myths are noteworthy examples. . . . Bridge's references to popular culture provide very helpful initial entry into the text. When he stays on target with his objective, he very successfully teaches exegetical method to novices in Bible study."--Catholic Biblical Quarterly

"The strengths of this book relate to its appealing style, lucidity, and organization. Its many illustrations and charts serve to summarize content and provide the student with graphic representations of the main ideas. Bridge's analogies to modem experience are particularly useful for drawing the student into the world of the biblical text. . . . With supplementary texts to add balance and depth, this book would make a useful contribution to an introductory OT course on the undergraduate level, or, along with more advanced texts, in an introductory seminary course. The charts, diagrams, illustrations, and analogies are valuable pedagogical tools. As a whole, the volume is largely successful in its effort at bridging the ancient and modem worlds. The lively writing style and contemporary analogies will keep students interested from start to finish and should provide many springboards to memorable class discussions."--Criswell Theological Review

"This short (220+ pp.) book is not comprehensive, but does what it proposes--helps students to learn how to read the OT for meaning, not learn all of the critical details. Bridge uses very accessible examples and illustrations to make his point--whether it be about the purposes of the creation stories in Gen 1-2, or showing the lunacy of the Bible Code. His writing style is very casual and appealing. Whether or not I actually assign students to read portions of it, and I am tempted to do so, I will certainly turn to Bridge for good anecdotes and ways of communicating hermeneutical principles."--Nijay Gupta,

"This volume is situated comfortably between sophisticated studies meant for the scholarly reader and books designed for the Bible student. . . . This is a fine book for providing insight into various forms of biblical literature."--The Bible Today

"[Bridge] has produced a very readable book that draws its audience into each chapter with relevant, contemporary anecdotes. . . . Students and teachers alike have many options for OT surveys. If they are looking for one that begins to bridge the gap between information and application, Getting the Old Testament is worthy of consideration."--Bulletin for Biblical Research

"Bridge makes liberal use of examples from popular culture to help students begin their interrogation of OT texts. . . . This is a book designed mainly for introductory Bible classes at the college level."--Old Testament Abstracts

"A thoughtful, creative, and resourceful volume. . . . The strength of this work lies in its creative and effective pedagogy, using modern and post-modern culture to bridge contexts and make the Bible understandable and relevant. . . . Bridge uses a think-outside-the-box approach that meets young readers where they are. Getting the Old Testament would be particularly useful as a supplemental text in an undergraduate introductory Bible class. Any teacher of Old Testament, especially one who needs a few ideas for class lectures or discussions, would also find this book helpful. . . . Bridge's work makes a valuable contribution to the teaching and learning of the Old Testament."--Jennifer E. Noonan, Ashland Theological Journal


Details for Getting the Old Testament

Page last updated 18th September 2016
Author / Artist
Book FormatPaperback / softback
PublisherBaker (July 2009)
Number of Pages227
Thickness15 mm
Height213 mm
Width140 mm
Product Code3972269
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