Rediscover the essential beginning of the most important story ever told.
Although the Bible contains sixty-six books that usually span over a thousand printed pages, most Christians turn first—and sometimes only—to the New Testament. So often, Christian readers have little idea what to do with the Old Testament, if we read it at all. Sure, we value a few well-known stories and use a few psalms for personal devotions and for worship. Beyond that, many Christians find the Old Testament mostly confusing, troubling, or irrelevant.
But to understand the Bible as the grand story that it is—the story of God’s dealings with humanity and relationship to the whole universe—we must learn to read the first three-quarters of Scripture as Jesus did, and as the New Testament teaches us to do. Walking through the arc and major themes of the Old Testament narrative, author and biblical scholar Timothy J. Geddert guides curious readers of the Word into a fruitful and fulfilling reading of the Bible’s first thirty-nine books, restoring joy in reading and studying the most important story ever told.
Foreword Introduction Chapter 1: God, the Faithful Creator (Genesis 1-2) Chapter 2: God, the Ultimate Victor (Genesis 3 – 11) Chapter 3: God, the One Who Blesses (Genesis 12 – 36) Chapter 4: God, the Great Deliverer (Genesis 37 – Exodus 15) Chapter 5: God, the Covenant Keeper (Exodus 16 – 20) Chapter 6: God's People int he Old Testament and in the New Testament Chapter 7: God's Children from Birth to Adulthood Chapter 8: Problematic Portraits of God, Punishment, and Miracle Reports Chapter 9: Too Much War and Too Many Laws Chapter 10: Reading and Understanding the Old Testament Chapter 11: Continuing the Story in the New Testament
Acknowledgements Notes Index The Author
Timothy J. Geddert is professor of New Testament at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary in Fresno, California, where he has taught New Testament since 1986. He has a PhD in New Testament from Aberdeen University (Scotland). Tim has written books on biblical interpretation, ecclesiology, and ethics in English and in German. He has also written commentaries on Mark and Luke and numerous Bible study books and booklets. Tim and his wife Gertrud have seven children.
“In The Beginning of the Story, Timothy J. Geddert teaches us how to read the Old Testament as followers of Jesus. He winsomely guides us on an experience of the Old Testament as the foundation of the whole story of God culminating in Jesus Christ. Rich, scholarly, accessible, this book will deepen your knowledge of God revealed in Jesus Christ.”
~DAVID FITCH, Betty R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology at Northern Seminary and author of The Church of Us vs. Them
“Irenic yet probing, Timothy J. Geddert masterfully uses the wisdom of a lifetime as a biblical theological exegete and scholar to unlock yet another puzzle: how the Christian reading of the Old Testament informs our reading of the New Testament. Engaging, insightful, thoughtful, and accessible, Tim writes for the church, seeking to draw together this often-polarized generation of Bible readers.”
~LYNN JOST, professor of preaching and Old Testament and director of the Center for Anabaptist Studies at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary
“Timothy J. Geddert’s very readable introduction to the Old Testament is a must-read for followers of Jesus who want to ground their faith in the story that Scripture tells. While some Christians avoid the Old Testament or overly literalize it, Geddert guides us in seeing the continuity between the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament records the up-and-down story of Israel, but more importantly, the Old Testament tells the story, albeit incomplete, of God, showing us a God at work with God’s people. As Geddert points out, this is a work summed up in Jesus, who corrects and clarifies our picture of God. The Beginning of the Story convincingly reveals the Old Testament as the Spirit-inspired witness of God’s work for us as the New Testament people of God made up of Jews and Gentiles.”
~DEREK VREELAND, pastor and author of Centering Jesus
“Timothy J. Geddert’s conviction that the entire Old Testament is a ‘grand narrative’ of God’s dealings with creation and especially the people chosen by God offers readers a compelling reason to reread these ancient texts and deepen our appreciation for the scriptures that Jesus knew and loved.”
~VALERIE REMPEL, director of accreditation for the Association of Theological Schools and former vice president and dean of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary at Fresno Pacific University