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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. 5 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. 5 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. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Brantly

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

  4. 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.

  5. 4 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Hany Abdelmalek

    Brief intro. to the Old Testament

  8. 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.

  9. 5 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    A lot in a little book.

  14. 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.

  15. 5 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.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Seth

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

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Milligan

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

  18. 5 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.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Philip Taylor

    Short and sweet. Some gold in these pages.

  20. 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

  21. 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.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Taunton

    Refreshing.

  23. 4 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!

  24. 4 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.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michael Abraham

    My first time reading Alec Motyer, as per the recommendation from Carson and Keller. I loved it, and I hope to love the Word as much as he does.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Craig Hurst

    “Without the Old Testament, we cannot know Jesus properly.” (21) Though Jesus is most clearly revealed in the New Testament (especially the Gospels), it is without a doubt that readers will miss much of what is being revealed about Him if they first do not have a good understanding of the Old Testament which points to Him. A basic understanding of the Old Testament, and is Christward focus, is essential to understanding Jesus and the New Testament. “The Old Testament is”, as Motyer later says, “ “Without the Old Testament, we cannot know Jesus properly.” (21) Though Jesus is most clearly revealed in the New Testament (especially the Gospels), it is without a doubt that readers will miss much of what is being revealed about Him if they first do not have a good understanding of the Old Testament which points to Him. A basic understanding of the Old Testament, and is Christward focus, is essential to understanding Jesus and the New Testament. “The Old Testament is”, as Motyer later says, “in many ways, a book standing on tiptoe, straining forward into the future.” (42) What we need are Christians who love the Old Testament for the same reason they love the New Testament – its all about Jesus! To this end, Old Testament scholar and long time teacher, Alec Motyer has written A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Loving the Old Testament: One Book, One God, One Story with Christian Focus Publications (2015). Through fourteen short and highly readable chapters Motyer has provided readers with a basic and essential sketch of the Old Testament that will put them on the right track to understanding the basic thrust of the Old Testament. Beginning with an explanation of the threefold nature of the Old Testament (Law, Prophets and the Writings) and covering areas like the Passover as a means of one way of salvation, the Christward focus of the OT, the role of the Prophets and Psalms, Motyer writes to his readers as if they were going to be first time readers of the Old Testament. For someone who has had a successful career in the academic world, Motyer has written a book that is aimed at the bottom shelf. One thing that really stands out throughout the book is the unified nature of the Old Testament as it presents one God and points to Christ. God is constantly calling His people out of idolatry to worship Him alone as the only one to who they owe their worship. Additionally, the OT points to a single person as the accomplisher of their salvation – the Messiah, Jesus Christ! To miss the Christward focus of the book is to miss the essence of the OT completely. As with all of the Christian Pocket Guide books from Christian Focus, I highly recommend Loving the Old Testament. It can be easily read in one sitting, used as a devotional guide, and would work great in a small group setting to help Christians become better oriented when they read the Old Testament. There is a lifetime of study and insight packed into this little book that even seasoned Christians can benefit from. I received this book for free from Christian Focus 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.”

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Wilkins

    Really good, clear, simple introduction to the Old Testament. Motyer starts from Jesus' view of the OT in order to build his case for Christians loving the OT, too. After laying that foundation, he walks through the different aspects of OT theology (covenants, sacrifices, kingship, Psalms, etc). Good book. Worth the read. Really good, clear, simple introduction to the Old Testament. Motyer starts from Jesus' view of the OT in order to build his case for Christians loving the OT, too. After laying that foundation, he walks through the different aspects of OT theology (covenants, sacrifices, kingship, Psalms, etc). Good book. Worth the read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Corey Ramsey

    Good Introduction to the Old Testament I read this book for OT Introduction figuring I would have a pretty good idea of all that he was going to say. Although a majority of the content I was already familiar with, he did point out some things that I was not familiar with. The few hours I spent working through this work was definitely beneficial to my understanding of the OT.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: The Bible is God's gift to us as a domestic and personal 'means of grace.' Premise/plot: Do you love the Old Testament? Do you want to love the Old Testament? Do you wonder what makes the Old Testament so important--so essential--to the faith? Or perhaps you wonder why there is an Old Testament at all. Perhaps you think all we need--all we really need--is the New Testament. Alec Motyer's little 'pocket guide' to loving the Old Testament is a lovely little book. My thoughts: I love First sentence: The Bible is God's gift to us as a domestic and personal 'means of grace.' Premise/plot: Do you love the Old Testament? Do you want to love the Old Testament? Do you wonder what makes the Old Testament so important--so essential--to the faith? Or perhaps you wonder why there is an Old Testament at all. Perhaps you think all we need--all we really need--is the New Testament. Alec Motyer's little 'pocket guide' to loving the Old Testament is a lovely little book. My thoughts: I love the Old Testament. I do. I love the Bible cover-to-cover. I read the Bible cover-to-cover. Motyer didn't have to persuade me to give the Old Testament a chance. But. I think this little book serves as a lovely little reminder to the Christian church--to Christians in general--that the Old Testament IS very much worth reading. In fact, Motyer argues that we could not know Jesus properly without the Old Testament. (19) Have you ever given the Old Testament that much weight in your theology? Favorite quotes: Never be afraid to exalt the sovereignty of God to the nth degree and beyond. It's the pillow on which we can lay our heads. We are only safe in this world because it's His world. (37) Salvation was (not simply made possible but) actually accomplished on Passover night. Before Passover they could not leave Egypt; after Passover they could not stay. Before Passover they were a slave people, helpless and hopeless, under an edict of extermination; at Passover they became a pilgrim people, dressed for the road, a people liberated to walk with God. (69)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jonah Hill

    This booklet it refreshing. Motyer does an excellent job of pointing out the obvious (but so often hidden from us) continuity between the Old and New Testament, and indeed shows that Christ is most glorified when we see and understand him in the WHOLE of Scripture. I highly recommend this one.

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