A Brief Book Notice from Books At a Glance
by Fred G. Zaspel
Just a brief notice about a book that deserves more attention. Sailhamer has been appreciated on the academic level for his excellent work, especially in the Pentateuch – both his The Pentateuch as Narrative and his The Meaning of the Pentateuch are important contributions to this area of Old Testament study. But I doubt The Pentateuch as Narrative has been sufficiently appreciated for its value to preachers and Bible teachers generally.
In preparation for a current series of lessons through Genesis, I have had occasion to give this book consistent attention over a period of weeks, and quite frankly I would not want to have been without it. Thoroughly informed, Sailhamer has that wonderfully helpful knack of reading the biblical text with careful precision while keeping the big story (of the Pentateuch and of the Bible) in mind. At virtually every turn he provides interpretive insight into the passage at hand, establishes illuminating links within the Pentateuch (and elsewhere in the Bible), and stimulates expositional thought. The learning he provides is both masterful and highly accessible.
As with any such resource, of course, there will be particular points at which interpretations among the commentators differ, and you’ll have to sort those out still. But even when I decided against Sailhamer’s take here and there I was stimulated by the discussion and helped by the more careful investigation. This is a “must-have” resource for the study of Genesis to Deuteronomy.
Simply put, pastors, if you are preaching or teaching through any part of the Pentateuch without Sailhamer’s assistance, you’re cheating yourself.
Put another way: Preach/teach through the Pentateuch with Sailhamer’s help, and enjoy!
Buy the books
THE PENTATEUCH AS NARRATIVE: A BIBLICAL-THEOLOGICAL COMMENTARY, by John H. Sailhamer