Wednesday, January 30, 2013

From Moses to Malachi

I was excited to see Ken Hanna’s From Moses to Malachi: Surveying the Old Testament (Bloomington, IN: Crossway Books, 2013) arrive yesterday. I understand that the New Testament edition will be out as well.

Dr. Hanna teaches Bible here on the DTS-Houston campus. Prior to this he taught at Bryan College, Moody Bible Institute, and Winnipeg Bible College. He served as President at two of these institutes (Bryan and Winnipeg) and as a Dean at Moody. The survey takes advantage of years of classroom experience, with which he honed the material that he received while studying at DTS.

From Moses will compare closely to works like Dillard and Longman’s Old Testament Introduction, or R.K. Harrison’s Old Testament Introduction. These will focus more on the the critical issues and background issues of the Old Testament. Hanna focuses more on the text of the books and provides more of the structure and argument for each book. Even though some of the discussion addresses introductory issues, students can use this tool to complement a good Old Testament Introduction.

This volume provides a helpful overview of the Old Testament. Hanna provides a chart of the book, an outline, a basic argument of the book as well as some cursory comments on the critical discussion relating to each book. Readers looking for an in depth discussion about a particular issue might be disappointed, but the value of this type of work it’s breadth that it provides. Hanna provides a strong synthesis of the issues presented in each book. For these hungry readers, Hanna points you in the direction of more material.

One of the hallmarks of DTS’s educational model is that they take students through all 66 books of the Bible. The complaint that I hear goes like this: by attempting to move through all 66 books, the time necessary time to think about a particular issue is missed. Nonetheless, in the information age of quick electronic exchange conciseness should be a priority, but oftentimes is not. Today we’re flooded with information, but we don’t take the time to parse it out. Hanna does this.