The Supernatural in the Old Testament

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When people read the Old Testament they are sometimes puzzled by the supernatural stories: animals that talk, jars of oil that are never empty, dead people restored to life, seas that divide and rivers that dry up. Some have no difficulty with such stories. This is the world of the Bible and the reader must expect such like. Those who cannot believe that have either abandoned the Bible and its world altogether or else they have devised ways of explaining (or explaining away!) events that puzzle them. John ...

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Overview

When people read the Old Testament they are sometimes puzzled by the supernatural stories: animals that talk, jars of oil that are never empty, dead people restored to life, seas that divide and rivers that dry up. Some have no difficulty with such stories. This is the world of the Bible and the reader must expect such like. Those who cannot believe that have either abandoned the Bible and its world altogether or else they have devised ways of explaining (or explaining away!) events that puzzle them. John Rogerson does neither. Instead of asking what happened and how it happened he chooses instead to ask what it meant. Why did the early church relate and record these tales' And what did they mean' What did they say about God' So the reader begins to see that beyond the stories themselves there is truth about God and his world for every generation. Teachers will find useful lesson materials here, discussion group leaders will find something to start folk talking, and preachers will find a new approach to familiar passages. A companion volume, The Supernatural in the New Testament by Bruce Kaye, is also published by the Lutterworth Press.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780718822330
  • Publisher: Lutterworth Press, The
  • Publication date: 11/30/1987
  • Series: Interpreting the Bible Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 5.47 (w) x 8.51 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

John Rogerson is Emeritus Professor of Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield, where he was Head of Department for 15 years. He is author of An Introduction to the Bible, Atlas of the Bible, The Old Testament World (with Philip Davies), and Chronicle of the Old Testament Kings.

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Table of Contents

I Introduction 1
1. Natural and Supernatural 3
2. Myth 9
3. 'Ultimate Questions' 11
4. Folklore 12
5. 'Presence' and 'Power' 14
6. Third-hand and First-hand Tradition 15
7. Sources and Traditions 16
8. Miracles and Historicity 17
II Select Passages 21
1. The Creation 21
2. The Fall 26
3. Abraham's Three Visitors 30
4. The Sacrifice of Isaac 32
5. Jacob at Jabbok 34
6. The Burning Bush 36
7. The Plagues in Egypt 38
8. The Pillar of Cloud and Fire 42
9. The Crossing of the Red Sea 44
10. The Brazen Serpent 46
11. Gideon's Fleece 48
12. The Call of Samuel 49
13. The Plagues brought upon the Philistines by the Ark 50
14. Elijah's Drought 51
15. Various Miracles of Elijah and Elisha 53
16. The Ascension of Elijah 55
17. The Healing of Naaman 57
18. The Vision of Waters flowing from the Temple 58
19. The Burning Fiery Furnace 60
III Activity Suggestions 63
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