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From Paradise to the Promised Land: An Introduction to the Pentateuch

From Paradise to the Promised Land: An Introduction to the Pentateuch

by T. Desmond Alexander

Paperback(4th Edition)

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Overview

This accessibly written textbook has been a popular introduction to the Pentateuch for over twenty-five years. It identifies the major themes of the first five books of the Bible and offers an overview of their contents. Unlike some academic studies, it focuses on how the books from Genesis to Deuteronomy form a continuous story that provides an important foundation for understanding the whole Bible. This new edition has been substantially updated throughout to reflect the author's refined judgments and to address the future of pentateuchal studies.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781540963406
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/12/2022
Edition description: 4th Edition
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 1,015,025
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

T. Desmond Alexander (PhD, The Queen's University, Belfast) is senior lecturer in biblical studies and director of postgraduate studies at Union Theological College in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He has written numerous books, including two commentaries on Exodus, and coedited the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology and the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch.

Table of Contents

Illustrations xv

Preface xvii

Abbreviations xxiii

Part 1 The Main Themes of the Pentateuch

1 An Overview of the Pentateuch 3

2 God's Temple-City 9

Introduction 9

The Earth as God's Temple-City 12

The Garden of Eden as Sanctuary 13

Humanity's Royal Status 15

The Great Betrayal 17

The Tower of Babel/Babylon 19

Summary 21

New Testament Connections 22

3 The Royal Lineage in Genesis 25

Introduction 25

The Structure of Genesis 26

The Chosen "Seed" 27

The Lineage of Adam 28

Summary 36

New Testament Connections 36

4 The Blessing of the Nations 39

Introduction 39

Creator and Creation in Harmony 40

In the Garden of Eden 41

Outside Eden 43

Abraham and the Blessing of the Nations 45

Blessing in the Remainder of Genesis 48

Summary 53

New Testament Connections 54

5 Paradise Lost 55

Introduction 55

The Creation of the Earth 56

Expelled from Eden 57

Cain, a Restless Wanderer on the Earth 58

The Flood Narrative 58

Noah, a Man of the Soil 60

The Table of Nations 60

The Abraham Narrative 60

The Jacob Story 62

The Joseph-Judah Story 63

Summary 65

New Testament Connections 65

6 By Faith Abraham… 67

Introduction 67

Overview of the Abraham Narrative 68

The Divine Call of Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 69

The Unconditional Promissory Covenant of Genesis 15 70

The Eternal Covenant of Circumcision 71

The Divine Oath in Genesis 22:16-18 74

Summary 77

New Testament Connections 78

7 Who Is the Lord? 82

Introduction 82

The Israelites in Egypt 85

The Lord Reveals Himself to Moses 86

Signs and Wonders in Egypt 88

The Sinai Covenant 91

Summary 94

New Testament Connections 94

8 The Passover 98

Introduction 98

Consecration Rituals 100

The Account of the Passover 102

The Purpose of the Passover Ritual 104

Summary 107

Mew Testament Connections 107

9 The Covenant at Sinai 110

Introduction 110

The Principal Covenant Obligations: The Ten Commandments (Exod. 20:1-17) 112

First Commandment (Exod. 20:3) 113

Second Commandment (Exod. 20:4-6) 113

Third Commandment (Exod. 20:7) 113

Fourth Commandment (Exod. 20:8-11) 114

Fifth Commandment (Exod. 20:12) 114

Sixth Commandment (Exod. 20:13) 114

Seventh Commandment (Exod. 20:14) 115

Eighth Commandment (Exod. 20:15) 115

Ninth Commandment (Exod. 20:16) 115

Tenth Commandment (Exod. 20:17) 116

The Detailed Covenant Obligations 116

The Legal Material of the Book of the Covenant (Exod. 21:1-22:20) 116

Moral Symmetry 117

The Sanctity of Life 118

Moral Imperatives (Exod. 22:21-23:9) 119

Instructions for the Sabbath and Religious Festivals (Exod. 23:10-19) 120

The Reciprocal Nature of the Covenant (Exod. 23:20-33) 120

The Ratification of the Covenant 120

Rebellion in the Camp 121

Summary 122

New Testament Connections 123

Jesus and the Law 123

Paid and the Law 125

The New Covenant 125

10 The Tabernacle 127

Introduction 127

A Holy Tent 129

A Dwelling 134

A Tent of Meeting 137

The Provision of Materials and Skilled Craftsmen 139

Summary 140

New Testament Connections 141

11 Be Holy 143

Introduction 143

Holy, Clean, and Unclean 145

Holiness 150

Uncleanness 152

The Relationship between Holiness and Uncleanness 152

Summary 153

New Testament Connections 153

12 The Sacrificial System 156

Introduction 156

The General Pattern for Animal Sacrifices 158

The Five Types of Sacrifices 160

The Burnt/Ascension Offering (Lev. 1:2-17; 6:8-13) 161

The Grain Offering (Lev. 2:1-16; 6:14-23) 162

The Fellowship/Peace Offering (Lev. 3:1-17; 7:11-21) 162

The Sin/Purification Offering (Lev. 4:1-5:13; 6:24-30) 163

The Guilt/Reparation Offering (Lev. 5:14-6:7; 7:1-10) 164

The Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:1-34) 164

The Purification of the Sanctuary 165

The Scapegoat 165

The Burnt/Ascension Offerings 166

Summary 166

New Testament Connections 166

Jesus Christ as a Sacrifice 167

Jesus Christ as High Priest 167

13 The Clean and the Unclean Foods 169

Introduction 169

The Food Regulations Summarized 170

The Function of the Food Regulations 170

The Rationale behind the Clean/Unclean Classification 172

The Blood Prohibition 173

Summary 173

New Testament Connections 174

14 Toward the Promised Land 177

Introduction 177

Preparations for the Journey 178

The Role of the Levites 180

Further Preparations to Enter the Land of Canaan 182

Summary 184

New Testament Connections 184

15 Murmurings 185

Introduction 185

Murmurings against the Lord 186

Challenges against Those in Authority 189

Religious Apostasy 191

Destination-the Promised Land 192

Summary 193

New Testament Connections 193

16 Love and Loyalty 196

Introduction 196

Deuteronomy and Ancient Near Eastern Treaties 198

Love the Lord 200

Be Loyal to the Lord 204

Summary 205

New Testament Connections 206

17 Why Israel? 208

Introduction 208

The Election of Israel 209

Israel and the Nations 214

Election and Responsibility 217

Summary 219

New Testament Connections 220

18 The Pentateuch and the Biblical Metanarrative 222

From Creation to Re-creation, from Garden to City 223

The Lion and the Lamb 225

Priest-Kings and Holy Nation 226

Part 2 Pentateuchal Criticism

19 Introduction to Pentateuchal Criticism 229

Source Criticism 230

Form Criticism 230

Traditio-historical Criticism 231

Literary Criticism 231

20 The Rise of the Documentary Hypothesis 233

The Older Documentary Hypothesis 234

The Fragmentary Hypothesis 238

The Supplementary Hypothesis 240

The New Documentary Hypothesis 241

The Documentary Hypothesis of Graf, Vatke, and Wellhausen 242

Models for Explaining the Composition of the Pentateuch 245

Distinctive Vocabulary 246

The Divine Names in Genesis 247

Doublets 250

Implications for the History of Israelite Religion 252

Conclusion 258

21 Going Behind the Documents 259

Form Criticism 259

Traditio-historical Criticism 262

The Limitations of Traditio-historical Criticism Illustrated 267

22 The Documentary Hypothesis under Threat 271

Modifications to the Documentary Hypothesis 271

The J Source 272

The E Source 275

The D Source 278

The P Source 281

Alternatives to the Documentary Hypothesis 283

Winnett, Wagner, Redford, and Van Seters 284

Rendtorff and Blum 286

Whybray 293

Neo-Documentary Hypothesis 295

Further Observations 297

Source Criticism under the Spotlight 299

23 Exodus 19:1-31:18-a Test Case 302

Narrative Framework of Divine Speeches in 19:3-6; 20:22-24:2 303

Exodus 20:22 and the Decalogue 309

Deuteronomtstic Redaction and the Sinai Narrative 310

The Source Analysis of Exodus 19 313

The Tabernacle 319

Conclusion 329

24 The Future of Pentateuchal Studies 331

Looking to the Future 331

When Was the Pentateuch Composed? 333

The Date of Final Editing 336

Latest Tradition 336

External Evidence 342

Why Was the Pentateuch Composed? 346

Conclusion 357

Recommended Further Reading 361

Author Index 393

Scripture Index 397

Subject Index 413

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