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The Meaning of the Pentateuch


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Table of Contents


Part One: Approaching the Text as Revelation
1 Understanding the Nature and Goal of Old Testament Theology
2 Finding the Author's Verbal Meaning
3 What Is the "Historical Meaning" of Biblical Texts?
4 Finding the Big Idea in the Final Composition of the Text

Part Two: Rediscovering the Composition of the Pentateuch Within the Tanak
5 Textual Strategies Within the Tanak
6 The Composition of the Pentateuch
7 Exploring the Composition of Legal Material in the Pentateuch

Part Three: Interpreting the Theology of the Pentateuch
8 The Nature of Covenant and Blessing in the Pentateuch
9 Is There a "Biblical Jesus" of the Pentateuch?
10 The Purpose of Mosaic Law in the Pentateuch
11 The Theme of Salvation in the Pentateuch

Author Index
Subject Index
Scripture Index

About the Author

John H. Sailhamer is professor of Old Testament at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Brea, California. He is the author of several books, including Introduction to Old Testament Theology and The Pentateuch as Narrative.


An interesting evangelical position in language accessible to all.

--James Chukwuma Okoye, The Bible in Review

For years John Sailhamer has been pressing toward a comprehensive work on the Pentateuch, preparing the way with such works as his The Pentateuch as Narrative and a host of periodical publications on the subject. At last the magnum opus has appeared under the title The Meaning of the Pentateuch: Revelation, Composition and Interpretation. In typical Sailhamer fashion, he has left no stones unturned in any language necessary to get to primary and secondary sources, while at the same time offering fresh insights into the biblical texts and compelling invitations to the reader to view them in more holistic and integrative ways. Careful reading of the book will inevitably call for a reexamination of the issue of the Pentateuch's antiquity and its deliberate compositional strategy, a reassessment that will help to rehabilitate Torah as not the end product of Judaism but as the foundation of Israelite faith and practice.

--Eugene H. Merrill, Distinguished Professor of Old Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary, and Distinguished Professor of Old Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Sailhamer has made a valuable contribution to both Pentateuchal studies and the larger field of biblical theological studies.

--Roger D. Cotton, Enrichment, Winter 2011

Sailhamer illustrates the kind of fresh and creative thinking on the OT that is possible for an evangelical scholar.

--Joe M. Sprinkle, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, December 2010

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