20. Overview of the Old Testament

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This book, as the title says, is an overview of the Old and New Testaments. As such it is a non-technical, informative and general introduction to the content of the Bible. It was written from a desire to help Christians become more acquainted with the Bible. While most Christians will gladly affirm that it is “the best book in the world” and that they “love the Bible‟, I have discovered over the years that the majority actually have very little knowledge about its contents. It is true that many have favourite Bible verses and passages, however, few have a good understanding of the Bible as a whole.

What I have attempted in this book is to make the Bible a little less daunting. While there is certainly value in examining the Bible in detail, there is also great value in having an overall understanding of the teaching of the Old and New Testaments. The phrase about „not seeing the wood for the trees‟ certainly often applies to the way one may read the Bible. It is possible to be so caught up in the minutiae that we may fail to see the bigger picture. I trust that this book will help to rectify that.

There is obviously much that I have omitted. I have had to be selective, and I have chosen to develop the content of some of the books of the Bible more than others. My reason for doing that has varied – my decisions have been based, for example, on the significance of those particular books (for instance, Genesis) or because of difficulties associated with them (such as, Revelation).

I have deliberately avoided the intricacies of much Biblical criticism, not because it is without value (on the contrary, Biblical criticism based on sound and unbiased scholarship is of immense Overview of the Old and New Testaments (value) but because that was not the purpose of the book. Its aim is to make the Bible more intelligible and readable to the “average‟ Christian (if one may use that term) and to encourage a greater desire to read the Bible with understanding.

I have sought to be faithful to the text and historical details of the Bible and have attempted to unfold some of its enduring principles.

I trust that this overview will not only help you to understand better the content of the Bible but will also show you how the various books relate to each other

Jim McClure


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