It revises Bob Bell’s biblical theologies of each book of the OT that he has been working on for forty years. The table of contents is simple: an introduction to biblical theology and book theologies followed by thirty-three chapters on each book of the OT (Bell combines Judges-Ruth, treats 1–2 Samuel, 1–2 Kings, and 1–2 Chronicles as single chapters, and combines Obadiah-Joel-Zephaniah.) The book is
Dedicated to the scores of Advanced OT Theology students, who since 1970 have been writing outlines and papers on the book theologies of the Old Testament; especially to those OT PhD students who wrote book theologies as their dissertations
I was one of Bell’s Advanced OTT students, and I profited immensely from his instruction. (He also taught me two semesters of Hebrew and one semester of systematic theology and OT introduction. And he oversees the PhD program I was in.) I’ll resist telling some entertaining Bell-stories or precisely marking up his book with a red pencil like he did so many of the projects, quizzes, and tests I submitted to him! (Nor can I beat Chris Barney‘s Bell-impersonations.)
Here’s what’s on the book’s back cover (it’s heavy on the application-aspect of the book, perhaps to make it more marketable):
God says that all Scripture is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” But preaching from, teaching through, or even studying weighty books like Leviticus or 1 Chronicles can discourage both disciples and expositors. How can modern Christians be true to each book’s message and still make relevant application to their own lives?
This book suggests strategies for understanding and preaching every book of the Old Testament. Following the method for biblical theology outlined in its introduction, it bases each study firmly on the actual text rather than on imposed theological categories. Pastors will discover how to preach a sermon covering an entire Old Testament book or how to develop a series of sermons proclaiming that book’s themes. Also included are charts presenting data for each Old Testament book, as well as sample sermons on books and themes. Each chapter concludes with guidelines for applying its content to modern situations, making this book valuable for pastors, teachers, and students.
Robert D. Bell [born 1942] is chairperson of the Division of Graduate Studies and coordinator of curriculum and faculty development at Bob Jones University Seminary and Graduate School of Religion.