Friday, December 26, 2008

Long Break Day 8
Book Review: OT Turning Points

Old Testament Turning Points, The Narratives That Shaped a Nation
by Victor H. Matthews

This will not be much of a book review -- more like a book grumble. I have started on it at least twice, but I could not finish it. Maybe it is me, but I find the book hard to read because it has a table or diagram in almost every page, and these tables or diagrams does not flow with the text. They are just there as information, and they irk me so much.

The thing is this: if I stop to view them, I'd loose the flow in my reading and if I skip them to maintain the flow in my read, they will bother me because I keep thinking about them. So unless you are writing a handbook, please do not include anything that does not flow with the text.

Nevertheless, it does hold an interesting topic. It suggested eight narratives in the OT that shaped the nation of Israel:

1. Adam and Even Expelled from Eden
2. Yahweh Establishes a Covenant with Abraham
3. Moses Leads the Israelites out of Egypt
4. King David Makes Jerusalem His Capital
5. Jerobam Leads the Secession of the Northern Tribe
6. Samaria Falls to the Assyrians
7. Nebuchadnezzar Destroys Jerusalem and Deports the People of Judah
8. Cyprus Captures Babylon, and the Exiles Return Home

The author considered these the markers as God in history moved Israel on. I am not all familiar with the entire Old Testament, and so I do wonder if the author missed any out.



  1. solomon building the temple? that has to be a turning point, for good or for bad.

  2. I thought maybe that would be included in "4.King David Makes Jerusalem His Capital" but the book focuses on David and his accomplishments including Israel becoming a nation, David being the model king, his capture of Jerusalem and institutionalising the monarchy. But yes, I think Solomon's building of the temple should be included -- it would established the worship of Israel as a nation up to its destruction, and it being a monument in its history and life. How else would you think it shaped Israel?