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A noted biblical scholar explores three questions Christians often ask about the Old Testament and provides answers that are both satisfying and understandable.
Longman (Reading the Bible with Heart and Mind) uses a series of questions to examine the power of the Old Testament, especially as it contributes to an understanding of the New Testament writings. Longman answers his first question, "What are the keys to understanding the Old Testament?" by suggesting interpretive principles such as discovering the author's intended meaning, reading the writing in its historical and cultural context and being tolerant of a variety of interpretations. The author then inquires whether the "God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament." By exploring various biblical passages from Exodus and the Gospels, Longman concludes that the God of the two testaments is indeed the same, progressively revealed to his people. Finally, Longman asks, "How are Christians to apply the Old Testament to life?" Although his answer to this question is rather vague, Longman does seem to value Old Testament laws as the force that shapes the lives of God's people, in the New Testament and today. Longman's prose is readily accessible; his method of reading the Old Testament through the lens of the New Testament will appeal primarily to Christians.