The Old Testament has been used by Christians to shape their faith for centuries. Many Christians confess to the Abraham faith that is stated in the Old Testament. The Book a journey through the Old Testament by Elmer towns gives a preview of all the stories of the Old Testament. It can be seen as a foundation for understanding the Bible and interpreting the stories and how they relate to the 21st century. Elmer has used scriptures from the bible and analyzed the behavior of history makers in the bible story. The book was written 23 years ago and has been interpreted as a little biased. This paper will cover the topics discussed in the text as a summary, modern interpretation of the text, and a conclusion on whether the text is useful in understanding the bible or not.
Summary of A Journey Through the Old Testament
Elmer town states in his introduction that the aim of writing the book was to explore the different individuals who have influenced the Old testaments' events. He states that the book gives a brief study of the influential history makers from Lucifer to Malachi through pointing out the good and the bad in each of the individuals and evaluating their characters according to their lives in the Old Testament. He interprets how the different individuals in the Old Testament influence the lives of others, changed the quality of life in their culture and improved the society. He tries to show the connection between the individuals who made history and their similarity to the today's lives. He states that the desires, frustrations and family problems that were experienced during the old testaments are still being experienced today. The book has also included spiritual principles that these history makers applied to their lives and how the same principles can be applied in our lives in this century.
The book starts with an analysis on Lucifer. God created heavens, which included the angles, the throne of God and other innumerable parts. Angels were living creatures with the ability to feel, think and make decisions. Angels have inconceivable power, (2 Kings 19:35), extensive wisdom (2 Sam 14:20) but they were not omnipotent or omniscient. There were many angels, but only three are ever mentioned in the Bible, Lucifer, Gabriel, and Michael. It is believed that they were leaders in the hierarchy of angels as, during the rebellion by Lucifer, he was accompanied by a third of the angles. Lucifer was adorned with beauty and wisdom that reminded him of his limitations. He desired to be like God. His plans to overthrow God from his throne were met with eternal condemnation from God.
Elmer tried to connect the behavior of Lucifer, who believed that God would not punish him if he sinned the life of a child. A child often tests their parents to find their limits. Elmer also shows how pride leads to falling as Lucifer's pride was his greatest motivator for wanting to be like God. As Apostle Paul puts it, 'Being lifted up with pride he falls into the condemnation of the devil.' (1 Tim. 3: 6). Elmer further states that the conflict between God and Lucifer are a continuing theme throughout the Old Testament; From Cain murdering his brother Abel, David is committing adultery with Bathsheba, Israel falling into idolatry among other acts. He states the first conflict has interwoven itself in mEn of the stories of the Old Testament.
The theme of faith has also been discussed in the Book, with close analysis of Noah, Abraham and Lot. He describes Noah as the end of the even ways and the start of the life of faith and a new race, through the floods (Matt 24:38). According to interpretation, there were sexual relationships between the sons of God, Angels, (Gen 6:4) and men leading to the birth of Giants. The floods are described as a universal judgment that was aimed at eliminating sin. He Evaluated Abraham as not being fully committed to his faith. Elmer states that faith stipulated following commands with obedience. Abrams initial response to God's call was resistance. He blames the resistance to family loyalty which was quite strong at the time.
The book also shows how Elmer believes in the historical reality of the Old Testament. He states that Job was a real man who lived in Uz and categorizes him as one of the few men who truly believed in God. He talks of Noah, as the one man who saved humanity. He talks of the typological and spiritual significance of these characters in today's lives. The way their faith gave them the ability to follow and obey God even without proof. Noah built an ark out of complete faith. There had never been raining on earth before that day, and he was only told of floods on the final week of loading the ark (Gen7:4). The size of the arc has been a bone of contention for many historians in that navigators have only been able to build a ship that big 150 years ago. Elmer explains that this shows the advanced nature of the pre-flooding civilization.
Though the book covers the history of most of the people that made history in the Old Testament, it fails to capture the significance of Daniel who was the prophet who prophesied the exact date that the Messiah would come and his death.
Analysis of A Journey Through the Old Testament
A Journey to the Old Testament offers Elmer's perspective to the Old Testament. He offers his insight and perspective with adequate support from the Bible to offer a practical approach to the journey of god's people from creation until the end of the Old Testament. He offers a practical approach to the steady growth of development of human beings regarding their relationship with God and how they grow knowing him and becoming his people through following his commandments. The old testaments are based on historical content written down by various people who lived to see the events themselves. It is said history is written by kings and conquers, however, Elmer offers a different perspective that allows a normal person to have a closer understanding of the events and the people involved in most of the happenings in the Old Testament. He offers a great and comprehensive study of the bible that dwells deeper than the superficial stories told in the bible to more aspects that include reasons as to why some events happened. He takes on the task of offering adequate explanations of the main roles played by the different characters in the Bible and how their actions set a precedent for the future events in the Old Testament. He also offers more insight into how some important characters in the bible used their influence to shape what came next in the bible and most of all our lives today. A good example is how the book explains Lucifer his role in heaven, his character and ambitions and how it was responsible for the developing of sin and corrupting the perfect creation of God.
History makers are always judged by what they have accomplished. They write history and offer their perspectives on what happened in the events. However, there is always more to what happened because of the different characters involved. The Old Testament has very many characters form which the stories are about. Some are famous while others are not famous. However, most of them have had great contributions to the bible and the book, therefore, tries to study them, their actions and how they influenced the world today. Elmer uses a unique approach to interpret the events of the Old Testament. The approach used in this case is the analysis of the influences either positive or negative made by great individuals regarding whether their influences improved or destroyed the society. This is, therefore, an analysis approach that explores the various important and prominent characters in the bible and the contributions they made to the societies they belong to and how they influenced the Christians of today. The book, therefore, offers competencies and easy way for an average American and any other person to understand and enjoy reading and learning more about the Old Testament. It is a book that offers more than just pining events and incidents to the time that occurred but analyses the character, the settings, the motivations and the influences they have made to the society. It is an exciting way of knowing more about God's people and their journey through the development of a strong relationship with God and the world. It is spiritual analyses of the events and the people involved in the Old Testament.
The book plays an effective role of a companion to the bible. It is backed by many scriptures that confirm the explanations offered by Elmer. This is a more appropriate explanation of the bible that adolescents might find interesting and have more interest in spiritual aspects of the bible. It offers great guidance in developing a good understanding of events of the bible. Young readers always have great difficulties when it comes to understanding and interpreting the bible. Some of the reasons include the use of archaic language and the different variations of the integration of the bible that exists. The book has used a very clear language that is easy to understand and is one of the major advantages of the book. One of the scopes of the book is its comprehensiveness for which it spends a good deal of time offering explanations to important concepts of the Old Testament. It is a book that seeks to connect readers and engage them in the understanding of the bible. One main aspect used in the book is journaling which is a factor that has been used to allow readers especially young one to have the ability to reflect and internalize their interpretations of the bible and develop their own experiences about the different events and the different historical figures the bible represents. The book is organized sequentially with an effective timeline of events, and this is instrumental for readers to become more familiar with the historical events. The book is, therefore, an effective explanation of the events that led up to the birth of Jesus Christ and offer adequate knowledge about people of God and their relationship with God.
Recounting the events accounts and characters in the Old Testament as presented in the Book by Elmer gives us a unique picture of the genesis of man and how man lived for the first few centuries. Elmer uses the book to share the pursuit of God to restore the lives of his creation and the formation of the right communion and relationship between God and man. Each story in the bible is a master plan, and Elmer shows this in his works. He shows that all the needs of men can only be attained through having the right relationship with the creator.
As seen in the book, man is in constant search for peace, hope, power, protection and love and all these qualities can only be found in God. In numerous situations, even in the Bible, man has searched for the true meaning of life elsewhere. This action is always followed by suffering. Those who follow God and surrender to his leadership are seen to be blessed by God and God working through them.
Many history makers in the Bible underwent numerous challenges as explained by Dr. Town. These stories can be seen as a source of encouragement to those who read the book. He points out the numerous cases of individuals falling away from Gods ways, others who are in great need of forgiveness. He portrays God as a savior who has unending forgiveness and grace. He explains the kind nature of Gods heart. The coming of the Messiah is seen as the most gracious event that will be the answer the man's sins.
The book analyzes Gods character as being forgiving and all loving. He created Humans in his likeness, and throughout the old testament, we see him helping his people achieve the best in life, save them from slavery (Israelites), help them fight wars and win, deliver them from their enemies. The faithfulness of God has been stated in the Bible. Elmer also doesn't fail to point it out in his b...
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