How well do you know the Pentateuch?
Most Christians don’t make its study a priority—but Professor Peter T. Vogt is an exception. The Pentateuch has been the primary focus throughout his academic career, and that’s clear in Interpreting the Pentateuch: An Exegetical Handbook.
Through the book, Dr. Vogt hopes to “build confidence on the part of interpreters, so that they will feel better able to understand, teach, and preach from the Old Testament in whatever ministry context they serve. This, I pray, will strengthen the people of God through exposure to the whole counsel of God and encourage them to more deeply love and more effectively serve the great God revealed in the Torah.”
In Interpreting the Pentateuch, readers explore
- Major themes in the Pentateuch
- Strategies for interpretation and understanding
- Contemporary significance of these ancient texts
Here’s an example of the insight presented:
Rather than being a burden of legalistic requirements necessary to earn relationship with God, the Torah was a gracious gift from God, who, out of love for his people, sought to tell them what they needed to know in order to live their lives as the people of Yahweh. In this way, the Torah should be compared to a doctor’s prescription, rather than a job description. That is, it was not the means by which a reward is earned, such as when a paycheck is received for work performed under the terms of one’s employment contract. It was, instead, something that was done because it was necessary for proper living (from the perspective of God, who, by virtue of being the Creator, knows that which is best and right for his people). In the Torah, we find God’s “prescription” for how to live a life in relationship to him.