In this thought-provoking book, Walter Kaiser makes the case that the Old Testament documents are bothhistorically reliable and personally and socially relevant. He explores the origins of and genres of the Old Testament books, and probes its relevance for the Christian faith today. In an epilogue he asks and answers the question, What is the Old Testament all about? Readers will also find a helpful glossary of terms at the back. The result is a probative book for all who face the challenges of reading and applying the Old Testament in today's world.
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Review 1 for The Old Testament Documents: Are They Reliable and Relevant?
I apologize that I'm going from memory - I read this a few years ago.
This book is very clearly written and quite informative. At the time, I was a little disappointed because it didn't match it's NT counterpart by F. F. Bruce "The NT Documents, Are They Reliable?" But to Kaiser's credit, he is not working with the same materials Bruce was. It's harder to write this kind of book for the OT than it is for the NT, given the time period and the amount of available, relevant evidence. So, with that said, I think Kaiser did a pretty good job with this.
A year later, I read Kenneth Kitchen's "On the Reliability of the OT." Kitchen's book contains much more helpful evidence than Kaiser's book, but it is often very technical and is 500 pages compared to Kaiser's brief book. Though there may be more evidence out there that Kaiser could have used (as Kitchen's book shows), I think Kaiser's book is one I'd happily recommend to anyone wondering about the reliability of the OT. He does build a good case.
He ends with the question of "Is the OT relevant." I wasn't expecting much from that section. I was more interested in the "is it reliable" part. But to my surprise, that "is it relevant" section provided some important and helpful insights.