Old Testament Theology: Israel's Gospel, By John Goldingay
Old Testament Theology
  • Length: 940 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: April 02, 2015
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2494
  • ISBN: 9780830824946

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ECPA Gold Medallion Award winner

In this first volume of a three-volume Old Testament theology, John Goldingay focuses on narrative. Examining the biblical order of God's creation of and interactions with the world and Israel, he tells the story of Israel's gospel as a series of divine acts:

  • God Began
  • God Started Over
  • God Promised
  • God Delivered
  • God Sealed
  • God Gave
  • God Accommodated
  • God Wrestled
  • God Preserved
  • God Sent
  • God Exalted

This is an Old Testament theology like no other. Whether applying magnifying or wide-angle lenses, Goldingay is closely attentive to the First Testament's narrative, plot, motifs, tensions and subtleties. Brimming with insight and energy, and postmodern in its ethos, this book will repeatedly reward readers with fresh and challenging perspectives on God and God's ways with Israel and the world—as well as Israel's ways with God.

Goldingay's Old Testament Theology is not only a scholarly contribution to the ongoing quest of understanding the theological dimensions of the First Testament. Preachers and teachers will prize it as a smart, informed and engaging companion as they read and re-present the First Testament story to postmodern pilgrims on the way. This is Old Testament theology that preaches.

Volume two focuses on Israel's faith, or Old Testament theology as belief. It explores the person and nature of God, the nature of the world and humanity, the character of sin and the significance of Israel. Volume three's focus is Israel's life, or Old Testament theology as ethos, exploring its worship, spirituality, ideals and vision for living.

"Here at last is an OT theology that follows the whole of the biblical narrative and treats it all with theological seriousness. Goldingay conveys his prolific insights so readably that this will be a rich resource for all serious readers of Scripture."

Richard J. Bauckham, University of St. Andrews

"Goldingay's Old Testament Theology boldly moves in new and welcome directions. Readers will appreciate his commitment to this Testament as a work with its own integrity, whose voice the modern world needs urgently to hear. Furthermore, his great exposition of its central themes hugs the biblical text in a way that will help us all, scholars, students and preachers alike, to capture his sense of excitement and delight in these ancient writings."

H. G. M. Williamson, University of Oxford

"Goldingay's extensive and penetrating work on the Old Testament, embracing most aspects of its interpretation, ensures that this three-volume Old Testament theology is a major publishing event. His presentation is based on a firm belief that the Old Testament has its own theological ideas which do not in themselves require validation by the New Testament, yet which are indispensable to its understanding. Refreshingly free from constraints imposed by the history of the discipline, he allows the Old Testament itself to set the agenda, weaving story and theology with persuasiveness. He is here, as always, insightful and contemporary, wearing massive learning lightly. It is a most significant addition to Old Testament interpretation."

Gordon McConville, University of Gloucestershire

"In this volume, John Goldingay, as usual, presents himself as a knowledgeable, sensitive interpreter who pays close attention to the text and to the faith given through the text. The focus on narrative indicates the peculiar way in which biblical faith is mediated that is not excessively tamed by the usual categories of doctrine, piety or morality. The title of volume one, Israel's Gospel, exhibits Goldingay's acute theological passion, one that warrants close, sustained attention."

Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

"One of our preeminent biblical theologians has given us a comprehensive way into the Old Testament. Focused on the story, this volume takes one deep inside the texts that tell the story to learn what matters about both story and texts. The particular illumines the larger picture, and the whole provides a context for seeing what matters in the individual texts. What seems at first glance to be very familiar is seen with fresh new insight. From pastor to theologian, all will learn from Goldingay's masterful interpretation of the Old Testament."

Patrick D. Miller, Princeton Theological Seminary

"This book is immensely valuable. Reading it is like sitting at the feet of a mature, experienced and wise Old Testament scholar and getting a personal tour of the theological significance of the entire narrative of the Old Testament. It is written in a way that is accessible to students wanting an introduction, but there is plenty here for the further education of even senior Old Testament theologians."

Tremper Longman III, Westmont College

"Abundant and rich material for Christian preaching."

Old Testament Abstracts, Volume 33, 2010

"Goldingay has produced a scintillating exposition of Old Testament narrative, describing its rich 'particularities' (p. 37) and offering a wealth of critical suggestions for its theological appropriation. His treatment takes account of recent scholarship, exhibits a keen awareness of methodological debates and is written in a highly readable, even genial style. For theologians, pastors, students--anyone wanting to think through the Old Testament theologically (again) with an expert guide--his book is a must-read."

Stephen B. Chapman, Scottish Journal of Theology, February 2010

"Goldingay helps us all learn more about the Old Testament to the end that we more faithfully proclaim the Gospel of Jesus."

Reed Lessing for Concordia Journal, October 2007


1. Introduction: Old Testament Theology as Narrative
2. God Began: Creation
3. God Started Over: From Eden to Babel
4. God Promised: Israel's Ancestors
5. God Delivered: The Exodus
6. God Sealed: Sinai
7. God Gave: The Land
8. God Accommodated: From Joshua to Solomon
9. God Wrestled: From Solomon to the Exile
10. God Preserved: Exile and Restoration
11. God Sent: The Coming of Jesus
Postscript: Old Testament Theology and History
Author Index
Subject Index
Scripture Index


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John Goldingay

John Goldingay (PhD, University of Nottingham; DD, Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth) is professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary, but lives in Oxford, England. He was previously principal and professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at St. John's Theological College in Nottingham, England. His books include An Introduction to the Old Testament, A Reader's Guide to the Bible, Reading Jesus's Bible, and commentaries on Psalms, Isaiah, and Daniel. He has also authored a Biblical Theology, the three-volume Old Testament Theology and the seventeen-volume Old Testament for Everyone series, and has published a translation of the entire Old Testament called The First Testament: A New Translation.