Dig Even DeeperPaperback Unearthing Old Testament treasure Andrew Sach, Richard Alldritt
What does an Old Testament book have to say to us in the twenty-first century? Discover the message of a Bible book for yourself by using tools which help you 'dig deeper'. In the authors' own words, 'We want to share with you why we think it means what it does, how we came to our understanding of the verses, what discoveries we made. Rather than a Hollywood movie, this is going to be more like the how-they-made-the-movie footage.'(more...)
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What does an Old Testament book have to say to us in the twenty-first century?
Discover the message of a Bible book for yourself by using tools which help you 'dig deeper'. In the authors' own words, 'We want to share with you why we think it means what it does, how we came to our understanding of the verses, what discoveries we made. Rather than a Hollywood movie, this is going to be more like the how-they-made-the-movie footage.'
'I have never seen a burning bush, have never suffered a plague of boils (even as a seventeen-year-old the acne wasn't that bad), have never parted my bathwater and walked through the middle, have never been to Mount Sinai, let alone heard God speaking from thunder on the top of it,' says Andrew Sach. 'What possible relevance does the book of Exodus have to me?'
We set about discovering the message of a Bible book for us today using various tools (first introduced in Dig Deeper). The Repetition tool helps us to see that God's name is a big deal. The Context tool shows us why it was important to beat the Amalekites. The Quotation/Allusion tool uncovers a miniature garden of Eden where we least expect one. And so on.
Rather than a Hollywood movie, this is more the how-they-made-the-movie footage that you get in the DVD extras. As well as showing you the treasure, we want you to grow in your ability to unearth such treasure for yourself in other Bible books.
Extent: 208 pages
Publication Date: 21/01/2011
Published by: IVP
Beatings (Exodus 1 – 2)
Bush (Exodus 3:1 – 7:7)
Plagues (Exodus 7:8 – 10:29)
Passover (Exodus 11:1 – 13:16)
Water (Exodus 13:17 – 15:21)
Whingeing (Exodus 15:22 – 17:16)
Father-in-law (Exodus 18)
Fear (Exodus 19:1 – 20:21)
Case law (Exodus 20:22 – 23:33)
Covenant (Exodus 24)
Tabernacle (Exodus 25 – 31)
Calf (Exodus 32:1 – 33:6)
Cleft (Exodus 33:7 – 34:35)
Tabernacle (Exodus 35 – 40)
Appendix 1: Did the Exodus really happen?
Appendix 2: Commentaries, copying and catastrophe!
Appendix 3: The Bible toolkit
(From the) Introduction
I (Andrew) have never seen a burning bush, have never suffered a plague of boils (even as a seventeen-year-old the acne wasn’t that bad), have never parted my bathwater and walked through the middle, have never been to Mount Sinai, let alone heard God speaking from thunder on the top of it, and have never been even remotely tempted to worship an animal made from melted-down earrings. What possible relevance does the book of Exodus have to me?
Romans 15:4 is one of the most mind-blowing verses in the whole Bible. More than a thousand years after the events of the Exodus, the apostle Paul was able to say this:
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)
Pause to think about that for a moment. Let the implications sink in. God spoke to Moses in the burning bush for our benefit. God visited a plague of boils on Pharaoh for our benefit. God parted the Red Sea for our benefit. God spoke to the people from the mountain for our benefit. Moses recorded the golden-calf episode for our benefit. And we could go on. All the events recorded in the book of Exodus happened for our benefit. It was written for us.
This is a book about what Exodus means for us today. We’re going to go through all forty chapters, retelling the story, puzzling over some of the details and discerning what God has to say to us. For us as authors, it’s meant every Friday morning for over a year, thumbing the pages of the Bible, discovering many things we’ve never seen before, glimpsing something of the glory of the God who calls himself ‘I am’ (Exodus 3:14). We’ve had a lot of fun writing this, and we hope that some of our enthusiasm will rub off on you too.
But it’s not our aim simply to tell you what Exodus means. We want to share with you why we think it means what it does, how we came to this understanding, and what discoveries we made. Rather than a Hollywood movie, this book is going to be more like the ‘how-they-made-the-movie’ footage that you get on the DVD extras.
We set about discovering the message of Exodus using various tools. The Repetition tool helped us to see that God’s name is a big deal, in chapter 6. The Context tool showed us why it was important to beat the Amalekites, in chapter 17. The Quotation/Allusion tool uncovered a miniature garden of Eden where we least expected one. And so on. The Bible toolkit was first introduced in Dig Deeper, another little book published by IVP. In Dig Even Deeper the toolkit goes ‘live’. We’re going to try to show you how to get to grips with a whole Bible book from beginning to end.
We’re passionate that Christians should learn the tools of the Bible-handling trade, because of what the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy (the theme verse of the original Dig Deeper too):
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
A few years ago Andrew lived in Peckham, South London, in a house with bad plumbing. The kitchen tap dripped all the time – we had to take out gym membership to develop the muscles necessary to turn it fully off. And a faulty ball valve in the upstairs loo meant that water poured continually out of the overflow pipe, giving the neighbours’ garden a not-so-attractive water feature. Our water bills were becoming expensive. Cue Ray, the local plumber we found in Yellow Pages. He couldn’t do anything about the kitchen tap, but he did manage to stop the loo overflowing . . . and flushing! In short, Ray turned out to be a cowboy plumber.
Join Andrew for his recurring nightmare. He’s in hospital, about to undergo heart surgery. Just before the anaesthetic kicks in, he catches a glimpse of the face of the surgeon who is set to perform the operation. It’s Ray, smiling, wielding a scalpel with the same deftness with which he handled the monkey wrench. Noooooo!
Cowboy plumbers are one thing, but cowboy surgeons are quite another. So is handling the Bible more like changing the washer on a tap or changing a heart valve? If you get it wrong, are people going to have toilets that don’t flush or will they die? Actually explaining the Bible is infinitely more significant even than heart surgery, because if you get it right people will live for ever. But if you get it wrong . . .
History is littered with cowboy theologians, cowboy preachers, cowboy Sunday school teachers. In the recent history of South Africa, for example, a twisted reading of Exodus 19:6 was used as a justification for the despicable practice of apartheid – no prizes for guessing who the chosen race was supposed to be. But with the greatest irony, Exodus was also mishandled by some of the liberation theologians, who made the gospel only about deliverance from political oppression (‘let my people go’) and discarded all notions of salvation from sin and God’s judgment.
It matters that you get the Bible right. We pray that God will use this little book to that end.
Getting the most out of this book
Dig Even Deeper is designed to be an interactive experience, but the level of interactivity is partly down to you. There are exercises in most chapters so you can practise using the tools for yourself, and a number of ‘Brainbox Asides’ for those who want to be stretched even further.
Now we need to ask you a favour. Please don’t turn the page until you have read the whole of Exodus from cover to cover. What? Surely we are not serious? Yes, we really mean it. After all, Dig Even Deeper was written on an Apple Mac by a couple of blokes in East London; the book of Exodus was breathed out by the Holy Spirit. It would be a tragedy if you read less of the Bible than you read of our comments! Read Exodus fairly quickly. Don’t get bogged down in the detail. Look out for the big themes. Start to get a feel for what’s going on.
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