My Mind = Blown

sailhamer.jpg John Sailhamer is blowing my mind right now.

From The Meaning of the Pentateuch:

“The Pentateuch itself was not written to teach Israel the law.  The Pentateuch was addressed to a people living under the law (Deut 30:1-2; Ezra 7:6-10) and failing at every opportunity (Neh 9:33).  The Pentateuch looks beyond the law of God to his grace.  The purpose of the Pentateuch is to teach its readers about faith and hope in the new covenant (Deut 30:6). …The Pentateuch was written to Israel at a later time, certainly only after Israel’s failures that it records.  It was given to tell Israel that the Sinai [“Old”] covenant had failed.  As the prophet Hosea saw, the Pentateuch is primarily not about a wedding, but a divorce.

…In the Pentateuch we are confronted with a call to a new covenant, not to the old.  In that respect, the Pentateuch is quite close in meaning to the NT book of Galatians.  …Paul, in Galatians, raises the question of the continuing validity of the Sinai covenant.  According to Galatians, the Sinai covenant failed.  In the same way, the Pentateuch confronts its readers with the failure of the Sinai law and the hope of a new covenant” (26-7).

No wonder John Piper said about this book, “There is nothing like it. It will rock your world. You will never read the ‘Pentateuch’ the same again.”

Sailhamer concludes this section by asking the question, “If the purpose of the Pentateuch is to show that the Sinai covenant and its laws failed, why are there so many laws still in the Pentateuch?”

Good question.  I’ll let you know what he says.  Maybe.  Maybe you should just read it.


2 thoughts on “My Mind = Blown”

  1. This looks like an incredible book. In my experience, Christian’s generally ignore the OT, unless it has to do with an apple, a flood or a technicolor dreamcoat. The Pentateuch is an incredible body of work, and understanding it is key to a vibrant Christian life.

    Consider this one on my wish list.

  2. I am curious; If the first five books of the bible were written so very late, what is Joshua 1:7-8 referring to when it says “book of the law”? Remember Joshua begins immediately after Moses died.

    7 Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.
    8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

    The word ‘book’ from verse eight comes from the Hebrew word ‘cepher’ which means: book, letter, writing or document.

    So what document is it speaking of?

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