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The Literary Structure of the Old Testament: A Commentary on Genesis-Malachi

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Dorsey proceeds book-by-book through the entire Old Testament, identifying the structure and offering commentary as to how it clarifies the text's meaning. He illuminates the "big picture" of each book, providing a framework for further study. "This book will become a standard reference tool for all serious students of the Bible."--Temper Longman III, Westmont College Dorsey proceeds book-by-book through the entire Old Testament, identifying the structure and offering commentary as to how it clarifies the text's meaning. He illuminates the "big picture" of each book, providing a framework for further study. "This book will become a standard reference tool for all serious students of the Bible."--Temper Longman III, Westmont College


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Dorsey proceeds book-by-book through the entire Old Testament, identifying the structure and offering commentary as to how it clarifies the text's meaning. He illuminates the "big picture" of each book, providing a framework for further study. "This book will become a standard reference tool for all serious students of the Bible."--Temper Longman III, Westmont College Dorsey proceeds book-by-book through the entire Old Testament, identifying the structure and offering commentary as to how it clarifies the text's meaning. He illuminates the "big picture" of each book, providing a framework for further study. "This book will become a standard reference tool for all serious students of the Bible."--Temper Longman III, Westmont College

50 review for The Literary Structure of the Old Testament: A Commentary on Genesis-Malachi

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Aitken

    Dorsey, David. The Literary Structure of the Old Testament: A Commentary on Genesis-Malachi. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1999. This is the most important book I own on the Old Testament. It might be one of the most important books written on the Old Testament in the 20th century. Had mainline Protestantism been aware of Dorsey’s analysis, the critical theories of the Old Testament would have been killed on arrival. Chiasms are inevitable. Whether Dorsey is reading them into the text, or whet Dorsey, David. The Literary Structure of the Old Testament: A Commentary on Genesis-Malachi. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1999. This is the most important book I own on the Old Testament. It might be one of the most important books written on the Old Testament in the 20th century. Had mainline Protestantism been aware of Dorsey’s analysis, the critical theories of the Old Testament would have been killed on arrival. Chiasms are inevitable. Whether Dorsey is reading them into the text, or whether they are there naturally (or probably both), the point is they are there. Once you see them, you can’t ignore them. And given the economy of space in ancient writing, it’s almost a given that the author (indirectly God) was using chiasms. In any case, it is no more forced than the conservative preacher’s reducing every text in the Bible to “3 points and a poem.” A modern speaker says something like, “I am moving on to point #2.” An ancient man didn’t have enough room on the stone tablet to say something like that. He had to construct the second point from within the structure itself. Chiasms do not have to make the beautiful X. They can also run in parallel (a-b-c-a’-b’c’). This book, however, will focus mainly on symmetrical patterns. Within a symmetrical pattern we should look for the “pivot” point. It is the “d” in an a-b-c-d-c’-b’-a’ (or some variant) structure. It will probably be the main point of the text. Dorsey gives an example from Babel (Dorsey 53). a. Introduction. All the earth had one language (11:1) B. people settle together C. Resolution by the people (come, haba) D. Yahweh discovers the plot (11:5) C’ Resolution of Yahweh (come, haba) B’ People disperse A’ All the earth now has many languages (11:9). This was fairly easy and few could dispute it. Others not so much, but that’s probably the nature of the case. It will be too difficult (but no doubt worthwhile) to reproduce by hand all the outlines. I will use my smartphone instead. The payoff for this approach is that it shows that ancient man would have written with a coherent plan in place. If that is so, then there is no reason to accept the Documentary Hypothesis.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Hanby

    Dorsey is an immensely helpful introduction to Old Testament structures and literary devices. I'll always turn to this when beginning a study of an OT text. Dorsey is an immensely helpful introduction to Old Testament structures and literary devices. I'll always turn to this when beginning a study of an OT text.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    I haven't read this book cover to cover, but I have read enough to know it is an indispensable tool for Old Testament study. Dorsey analyzes each book of the OT except the Psalms (He looks at about forty of them) He focuses on the literary structure of the books. Biblical authors organized their thoughts in written from differently than we do today. We have introductions, table of contents, chapter headings, special punctuation, etc... They used repeated words, parallel structures, chiasms, and o I haven't read this book cover to cover, but I have read enough to know it is an indispensable tool for Old Testament study. Dorsey analyzes each book of the OT except the Psalms (He looks at about forty of them) He focuses on the literary structure of the books. Biblical authors organized their thoughts in written from differently than we do today. We have introductions, table of contents, chapter headings, special punctuation, etc... They used repeated words, parallel structures, chiasms, and other literary devices to communicate there messages. The modern reader will miss many of these without understanding the writing techniques of the Biblical times. Dorsey's contribution is a huge help to Biblical scholars and laymen alike.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Peter Krol

    I am slowly reading this commentary as I study OT books. Dorsey does a tremendous job explaining how literary structure is important to help us understand the author's meaning of OT books. He then demonstrates this fact by giving outlines with commentary for every OT book. This is so good that I now keep it on my desk perpetually to reference whenever I'm studying an OT book. Can't recommend it any more highly. I am slowly reading this commentary as I study OT books. Dorsey does a tremendous job explaining how literary structure is important to help us understand the author's meaning of OT books. He then demonstrates this fact by giving outlines with commentary for every OT book. This is so good that I now keep it on my desk perpetually to reference whenever I'm studying an OT book. Can't recommend it any more highly.

  5. 4 out of 5

    David

    Dorsey analyzes the structure of each book of the Old Testament. The most interesting was his structural analysis of the Torah (and he includes Joshua) as a whole. This is a helpful reference work which I surely will return to often.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

    Outstanding resource for understanding the structure of OT books.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Moffett

    A resource I continue to use

  8. 4 out of 5

    John Quintilian

    This book was written by my favorite seminary professor, who recently passed away.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Rose

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mike van Treek Nilsson

  11. 4 out of 5

    David

  12. 5 out of 5

    Micheal Hui

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mike Jorgensen

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Stark

  15. 5 out of 5

    Darlene

  16. 4 out of 5

    Heather Herr

  17. 4 out of 5

    Stacey Douglas

  18. 4 out of 5

    Eric

  19. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Alexander

  20. 5 out of 5

    David

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth Cheong

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marcia Lucas

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tony Watkins

  24. 4 out of 5

    Hoangcung Caohoang

  25. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jon

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Henriquez

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Kou

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lan Nguyen

  30. 4 out of 5

    Adam Ross

  31. 5 out of 5

    Julie

  32. 5 out of 5

    Matthieu Lacroix

  33. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  34. 4 out of 5

    Tom Clawser

  35. 5 out of 5

    Pearlie

  36. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  37. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  38. 4 out of 5

    Jipson Lawrance

  39. 5 out of 5

    Michael Sechler

  40. 5 out of 5

    Ivan

  41. 4 out of 5

    Greg

  42. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  43. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

  44. 5 out of 5

    Grant C.

  45. 4 out of 5

    D.N.

  46. 5 out of 5

    R. Alan Woods

  47. 4 out of 5

    Nehemiah

  48. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  49. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

  50. 5 out of 5

    Drew

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